Amour, Imagination, Rêve

The name Air is a ackronym for Amour, Imagination, Rêve which translates to Love, Imagination, Dream…..
So… I discover this band, (AIR) and thinking on it, I don’t even remember the process that it happened. Truthfully, there is such good music out there at this point, I can’t remember when it was this nice, maybe 30 years ago?
They have a nice combination going, muted Electronica, good vocals, and a nice Euro kinda sound. Funny enough I had been aware of their work for awhile, but I never figured out who was doing it. Check out “The Virgin Suicides” soundtrack…. That’s AIR performing it.
So… watch the videos, give me some feedback n what you’re hearing, and what you think of it.

If you like their stuff, you can find it readily on the web….

Enjoy Yourselves, More Later.


On The Menu


AIR – Mer Du Japon

The Great Spirit Names the Animal People: How Coyote Came by his Powers

The Poetry of Lorna Dee Cervantes

Bio: Lorna Dee Cervantes

AIR – Once Upon A Time

Art: Gil Bruvel



Pat on Yoga…Thanks to Don!

Devil Or Darwin? Devil!

Wiccan Symbol Won’t Be Placed Next to Nativity

Naked woman discovered in apartment

AIR – Mer Du Japon



The Great Spirit Names the Animal People: How Coyote Came by his Powers (Okanogan)

from Mourning Dove, Coyote Tales (1933).
The Great Spirit called all his people together from all over the earth. There was to be a change. He would give names to the people, and the Animal World was to rule. The naming was to begin at the break of day, each one having the right to choose his or her name according to who came first to the Spirit Chief’s lodge. The Spirit Chief would also give each one their duty to perform in the changed conditions.
It was the night before the New World. Excitement was among the people. Each one desired a great name of note. All wished to be awake and first at the lodge of the Great Spirit Chief. Everyone wanted power to rule some tribe, some kingdom of the Animal World.
Coyote was of a degraded nature, a vulgar type of life. He was an imitator of everything that he saw or heard. When he asked a question, when he asked for information and it was given him, he would always say, “I knew that before! I did not have to be told.” That was Coyote’s way. He was hated by all the people for his ways. No one liked him. He boasted too much about his wisdom, about everything. Coyote went among the anxious people, bragging to everyone how early he was going to rise, how he would be the first one at the Spirit Chief’s lodge. He bragged of the great name he would choose. He said, “I will have three big names to select from: there is Grizzly Bear, who will be ruler over all running, four-footed animals; Eagle, who will lead all the flying birds; Salmon, who will be chief over all the fish of every kind.”
Coyote’s twin brother, who took the name of Fox, said to him, “Do not be too sure. Maybe no one will be given his choice of names. Maybe you will have to retain your own name, Coyote. Because it is a degraded name, no one among the tribes will want to take it.

Coyote went to his tepee in anger. He determined not to sleep that night. He would remain awake so as to be the first at the Spirit Chief’s lodge for the name he wanted. . . . Coyote’s wife (afterwards Mole), sat on her feet at the side of the doorway. She looked up at Coyote and said in a disappointed tone, “Have you no food for the children? They are starving! I can find no roots to dig.”
“Eh-ha!” grunted Coyote sarcastically. He answered his wife, “I am no common person to be spoken to in that fashion by a mere woman. Do you know that I am going to be a great Chief at daybreak tomorrow? I shall be Grizzly Bear. I will devour my enemies with ease. I will take other men’s wives. I will need you no longer. You are growing too old, too ugly to be the wife of a great warrior, of a big Chief as I will be.”

Coyote ordered his wife to gather plenty of wood for the tepee fire where he would sit without sleep all night. Half of the night passed; Coyote grew sleepy. His eyes would close however hard he tried to keep them open. Then he thought what to do. He took two small sticks and braced his eyelids apart. He must not sleep! But before Coyote knew it, he was fast asleep. He was awakened by his wife, Mole, when she returned from the Spirit Chief’s lodge, when the sun was high in the morning sky. . . .
Coyote jumped up from where he lay. He hurried to the lodge of the Chief Spirit. Nobody was there, and Coyote thought that he was first. . . . He went into the lodge and spoke, “I am going to be Grizzly Bear!”
The Chief answered, “Grizzly Bear was taken at daybreak!”
Coyote said, “Then I shall be called Eagle!”
The Chief answered Coyote, “Eagle has chosen his name. He flew away long ago.”
Coyote then said, “I think that I will be called Salmon.”
The Spirit Chief informed Coyote, “Salmon has also been taken. All the names have been used except your own: Coyote. No one wished to steal your name from you.”
Poor Coyote’s knees grew weak. He sank down by the fire in that great tepee. The heart of the Spirit Chief was touched when he saw the lowered head of Coyote, the mischief-maker. After a silence the Chief spoke, “You are Coyote! You are the hated among all the tribes, among all the people. I have chosen you from among all others to make you sleep, to go to the land of the dream visions. I make a purpose for you, a big work for you to do before another change comes to the people. You are to be father for all the tribes, for all the new kind of people who are to come. Because you are so hated, degraded and despised, you will be known as the Trick-person. You will have power to change yourself into anything, any object you wish when in danger or distress. There are man-eating monsters on the earth who are destroying the people. The tribes cannot increase and grow as I wish. These monsters must all be vanquished before the new people come. This is your work to do. I give you powers to kill these monsters. I have given your twin brother, Fox, power to help you, to restore you to life should you be killed. Your bones may be scattered; but if there is one hair left on your body, Fox can bring you back to life. Now go, despised Coyote! Begin the work laid out for your trail. Do good for the benefit of your people.”
Thus, Coyote of the Animal People was sent about the earth to fight and destroy the people-devouring monsters, to prepare the land for the coming of the new people, the Indians. Coyote’ eyes grew slant from the effects of the sticks with which he braced them open that night when waiting for the dawn of the name giving day. From this, the Indians have inherited their slightly slant eyes as descendants from Coyote.


The Poetry of Lorna Dee Cervantes

“Love of My Flesh, Living Death”
Once I wasn’t always so plain.

I was strewn feathers on a cross

of dune, an expanse of ocean

at my feet, garlands of gulls.
Sirens and gulls. They couldn’t tame you.

You know as well as they: to be

a dove is to bear the falcon

at your breast, your nights, your seas.
My fear is simple, heart-faced

above a flare of etchings, a lineage

in letters, my sudden stare. It’s you.
It’s you! sang the heart upon its mantel

pelvis. Blush of my breath, catch

of my see—beautiful bird—It’s you.

“Poet’s Progress”
for Sandra Cisneros
I haven’t been

much of anywhere,

books my only voyage,

crossed no bodies

of water, seen anything

other than trees change,

birds take shape — like the rare

Bee Hummingbird that once hovered

over the promise of salsa

in my garden: a fur feathered

vision from Cuba in Boulder,

a wetback, stowaway, refugee,

farther from home than me.

Now, snow spatters its foreign

starch across the lawn gone

crisp with freeze. I know

nothing tropical survives

long in this season. I pull

the last leeks from the frozen

earth, smell their slender

tubercular lives, stand

in the sleet whiteout

of December: roots

draw in, threads of relatives

expand while solitude, the core,

that slick-headed fist of self, is

cool as my dog’s nose and pungent

with resistance. Now when

the red-bellied woodpecker

calls his response to a California

owl, now, when the wound

transformer in the womb

slackens, and I wait

for potential: all

the lives I have

yet to name,

all my life

I have willed into being

alive and brittle with the icy

past. And it’s enough now,

listening, counting the unknown

arachnids and hormigas

who share my love of less

sweeping. For this is what

I wanted, come to, left

alone with anything

but the girlhood horrors,

the touching, the hungry

leaden meltdown of the hours.

Or the future — a round negation,

black suction of the heart’s

conception. Save me

from a stupid life! I prayed.

Leave me anything but

a stupid life.

And that’s poetry.

“California Plum”
for Nathan Trujillo, discovered frozen to death in a

public restroom in Boulder. Feb. 3, 1992, and

identified only as “a derelict.”
I suppose I was a derelict.

I was a derelict’s kid. I succumbed

to man and minotaurs were

a thing of the past not

in my vocabulary. I knew the trees,

the fruit, the sweet, the fences

in my neighborhood to get me there

where dogs and men can’t reach.

I beat the boys and joined

their clubs. No initiation

could deter me. Oh yeah,

I know where the tracks go,

how to catch it going South,

what to carry, who to talk to,

what size jar of instant coffee

will get you into camp–

how to walk like a child

of a maid, go inside the Inns,

at 10am the leftovers line

the galleys: ham and omelet,

waffle, cutlet, biscuit, gravy….

I filled my skirt with jam and ate

through noon. I judged my troops

by the content of their refrigerator

(only ones with working moms

could pass). And oh, my literate

acquaintances! My bums and

babblers banging in the stacks!

I suppose I’m just like they are,

dry inside at last, pumping

the poems of Pushkin, Poe and

papers by the racks. I sat in there

most every day, whoring working

hours away. I know the open places, graves,

the cemetery gate — the only one we’re allowed

to pass without eviction. Idle tears

will get you anywhere, said Tennyson.

You can read it in our clothes, the rips

we care to camouflage, bunker, in clunky

shoes and hand-me-nots, the stabs, the odds

of ever reaching our normality. I’d say I was

a derelict — I was a derelict’s kid.

“Drawings: For John Who Said to Write about True Love”
“The writer. It’s a cul-de-sac,” you wrote that

winter of our nation’s discontent. That first time

I found you, blue marble lying still in the trench, you, staked

in waiting for something, anything but the cell of your small

apartment with the fixtures never scrubbed, the seven great

named cats you gassed in the move. I couldn’t keep them.

You explained so I understood. And what cat never loved

your shell-like ways, the claw of your steady fingers, firme

from the rasping of banjos and steady as it goes

from the nose to the hair to the shaking tip. My favorite

tale was of the owl and the pussycat in love in a china cup

cast at sea, or in a flute more brittle, more lifelike

and riddled with flair, the exquisite polish of its gaudy

glaze now puzzled with heat cracks, now foamed

opalescent as the single espresso dish you bought from

Goodwill. What ever becomes of the heart our common

child fashioned, red silk and golden satin, the gay glitter

fallen from moves, our names with Love written in black

felt pen? Who gets what? Who knows what becomes of the

rose you carried home from Spanish Harlem that morning

I sat waiting for the surgeon’s suction. What ever becomes

of waiting and wanting, when the princess isn’t ready and

the queen has missed the boat, again? Do you still write

those old remarks etched on a page of Kandinsky’s ace

letting go? Like: Lorna meets Oliver North and she

kicks his butt. The dates are immaterial to me as

salvation or a freer light bending through stallions

in an air gone heavy with underground tunnels. Do you

read me? Is there some library where you’ll find me, smashed

on the page of some paper? Let it go is my morning mantra

gone blind with the saved backing of a clock, now dark

as an empty womb when I wake, now listening for your tick

or the sound of white walls on a sticky street. Engines out

the window remind me of breathing apparatus at the breaking

of new worlds, the crash and perpetual maligning of the sand

bar where sea lions sawed up logs for a winter cabin. I dream

wood smoke in the morning. I dream the rank and file of used

up chimneys, what that night must have smelled like, her mussed

and toweled positioning, my ambulance of heart through stopped

traffic where you picked the right corner to tell me: They think

someone murdered her. You were there, all right, you were

a statue carved from the stone of your birth. You were patient

as a sparrow under leaf and as calm as the bay those light

evenings when I envisioned you with the fishwife you loved.

And yes, I could have done it then, kissed it off, when the scalpel

of single star brightened and my world blazed, a dying bulb

for the finger of a socket, like our sunsets on the Cape, fallen

fish blood in snow, the hearts and diamonds we found and left

alone on a New England grave. Why was the summer so long

then? Even now a golden season stumps me and I stamp

ants on the brilliant iced drifts. I walk a steady mile

to that place where you left it, that solid gold band

thrown away to a riptide in a gesture the theatrical

love—so well. What was my role? Or did I leave it

undelivered when they handed me the gun of my triggered

smiles and taught me to cock it? Did I play it to the hilt

and bleeding, did I plunge in your lap and wake to find you

lonely in a ribbon of breathing tissue? Does this impudent

muscle die? Does love expire? Do eternal nestings mean much

more than a quill gone out or the spit? I spy the bank

of frothed fog fuming with airbrushed pussies on a pink

horizon. I scored my shoes with walking. My skill is losing.

It’s what we do best, us ducks, us lessons on what not

to do.

Thanks for the crack,

you wrote

in my O.E.D. that 30th renewal when the summer snapped

and hissed suddenly like a bullet of coal flung from a fire

place or a dumb swallow who dove into the pit for pay. Kiss

her, and it’s good luck. I palm this lucky trade but the soot

never sells and I never sailed away on a gulf stream that divides

continents from ourselves. But only half of me is cracked, the

other is launched on a wild bob, a buoy, steadfast in storm. I may

sail to Asia or I might waft aimlessly to Spain where my hemp

first dried from the rain. My messages wring from the line,

unanswered, pressed sheets from an old wash or the impression

of a holy thing. But don’t pull no science on this shroud, the

date will only lie. She’ll tell you it’s sacred, even sell you

a piece of the fray. She appears on the cracked ravines of this

country like a ghost on the windshield of an oncoming

train. She refuses to die, but just look at her nation

without a spare penny to change. My wear is a glass made

clean through misuse, the mishandling of my age as revealing

as my erased face, Indian head of my stick birth, my battle

buried under an island of snow I’ve yet to get to. What could I do

with this neighborhood of avenues scattered with empty shells

of mailboxes, their feet caked with cement like pulled up

pilings? Evidently, they haven’t a word

for regret

full heart.

Someday, I said, I can write us both from this mess. But the key

stalls out from under me when I spell your name. I have to fake

the O or go over it again in the dark, a tracing of differences

spilled out on a sheet. If I could stick this back

together, would it stay? It’s no rope, I know, and no good

for holding clear liquid. I gather a froth on my gums, and grin

the way an old woman grimaces in a morning mirror. I was never

a clear thing, never felt the way a daughter feels, never lost

out like you, never drove. My moon waits at the edge

of an eagle’s aerie, almost extinct and the eggs are fragile

from poisoned ignitions. I’m never coming out from my cup

of tea, never working loose the grease in my hair, the monkey

grease from my dancing elbows that jab at your shoulder.

But I write, and wait for the book to sell, for I know

nothing comes of it but the past with its widening teeth,

with its meat breath baited at my neck, persistent as the smell

of a drunk. Don’t tell me. I already know. It’s just the rule of

the game for the jack of all hearts, and for the queen of baguettes;

it’s a cul-de-sac for a joker drawing hearts.

Lorna Dee Cervantes (1954 – )

Through her writings, Chicana poet Lorna Dee Cervantes evokes the cultural clash that Americans of Mexican descent frequently face. Born in San Francisco, Cervantes’ “maternal Mexican ancestors intermarried with the Chumash Indians of the Santa Barbara, California, area, and her paternal ancestry is Tarascan Indian from Michoacan, Mexico,” reported Roberta Fernandez in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Cervantes and her mother and brother moved in to her grandmother’s San Jose, California, home around 1959, when her parents divorced. “As a child she discovered the world of books in the houses which her mother cleaned,” noted Fernandez. She became familiar with Shakespeare, Byron, Keats, and Shelley. By the age of fifteen she had compiled her first collection of poetry. In 1974 she traveled to Mexico City with her brother, who played with the Theater of the People of San Jose at the Quinto Festival de los Teatros Chicanos. At the last moment, Cervantes was asked to participate by reading some of her poetry. She chose to read a portion of “Refugee Ship,” a poem “which renders the Chicano dilemma of not belonging to either the American or the Mexican culture,” remarked Fernandez. This reading received much attention—appearing in a Mexican newspaper, as well as other journals and review. The poem was later included in her award winning poetry collection debut, Emplumada.
“Emplumada is a collection of bilingual free verse in simple diction—a glossary of Spanish terms is included—that paints strong visual images and diverse moods,” described Lynn MacGregor in Contemporary Women Poets. It includes verses of mourning, acceptance, and renewal and offers poignant commentary on the static roles of class and sex, especially among Hispanics. Characterized by their simplicity of language and boldness of imagery, the “poems in Emplumada form a tightly knit unit which shows readers the environment into which the poet was torn, the social realities against which she must struggle, and the resolutions she finds for these conflicts,” said Fernandez. “Written in a controlled language and with brilliant imagery, Emplumada is the work of a poet who is on her way to becoming a major voice in American literature.” Emplumada has earned considerable critical acclaim; and in 1982 it won the American Book Award.

AIR – Once Upon A Time



Happy Birthday To William Blake!

The Garden Of Love
I laid me down upon a bank,

Where Love lay sleeping;

I heard among the rushes dank

Weeping, weeping.
Then I went to the heath and the wild,

To the thistles and thorns of the waste;

And they told me how they were beguiled,

Driven out, and compelled to the chaste.
I went to the Garden of Love,

And saw what I never had seen;

A Chapel was built in the midst,

Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut

And “Thou shalt not,” writ over the door;

So I turned to the Garden of Love

That so many sweet flowers bore.
And I saw it was filled with graves,

And tombstones where flowers should be;

And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,

And binding with briars my joys and desires.

Today is the 250th Birthday of William Blake…(Thank You Morgan!) We are celebrating it with William’s Art & Poetry, and a bit of music from Jocelyn Pook.
It is cold here in Portland, it could snow in the next couple of days. We have had the oddest weather for this time of year….
Talking about Birthdays’ … Morgan is turning 50!… If you know him, contact me, I have an invite for a gathering this Friday over here on the S.E. side of Portland.
Radio Free EarthRites will be missing from your speakers for a month. The Server in the UK broke down, and our friend Doug is off to Australia for several weeks so it will be absent….
I might load up Pod-Cast here on Turfing, if I get positive feedback to do so…
With all the changes going on you might check out the new Poster Page on Gwyllm-Arts!



On The Menu:

The Links

Jocelyn Pook – Bridal Ballade

The Poetry Of William Blake

Jocelyn Pook – Migrations / Paintings Gil Bruvel

Art – William Blake


The Links:

The Anti Crusader…

Extraterrestrials on Ice

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has appeared to us in a pumpkin pie!

The Bowen Manuscrpt…

Death-cheating cat dubbed bionic

Jocelyn Pook – Bridal Ballade (Donne musicanti)



The Poetry Of William Blake

Never seek to tell thy love,

Love that never told can be;

For the gentle wind doth move

Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,

I told her all my heart,

Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.

Ah! she did depart!

Soon after she was gone from me,

A traveller came by,

Silently, invisibly:

He took her with a sigh.

Piping down the valleys wild,

Piping songs of peasant glee,

On a cloud I saw a child,

And he, laughing, said to me:

‘Pipe a song about a lamb!’

So I piped with merry cheer.

‘Piper, pipe that song again;’

So I piped: he wept to hear.

‘Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;

Sing thy songs of happy cheer!’

So I sang the same again,

While he wept with joy to hear.

‘Piper, sit thee down and write

In a book, that all may read.’

So he vanished from my sight;

And I plucked a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,

And I stain’d the water clear,

And I wrote my happy songs

Every child may joy to hear.


by: William Blake (1757-1827)
Whether on Ida’s shady brow

Or in the chambers of the East,

The chambers of the Sun, that now

From ancient melody have ceased;

Whether in heaven ye wander fair,

Or the green corners of the earth,

Or the blue regions of the air

Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,

Beneath the bosom of the sea,

Wandering in many a coral grove;

Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry;

How have you left the ancient love

That bards of old enjoy’d in you!

The languid strings do scarcely move,

The sound is forced, the notes are few.


Thou fair-hair’d angel of the evening,

Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light

Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown

Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!

Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the

Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew

On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes

In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on

The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,

And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,

Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,

And then the lion glares through the dun forest:

The fleeces of our flocks are cover’d with

Thy sacred dew: protect them with thine influence!

Poem lyrics of A Divine Image by William Blake.

Cruelty has a human heart,

And Jealousy a human face;

Terror the human form divine,

And secrecy the human dress.
The human dress is forged iron,

The human form a fiery forge,

The human face a furnace seal’d,

The human heart its hungry gorge.


Jocelyn Pook – Migrations / Paintings Gil Bruvel



Holidaze On The Way….

With a bit of prompting from my friend Doug, I have brought on board to Earthrites an excellent source for independent cinema DVD’s. has joined forces with MicroCinema at our MicroCinema Page bringing you some thought provoking works, adventurous and really, lots of fun stuff. Please Check It Out!


If you missed ‘The Samsara Engine’ Art Show at Clinton Corner Cafe, you now can check out what I had on the walls, and then some. You can pick up your signed limited editions, and have them mailed out to you promptly. So check ‘em out! I have added many posters I had lurking in the archives, just waiting to burst forth and take up residence on a wall near you!
We will have clothing, bags and other items as well up on the site soon, so check Turfing or for updates.
Feedback on the designs, request, casual comments are always welcome.

Drop me a line at Llwydd (at sign)

On The Menu:

The Links

Zeb – Opium

The Fairy Race

Hafiz Poetry

Art: John Duncan
The Links:

‘Mythical Roman cave’ unearthed

Read the November 20th entry and weep.

Irony? : Cannibal turns vegetarian after joining Green group

‘Noah’s Flood’ Kick-started European Farming?

Zeb – Opium


The Fairy Race

The Sidhe, or spirit race, called also the Feadh-Ree, or fairies, are supposed to have been once angels in heaven, who were cast out by Divine command as a punishment for their inordinate pride.
Some fell to earth, and dwelt there, long before man was created, as the first gods of the earth. Others fell into the sea, and they built themselves beautiful fairy palaces of crystal and pearl underneath the waves; but on moonlight nights they often come up on the land, riding their white horses, and they hold revels with their fairy kindred of the earth, who live in the clefts of the hills, and they dance together on the greensward under the ancient trees, and drink nectar from the cups of the flowers, which is the fairy wine.
Other fairies, however, are demoniacal, and given to evil and malicious deeds; for when cast out of heaven they fell into hell, and there the devil holds them under his rule, and sends them forth as he wills upon missions of evil to tempt the souls of men downward by the false glitter of sin and pleasure. These spirits dwell under the earth and impart their knowledge only to certain evil persons chosen of the devil, who gives them power to make incantations, and brew love potions, and to work wicked spells, and they can assume different forms by their knowledge and use of certain magical herbs.
The witch women who have been taught by them, and have thus become tools of the Evil One, are the terror of the neighbourhood; for they have all the power of the fairies and all the malice of the devil, who reveals to them secrets of times and days, and secrets of herbs, and secrets of evil spells; and by the power of magic they can effect all their purposes, whether for good or ill.
The fairies of the earth are small and beautiful. They passionately love music and dancing, and live luxuriously in their palaces under the hills and in the deep mountain caves; and they can obtain all things lovely for their fairy homes, merely by the strength of their magic power. They can also assume all forms, and will never know death until the last day comes, when their doom is to vanish away–to be annihilated for ever. But they are very jealous of the human race who are so tall and strong, and to whom has been promised immortality. And they are often tempted by the beauty of a mortal woman and greatly desire to have her as a wife.
The children of such marriages have a strange mystic nature, and generally become famous in music and song. But they are passionate, revengeful, and not easy to live with. Every one knows them to be of the Sidhe or spirit race, by their beautiful eyes and their bold, reckless temperament.
The fairy king and princes dress in green, with red caps bound on the head with a golden fillet. The fairy queen and the great court lathes are robed in glittering silver gauze, spangled with diamonds, and their long golden hair sweeps the ground as they dance on the greensward.
Their favourite camp and resting-place is under a hawthorn tree, and a peasant would die sooner than cut down one of the ancient hawthorns sacred to the fairies, and which generally stands in the centre of a fairy ring. But the people never offer worship to these fairy beings, for they look on the Sidhe as a race quite inferior to man. At the same the they have an immense dread and fear of the mystic fairy power, and never interfere with them nor offend them knowingly.
The Sidhe often strive to carry off the handsome children, who are then reared in the beautiful fairy palaces under the earth, and wedded to fairy mates when they grow up.
The people dread the idea of a fairy changeling being left in the cradle in place of their own lovely child; and if a wizened little thing is found there, it is sometimes taken out at night and laid in an open grave till morning, when they hope to find their own child restored, although more often nothing is found save the cold corpse of the poor outcast.
Sometimes it is said the fairies carry off the mortal child for a sacrifice, as they have to offer one every seven years to the devil in return for the power he gives them. And beautiful young girls are carried off, also, either for sacrifice or to be wedded to the fairy king.
The fairies are pure and cleanly in their habits, and they like above all things a pail of water to be set for them at night, in case they may wish to bathe.
They also delight in good wines, and are careful to repay the donor in blessings, for they are truly upright and honest. The great lords of Ireland, in ancient times, used to leave a keg of the finest Spanish wine frequently at night out on the window-sill for the fairies, and in the morning it was all gone.
Fire is a great preventative against fairy magic, for fire is the most sacred of all created things, and man alone has power over it. No animal has ever yet attained the knowledge of how to draw out the spirit of fire from the stone or the wood, where it has found a dwelling-place. If a ring of fire is made round cattle or a child’s cradle, or if fire is placed under the churn, the fairies have no power to harm. And the spirit of the fire is certain to destroy all fairy magic, if it exist.

Hafiz Poetry

The Happy Virus
I caught the happy virus last night

When I was out singing beneath the stars.

It is remarkably contagious –

So kiss me.

aughing at the word two
That Illumined

Who keeps

Seducing the formless into form
Had the charm to win my

Only a Perfect One
Who is always

Laughing at the word

Can make you know

A Suspended Blue Ocean
The sky

Is a suspended blue ocean.

The stars are the fish

That swim.
The planets are the white whales

I sometimes hitch a ride on,
And the sun and all light

Have forever fused themselves
Into my heart and upon

My skin.
There is only one rule

On this Wild Playground,
For every sign Hafiz has ever seen

Reads the same.
They all say,
“Have fun, my dear; my dear, have fun,

In the Beloved’s Divine

O, in the Beloved’s

Wonderful Game.”

The Secret
I need a drink, wine maiden, that cup with grape stain lined,

for love that once seemed pleasing has burdened down my mind.
Ah smell how West Wind wafts her musk through the tavern door;

now feel our pumping hearts beat fast, watch our fears unwind.
Why do we who visit love think we’d stay forever?

We know the yearn to wander will always lovers find.
So we asked the Elder: What law makes love bring pain?

Sobriety, he laughed, you’ll feel better when you’re wined.
Your plight cannot be aided by that dull fear to risk

the toss and turn of love’s dark storm upon the ocean blind.
See clear in all these gathered friends who still hold you dear

love’s secret is that you must love without desires that bind.
Hafez, enjoy the one you love, drink deep and embrace;

seek not with her to please your world, just give love and be kind.

Bush Of Ghost

Tuesday Late… got to play with the Proof Copy of ‘The Invisible College’ Magazine. Sweet! Sure looks good, a couple of glitches, and then it is available.
Editing away on pages here, pages there of other projects… stay tuned. Our friend Tim never made it north, up from Mike Crowleys’. sigh. Tim had come over from Ireland to visit John Godzero, and to do some work with Mike on a project. There had been plans for him to come further north, but time got in the way. Maybe next year.
Getting cold here in P-Town. Winter has indeed arrived. Leaves dropping like crazy, my Salvia all flowered at last, and the dog and cat hardly venture out. I love it, and loathe it at the same time. Sunshine! yes please.
Heard from my friend Tom Charlesworth who moved down to Sedona. He has been swamped working with his wife Cheryl at their new Coffee Shop.
We revisit a favourite bit of music and art in this edition… Life in the Bush of Ghost…
Bright Blessings!

On The Menu:

Brian Eno/David Byrne – America Is Waiting

You Be The Editor!

The Sky God’s Stories

Bambara Creation Story From Mali

The Poetry of Stephane Mallarme

Brian Eno & David Byrne – Mea Culpa

Art: George Frederick Watts

Brian Eno/David Byrne – America Is Waiting


Here is a fun little exercise….
You Be The Editor! Life In The Bush Of Ghost


The Sky God’s Stories
Kwaku-Ananse the spider once went to the Sky God, Nyankonpon, to try to buy his stories. The Sky God said, “What makes you think you could buy my stories? The richest villages have all tried, and have all failed.”
Kwaku-Ananse asked, “What is the price?” “The price is Oninithe python; Osebo the leopard; Mmoboro the hornet swarm; and Mmoatia the spirit.” The spider replied, “I will bring you all these things and my mother, Nsia, too.
The spider went home and told his mother, Nsia, and his wife, Aso, what the Sky God had said. “How can I catch Onini?” he asked. “Go and cut a branch from a palm tree and a length of vine, and bring them to the stream,” said Aso.
Kwaku-Ananse did as he was told, and then he and Aso began to argue over the branch. “It’s longer than he is,” said Aso. “You lie,” replied Ananse. “He is longer.” The python overheard and, overcome with curiosity, asked what the quarrel was about. Ananse replied, “My wife, Aso, says that this palm branch is longer than you and I say it is not.”
So Onini the python stretched himself full length along the branch. As he did so, Ananse trussed him tight with the vine, all the way up to his head. Then Ananse and Aso turned their attention to Mmoboro the hornet swarm. Aso told Ananse what to do. He cut a gourd and filled it with water, and carried it to where he could see the swarm hanging from a branch. He spilled half of the water on the hornets, and half on himself. Then he cut a plantain leaf and put on his head, calling out, “Hornets! It is raining! I am sheltering under this leaf, but you have no protection. Why don’t you come into this gourd to keep dry?”
So the hornets flew into the gourd, and Ananse slapped the plantain leaf over the opening and trapped them inside.
Then Aso told Ananse to dig a pit. He dug it on the path between Osebo the leapard’s lair and the stream, and covered it with leaves. At dawn he went to the pit. There, helpless at the bottom, was the leopard. There remained the spirit Mmoatia to catch. Aso and Ananse carved a doll from wood and plastered it with sticky gum from a tree. Then they set the doll down where the tree spirits play, with a brass basin beside it containing an appetizing mash of yams. When the spirits came, Mmoatia saw the doll and asked it, “Can I have some yams?” The doll did not reply. So the spirit slapped the doll’s cheek, and her hand stuck fast. She slapped it again; her other hand stuck, too.
Then Ananse went to the Sky God with Onini the python, Osebo the leopard, Mmoboro the hornet swarm, Mmoatia the spirit, and Nsia, his old mother. The Sky God called all the other gods to him, saying, “See! Great kings have come seeking my stories, but were not able to buy them. But Kwaku-Ananse has paid the price and added his mother, too. Therefore, today and forever I make a gift of my stories to Ananse the spider, and now they shall be known as Spider-Stories!”



Bambara Creation Story From Mali

A little tale. A little tale…..

The egg and the chick went to pick lemons.
The chick said to the egg, ‘Climb up the lemon tree and pick the lemons’.
The egg responded that he couldn’t climb.
The chick climbed and shook the lemon tree.
The lemons fell.
They ate them.
The egg in his turn climbed, telling the chick to collect the dust and spread it out under him, so that if he fell he would not break.
The chick collected the dust and spread it under the tree, but a small stone was hidden in the dust.
The egg shook the tree and fell on the small stone, splat! And he broke himself.
And the chick laughed, and laughed and laughed.
But a branch cut off the chick’s head.
And the branch laughed, and laughed and laughed.
The fire burnt the branch.
And the fire laughed, and laughed and laughed.
The water extinguished the fire.
And the water laughed, and laughed and laughed.
The earth absorbed the water.
And the earth laughed, and laughed and laughed.
The earth and God quarrelled.
God picked up the earth and dropped it.
It is since that day that the earth is in her place.

I have left this small tale where I found it.

The Poetry of Stephane Mallarme

A Toast
Nothing, this foam, virgin verse

Depicting the chalice alone:

Far off a band of Sirens drown

Many of them head first.
We sail, O my various

Friends, I already at the stern,

You at the lavish prow that churns

The lightning’s and the winters’ flood:

A sweet intoxication urges me

Despite pitching, tossing, fearlessly

To offer this toast while standing

Solitude, reef, and starry veil

To whatever’s worthy of knowing

The white anxiety of our sail.

Futile Petition
Princess! To be jealous of a Hebe’s fate

Rising above this cup at your lips’ kisses,

I spend my fires with the slender rank of prelate

And won’t even figure naked on Sèvres dishes.

Since I’m not your pampered poodle,

Pastille, rouge or sentimental game

And know your shuttered glance at me too well,

Blonde whose hairdressers have goldsmiths’ names!

Name me…you whose laughters strawberry-crammed

Are mingling with a flock of docile lambs

Everywhere grazing vows bleating joy the while,

Name me…so that Love winged with a fan

Paints me there, lulling the fold, flute in hand,

Princess, name me the shepherd of your smiles.


I don’t come to conquer your flesh tonight, O beast

In whom are the sins of the race, nor to stir

In your foul tresses a mournful tempest

Beneath the fatal boredom my kisses pour:
A heavy sleep without those dreams that creep

Under curtains alien to remorse, I ask of your bed,

Sleep you can savour after your dark deceits,

You who know more of Nothingness than the dead.
For Vice, gnawing this inborn nobleness of mine

Marked me, like you, with its sterility,

But shroud-haunted, pale, destroyed, I flee

While that heart no tooth of any crime

Can wound lives in your breast of stone,

Frightened of dying while I sleep alone.

Brian Eno & David Byrne – Mea Culpa


Where the Crakeberries Grow

The Fullest of Weekends… working on an update for the Gywllm-Arts site. Lots of hours pounding the keys and manipulating images & html…. It should be a treat to look at though. Lots of new artwork, peeping over the horizon.
Rowan met Ursula LeGuinn this week-end at Orycon, The Oregon Science Fiction Convention. He had a great time with his friends Jake and Ian. He even got 4 books autographed! Excellent.
It has been raining cats and dogs up here. Wacky weather. Anyway, on with the show… lots in this edition to get down with… so here it is, ‘Where the Crakeberries Grow’

Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:

The Links

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Where The Crakeberries Grow (Interview from 1970 with Robert Graves)

The Spiritual Poetry of Solomon ibn Gabirol

Art: Jean Leon Gerome
Enjoy it!

The Links:

Diyarbakır excavation reveals ancient tomb of young lovers

Incredible Comet Bigger than the Sun

Stopping Cars with Microwaves

Noose left where local witches worship

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Love Burns” video version 2



From The BBC: The Listener 28 May 1970

Where The Crakeberries Grow – Robert Graves gives an account of himself to Leslie Norris – Robert Graves in Majorca

Robert Graves, in one of your poems you describe your own face:
Cheeks, furrowed; coarse grey hair, flying


Forehead, wrinkled and high;

Jowls, prominent; ears, large; jaw,pugilistic;

Teeth, few’; lips, full and ruddy, mouth,ascetic.
You ask the person you see reflected in your shaving mirror why
He still stands ready, with a boy’s


To court the queen in her high silk pavilion.
Who is the queen in her high silk pavilion?

She’s the woman to whom I’m writing the poem, and whatever her name may be is unimportant. Herrick used to address his poems to Julia – so we’ll call her Julia, if you like. I used the name back in the early Sixties. You can’t write poems unless you’re in love with someone, but you don’t mention the name, because it’s bad manners. There are very often poems of good-bye which are very painful. They are a goodbye to love, while love is still very much in your mind-horrible.

Do you consider yourself fortunate in having been a poet?

There’s no alternative. If you’re born that way, that’s your fate – and you’ve got to do your best. It’s a way of life. You have to be in the world, but not of the world, as the Sufis say. You can’t cheat and you must only say what you have to say and not what people would like you to say.

So that to write a true poem means rejecting as much as accepting?

What’s more, writing a poem is rather like finding the top of a statue buried in sand. You gradually take the sand away and you find the thing, whole – That is what poetry is, rather than building something up. It’s rediscovering what you’ve known inside yourself the whole time, what you’ve foreseen.

You’ve written that you write poems for poets. Do you mean you write poems exclusively for poets, or for people who live as poets do?
A poet is a person who lives and thinks in a certain way. A poet doesn’t necessarily write poems. It is simply an attitude, and there are a great many more poets around than meet the eve. I think about one person in 20 is perhaps a poet. The ones who are not poets expect something of what they think is poetry, which I don’t propose to give them. What I write is for people to understand who are on the same, as they say, wavelength as myself. I don’t write for an audience at all really: I write for myself. But the audience is presumably there.

What kind of people are they, these people who are on the same wavelength as you?

They’re people whom you can absolutely trust, instinctively; and they’re people who don’t argue. They are people whom you can trust in a crisis, and people who will never do anything mean. And they don’t argue logically. Logical argument is what destroys poetry because poetry is beyond logic.

Are they people who perhaps feel a greater wisdom, through the instincts or the senses?

I think it’s probably memory, some inherited bardic memory.

This you think of as, in some senses, a Welsh characteristic?

Yes, very much. You see, scientists are beginning to realise, from studies of snails and so on, that memory can be inherited; and in Ireland and in New Zealand – where there have been tremendously long courses for poets and orators – the children are born with a great advantage. Wales has been so full of poetry for so long that there are probably more potential poets there and in Ireland and in New Zealand among the Maoris than there are elsewhere. It’s a question of memory.
In ‘Goodbye to All That ‘ you’ve written about what Wales meant to you when you were a child living in Harlech. Has Wales had a great effect on you as a man and as a poet?

Obviously. I was born in London and you can’t have any great feeling for London. We spent our holidays at Harlech. My father was an Irish bard who was attached to the Eisteddfod; and he was one of the group who helped to start the Welsh Folk-Song Society. I used to go with my sister through the hill country behind Harlech; we had one of those wax phonographs and used it to collect Welsh folk-songs. Unfortunately, those were the days before cassettes and other instruments. All we had was the phonograph, and my sister, who was a musician, would note down what we had recorded-and then we had to rewax the cylinder. We had only one. It was a great pity because we lost the actual singing voices of the people. Nowadays when you collect folk-songs you get the actual singing voice, and that’s important. You get all the gracenotes.
In ‘Rocky Acres’ you mention crake-berries. I’ve never seen any myself

Crakeberry grows up on the hills behind Harlech – I don’t know anywhere elsewhere it grows. In 1929 1 went to live in Majorca, and I chose a place which was as near as possible to the scenery I was accustomed to in Harlech: the same grey rocks, and looking over the sea.
Perhaps one of your best-known poems is ‘Welsh Incident’. Could you tell us the story behind the writing of that poem?

The Irish used to say that you write one sort of poem with your right hand and an-other with your left, and I think it was the same with the Welsh bards. But the right hand is the constructive one and the left is the satiric one, and you can’t be serious the whole time. Occasionally you have to have a satire, which is pleasant joking, and this is what ‘Welsh Incident’ was intended to be. It started when my father and I were in a train compartment of the old Cambrian Railway. The train was going round that curve from BaTMouth, through Llan-bedr, round into Harlech where you see the sea stretched out; and there was a policeman aboard, a Welsh policeman. He got very excited and started telling my father how he had recently seen a mermaid. He wasn’t joking either: it was in perfect seriousness and made a very powerful impression on us all. Mermaids come into that poem, you may remember. And, of course, I’d been to those sea caves-, I’d been taken there by Professor Lloyd Williams, a botanist by profession, who was also one of the great Welsh mythologists. You could go there only at low tide about once a year. The caves had a very great fascination for me. But about ‘Welsh Incident’ – I wrote it in a Welsh accent. I remember once during the war in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, there was a certain Lieutenant Shankland, and I was telling a story in Welsh and he said: ‘Captain Graves, sir! ‘ And I said: ‘Yes, Mr Shankland? ‘ ‘ Captain Graves, sir, why can’t you talk your own bloody dialect?’ Wales is very important to me; and if asked what was the most important tech-nical influence on my verse I’d say the Welsh. It started with cynghanedd. My first poem published in book form was an englyn. I’d been taught the different rules of cynghanedd by an Archdeacon Edwards who was one of the most learned Eisteddfod poets. He was very patient with me. His bardic name was Gwynedd and he got the same prize for his essay on metrics as Dafydd ap Edmund won at the Carmar-then Eisteddfod in 1451. The actual bones of my poetry are different from the spirit behind them; and that. started strangely in the Second World War when I was reading the Mabinogion. I suddenly came on an account of the child Taliesin appearing in the middle of a group of bards and telling them his story in a way which every scholar has since said was absolute non-sense. But I looked at this nonsense verse and somehow-and this is quite inexplicable – I knew that it was a riddle in 22 parts, with all the pieces muddled up, and that the answer was the letter names of a 22-letter Irish alphabet. Now, I knew no Welsh, beyond a few words, and I knew no ancient Irish although my grandfather had been an expert on it; but I knew the answer and-this actually staggered me – I wrote it down. Since then nobody’s been able to prove me wrong. From that started this whole White Goddess concept, which is really a Welsh one. And the other day when I was reading the Sunday Times I came on their ‘Thousand Makers of the 20th Century’, and I found myself listed among the G’s and H’s along with Goering and Hitler and Goebbels and other splendid characters, and I was in there on account of the White Goddess, and that I owe originally to Wales.

You seem to think of the White Goddess as a symbol of womanhood, at once creative, reproductive and destructive. Mother figure, lover figure and the old hag who lays us out.
Well, the White Goddess is the most ancient goddess in Europe, Asia and Africa; and she’s white for various reasons – white in a good sense and white in a bad sense. She’s the person who makes poets write poems and she puts them through ordeals and gives them a hell of a time; and eventually if they don’t kill themselves, or otherwise disgrace themselves, she forgives them and then they go to Paradise, the Welsh Paradise-which is the same as the Irish tree Paradise. She subjects the poets to a number of deaths; and when they’ve died often enough she relents: and the reward for having suffered a succession of White Goddesses is to meet the Black Goddess. The Black Goddess is represented in Greek mythology by the figure of Mother Night. Mother Night sits in the cave and repre- sents wisdom, honour and justice; and in front of her sits a White Goddess calling attention to her oracles by beating a brazen drum. That is what happens to poets. Eventually, if they have satisfied her ordeals, they get through to the Black Goddess. And are in a position to say what they know without suffering … I hope one day I shall meet the Black Goddess.

The Spiritual Poetry of Solomon ibn Gabirol

At the dawn I seek Thee,

Rock and refuge tried,

In due service speak Thee

Morn and eventide.
‘Neath Thy greatness shrinking,

Stand I sore afraid,

All my secret thinking

Bare before Thee laid.
Little to Thy glory

Heart or tongue can do;

Small remains the story,

Add we spirit too.
Yet since man’s praise ringing

May seem good to Thee,

I will praise Thee singing

While Thy breath’s in me.

My thoughts astounded asked me why

Towards the whirling wheels on high

In ecstasy I rush and fly.
The living God is my desire,

It carries me on wings of fire,

Body and soul to Him aspire.
God is at once my joy and fate,

This yearning me He did create,

At thought of Him I palpitate.
Shall song with all its loveliness

Submerge my soul with happiness

Before the God of Gods it bless?

As the servant longs for the master’s hand, so craves the cantor’s soul,

O extend Thy mercy upon him, rend his debt-recording scroll.

“Unto Me return, then will I to thee”—were this Thy word unsaid,

Like a captain humbled while at his post he now would droop his head.

To Thy servant, Lord, Thou wilt surely ope the penitential way,

May his fruit be sweet as he stands to lead our prayers to Thee to-day.

As we watch our brother, behold, we note the grey that streaks his hair,

And his heart a-swim in a sense of sin as praying stands he there.

Let the fervent breath of Thy suppliant be witness for his heart,

Let him but return to Thee this once, he never will depart.

Who shall descend as deep as Thy thoughts?

For from the splendour of the sphere of Intelligence Thou hast wrought the radiance of souls,

And the high angels that are the messengers of Thy will,

The ministers of Thy presence,

Majestic of power and great in the Kingdom of heaven,

“In their hand the flaming sword that turneth every way,”

Performing their work whithersoever the spirit wafteth them,

All of them shapen to comeliness, shimmering as pearls,

Transcendent creatures,

Angels of the outer courts, or angels of the Presence,

Watching Thy movements.

From a holy place are they come,

And from the fount of light are they drawn.

They are divided into companies,

And on their banner are signs graven of the pen of the swift scribe.

There are superior and attendant bands,

And hosts running and returning,

But never weary and never faint,

Seeing but invisible.

And there are some wrought of flame,

And some are wafted air,

And some compounded of fire and of water,

And there are Seraphim in burning rows,

And wingèd lightnings and darting arrows of fire,

And each troop of them all bows itself down

“To Him who rideth the highest heavens.”

And in the supreme sphere of the universe they stand in thousands and tens of thousands

Divided into watches,

That change daily and nightly at the beginning of their vigils,

For the ritual of psalms and songs,

“To Him who is girt with omnipotence.”

All of them with dread and trembling bow and prostrate themselves to Thee,

Saying: To Thee we acknowledge

That Thou art He, the Lord our God;

Thou hast made us, and not we ourselves,

And the work of Thy hands are we all.

For Thou art our Lord, and we are Thy servants,

Thou art our Creator, and we are Thy witnesses.

Solomon ibn Gabirol (b. 1021, d. ca. 1058) was a Jewish Neoplatonist philosopher and poet who lived in Spain during the Islamic period. His devotional poetry, featured here, is considered among the best post-canon, and portions of his poetic works have been incorporated into the Jewish liturgy. However, only two extensive works of his have survived, a collection of his poems, translated here, and a philosophical treatise, the Fountain of Life, which, ironically, was thought to be the work of a Christian until the mid-19th century

The Waterboys…

So… This past Sunday night. Mary and I along with our friend Terry C. went off to see ‘The Waterboys at The Alladin Theatre. Rowan, was sick as a dog and could not come to his great sadness. He had been brought up on The Waterboys, having heard them from birth. If there is a Folk/Rock Band that has held my attention it is indeed Mike Scott and his merry band of players. Nels and Deirdre Cline introduced us the The Waterboys back in 1984. I was not to impressed, as I was off in Synth heaven at that point… After a couple of years, and my re-engagement with folk ethos in music, The Waterboys had me with the release of Fisherman Blues… I was thoroughly hooked. I have collected all of their works in their various premutations over the years. So this entry really is about the band… and how they have touched us over the years.
I hope you enjoy!


On The Menu:

The Two Fiddlers

Waterboys- Fishermans’ Blues

Morphic Fields and Morphic Resonance

Mike Scott Lyrics/Poetry

Waterboys – Everybody Takes A Tumble

The Two Fiddlers (from Scotland)
Nearly three hundred years ago, there dwelt in Strathspey two fiddlers, greatly renowned in their art. One Christmas they resolved to go try their fortune in Inverness. On arriving in that town they took lodgings, and as was the custom at that time, hired the bellman to go round announcing their arrival, their qualifications, their fame, and their terms. Soon after they were visited by a venerable-looking grey-haired old man, who not only found no fault with, but actually offered to double their terms if they would go with him. They agreed, and he led them out of the town, and brought them to a very strange-looking dwelling which seemed to them to be very like a Shian. The money, however, and the entreaties of their guide induced them to enter it, and their musical talents were instantly put into requisition, and the dancing was such as in their lives they had never witnessed.
When morning came they took their leave highly gratified with the liberal treatment they had received. It surprised them greatly to find that it was out of a hill and not a house that they issued, and when they, came to the town, they could not recognise any place or person, every thing seemed so altered. While they and the townspeople were in mutual amazement, there came up a very old man, who on hearing their story, said: “You are then the two men who lodged with my great-grandfather, and whom Thomas Rimer, it was supposed, decoyed to Tomnafurach. Your friends were greatly grieved on your account, but it is a hundred years ago, and your names are now no longer known.” It was the Sabbath day and the bells were tolling; the fiddlers, deeply penetrated with awe at what had occurred, entered the church to join in the offices of religion. They sat in silent meditation while the bell continued ringing, but the moment that the minister commenced the service they crumbled away into dust.
Waterboys- Fishermans’ Blues


Morphic Fields and Morphic Resonance

An Introduction
by Rupert Sheldrake
In the hypothesis of formative causation, discussed in detail in my books A NEW SCIENCE OF LIFE and THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST, I propose that memory is inherent in nature. Most of the so-called laws of nature are more like habits.
My interest in evolutionary habits arose when I was engaged in research in developmental biology, and was reinforced by reading Charles Darwin, for whom the habits of organisms were of central importance. As Francis Huxley has pointed out, Darwin’s most famous book could more appropriately have been entitled The Origin of Habits.
Morphic fields in biology

Over the course of fifteen years of research on plant development, I came to the conclusion that for understanding the development of plants, their morphogenesis, genes and gene products are not enough. Morphogenesis also depends on organizing fields. The same arguments apply to the development of animals. Since the 1920s many developmental biologists have proposed that biological organization depends on fields, variously called biological fields, or developmental fields, or positional fields, or morphogenetic fields.
All cells come from other cells, and all cells inherit fields of organization. Genes are part of this organization. They play an essential role. But they do not explain the organization itself. Why not?
Thanks to molecular biology, we know what genes do. They enable organisms to make particular proteins. Other genes are involved in the control of protein synthesis. Identifiable genes are switched on and particular proteins made at the beginning of new developmental processes. Some of these developmental switch genes, like the Hox genes in fruit flies, worms, fish and mammals, are very similar. In evolutionary terms, they are highly conserved. But switching on genes such as these cannot in itself determine form, otherwise fruit flies would not look different from us.
Many organisms live as free cells, including many yeasts, bacteria and amoebas. Some form complex mineral skeletons, as in diatoms and radiolarians, spectacularly pictured in the nineteenth century by Ernst Haeckel. Just making the right proteins at the right times cannot explain the complex skeletons of such structures without many other forces coming into play, including the organizing activity of cell membranes and microtubules.

Most developmental biologists accept the need for a holistic or integrative conception of living organization. Otherwise biology will go on floundering, even drowning, in oceans of data, as yet more genomes are sequenced, genes are cloned and proteins are characterized.
I suggest that morphogenetic fields work by imposing patterns on otherwise random or indeterminate patterns of activity. For example they cause microtubules to crystallize in one part of the cell rather than another, even though the subunits from which they are made are present throughout the cell.
Morphogenetic fields are not fixed forever, but evolve. The fields of Afghan hounds and poodles have become different from those of their common ancestors, wolves. How are these fields inherited? I propose that that they are transmitted from past members of the species through a kind of non-local resonance, called morphic resonance.
The fields organizing the activity of the nervous system are likewise inherited through morphic resonance, conveying a collective, instinctive memory. Each individual both draws upon and contributes to the collective memory of the species. This means that new patterns of behaviour can spread more rapidly than would otherwise be possible. Foe example, if rats of a particular breed learn a new trick in Harvard, then rats of that breed should be able to learn the same trick faster all over the world, say in Edinburgh and Melbourne. There is already evidence from laboratory experiments (discussed in A NEW SCIENCE OF LIFE) that this actually happens.
The resonance of a brain with its own past states also helps to explain the memories of individual animals and humans. There is no need for all memories to be “stored” inside the brain.
Social groups are likewise organized by fields, as in schools of fish and flocks of birds. Human societies have memories that are transmitted through the culture of the group, and are most explicitly communicated through the ritual re-enactment of a founding story or myth, as in the Jewish Passover celebration, the Christian Holy Communion and the American thanksgiving dinner, through which the past become present through a kind of resonance with those who have performed the same rituals before.
The memory of nature

From the point of view of the hypothesis of morphic resonance, there is no need to suppose that all the laws of nature sprang into being fully formed at the moment of the Big Bang, like a kind of cosmic Napoleonic code, or that they exist in a metaphysical realm beyond time and space.
Before the general acceptance of the Big Bang theory in the 1960s, eternal laws seemed to make sense. The universe itself was thought to be eternal and evolution was confined to the biological realm. But we now live in a radically evolutionary universe.
If we want to stick to the idea of natural laws, we could say that as nature itself evolves, the laws of nature also evolve, just as human laws evolve over time. But then how would natural laws be remembered or enforced? The law metaphor is embarrassingly anthropomorphic. Habits are less human-centred. Many kinds of organisms have habits, but only humans have laws. The habits of nature depend on non-local similarity reinforcement. Through morphic resonance, the patterns of activity in self-organizing systems are influenced by similar patterns in the past, giving each species and each kind of self-organizing system a collective memory.
I believe that the natural selection of habits will play an essential part in any integrated theory of evolution, including not just biological evolution, but also physical, chemical, cosmic, social, mental and cultural evolution (as discussed in THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST ).
Habits are subject to natural selection; and the more often they are repeated, the more probable they become, other things being equal. Animals inherit the successful habits of their species as instincts. We inherit bodily, emotional, mental and cultural habits, including the habits of our languages.
Fields of the mind

Morphic fields underlie our mental activity and our perceptions, and lead to a new theory of vision, as discussed in THE SENSE OF BEING STARED AT. The existence of these fields is experimentally testable through the sense of being stared at itself. There is already much evidence that this sense really exists Papers on Staring
You can take part in a staring experiment yourself through this web site. Staring Experiments
The morphic fields of social groups connect together members of the group even when they are many miles apart, and provide channels of communication through which organisms can stay in touch at a distance. They help provide an explanation for telepathy. There is now good evidence that many species of animals are telepathic, and telepathy seems to be a normal means of animal communication, as discussed in my book DOGS THAT KNOW WHEN THEIR OWNERS ARE COMING HOME. Telepathy is normal not paranormal, natural not supernatural, and is also common between people, especially people who know each other well.
In the modern world, the commonest kind of human telepathy occurs in connection with telephone calls. More than 80% of the population say they have thought of someone for no apparent reason, who then called; or that they have known who was calling before picking up the phone in a way that seems telepathic. Controlled experiments on telephone telepathy have given repeatable positive results that are highly significant statistically, as summarized in THE SENSE OF BEING STARED AT and described in detailed technical papers which you can read on this web site. Papers on Telepathy Telepathy also occurs in connection with emails, and anyone who is interested can now test how telepathic they are in the online telepathy test. Experiments Online
The morphic fields of mental activity are not confined to the insides of our heads. They extend far beyond our brain though intention and attention. We are already familiar with the idea of fields extending beyond the material objects in which they are rooted: for example magnetic fields extend beyond the surfaces of magnets; the earth’s gravitational field extends far beyond the surface of the earth, keeping the moon in its orbit; and the fields of a cell phone stretch out far beyond the phone itself. Likewise the fields of our minds extend far beyond our brains.


Mike Scott Lyrics/Poetry

The Pan within Lyrics
Come with me

on a journey beneath the skin

Come with me

on a journey under the skin

We will look together

for the Pan within
Close your eyes

breathe slow we’ll begin

Close your eyes

breathe slow and we will begin

To look together

for the Pan within
swing your hips

loose your head, and let it spin

Swing your hips

loose you head, and let it spin

And we will look together

for the Pan within
Close your eyes

breathe slow and we will begin

Close your eyes

breathe slow and we will begin

To look together

for the Pan within
Put your face in my window

breathe a night full of treasures

The wind is delicious

sweet and wild with the promise of pleasure

The stars are alive

and nights like these

Were born to be

sanctified by you and me

Lovers, thieves, fools and pretenders

and all we gotta do is surrender
Come with me

on a journey under the skin

Come with me

on a journey under the skin

And we will look together

for the Pan within

When to be with you

is not a sin

When to be with you, oh just to be with you

is not a sin

We will look together

for the Pan within

Peace of Iona
Peace of the glancing dancing waves

Peace of the white sands

Peace of Iona
Peace of the singing winds

Peace of the stones

Peace of Iona
Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa
Peace of the crying gulls

Peace of the humming bees

Peace of the noon-time stillness
Peace of the dreaming hills

Peace of the breath of angels

Peace of Iona
Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa

Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa
Peace of the saints and seekers

Peace of the monks and Druids

Peace of the resting place of kings
Peace of the ruins

Peace of the doves in the bell tower

Peace of Iona
Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa

Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa
Peace of the rested mind

Peace of the glad heart

Peace of my lover’s pots and potions
Peace of her healing hands

Peace of her lazy laughter

Peace of Iona

Peace of the unseen

Peace of the spirit

Peace of Iona
Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa

Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa

Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa

Iiiiii oooooo nnnnnaaaaaa

The Whole Of The Moon
I pictured a rainbow

you held it in your hands

I had flashes

but you saw the plan

I wandered out in the world for years

while you just stayed in your room

I saw the crescent

you saw the whole of the moon!

The whole of the moon!
You were there at the turnstiles

with the wind at your heels

You stretched for the stars

and you know how it feels

To reach too high

too far

Too soon

you saw the whole of the moon!
I was grounded

while you filled the skies

I was dumbfounded by truth

you cut through lies

I saw the rain-dirty valley

you saw Brigadoon

I saw the crescent

you saw the whole of the moon!
I spoke about wings

you just flew

I wondered, I guessed, and I tried

you just knew

I sighed

but you swooned

I saw the crescent

you saw the whole of the moon!

The whole of the moon!
With a torch in your pocket

and the wind at your heels

You climbed on the ladder

and you know how it feels

To GET too high

too far

Too soon

you saw the whole of the moon!

The whole of the moon!
Unicorns and cannonballs,

palaces and piers,

Trumpets, towers, and tenements,

wide oceans full of tears,

Flags, rags, ferry boats,

scimitars and scarves,

Every precious dream and vision

underneath the stars
You climbed on the ladder

with the wind in your sails

You came like a comet

blazing your trail

Too high

too far

Too soon

you saw the whole of the moon!


The Return Of Pan
I stood upon the balcony with my brand new bride

the clink of bells came drifting down the mountainside

When in our sight something moved

– lightning eyed and cloven hooved –

The great god Pan is alive!
He moves amid the modern world in disguise

it’s possible to look into his immortal eyes

He’s like a man you’d meet anyplace

Until you recognise that ancient face

The great god Pan is alive!
At sea on a ship in a thunder storm

on the very night that Christ was born

A sailor heard from overhead

a mighty voice cry “Pan is dead!”

So follow Christ as best you can

Pan is dead! Long Live Pan!
From the olden days and up through all the years

from Arcadia to the stone fields of Inisheer

Some say the Gods are just a myth

but guess who I’ve been dancing with

The great god Pan is alive!

The Waterboys – Everyone Takes A Tumble


Additional Take On Alice…

In 1951 Souvaine Selective Pictures was set to release Alice in Wonderland featuring a combination of live action and stop-motion animation by pioneering animator Lou Bunin. Bunin had worked for Diego Rivera in Mexico and was behind the earliest known stop-motion production in the U.S.
Alas, there was only one problem, RKO Radio Pictures was set to release Walt Disney’s three million dollar version of Alice in Wonderland and they weren’t comfortable with competition. Claiming that a second Alice film would confuse moviegoers, Disney and RKO successfully sued to have Bunin’s film released eighteen months later in the U.S. with a severely limited distribution, despite the fact that Bunin had already premiered the film in Paris in 1949.
The above is a clip from that film. Unfortunately the negatives have been damaged, leaving us with a poor quality print. However, this does not take away from the fact that, while the white rabbit may be the stuff of nightmares, Bunin’s film is much more faithful to its source material.
It is hard to imagine anyone accepting the veracity of Disney’s claim that this movie, whose budget was half of his feature, would so confuse customers as to cause “irreparable damage” to him and RKO. In the end their victory did nothing to help when the movie was released. Critically panned, despite being a masterpiece of animation, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland achieved little success at the box office, though one can imagine that it fared better than Souvaine Selective Pictures’s. In the end, it only served to make the loss of Bunin’s film that much more unfortunate.

(Ross Rosenberg)

Sweet Alice….

A quick one!
Ah… the joys of Googlemancy!
Bright Blessings,



Lewis Carroll Poetry
A Whiting And A Snail

Lewis Carroll
‘Will you walk a little faster?’ said a whiting to a snail.

‘There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.

See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!

They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance?

Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?

Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?
‘You can really have no notion how delightful it will be

When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!’

But the snail replied ‘Too far, too far!’ and gave a look askance –

Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.

Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.

Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.
‘What matters it how far we go?’ his scaly friend replied.

‘There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.

The further off from England the nearer is to France –

Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.

Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?

Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?’

The Lobster

Lewis Carroll
‘Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,

‘You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.’

As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose

Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,

And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark,

But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,

His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

Soup Of The Evening

Lewis Carroll
Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,

Waiting in a hot tureen!

Who for such dainties would not stoop?

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!

Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!

Soo – oop of the e – e – evening,

Beautiful, beautiful Soup!
Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,

Game, or any other dish?

Who would not give all else for two p

ennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!

Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!

Soo – oop of the e – e – evening,

Beautiful, beautiful Soup!


The Maenad & Divine Madness

Something to tide you over for a day or so. Everyone down here with a cold, sore throat etc. Seems the season -sigh- Just keep taking those pills, drink that tea and carry on!
Victor n Kim stopped by for a couple of hours, nice to see them. 8o)

Rowan came home from camp last night, slept for 14 hours.

So ever onward, here is todays’ entry!
What’s On The Menu:

The Drug War Song

The Links

Divine Madness

Gabriel Rosenstock Poetry: Maenads…

Art: Classical Illustrations of Maenads (Seems to be the theme today)
Also, Please Check out Radio Free Earthrites! I am sure you’ll like the new music on there now.

I hope you enjoy, more on the way, so stay tuned!
Bright Blessings,


The Drug War Song….




The Difference Engine

Pub hosts drug testing operation

The Scariest Thing about Neanderthals

Retail Notebook: Shop offers an array of ‘magical groceries’

Divine Madness

by oinokhoe
“I became aware, more vividly than I had ever been, that the secret of life consists in sharing the madness of God, I mean the power of rousing a peculiar exultation in yourself as you confront the Inanimate, an exultation which is really a cosmic eroticism.” – John Cowper Powys
I begin writing this with some trepidation. Publicly, I tend towards silence on the topic of religious ecstasy of any kind. States of mind are so subjective, the topic is so broad, and beyond that I just feel that some things should be talked of sparingly. I do not wish to detract from the power of ritual experience by discussing it in too much detail; dry examination does not befit it. However, I do think that something can be gained from a brief foray into this strange and often frightening realm.
Socrates said “our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness,” but qualified this with “provided the madness is given to us by divine gift.” This is an important distinction. I am not advocating random insanity with no goal and no guidance; that is rarely productive. Rather, I am thinking of the many traditions which embrace altered states of consciousness, within a magical and/or religious context, for the benefits they bring. Socrates recognized four types of such ecstasy: Prophetic madness, which comes from Apollo; Ritual madness, from Dionysos; Poetic madness from the Muses; and Erotic madness, from Aphrodite. Since my god has always been Dionysos, I will focus on the second form, that madness which comes from direct contact with the gods and other powers through ritualistic and initiatory experience. (Anthropologists generally refer to this whole range of experiences by the term “possession-trance,” though they acknowledge that the activities covered by this term vary greatly, from a Vodoun priest being ridden by his god, to a Siberian shaman traveling to the otherworlds in a trance state.)
Dionysos is a god of extremes, the “god of ecstasy and terror, of wildness and of the most blessed deliverance” (Walter Otto). Thus he is reached through extreme actions – in the myths, these include wild dancing, excessive drinking, and the tearing apart and eating of live animals. Many people might cringe at these accounts, but there is no middle road for the wary, there is no way to tiptoe up to Dionysos and nudge him on the shoulder. Nor should there be. There is a place for such madness, it serves a function, both for society and for the individual.
Concerning the former: Euripides has Dionysos creating havoc in a town, calling the women out of their homes and up to the mountains, implying licentious behavior. When the maenads are imprisoned, he shakes down the walls and releases them (just as he releases man through the tonic of wine). He defies convention by dressing effeminately, and convinces Pentheus to dress as a woman too despite his reservations; though Pentheus’ fate is to be torn apart by his own frenzied mother. Many read The Bacchae as a warning, and believe that Euripides was against the cult of Dionysos. But I believe that he was simply presenting a situation where change was needed, and was affected through drastic means. In ancient times the cult of Dionysos was always on the perimeter, never completely accepted in Greek society, yet never completely rejected either. Its resultant madness was tolerated, perhaps to prevent a greater and more destructive outburst.
On a personal level, divine madness can bring life-changing results. But it can also bring ruin, sending a person over the edge, which is why this is not for everyone. We don’t have a system in this culture to prepare us for such experiences, we think only in terms of “sane” and “insane”, which is why going over to the other side can easily destroy the sensibilities of anyone. But for those who wish to go Beyond, to see the outer realms, to touch the gods, which is an incredibly dangerous but exhilarating path, there is no choice but to surrender part of oneself, which becomes a sacrifice of sorts. It cannot be done lightly, nor without purpose. However, although you may work within a ritual context, and act responsibly and carefully, you can never truly control what happens. If you choose to open yourself to the “madness of God” you must accept the consequences, for good or ill.
The benefits to ritual madness are many and great, but they generally fall into the categories of arrheton, the ancient Greek word denoting something beyond description, unable to be spoken of, as well as aporrheton, a secret not to be shared with others. However, I will say that (in my experience) it can bring communion with the god, of a quality and intensity that usually cannot be reached through other religious actions, as important as those actions, such as prayer and sacrifice, may be. (Although such actions can often be the path into madness.) It also opens the famous doors of perception – “knowledge that lies outside the range of understanding can only be gained in a state that also lies outside this range” (Philipp Vandenberg). And it frees you, as Dionysos freed the maenads, Dionysos the Liberator, the Looser of Bonds. It releases you into a state both outside yourself and extraordinarily within yourself, where you can catch a glimpse of your own soul, and the soul of the world.
How do you enter into this madness? I cannot recommend any specific methods, for many are dangerous and/or illegal. With Dionysos, the way must usually begin with his gift, the vine. For other gods, or other paths, it will be different. Traditional cultures have used everything from psychotropic plants to drumming to invocation to sensory deprivation. If you are committed to the task, you will find a way. And you will never be prepared for what will come, and you will never exhaust the possibilities. But it will change you. Surrendering to madness even once leaves a mark. Gripped by Dionysos, you may find yourself suddenly attracted to the smell of the hunt, and the cries of the maenads will be music, as it is music to his ears. If you think you are ready for this, then he is waiting for you.
“and to Thebes they came all blood-bedabbled, bringing from the hill not Pentheus but tribulation. / I care not. And let not another care for an enemy of Dionysos.” – Theocritus


Gabriel Rosenstock Poetry: Maenads…

I open my poem to bright things

here come oranges, dandelions,

come in

take a seat

I’ll be right with you
into my poem

comes a lovely cuckoo snow in its beak

what’s this?

oceans of sunshine
I open my poem to all that is

that will be that was

that could be

bad move
here comes

an old cat

a pigeon’s leg in its mouth

(shit happens)

sit yourself down

mind the cuckoo

it’s got snow in its mouth
make room for yourself


the oranges and the dandelions

where are you from your catself?

where’s the rest of the pigeon?
I open my poem to all the elements

alive and dead and

some ivy comes in trailing

its own wall

the wall falls on the cat

this poem is a tragedy

of sorts
somewhere in the world

a wall is falling on a cat

on a child
I open my poem again to bright things

but there’s nothing left

In her womb she bears the constant sound of bees

That will be silenced only when a wave

Surges to her waist
She stands in the sea

Something unspeakable

In her almond-shaped eyes
Salt foam soon will sting

Her swollen vulva and she will cry out

The waves will shrink from her fury
Lemons and oranges will rain down

Rainbows of fish will arc from the water

And there will be one great humming

Stars will appear from the silence

As if nothing had happened

As if this were the first of creation

She will clamp jellyfish between her thighs

The streamlined feathers of the owl

ensure the silence of its approach,

a silent glide between

one unknown and another

and the woodland mice and insects

are filled with terror

before this beak, this claw of the night.
Like an owl you come to me



tearing at me –

I waken, abruptly

and there is nothing

nothing at all staring at me

only the confused memory

of a kiss

gliding into obscurity

on the wind.



Knowledge flowed between us.

I am Cuirithir.

God goes halves in me

with Liadhain
God’s share

is sterile, lifeless,

boils me alive
We lay together among oaks

it was like a nut being shelled

and placed in my mouth

by a creamy, invisible hand
She said nothing at all

but when she closed her eyes

she could see the sap

rising in trees,

hear the old fulfilment of branches

When she hides from me

I see her everywhere
I follow the deer’s shadow

and the hawk’s

her absence flits among the oaks

When she wakes in the morning

I look deep into her eyes
She is a well

that reflects me
I drink of myself

She is all winds,

the middle of all seas –
Everything that moves

and does not
She is a change in season,

all the months of the year
She is day and night,

night and day

Sleep now, sleep! Sleep, Liadhain,

on your mossy pillow, sleep easy …
If I could, I would dive far into your sleep,

to be forever, bright one, part of your dream.

In the middle of the forest, the boar is restless,

but sleep now, easy in yourself

Look! Liadhain in the pool,

swimming on her back

mirabile visu –

she is moon,

a star-filled storm

Christ, do not approach me.

Virgin Mary, avert your eye

My prayers

don’t go


to God

Liadhain, Liadhain,

on the tip of my tongue

Her shape in the clouds,

her laugh between showers,

the rainbow

her soul’s colours

My beloved is dazzling.

I’m like a hedgehog

waking too early on a spring morning

light hurts my eyes

A waterfall thunders far off

without pause

there’s no relief

from the way things are

my words are foam

in air

taste it

‘Liadhain! Liadhain!’ murmurs the dark river,

‘Liadhain!’ calls the cuckoo in the valley

the plump salmon shouts out ‘Liadhain!’

‘Liadhain! Liadhain!’ cries the slender doe

Breezes comb her dewy hair.

I am envious of elements

But an icy blast rose,

uprooting the oaks

the blackbird’s whistle froze in its beak

all the waves of Ireland wailed

My own self I had lost,

lost Liadhain and her merrymaking

Christ bared his wounds –

for me, also, He was crucified

On this, my slab of supplication, Liadhain will perish,

and I in unknown territories

Dear God! Bring us together again

Couple us – I beg you – for just one night

in the splendid Paradise of saints

Angelic Apparitions

Staying with the Angelic Theme for a bit. Angels seem to be entities that at least on a symbolic level are accepted across great swaths of society world wide. This acceptance (at least as a symbol) is only afforded to a few other ‘mythic creatures’. Mantis Beings need not apply….
Today (Tuesday) was incredibly beautiful here. Clear sky, crisp… golden light fading more into the silver now. The fall is when I feel most mortal, it is so bitter-sweet and wonderful. I am here now, I shall not be forever. This moment holds everything.
On The Menu:

Durex Commercial

Three Angel Parables:

The Angel of Death Calls

The Judgment of God – A Sufi Tale

The Tale of the Crying Angel

Poetry: W.B. Yeats for a Wednesday…

Art: The Angelic Collective
I hope you enjoy this edition!

Durex commercial – chocolate flavoured condoms


The Angel of Death Calls

A Sufi tale with a profound message for life.

By Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

A certain king once went on a trip to one of his provinces. He set out on his journey, dressed in a sumptuous array and puffed up with pride. A man poorly dressed approached and greeted him from the side of the road; but the king would not answer. The man caught the bridles of the king’s horse and none of the king’s soldiers could make him let go. The king cried: “Let go of the bridle!” The man said: “First grant me my request.” The king said: “Release the bridle and I promise to hear your request.” The man said: “No, you must hear it right away,” and he pulled harder on the reins. The king said: “What is your request?” The man replied: “Let me whisper it in your ear, for it is a secret.” The king leaned down and the man whispered to him: “I am the Angel of Death.”
The king’s face became pale and he stammered: “Let me go home and bid farewell to my family, and wrap up my affairs.” But Azra’il said: “By the One Who sent me, you will never see your family and your wealth in this world again!” He took his soul there and then, and the king fell from his horse like a wooden log.
The Angel of Death went on his way and saw a believer walking by himself on the road. The angel greeted him, and he gave back his greeting. The angel said: “I have a message for you.” “Yes, my brother, what is it?” “I am the Angel of Death.” The believer’s face brightened with a big smile. “Welcome, welcome!” He said. “As God is my witness, I was waiting for you more impatiently than for anyone else.”
“O my brother!” the Angel of Death said, “perhaps you have a matter that you wish to settle first, so go and take care of it, for there is no rush.”
“As God is my witness,” the believer said: “there is nothing I wish more dearly than to meet my Lord.” The angel said: “Choose the way in which you would like me to take your soul, for so I have been ordered to ask you.”
The believer said: “Then let me pray two cycles of prayer, and take my soul while I am kneeling in prostration.”


The Judgment of God – A Sufi Tale
Not so long ago, as time is counted, there came to a certain oasis far in the western desert a faqir. He was a Qalandar, a wandering darvish, who had walked the deserts of Africa and Arabia for many years, seeking only solitude wherein he could remember his Creator and contemplate the Divine mysteries. His virtue and faith, his submission to the will of God, had been rewarded with tranquility of spirit, and his sincerity and devotion on the path of Love was such that the Hidden had been revealed to his heart, and he had become a Wali, a Friend of God.
Now it came to pass that the night the faqir wandered into this oasis and lay beneath a palm tree to rest before the midnight prayer, there was, unknown to him, another man under a nearby tree who was also making camp for the night.
But the other man was a notorious bandit, once the feared chieftain of a band of robbers who had for years plundered the spice caravans and waylaid rich merchants on their way from the coastal cities to the inland towns. The outcry against his merciless raids, however, had at last reached the ears of the Sultan and he had ordered his soldiers to hunt down the band and destroy them. Many were caught and beheaded. Many others deserted their chief out of fear that they would share the fate of their comrades.
Eventually, this evil man found himself alone. His purse was now empty, every last coin having been spent in escape, and he was a hunted criminal with a price on his head. Even his former allies, those dishonest merchants who had bought his stolen goods, closed their doors against him. They also feared, lest the wrath of the Sultan fall upon their necks. And so he had fled for many days across the desert and come at last to the oasis where, tired and hungry, he sat beneath a tree and cursed his wretched fate.
Now I ask you, which of these two men is the greater, and which the less? Whom has God blessed and whom has He cursed? No, do not answer! You do not know the answer, for you are not their judge. The Creator alone is the judge of His creation.
Munkir and Nakir, however, the angels who question the dead when they are assigned to the grave, looked upon the scene of the two men and sighed. ‘Surely,’ said Munkir ‘here at least the true gold may be seen from the false. These two may be judged, though their end is not yet come. God will have the greater, and Satan the less.’
‘Alas! It must be so,’ agreed Nakir. ‘True gold is the most rare, and therefore are the fields of heavens spacious indeed, while the halls of Hell are filled to bursting, overflowing even the deepest pits.’
Now God perceived the thoughts of His servants, and spoke to the hearts of the two angels. ‘Verily, thou hast pronounced their just fate,’ He said. ‘Yet woe unto mankind had I created the world by justice alone. Am I not the Merciful and Compassionate? Behold! I will visit them with sleep and visions that thou shalt know the truth of My creation.’
Thus the Lord sent sleep and mighty dreams to the faqir and the wretched thief. And lo, the Qalandar awoke in hell, even into the midst of the great fires of the pit. And the bandit chief arose in Paradise, where he stood among the saints before the very Throne of God.
The Master laid down his spent pipe and sipped his tea. His eyes searched our faces over the rim of the glass. “Is it mercy to send the worst of man to heaven?” he asked. “Or justice to send the best of man to hell?”
No one dared answer.
“Good!” he said soothingly. “To cleanse the heart of judgment is to discern the Way of Love. And such was the lesson of Munkir and Nakir. For they beheld the faqir awaken in the very midst of Hell, and saw that most worthy of men rise up naked as the fires burned his flesh and the cries of tormented souls pierced his ears. Yet he did not feel pain at the touch of the flames, and showed neither surprise nor fear. His thought was only of his Beloved, and no affliction was great enough to sway his love. He sat among the fires and the torment as a darvish sits, and in a voice clear and strong he began to sing.
‘La Illah illa Allah! La Illaha illa Allah!’
The fires blazed furiously as the song began and then dimmed to smoldering embers, and the burning mountains trembled at the Holy Name. Now the tormented souls ceased their wailing to listen, for the name of God is not uttered in the pits. Then there was no other sound to be heard but his, and the song went on and on until the very foundations of Hell were shaken, and the damned souls began to feel a spark of forbidden hope.
Surely Hell would have fallen into ruin had not Satan himself appeared, and begged the faqir to depart. But the old man would not move, for he had walked many years on the Path of Love, and the Beloved’s Will was his will, whether it be paradise or eternal fire.
The Master paused for a moment to again sip the tea beside him. He did not look at us until he began the tale again.
“And what of the thief?” he asked, when the glass was empty. “This chieftain of bandits who was once so feared and terrible, and who had fallen into wretchedness and misery, the fate of all such men in the end.”
God caused the two angels to perceive his vision also, and they saw him rise and stand robed in white, trembling amidst the host of heaven, before the Throne of Almighty God. And the angel Gabriel spoke unto him.
‘By the mercy of the Lord, thy Creator, thy earthly deeds are forgiven thee,’ he said. ‘Come now and be at peace.’

And now the truth filled his heart, and great wonder, and every veil fell from his eyes; and he saw with a clear sight the Majesty and Beauty of His Compassion, and he wept.
And the Lord God spoke unto him, and said: ‘O man, fear not. For thou canst not fall so low that I cannot raise thee up.’
And fear left the thief. He prostrated himself before his God and wept. On and on flowed the endless tears of his wasted life, until they became the very waters of mercy and would not cease; and the feet of the saints were washed by his tears.
He would have wept for eternity had not the vision ended and the two men abruptly awakened. Then the thief saw the faqir as he stood, and came to him still weeping from the dream. And the faqir perceived all that had befallen them and embraced him, and they prayed together at the midnight hour even unto the dawn. Much befell them afterwards, for the thief became the disciple of the faqir, but that is all of their tale I will tell.
And Munkir and Nakir, who had witnessed but the tiniest particle of the unending Mercy of God, bowed before their Creator in submission, and in shame of their rash condemnation. For surely beyond the comprehension of men and angels is the Judgment of God.

The Tale of the Crying Angel
Kifkef began:
“In Sinai there is a story that, once upon a time, the world was made only out of mountains, valleys and forests. There were some rivers that ran down to small lakes but no oceans and no seas.
The world was dreamed into creation by fourteen white angels who slept on silky cloud beds in a perfect circle. They dozed in serene silence, all things crystal and clear in their minds. And so it also was on the virgin Earth beneath them which they sculpted with their dreaming.
The surface was only in twilight then and the people lived in simple harmony. In the haze that filled the air no one could see very far and they looked only to what was needed for that day. But as the light from Heaven trickled its way down to the Earth, people began to notice all kinds of strange things.
To start with, they saw that they all had different colours of skin and shapes of face. Some had beautiful Arabic complexions and others suffered with pale, blotchy white skin that burnt in the sun. These inequalities soon caused each group to gather together, distrustful of all the others. Blame for everyday problems was put on the least popular tribeswhomever looked different and rumours of war smouldered around every campfire.
Also, the men saw pretty quickly that they were stronger than the women and so could take more of the good things in life for themselves. And, in general, the weak and the less able came to survive only on the leftovers dropped from the tables of the powerful and honoured.
Not only this but the arrival of clear light revealed all kinds of glorious horizons that made their mouths drip with saliva. What they had was no longer enough because there was always something better to compare it with. Everyone began to plan for futures decades down the line and damn anyone who got in their way.
And so the dreamt Creation took control of its own destiny, much to the blissful ignorance of the angels, who still imagined all kinds of beautiful thoughts in their peaceful sleep up high.
However, after some time the sounds of the suffering in the land became so many and so loud that, at last, the noise floated up to the sky and the youngest of all the angels was awoken by the cries of terror and grief from below.
She wiped the sand from her eyes and it took a few moments to realize that the Earth was no longer the happy paradise of her dreams. The sounds of crying and pain shook her from her trance and she glided down to help at once, her gossamer wings barely ruffling in the air.
She headed for the place where the suffering was the loudest and landed in the middle of a battlefield, where two armies were doing their best to hack each other to pieces. Bones were crunching and blood squirting to each side but at the sight ofthis dazzling white angel, floating down from the sky, all those that could ran for their lives. I mean, what would you do?
She moved around the arena of war like a whisper in the wind, laying her hands upon all the fallen. Her touch healed the most butchered and not only that, she even returned the recently dead to life. But by the time her work was done, she found herself surrounded by a gang of armed knights. She couldn’t understand what was happening. Before she could say a word, they wrapped a whole load of chains all around her. Under heavy guard, she was led to a stone castle and presented to the king who had ordered her capture.
“Aha. What a creature.” He cried in triumph, “Now I shall be truly invincible. With you on my side, my armies shall march with eternal life, forever able to get back on their feet and fight again.”
When the angel heard these words her heart shook violently within her. She realized that though she might try to help the people on this planet, they would only ever want to abuse her gifts.
She slipped out of her chains, which were no real restraint upon her and filled the hall with a flash of white light. By the time anyone cold open their eyes again she had flown out of a high window.
She flew at high speed down the slopes to the darkest, deepest place she could find in the cracks and canyons of the Earth. When she could go no lower she sat down to face her grief and began to cry. Tears flowed out of her large eyes like streams and then rivers, filling up all the holes around her and the salt water rose around her.
The pools swelled until she was lost to view and her tears overspilled into the other valleys, claiming the low, dry land in all directions across the Earth. She cried without end and that, my friends, is how the oceans were born.
The hate and injustice continue and so the angel still sits at the bottom of the Earth, crying with all her heart for the dream that went so terribly wrong.
And do not the scientists tell us that the sea levels continue to rise?”

Poetry: W.B. Yeats for a Wednesday…

No Second Troy
Why should I blame her that she filled my days

With misery, or that she would of late

Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,

Or hurled the little streets upon the great,

Had they but courage equal to desire?

What could have made her peaceful with a mind

That nobleness made simple as a fire,

With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind

That is not natural in an age like this,

Being high and solitary and most stern?

Why, what could she have done, being as she is?

Was there another Troy for her to burn?

On Hearing that the Students of our New University have joined the Agitation against Immoral Literature
Where, where but here have Pride and Truth,

That long to give themselves for wage,

To shake their wicked sides at youth

Restraining reckless middle-age?

September 1913
What need you, being come to sense,

But fumble in a greasy till

And add the halfpence to the pence

And prayer to shivering prayer, until

You have dried the marrow from the bone;

For men were born to pray and save;

Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,

It’s with O’Leary in the grave.

Yet they were of a different kind,

The names that stilled your childish play,

They have gone about the world like wind,

But little time had they to pray

For whom the hangman’s rope was spun,

And what, God help us, could they save?

Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,

It’s with O’Leary in the grave.

Was it for this the wild geese spread

The grey wing upon every tide;

For this that all that blood was shed,

For this Edward Fitzgerald died,

And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,

All that delirium of the brave?

Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,

It’s with O’Leary in the grave.

Yet could we turn the years again,

And call those exiles as they were

In all their loneliness and pain,

You’d cry `Some woman’s yellow hair

Has maddened every mother’s son’:

They weighed so lightly what they gave.

But let them be, they’re dead and gone,

They’re with O’Leary in the grave.

The Magi
Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,

In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones

Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky

With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,

And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,

And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,

Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,

The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

Beggar to Beggar Cried
`Time to put off the world and go somewhere

And find my health again in the sea air,’

Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,

`And make my soul before my pate is bare.’

`And get a comfortable wife and house

To rid me of the devil in my shoes,’

Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,

`And the worse devil that is between my thighs.’

`And though I’d marry with a comely lass,

She need not be too comely — let it pass,’

Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,

`But there’s a devil in a looking-glass.’

`Nor should she be too rich, because the rich

Are driven by wealth as beggars by the itch,’

Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,

`And cannot have a humorous happy speech.’

`And there I’ll grow respected at my ease,

And hear among the garden’s nightly peace,’

Beggar to beggar cried, being frenzy-struck,

`The wind-blown clamour of the barnacle geese.’