Songs From The Wood….

This is the time of year when nature presses us, reminding that it is the real presence, and the true force in the world. 10 inches of rain up here in Portland and Seattle, with some fantastic winds on the coast…
My Brother-in-Law Peter sent me a video of his yard, up in Olympia with a new stream running through it. you can view it here:Peter’s Flood Lands… I-5 is shut down with the floods across it. Wild times in the Great North West. Seems to be a problem with having all this pavement, the waters find it so much easier to head to the lowest lands… More Flood Pictures & Videos from Olympia…
The rains have picked up again, and what sun there was has now fled south…
On The Menu:

Song From The Wood

Song From The Wood Lyrics

Elf Invested Spaces

Prose Poems – Stephen Larsen

Warm Winter Blessings!
Gwyllm

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I have been revisiting some of the music from yesteryear… this is a wonderful song, great lyrics and a fun performance. Dedicated to Lois! (welcome back!)

Jethro Tull – Song From The Wood….

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Song From The Wood:
Let me bring you songs from the wood:

To make you feel much better than you could know.

Dust you down from tip to toe.

Show you how the garden grows.

Hold you steady as you go.

Join the chorus if you can:

Itll make of you an honest man.

Let me bring you love from the field:

Poppies red and roses filled with summer rain.

To heal the wound and still the pain

That threatens again and again

As you drag down every lovers lane.

Lifes long celebrations here.

Ill toast you all in penny cheer.

Let me bring you all things refined:

Galliards and lute songs served in chilling ale.

Greetings well met fellow, hail!

I am the wind to fill your sail.

I am the cross to take your nail:

A singer of these ageless times.

With kitchen prose and gutter rhymes.

Songs from the wood make you feel much better.

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Elf-Infested Spaces – Bob Trubshaw

Professor Michael Persinger and his colleagues at Laurentian University in Canada have spent many years researching ‘sensed presence’ phenomena (otherwise termed ‘ego-alien intrusions’) from a neurophysiological perspective. In the search for brain correlates to the experience of ‘presences’, their studies have focused primarily on the deep temporal lobe structures of the brain, the amygdala and hippocampus, which Persinger characterizes as the most electrically unstable structures in the human brain. By using electrodes to stimulate the temporal lobes, Persinger is able to induce a variety of deeply disturbing mental experiences (some readers may recall a BBC2 Horizon programme from 28th November 1994 when the Susan Blakemore interviewed Persinger and underwent temporal lobe stimulation). Such ‘temporal lobe dissociation’ generates stange visual and other sensations which the brain finds difficult to ‘process’ – subjects will often describe the sensations as being like someone pulling at their limbs, or even as a sequence of events which resemble aspects of so-called ‘alien abduction’ experiences. It seems reasonable to assume that the ‘alien abduction’ experiences (usually obtained by hypnotising the subject [1]) are ‘invented’ by the brain in a similar manner to the attempt to make sense of temporal lobe dissociation. A recent issue of Fortean Times (No.108) includes a useful overview of temporal lobe research and its relationship to anomalous experiences.
Devereux and Persinger have collaborated to explore the possibility that the anomalous energy seen as earthlights might have sufficient electrical energy to cause temporal lobe dissociation. Perhaps more relevant to this article is the recognition that many of the sensations induced by temporal lobe stimulation are akin experiences with some types of psychoactive plants and drugs. According to Dr Horace Beach (1997), auditory hallucinations – closely resembling experiences generated in Persinger’s experimental subjects – are a common experience with high doses of psilocybin (‘magic mushrooms’). As many readers will be aware, magic mushrooms and some other psychoactives, such as DMT, also readily lead to visions of little people – not for nothing has Terence McKenna (1992) described these imaginary worlds as ‘elf-infested spaces’.
Other researchers have indicated that such experiences are cross-cultural. Julia Phillips (1998) reports that Australian Aborigines from New South Wales recognise traditional ‘guardians of place’ whose descriptions tally closely with her first-hand encounters with an ‘archetypal’ British elf or fairy in ‘old’ south Wales. Kevin Callahan at University of Minnesota claims Ojibwa indians of the American Midwest see ‘little people’ for about thirty minutes during hallucinations induced by atrophine-containing plants from the Deadly Nightshade family. Callahan also notes that those in the second stage of alcohol withdrawal (i.e. two to three days after stopping drinking) report similar encounters with ‘little people’ (Callahan 1995).
More speculatively, Ralph Metzner (1994: 286) has suggested that the obscure Scandinavian Aesir goddess, Bil, was once regarded as a ‘henbane fairy’ – on the basis that the proto-Germanic word bil originally meant ‘vision, hallucination’ and there was a herb known to the Gaulish Celts as Belinuntia. The use of henbane was well known to Greek, early German and Anglo-Saxon writers; there is even evidence of henbane from bronze age urns found in the Alps (Graichen cited in Metzner 1994: 286). This may just mean that the rainbow bridge leading to Asgard, Bilfrost, may also have been originally linked to liminal visionary states.
Moving to modern times, I am intrigued that my grandmother, when in her early nineties and suffering from the combined effects of long-term crippling arthiritis (she could not stand unaided by then), failing eyesight, and the relatively limited social stimulation of living in a old people’s home where the fellow residents were almost all senile (whereas my gran was not senile, although beginning to have slight problems with short-term memory) began to report seeing a ‘little boy’ who came into her room at various times – often at night, when he would curl up in a chair or at the foot of her bed. Needless to say, children were infrequent visitors to the home and none stayed overnight.
Taken together, there is a variety of evidence to suggest that ‘elf-infested spaces’ are more common than rational twentieth century thinking would normally accept. Could it be that, as with the Old Hag of Newfoundland, folk lore is providing us with direct evidence of subtle mental states which we are too quick to dismiss as pure fantasy?

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Prose Poems – Stephen Larsen

An Alchemical Angel
Alchemical Image I
She who made this image,

touched fur today

picked up an irridescent wild turkey feather

guarded children from

the stamping feet of horses

(whom she also loves)

The fire in their eyes,

their weight and power

harnessed to an antique

brain, their wildness also,

These her children too,

all these things she loves.

It is a bright day today;

bronze the color of His irridescence

on my beloved’s hair,

dark with golden highlights.

He numbers all our days.

Sun, though I know to touch your liquid fire

would be annihilation, I bathe in your rays,

and enjoy the way you open buds in

these April woods.

In the dark when the moon comes forth,

she is quiet, so she can hear, I think,

silvery laughter playing about the moonbeams.

Any creature without merely earthy form is target for her pen,

horses with spirit fire in their nostrils or joined to a man,

in this realm she is a “Watcher and a Holy one,” I think,

all may get caught in her spirit traps.

I think of liminal places where a limb,

or the brake of a wing breaks into

something else altogether; what is human

here, bestial and angelic there;

she loves the eyes of feathered serpents,

in the magic cranebag of her little book

These forms all newly made of ink and magic pigment,

that now walk, fly, writhe accross these pages have no

recognizeable names (no “Tom, Dick, Harry,”

Nor “Ferdinand, Olga, Jesus,”

Nor even “Mooncalf, Barnacle, Periwinkle, Nod,”

clings to them as of yet.)

But stickily newborn they stand just so,

the veil of divinity upon them,

as they peer wetly back at me.

Sometimes I’m so solar

I wonder at the luminosity which lets

all mystery with soft edges into this dreaming

sublunar world; lets the hard edges of mortality

and limitation blur for me and her I love.

In this alchemical vessel a tiny king and queen for a day,

stand in the crucible of all our transformations.

Listen shaman, love well this one, these ones,

within the circle of my arms in these,

our times together here

Darkness and light,

Darkness and light,

marking our passage,

guarding our flight.

kindle our genius,

let spirit shine bright.


Alchemical Image II
The Green Man and Melusina
The Green Man and Melusina,

scales, leaves, feathers, flames,

“Elementals sheathe themselves

in irridescent mantles,” she said

“Scales speak of the water,

the leaves are the earth,

the feathers are the air,

and the flameforms are the fire,

all my drawings move in these ways,

through the elements.”

“Sometimes the earth is represented

by a pig with a serpent’s tail; then there

are the fishy creatures from the watery

abyss, Milarepa’s “dancers in the element

of water,” and I love putting wings on horses

or unicorns, getting them up into the air

and I love even sometimes,

the tips of the wings where it seems for a moment

that an airy being bursts into flames.”


Green Man
Green man I see you there

as if behind a latticework of buds

of this backyard ash tree

all bursting with the tenderest green

this primaveral day.

Green man I see you there

in the eyes of my friend who

makes good things happen

and tries to be loving

with everyone he meets.

When Osiris walked,

the legends say, on the dark soil

of that Nile delta,

greenness sprang up in his footsteps

(tender vernal faces smile waving at

the disappearing form of the god who

brought them into being,)

No wonder Isis loved him.

Green man, I see you there,

wherever flourishing flourishes.
La floresta says my mystical friend from the Amazon,

–waving his hand vaguely

at this (indescribable) riot of green life–
La floresta, the flowering.

Green man, I see you there, beginning,

whenever a man or woman wears the title

“green thumb” but I also see you in

the shadow of creative souls,

whose afterimages through life vibrate in colors,

and who exhale the scent of paradise.

“Their works of love leave words

that do not end in the heart”

(Green man I see you in the poet Vernon Watkins

who penned these words.)

The spaces in the latticed leaves

are cavities in a poem.

Between the structured veins of the words

lies a place for spirit,

for imagination to flow in softly,

for implications to imply

(Green man I see you in the implications of all things.)

Christ was hung on a tree

Jesse’s green shoot on the ancient root

(the medieval mystics thought)

of Adam and Eve’s most sinful sin

in that great green garden

at the beginning of everything.

But ah the green man’s sap

flowed red, now drunk with

cup and cross and sign,

sacrament to a broken, wounded world

(come to the green man ye fruit and branches

to whom he would be vine.)

In drinking, know the sap will rise and fall

as we celebrate this sacrament,

in the lattice of our veins and nerves,

wake symbol and spirit over all,

And quicken the flesh’s own fire,

releasing the soul from stone’s old mineral lode

(no more its thrall)

soaring on wings of desire.

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