The Coming Of Lugh

Lord Lugh, Wise Warrior

My Protector and Defender

You guide my hands and

enlighten my thoughts

Oh Noble King

You have opened my eyes and my mind

You are the Light that guides my way

I am in Your service

Blessed Be

-Caitlin Matthews

It is the season… a little early for sure, but one can feel his hand across the northern lands… Lugh has a special place in my heart. The turning of the season to harvest, the end of summer.
The weather is wonderful and our garden is beginning to show its bounty. Golden Days! I am moved by these days. We have some wonders coming I think. There are so many blessings that we can’t count. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been working on a street frequented by pedestrians and bikes. So many little ones, out for their first summer, sleepy in their carriages, or alert on the back of bikes with their Mum’s n Dad’s. So much beauty and joy in these summer days.
Here is to you in the coming harvest season, may the good God’s blessing be upon you!
Bright Blessings,


On The Menu:

The Links

Loreena McKennitt – The Bonny Swans

The Coming Of Lugh

Poetry/The Irish Mystics: Patrick Kavanagh

A Short Biography: Patrick Kavanagh

Loreena McKennitt – Raglan Road

Song of Lughnasadh


The Links:

White House Tries to Define Contraception As Abortion

Bigfoot: New evidence

How not to change the world…

Eel drink for Japan’s hot summer

Silent spring


Loreena McKennitt – The Bonny Swans

The Coming of Lugh

-Lady Gregory….

Now as to Nuada of the Silver Hand, he was holding a great feast at Teamhair one time, after he was back in the kingship. And there were two door-keepers at Teamhair, Gamal, son of Figal, and Camel, son of Riagall. And a young man came to the door where one of them was, and bade him bring him in to the king. “Who are you yourself?” said the door-keeper. I am Lugh, son of Cian of the Tuatha de Danaan, and of Ethlinn, daughter of Balor, King of the Fomor,” he said; “and I am foster-son of Taillte, daughter of the King of the Great Plain, and of Echaid the Rough, son of Duach.” “What are you skilled in?” said the door-keeper; “for no one without an art comes into Teamhair.” “Question me,” said Lugh; “I am a carpenter.” “We do not want you; we have a carpenter ourselves, Luchtar, son of Luachaid.” “Then I am a smith” “We have a smith ourselves, Colum Cuaillemech of the Three New Ways.” “Then I am a champion.” “That is no use to us; we have a champion before, Ogma, brother to the king.” “Question me again,” he said; “I am a harper.” “That is no use to us; we have a harper ourselves, Abhean, son of Bicelmos, that the Men of the Three Gods brought from the bills.” “I am a poet,” he said then, “and a teller of tales.” “That is no use to us; we have a teller of tales ourselves, Erc, son of Ethaman.” “And I am a magician.” “That is no use to us; we have plenty of magicians and people of power.” “I am a physician,” he said. “That is no use; we have Diancecht for our physician.” “Let me be a cup-bearer,” he said. “We do not want you; we have nine cup-bearers ourselves.” “I am a good worker in brass”. “We have a worker in brass ourselves, that is Credne Cerd.”
Then Lugh said: “Go and ask the king if he has anyone man that can do all these things, and if he has, I will not ask to come into Teamhair.” The door-keeper went into the king’s house then and told him all that. “There is a young man at the door,” he said, “and his name should be the Ildánach, the Master of all Arts, for all the things the people of your house can do, he himself is able to do every one of them.” “Try him with the chess-boards,” said Nuada. So the chess-boards were brought out, and every game that was played, Lugh won it. And when Nuada was told that, he said: “Let him in, for the like of him never came into Teamhair before.”
Then the door-keeper let him pass, and he came into the king’s house and sat down in the seat of knowledge. And there was a great flag-stone there that could hardly be moved by four times twenty yoke of oxen, and Ogma took it up and hurled it out through the house so that it lay on the outside of Teamhair, as a challenge to Lugh. But Lugh hurled it back again that it lay in the middle of the king’s house. He played the harp for them then, and he had them laughing and crying, till he put them asleep at the end with a sleepy tune. And when Nuada saw all these things Lugh could do, he began to think that by his help the country might get free of the taxes and the tyranny put on it by the Fomor. And it is what he did, he came down from his throne, and he put Lugh on it in his place, for the length of thirteen days, the way they might all listen to the advice he would give.
This now is the story of the birth of Lugh. The time the Fomor used to be coming to Ireland, Balor of the Strong Blows, or, as some called him, of the Evil Eye, was living on the Island of the Tower of Glass. There was danger for ships that went near that island, for the Fomor would come out and take them. And some say the sons of Nemed in the old time, before the Firbolgs were in Ireland, passed near it in their ships, and what they saw was a tower of glass in the middle of the sea, and on the tower something that had the appearance of men, and they went against it with Druid spells to attack it. And the Fomor worked against them with Druid spells of their own; and the Sons of Nemed attacked the tower, and it vanished, and they thought it was destroyed. But a great wave rose over them then, and all their ships went down and all that were in them.

And the tower was there as it was before, and Balor living in it. And it is the reason he was called “of the Evil Eye,” there was a power of death in one of his eyes, so that no person could look at it and live. It is the way it got that power, he was passing one time by a house where his father’s Druids were making spells of death, and the window being open he looked in, and the smoke of the poisonous spells was rising up, and it went into his eye. And from that time he had to keep it closed unless he wanted to be the death of some enemy, and then the men that were with him would lift the eyelid with a ring of ivory.
Now a Druid foretold one time that it was by his own grandson he would get his death. And he had at that time but one child, a daughter whose name was Ethlinn; and when he heard what the Druid said, he shut her up in the tower on the island. And he put twelve women with her to take charge of her and to guard her, and he bade them never to let her see a man or hear the name of a man.
So Ethlinn was brought up in the tower, and she grew to be very beautiful; and sometimes she would see men passing in the currachs, and sometimes she would see a man in her dreams. But when she would speak of that to the women, they would give her no answer.
So there was no fear on Balor, and be went on with war and robbery as he was used, seizing every ship that passed by, and sometimes going over to Ireland to do destruction there.
Now it chanced at that time there were three brothers of the Tuatha de Danaan living together in a place that was called Druim na Teine, the Ridge of the Fire, Goibniu and Samthainn and Cian. Cian was a lord of land, and Goibniu was the smith that had such a great name. Now Clan had a wonderful cow, the Glas Gaibhnenn, and her milk never failed. And every one that heard of her coveted her, and many had tried to steal her away, so that she had to be watched night and day.
And one time Cian was wanting some swords made, and he went to Goibniu’s forge, and he brought the Glas Gaibhnenn with him, holding her by a halter. When he came to the forge his two brothers were there together, for Samthainn had brought some steel to have weapons made for himself; and Cian bade Samthainn to hold the halter while he went into the forge to speak with Goibniu.
Now Balor bad set his mind for a long time on the Glas Gaibhnenn, but he had never been able to get near her up to this time. And he was watching not far off, and when he saw Samthainn holding the cow, he put on the appearance of a little boy, having red hair, and came up to him and told him he heard his two brothers that were in the forge saying to one another that they would use all his steel for their own swords, and make his of iron. “By my word,” said Samthainn, “they will not deceive me so easily. Let you hold the cow, little lad,” he said, “and I will go in to them.” With that he rushed into the forge, and great anger on him. And no sooner did Balor get the halter in his hand than he set out, dragging the Glas along with him, to the strand, and across the sea to his own island.
When Cian saw his brother coming in he rushed out, and there he saw Balor and the Glas out in the sea. And he had nothing to do then but to reproach his brother, and to wander about as if his wits had left him, not knowing what way to get his cow back from Balor. At last he went to a Druid to ask an advice from him; and it is what the Druid told him, that so long as Balor lived, the cow would never be brought back, for no one would go within reach of his Evil Eye.
Cian went then to a woman-Druid, Birog of the Mountain, for her help. And she dressed him in a woman’s clothes, and brought him across the sea in a blast of wind, to the tower where Ethlinn was. Then she called to the women in the tower, and asked them for shelter for a high queen she was after saving from some hardship, and the women in the tower did not like to refuse a woman of the Tuatha de Danaan, and they let her and her comrade in. Then Birog by her enchantments put them all into a deep sleep, and Cian went to speak with Ethlinn. And when she saw him she said that was the face she had seen in her dreams. So she gave him her love; but after a while he was brought away again on a blast of wind.
And when her time came, Ethlinn gave birth to a son. And when Balor knew that, he bade his people put the child in a cloth and fasten it with a pin, and throw him into a current of the sea. And as they were carrying the child across an arm of the sea, the pin dropped out, and the child slipped from the cloth into the water, and they thought he was drowned. But he was brought away by Birog of the Mountain, and she brought him to his father Cian; and he gave him to be fostered by Taillte, daughter of the King of the Great Plain. It is thus Lugh was born and reared.
And some say Balor came and struck the head off Cian on a white stone, that has the blood marks on it to this day; but it is likely it was some other man he struck the head off, for it was by the sons of Tuireann that Cian came to his death.

And after Lugh had come to Teamhair, and made his mind up to join with his father’s people against the Fomor, he put his mind to the work; and he went to a quiet place in Grellach Dollaid, with Nuada and the Dagda, and with Ogma; and Goibniu and Diancecht were called to them there. A full year they stopped there, making their plans together in secret, the way the Fomor would not know they were going to rise against them till such time as all would be ready, and till they would know what their strength was. And it is from that council the place got the name afterwards of “The Whisper of the Men of Dea”.
And they broke up the council, and agreed to meet again that day three years, and everyone of them went his own way, and Lugh went back to his own friends, the sons of Manannan.

And it was a good while after that, Nuada was holding a great assembly of the people on the Hill of Uisnech, on the west side of Teamhair. And they were not long there before they saw an armed troop coming towards them from the east, over the plain; and there was a young man in front of the troop, in command over the rest, and the brightness of his face was like the setting sun, so that they were not able to look at him because of its brightness.
And when he came nearer they knew it was Lugh Lamh-Fada, of the Long Hand, that had come back to them, and along with him were the Riders of the Sidhe from the Land of Promise, and his own foster-brothers, the sons of Manannan, Sgoith Gleigeil, the White Flower, and Goitne Gorm-Shuileach, the Blue-eyed Spear, and Sine Sindearg, of the Red Ring, and Donall Donn-Ruadh, of the Red-brown Hair. And it is the way Lugh was, he had Manannan’s horse, the Aonbharr, of the One Mane, under him, that was as swift as the naked cold wind of spring, and the sea was the same as dry land to her, and the rider was never killed off her back. And he had Manannan’s breast-plate on him, that kept whoever was wearing it from wounds, and a helmet on his head with two beautiful precious stones set in the front of it and one at the back, and when he took it off, his forehead was like the sun on a dry summer day. And he had Manannan’s sword, the Freagarthach, the Answerer, at his side, and no one that was wounded by it would ever get away alive; and when that sword was bared in a battle, no man that saw it coming against him had any more strength than a woman in child-birth.
And the troop came to where the King of Ireland was with the Tuatha de Danaan, and they welcomed one another.
And they were not long there till they saw a surly, slovenly troop coining towards them, nine times nine of the messengers of the Fomor, that were coming to ask rent and taxes from the men of Ireland; and the names of the four that were the hardest and the most cruel were Eine and Eathfaigh and Coron and Compar; and there was such great dread of these four on the Tuatha de Danaan, that not one of them would so much as punish his own son or his foster-son without leave from them.
They came up then to where the King of Ireland was with the Riders of the Sidhe, and the king and all the Tuatha de Danaan stood up before them. And Lugh of the Long Hand said: “Why do you rise up before that surly, slovenly troop, when you did not rise up before us?”
“It is needful for us to do it,” said the king; “for if there was but a child of us sitting before them, they would not think that too small a cause for killing him.” “By my word,” said Lugh, “there is a great desire coming on me to kill themselves.” “That is a thing would bring harm on us,” said the king, “for we would meet our own death and destruction through it.” “It is too long a time you have been under this oppression,” said Lugh. And with that he started up and made an attack on the Fomor, killing and wounding them, till he had made an end of eight nines of them, but he let the last nine go under the protection of Nuada the king. “And I would kill you along with the others,” he said, “but I would sooner see you go with messages to your own country than my own people, for fear they might get any ill-treatment.”
So the nine went back then till they came to Lochlann, where the men of the Fomor were, and they told them the story from beginning to end, and how a young well-featured lad had come into Ireland and had killed all the tax-gatherers but themselves, “and it is the reason he let us off,” they said, “that we might tell you the story ourselves.”
“Do you know who is the young man?” said Balor of the Evil Eye then.
“I know well,” said Ceithlenn, his wife; “he is the son of your daughter and mine. And it was foretold.” she said, “that from the time he would come into Ireland, we would never have power there again for ever.”
Then the chief men of the Fomor went into a council, Eab, son of Neid, and Seanchab, grandson of Neid, and Sital Salmhor, and Liath, son of Lobais, and the nine poets of the Fomor that had learning and the gift of foreknowledge, and Lobais the Druid, and Balor himself, and his twelve white-mouthed sons, and Ceithlenn of the Crooked Teeth, his queen.
And it was just at that time Bres and his father Elathan were come to ask help of the Fomor, and Bres said: “I myself will go tor Ireland, and seven great battalions of the Riders of the Fomor along with me, and I will give battle to this Ildánach, this master of all arts, and I will strike his bead off and bring it here to you, to the green of Berbhe.” “It would be a fitting thing for you to do,” said they all. “Let my ships be made ready for me,” said Bres, “and let food and provisions be put in them.”
So they made no delay, but went and got the ships ready, and they put plenty of food and drink in them, and the two swift Luaths were sent out to gather the army to Bres. And when they were all gathered, they made ready their armour and their weapons, and they set out for Ireland.
And Balor the king followed them to the harbour, and he said: “Give battle to that Ildánach, and strike off his head; and tie that island that is called Ireland to the back of your ships, and let the destroying water take its place, and put it on the north side of Lochlann, and not one of the Men of Dea will follow it there to the end of life and time.”
Then they pushed out their ships and put up their painted sails, and went out from the harbour on the untilled country, on the ridges of the wide-lying sea, and they never turned from their course till they came to the harbour of Eas Dara. And from that they sent out an army through West Connacht and destroyed it altogether, through and through. And the King of Connacht at that time was Bodb Dearg, son of the Dagda.

The Irish Mystics: Patrick Kavanagh

On Raglan Road
On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew

That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;

I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,

And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.
On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge

Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,

The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay –

O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.
I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known

To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone

And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.

With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May
On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now

Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow

That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay –

When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.

Shancoduff My black hills have never seen the sun rising,

Eternally they look North towards Armagh.

Lot’s wife would not be salt if she had been

Incurious as my black hills that are happy

When dawn whitens Glassdrummond chapel.
My hills hoard the bright shillings of March

While the sun searches in every pocket.

They are my Alps and I have climbed the Matterhorn

With a sheaf of hay for three perishing calves

In the field under the Big Forth of Rocksavage.
The sleety winds fondle the the rushy beards of Shancoduff

While the cattle – drovers sheltering in the Featherna Bush

Look up and say: “Who owns them hungry hills

That the water – hen and snip must have forsaken?

A poet? Then by heavens he must be poor.”

I hear and is my heart not badly shaken?

On An Apple-Ripe September Morning

On an apple-ripe September morning

Through the mist-chill fields I went

With a pitch-fork on my shoulder

Less for use than for devilment.
The threshing mill was set-up, I knew,

In Cassidy’s haggard last night,

And we owed them a day at the threshing

Since last year. O it was delight
To be paying bills of laughter

And chaffy gossip in kind

With work thrown in to ballast

The fantasy-soaring mind.
As I crossed the wooden bridge I wondered

As I looked into the drain

If ever a summer morning should find me

Shovelling up eels again.
And I thought of the wasps’ nest in the bank

And how I got chased one day

Leaving the drag and the scraw-knife behind,

How I covered my face with hay.
The wet leaves of the cocksfoot

Polished my boots as I

Went round by the glistening bog-holes

Lost in unthinking joy.
I’ll be carrying bags to-day, I mused,

The best job at the mill

With plenty of time to talk of our loves

As we wait for the bags to fill.
Maybe Mary might call round…

And then I came to the haggard gate,

And I knew as I entered that I had come

Through fields that were part of no earthly estate.

A Short Biography: Patrick Kavanagh
Kavanagh was born on the 21st of October 1904, in the village of Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan. His father was a shoemaker and had a small farm of land. Kavanagh received only primary school education and at the age of thirteen, he became an apprentice shoemaker. He gave it up 15 months later, admitting that he didn’t make one wearable pair of boots. For the next 20 years, Kavanagh would work on the family farm before moving to Dublin in 1939.
Kavanagh’s interest in literature and poetry marked him out as different to other people in his local place. In a society that was insular and agricultural, a man’s worth was measured by the straightness of the furrow he could plough, rather than the lines of poetry he could write. Kavanagh’s first attempts to become a published poet resulted in the publication of some poems in a local newspaper in the early 1930′s, and by the publishing of his autobiographical novel by Tarry Flynn. In 1939, urged by his brother Peter, who was a Dublin based teacher, Kavanagh moved to the city to establish himself as a writer. At that time, the Dublin Literary Society was dominated by an educated Anglo-Irish group with whom Kavanagh had nothing in common, among them were Oliver St. John Gogarty and Douglas Wylie. They saw Kavanagh as a country bumpkin and referred to him as “That Monaghan Boy”.
Kavanagh’s early years in Dublin were unproductive as he struggled for recognition. In 1947, his first major collection “A Soul for Sale”, was published. These poems were the product of his Monaghan youth. In the early 1950′s, Kavanagh and his brother Peter, published a weekly newspaper called “Kavanagh’s Weekly”, it failed because the editorial viewpoint was too narrow. In 1954, Kavanagh became embroiled in an infamous court case. He accused “The Leader” newspaper of slander. The newspaper decided to contest the case and employed the former Taoiseach, John A. Costello, as their defence council. Kavanagh decided to prosecute the case himself and he was destroyed by Costello. The court case dragged on for over a year and Kavanagh’s health began to fail. In 1955, he was diagnosed as having lung cancer and had a lung removed, Kavanagh survived and the event was a major turning point in his life and career. In 1958, he published “Come Dancing with Kitty Stobling”. In 1959, he was appointed to the faculty of English in UCD by John A. Costello. His lectures were popular, but often irrelevant to the course. In the early 1960′s, he visited Britain and USA. In 1965, he married Katherine Malony. He died in 1967 from an attack of bronchitis. Kavanagh’s reputation as a poet is based on the lyrical quality of his work, his mastery of language and form and his ability to transform the ordinary and the benal into something of significance.

-Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh: a Biography

Gill and Macmillan, 2001


Loreena McKennitt – Raglan Road


Song of Lughnasadh
I am the sovereign splendor of creation

I am the fountain and the courts of bliss

I am the bright surrender of the willpower

I am the watchful guardian and the kiss

I am the many-coloured landscape

I am the transmigration of the geese

I am the burnished glory of the breastplate

I am the harbour where all strivings cease.

-Written by Caitlin Matthews

Closer To The Source…

“You know of the how, but I know of the how-less.”

-Rabia al Basri

So much to talk about. Source, time, space. Listen: there is beauty to attend to. You walk in it, you are of it, whatever ‘it’ is. This moment is a blessing. It will never occur again. Take it, hold it, it runs like water through your fingers.
I have a blessing for you, or is this a curse? Live your life fully, don’t hold back. This moment contains everything that has been, and that will be.
If you can: Help those who need help, accept help when you need it. Life is for loving, and Love is the universal binding element. Everything that exist must pass this test.
Bright Blessings,

On The Menu:

Ana” Music Video – Vieux Farka Toure

Sufi Blues…

Vieux Farka Toure “Bamako jam” – Part One & Part Two

Poems by Rabia al Basri

Anecdotes from Rabia’s Life…

Mali – African Music Legends – Ali Farka Toure


Ali Farka Toures son!
“Ana” Music Video – Vieux Farka Toure

I often (well more than often do the Googlemancy thingie… after listening to Vieux Farka Toure, I got the urge to type in ‘Sufi Blues’… this brought me to this site: Jon Atack, which brought me to this article…
Sufi Blues…

The origin of the Blues is a matter of considerable contention. I like Alan Lomax’s explanation in The Land Where Blues Began, but I believe that the truth is intensely complex. All history is an interweaving of many strands, and the history of the Blues is no different.
The Blues belongs to its own place and time. We have only fragments from that time, because this wonderful music was not considered significant during its formative years. Indeed, Bluesmen were considered racially inferior, and most of the early recordings were made not by music lovers but by museum anthropologists recording a foreign culture. Under the bizarre Jim Crow laws in the Southern US, Whites were prohibited from entering establishments frequented by Blacks.
Charlie Patton was one of the first Blues guitarists. By 1911 he was travelling the South, and playing at Saturday night juke joints. Tommy Johnson may have been the first to tell the story of the Devil tuning his guitar at the crossroads and giving him the spirit of the Blues. He recorded in 1918. The music Patton and Johnson played reaches back to the field hollers of the Black slaves, and the worksongs of the muleskinners.
Muleskinners is an unfortunate term for men who drove mules while the Mississippi Levee was being built. The Levee features in Led Zeppelin’s (or indeed Memphis Minnie’s) When the Levee Breaks. The Levee is the largest work of human engineering so far created, even bigger than the Great Wall of China. It was an attempt to contain the mighty Mississippi river. Lomax explains that the builders of the Levee found that Black muleskinners got more work out of the animals than their Irish precursors. It seems that this was because the Black muleskinners sang to their mules.
But the Blues is a fusion of cultures. It has origins in West Africa, but, as Jimi Hendrix observed, Irish folk music has similarities to the Blues. And the cradle of the Blues is also the home of Bluegrass and Country music. Popular Jazz intermingled Black Afro-American music with Western Classical music and songwriting from the Jewish tradition (such luminaries as Irving Berlin and George Gershwin). Blues and Jazz draw from similar roots. Indeed, the separation between them is to some extent academic. In the 1920s, a Bluesman such as Lonnie Johnson often recorded with Eddie Lang, nominally a Jazz guitarist. Technically there is nothing to choose between them, and Lang usually played the accompaniment.
Africa provided a far more complicated suite of rhythms than Europe. It also gave tonal variation – heard as a sustaining and flattening of notes. European music provided the simple form of the song. It seems odd to suggest that the song – and most especially the love song – is an invention that belongs to a particular culture or time, but it may well be true. The love song can be traced back to the Troubadour movement, at the time of minstrelsy and chivalry. It’s entry into European culture seems to have been the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine in the twelfth century.
Eleanor of Aquitaine was the wife successively of a king of France, and of the English king, Henry II. Henry was arguably the most powerful monarch in the Western world. He was Duke of Anjou, Brittany and Normandy. With his marriage to Eleanor, he controlled most of modern France (although he owed fealty – or loyalty – to the French king for these possessions). He also ruled most of Wales, and the Irish Lords asked him to intervene in their disputes, which for all practical purposes made him King of Ireland. Eleanor and Henry were the parents of Richard I, called Lionheart, and John I, who figure in the Robin Hood myth. Henry II goes into history as one of the most influential lawmakers the world has seen. Eleanor goes into history as a crucial influence on culture.
The simple expedient that led to the chivalric movement, which dominated intellectual culture for hundreds of years in Europe, was the admission into Eleanor’s court of Jews from the Islamic world. It was the general practice in Christendom to exclude members of both of these religions. Indeed, Eleanor’s son Richard was to expel the Jews from his territories, and to wage a savage and despicable campaign against Islam. By tolerating religious differences, Eleanor stands at the inception of the Little Renaissance, the first stirring of the Renaissance, in the 1100s. Arab scholars had treasured the Classics of Greece and Rome – largely ignored or destroyed by the Europeans of the so called Dark Ages. They had also adopted the Indian number zero, and developed mathematics. Arabic numerals have been universally accepted for centuries. But another essential aspect of Islam was the love song.
Many years ago, I saw a TV documentary about a family of Pakistani Qawali singers called the Sabri brothers. These fine people tour Pakistan playing concerts in which they perform songs in five languages – ranging from the Urdu of present day Pakistan to Classical Persian. Peter Gabriel has said that Qawali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is simply the finest singer alive.
Qawali singers have been persecuted by Mosque and State alike, because they warn anyone who will listen to live decently rather than to simply obey the dictates of authority. Many of the songs are love songs, in which some huge, beardy bloke takes on the role of an innocent bride singing to her bridegroom. They are songs of adoration, often very similar to the simple pop songs of the sixties.
But as always with the Sufis, all is not as it appears. Qawalis are indeed part of that elusive and ancient movement that long predates Islam – Mahomet speaks with reverence of the Sufi sages – but is perceived by most to be part of that religion. The Sufis call themselves friends, and say that they travel the Way of Love. In discussing his belief in observation and experiment as the basis for science, the thirteenth century monk Roger Bacon actually credits the Sufis with its invention. Western texts prefer to call Bacon the originator of the scientific method. Similarly, the notion of evolution is credited to Charles Darwin (though he actually used the word descent himself). It had actually long existed in Sufi teaching, which also maintained the Classical Greek notion of atomic theory.
Sufis actually exist in all major religious denominations. They practice the dominant religion of the region in which they find themselves, and into that culture insert the scientific and compassionate ideas of Sufism. They have perhaps flourished in Islam because it is less prone to heretic burning than certain other faiths. As a side note, the word heresy houses its own dreadful concept – the word simply means choice. Something not permitted by bigots and dogmatists, and those who worship a bullying, intolerant god.
Sufis teach in a way that appeals to all intellects. So stories attributed to the Mullah Nasrudin are by now told as jokes in many cultures, but these apparently simple stories contain layers of meaning. They are parables, or analogies. When asked why he is scrabbling in the dust, the Mullah replies that he is looking for his key. Asked where he lost it, he explains that it is at his house, but he is looking here, because there is more light. Idries Shah explains that this is like a seeker who looks far afield for wisdom rather than in his own heart.
Nasrudin is an early take on the Marx brothers, but reveals many meanings (as of course do the Marx brothers – as Groucho said: time wounds all heels). Tibetans too speak of a teaching on the common level – for example the belief in demon exorcism – that has a different me
aning to the intelligent – demons is just a term for hindering thoughts – and a further meaning to the enlightened – thoughts and demons are alike illusion, as the Buddha taught.
So it is with the Sufi song, preserved in its essence in the Qawali music of Pakistan. These love songs, just like the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament, are addressed to the Divinity, and speak of a permanent infatuation, the ecstasy of communion with God. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam provides a series of beautiful examples of this divided meaning. Where he speaks of ‘a glass of wine and thou’, Sufis will say that he is actually referring to the wine of understanding, and his love of God.
These mystical Sufi songs came into Europe at the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and with them a reverential attitude towards women. It is curious to think that the reversal of the metaphor – reverence to God expressed through a love song – should have initiated a movement where women were venerated. As of course they should be (and so should men). Out of the Troubadour movement came also beautiful songs directed to the Virgin Mary, as representative of the feminine. A fine example is the ethereal Lullay, Lullay, which recounts a vision of Mary.
This tradition of love songs was probably passed by White slaves – there were many Irish and Scottish slaves in the Caribbean and North America from the seventeenth century onward – to their Black companions. It is also quite possible that love songs had travelled to West Africa from neighbouring Islamic countries. With the fusion of West African polyrhythms and the love song, came the Blues.
Blues too often acts on at least two levels. Whether this is necessarily the intent of the authors is often unclear. Because they have frequently been persecuted, the Sufis have often buried meanings in their jokes, stories and songs. As with the Sufis, in the Blues secrets have to be concealed. The Vodou – or voodoo – background of many Bluesmen is obvious. Little Johnny the Conquer Root, the black cat bone, the Hoodoo man, and the Mojo are frequently referred to. Sexual references abound – many disguised to avoid punishment – so a man boasts of his jelly roll, and his ability to keep his damper down (called karezzo sex by Tantrists – it means being able to hold back and skirt the edge of orgasm). Only a couple of unexpurgated bawdy songs exist from the beginnings of the Blues (you can find one on Hot Nuts and Lollipops – Lucille Bogan’s distinctly obscene Shave ‘Em Dry).
The vicious campaign practised by the US against Haitian Vodou practitioners exemplifies the genuine need for caution among Bluesmen. At the very time that the Blues was developing, between 1915 and 1934, US troops occupied Haiti, and tried to extirpate the Vodou. Temples were burned down, ancient and venerated spirit-summoning drums smashed, Houngans and Mambos – Vodou’s priests and priestesses – tortured, beaten, imprisoned and murdered in a religious crusade. Vodou continues – as do the Sufis – to tolerate membership of any religion. And of course the Ku Klux Klan held sway in the Southern states through much of the twentieth century, lynching Black men who committed any offence to their redneck views.
And so we come full circle. The Blues represents the deepest urges and aspirations of humankind. And the Devil’s Music actually exalts God.

Vieux Farka Toure “Bamako jam” – Part One

Vieux Farka Toure “Bamako jam” – Part Two

Poems by Rabia al Basri

I have loved Thee with two loves –

a selfish love and a love that is worthy of Thee.

As for the love which is selfish,

Therein I occupy myself with Thee,

to the exclusion of all others.

But in the love which is worthy of Thee,

Thou dost raise the veil that I may see Thee.

Yet is the praise not mine in this or that,

But the praise is to Thee in both that and this.

If I Adore You
If I adore You out of fear of Hell, burn me in Hell!

If I adore you out of desire for Paradise,

Lock me out of Paradise.

But if I adore you for Yourself alone,

Do not deny to me Your eternal beauty.

Dream Fable
I saw myself in a wide green garden, more beautiful than I could begin to understand. In this garden was a young girl. I said to her, “How wonderful this place is!”
“Would you like to see a place even more wonderful than this?” she asked.
“Oh yes,” I answered. Then taking me by the hand, she led me on until we came to a magnificent palace, like nothing that was ever seen by human eyes. The young girl knocked on the door, and someone opened it. Immediately both of us were flooded with light.
Only Allah knows the inner meaning of the maidens we saw living there. Each one carried in her hand a serving-tray filled with light. The young girl asked the maidens where they were going, and they answered her, “We are looking for someone who was drowned in the sea, and so became a martyr. She never slept at night, not one wink! We are going to rub funeral spices on her body.”
“Then rub some on my friend here,” the young girl said.
“Once upon a time,” said the maidens, “part of this spice and the fragrance of it clung to her body — but then she shied away.”
Quickly the young girl let go of my hand, turned, and said to me:
“Your prayers are your light;

Your devotion is your strength;

Sleep is the enemy of both.

Your life is the only opportunity that life can give you.

If you ignore it, if you waste it,

You will only turn to dust.”
Then the young girl disappeared

With My Beloved
With my Beloved I alone have been,

When secrets tenderer than evening airs

Passed, and the Vision blest

Was granted to my prayers,

That crowned me, else obscure, with endless fame;

The while amazed between

His Beauty and His Majesty

I stood in silent ecstasy

Revealing that which o’er my spirit went and came.

Lo, in His face commingled

Is every charm and grace;

The whole of Beauty singled

Into a perfect face

Beholding Him would cry,

‘There is no God but He, and He is the most High.’

In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.

Speech is born out of longing,

True description from the real taste.

The one who tastes, knows;

the one who explains, lies.

How can you describe the true form of Something

In whose presence you are blotted out?

And in whose being you still exist?

And who lives as a sign for your journey?


Anecdotes from Rabia’s Life…
– One day, she was seen running through the streets of Basra carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When asked what she was doing, she said:
“I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to God. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of God.”
– At one occasion she was asked if she hated Satan. Hazrat Rabia replied: “My love to God has so possessed me that no place remains for loving or hating any save Him.”
– When Hazrat Rabia Basri would not come to attend the sermons of Hazrat Hasan Basri, he would deliver no discourse that day. People in the audience asked him why he did that. He replied: “The syrup that is held by the vessels meant for the elephants cannot be contained in the vessels meant for the ants.”
– Once Hazrat Rabia was on her way to Makka, and when half-way there she saw the Ka’ba coming to meet her. She said, “It is the Lord of the house whom I need, what have I to do with the house? I need to meet with Him Who said, ‘Who approaches Me by a span’s length I will approach him by the length of a cubit.’ The Ka’ba which I see has no power over me; what joy does the beauty of the Ka’ba bring to me?”
At the same time the great Sufi Saint Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham arrived at the Ka’ba, but he did not see it. He had spent fourteen years making his way to the Ka’ba, because in every place of prayer he performed two rakats.
Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham said, “Alas! What has happened? It maybe that some injury has overtaken my eyes.” An unseen voice said to him, “No harm has befallen your eyes, but the Ka’ba has gone to meet a woman, who is approaching this place.” Ibrahim Adham responded, “O indeed, who is this?” He ran and saw Rabia arriving, and that the Ka’ba was back in its own place. When Ibrahim saw that, he said, “O Rabia, what is this disturbance and trouble and burden which you have brought into the world?”
She replied, “I have not brought disturbance into the world. It is you who have disturbed the world, because you delayed fourteen years in arriving at the Ka’ba.” He said, “Yes I have spent fourteen years in crossing the desert (because I was engaged) in prayer.” Rabia said, “You traversed it in ritual prayer (Salat) but with personal supplication.” Then, having performed the pilgrimage, she returned to Basra and occupied herself with works of devotion.
– One day Hazrat Hasan Basri saw Hazrat Rabia near a lake. He threw his prayer rug on top of the water and said, “Rabia come! Let us pray two rakats here.” She replied, “Hasan, when you are showing off your spiritual goods in the worldly market, it should be things which your fellow men cannot display.” Then she threw her prayer rug into the air and flew up onto it by saying, “Come up here, Hasan, where people can see us.” Then she said, “Hasan, what you did fishes can do, and what I did flies can do. But the real business is outside these tricks. One must apply oneself to the real business.”
and his late lamented father…
Mali – African Music Legends – Ali Farka Toure


Guided By Voices…

All people are in truth a kin

all in creation share one origin

if fate allots, a member pangs and pains

no rest for others then remains

if unperturbed another’s grief canst scan

thou art not worthy the name of man.


Guided By Voices?

So yesterday, I am up a ladder about 25 feet… and not feeling to confident working away on a wall. (I have been steadily losing my appetite for it lately) Mary is to the right of me, and we have a radio playing…
I am about to stretch up, and remove a metal panel off of the wall and I hear a voice say… “Be Careful Up There”. I freeze for a moment, and then ask Mary if she spoke to me. “No” is her reply. I am a bit shaken, as the voice I heard doesn’t sync up with the one in my head that I get when an intuition or warning comes forth…
“I just heard a voice warning me to be careful up there” says I to Mary. She looked at me, arched her eyebrows and said: “The radio commentator just said ‘Be Careful Out There’ because of traffic problems…” and she turned away.
Fool on a ladder!… So, when you are guided by voices be a bit more aware of where they are coming from… 80)

I have been busy on the magazine, and it is going a bit slow at this time. Not all of articles are in yet, and happily the art work is coming in… We have some great artist, Leo Plaw, and Amanda Sage. There stuff is coming in and I am getting there pages set up.
On my side of thngs… I have been doing lots of new illustrations, and trying to findf new ways of portraying what is bouncing around in the old brain box….
If you have work you’d like to submit, or know of a writer needing an outlet, please let me know!

Good News from Australia: The Undergrowth Collective’s JourneyBook Project is going to press! Excellent stuff from our community below the equator! Lots of exciting articles, art etc. The Project are kindly including some of my artwork as well. I am deeply honoured!
More coming on the art front, lots of things are in play… Stay Tuned!
Lots going on the radio… give it a listen at Radio Free Earthrites!
We have lots of new music, and spoken word… check it out!

I hope you enjoy this edition of Turfing…
Bright Blessings!
On The Menu:

The Links

Natacha Atlas-Leysh Natarak

The Tale of Achmed’s Gold

Sufi Poet: Sa’adi

Bio: Sa’adi

A Song Of Peace Shared By Palestinians and Israeli’s..

Art: Ernst Rudolph

The Links:

Emerging from the Drug War Dark Age: LSD and Other Psychedelic Medicines Make a Comeback

“The Heavens”

Vampires: the Celtic Connection

Law restricts hallucinogen


Natacha Atlas-Leysh Natarak


The Tale of Achmed’s Gold…

-from a tale told in ‘With the Riff Kabyles’, by Bernd Terhorst
Good Achmed, a devout and honest man, led a life which was good in every way; all that was wanting to crown his days, was the glory of a pilgrimage to Mecca. With this alone, he could die content–knowing that he had lived to the glory of Allah. All his days, he had saved up his gold piece by piece, hiding it away in a little clay pot which he mentioned to no one for fear of robbery. When he had enough to secure his old age, he closed up his business and prepared to go to Mecca.
He had a friend: Ali. To him alone, he entrusted the secret of the pot of gold. “During my absence,” he said, “you–who are as my brother–are the only man I trust to tend my possessions, my house and garden. Will you do it?”
“Of course I will,” said Ali, “why do you ask?” Then he called a blessing down on Achmed’s head.
“Ah, but there’s more,” said Achmed, “there’s gold. Five hundred coins, there are–my life’s savings. I have no one else to ask. Will you guard them for me? I’ll be gone two years, that is the term of this journey.” Ali agreed, pledging his faith to it, and Achmed was overjoyed; he embraced him, brought him the keys of his house, and put the pot of gold into his hands. Ali hid the gold away in a safe hiding-place in his own house, and saw Achmed off to Mecca, saying, “Go with God!”
Achmed rode to the coast, took ship, and came eventually to Mecca, where he kissed the Kaaba and knew his tale was complete . . . but it was not, as events proved. On the voyage home, contrary winds blew his ship off-course, and his return was delayed long beyond the expected time.
In Morocco, meanwhile, Ali waited patiently. Years passed, and more years; Achmed was despaired of, and finally given up for dead. And Ali fell upon evil times. He lost all his own money, had to sell every slave he owned, and wept with sorrow to see his wife reduced to cleaning the house with her own hands, which had never been soiled by such work before. He was miserable, and she was unbearable. And just when his fortunes were at their lowest ebb (and his wife’s tongue sharpened to its uttermost) she cleaned in the wrong corner, and discovered the pot of gold.
She brought it to Ali. Their creditors were hammering day and night at his door. Ali tore his hair, walked the floor all night, shushing her while her lamentations rose to the sky. At last he gave in, and opened the pot. “We’ll take just a little,” he told her, “just enough to pay our debts. When Allah favors me again, I’ll put it back.”
“Your fool friend is dead anyway,” she whined, “and will never return.”
Well! Allah failed to favor this unfaithful friend–no surprise, that. Soon enough, the money was all gone, every bit, every last shining coin.
The very next month, Achmed returned.
He was Achmed Hajji now, having been blessed by sight of holy Mecca. Friends and neighbors flocked to see him, marveling. But his very first stop was at the house of his dear friend Ali. Ali hastened to bring Achmed the keys to his house, saying that everything was in order and the garden lovingly tended . . . and Achmed blessed him, waited a bit, then finally asked after his little clay pot.
Ali feinted surprise. “Pot?” he said. “What pot?”
“Friend,” said Achmed, “why, you must remember, my little clay pot with the gold in it? My five hundred gold coins?”
“What gold coins?” said Ali. “Why, Achmed, everyone knows you could never save any money.” And he called on all the people about to witness: “Look! Poor Achmed has been driven mad by his privations. He remembers wealth he never owned.”
Achmed went to the cadi, who judged all lawsuits. But the cadi saw no proof forthcoming of Achmed’s claims, and indeed Achmed had never dared to mention his money to anyone . . . that is, anyone except Ali, whom he had trusted. Achmed was turned away, and went sorrowfully back to his empty home and lonely garden. For days he shut himself away, reflecting.
Finally, a frail tune drifting over his gate roused him from his gloom. A single ray of sunlight fell on the street outside, on an old gypsy playing a broken flute, while a monkey danced for coins. Achmed turned toward Mecca, prostrated himself and prayed. Then he went to the gate, and spent his last funds buying the monkey.
From that day forth, he was a changed man. He threw his gates open again, went to work and plied his old trade. He never spoke a word of what had been. Toward Ali, he presented an unchanged face. Ali, overwhelmed by relief, told everyone he forgave Achmed his wild talk, and was very kind to Achmed himself.
Months passed.
In the privacy of his house, Achmed set about training the monkey. He spent hours with Ali, patiently enduring Ali’s forgiveness, and all the while he was studying Ali’s features . . . carefully, closely. He had always delighted in wood-carving, and now he discovered in himself a knack for portraiture. He carved Ali’s likeness in wood.
When his bust of Ali was finished, Achmed set it atop a column–just Ali’s height–and dressed it in a man’s clothes–clothing that was just like Ali’s. This, he put in an empty room. Then he put the monkey in with it. Every day, he would go into this room, shut the door, and spend some time lashing the monkey with a whip. The monkey would fly round the room, trying desperately to escape. It could not climb the smooth walls, and so it would climb the image standing in the middle of the room. When it arrived at the image’s wooden head, it would scratch it wildly. Eventually it was so well trained, that all Achmed had to do was to step into the room, and the monkey would fling itself up the image and begin to scratch.
Achmed brought other figures into the room. They were all dressed differently, and every one had a different head and face, cunningly carved. He trained the monkey patiently, until the only image it climbed was the original–the likeness of Ali.
Then Achmed began to spread rumors.
He began to talk about his money again. Five hundred gold pieces, stolen . . . oh, not by Ali, oh no–Ali was Achmed’s friend, after all. Stolen by person or persons unknown. And Achmed began to tell people about the magic monkey he had acquired from a saint’s tomb. It was a black monkey, endowed with marvelous powers, and would know in a crowd just who was honest, who was a thief. With his monkey, he said, he would be able to discover the true thief.
“Look, he’s still crazy,” said Ali, laughing behind Achmed’s back. “Imagine, magic monkeys!” And the more Achmed talked about his monkey, the louder Ali mocked him. “Monkeys are foolish beasts,” he told Achmed, “and your monkey is not going to be any wiser than its cousins.”
“Oh,” said Achmed, “is that so? If that’s what you think, come round to my house and try it for yourself. Or are you frightened?” When Ali refused, their friends all laughed too; they said Ali was nervous. Naturally Ali said he was not, and Achmed dared him to come see the monkey. Ali had to agree.
Achmed went round and spoke to the cadi, asking him to come round too, and to bring a few friends. The cadi laughed at first, but finally agreed.
On the appointed day, everyone gathered at Achmed’s house. Ali was dismayed at the size of the crowd, but Achmed took them all into the very same room where he had trained the monkey. All the images had been taken away, of course; Achmed had burned them. “Now, friends,” he said, “I’ll show you my magic pet. If he who stole the gold is among us, the monkey will know him at once, climb up and scratch his fac
e. If the monkey does not recognize the thief, I swear I’ll never mention the subject again.”
Ali was smiling.
“Achmed,” commanded the cadi, “bring the animal.” And Achmed brought the monkey into the room it knew so well. The monkey saw a room full of unmoving men, just as before–and there was one face it recognized–and it knew what it was meant to do. With a scream, it launched itself at Ali, swarmed up his coat and clung with all its claws, scratching and biting. Ali tried to fight it off, he twisted and turned, but it only gripped him the tighter. The cadi marveled at the intelligence of the animal; he went up to Ali, who was now deathly pale and trembling in every limb, and said threateningly: “You thief! Allah has discovered your crime!” upon which Ali fell instantly to his knees and confessed.
Only God knows what is on earth and in heaven; only God knows the secrets we all keep. For he knows the mind of every man, he knows the future and the past. He is the answer to every riddle, and he is the judge every man will have to face in the end.


Sufi Poet: Saadi

If one His praise of me would learn
If one His praise of me would learn,

What of the traceless can the tongueless tell?

Lovers are killed by those they love so well;

No voices from the slain return.

How could I ever thank my Friend?
How could I ever thank my Friend?

No thanks could ever begin to be worthy.

Every hair of my body is a gift from Him;

How could I thank Him for each hair?

Praise that lavish Lord forever

Who from nothing conjures all living beings!

Who could ever describe His goodness?

His infinite glory lays all praise waste.

Look, He has graced you a robe of splendor

From childhood’s first cries to old age!

He made you pure in His own image; stay pure.

It is horrible to die blackened by sin.

Never let dust settle on your mirror’s shining;

Let it once grow dull and it will never polish.

When you work in the world to earn your living

Do not, for one moment, rely on your own strength.

Self-worshiper, don’t you understand anything yet?

It is God alone that gives your arms their power.

If, by your striving, you achieve something good,

Don’t claim the credit all for yourself;

It is fate that decides who wins and who loses

And all success streams only from the grace of God.

In this world you never stand by your own strength;

It is the Invisible that sustains you every moment.

Have no Doubts
Have no doubts because of trouble nor be thou discomfited;

For the water of life’s fountain springeth from a gloomy bed.
Ah! ye brothers of misfortune! be not ye with grief oppressed,

Many are the secret mercies which with the All-bounteous rest.

The World my brother
The world, my brother! will abide with none,

By the world’s Maker let thy heart be won.

Rely not, nor repose on this world’s gain,

For many a son like thee she has reared and slain.

What matters, when the spirit seeks to fly,

If on a throne or on bare earth we die?

Wealth consists of talents not money; and greatness is in intellect not in years.

He knows the worth of happiness who has known distress.

Show compassion to your weak subject, that no powerful enemy may trouble you.

Whoever acts treacherously should dread the day of reckoning.
He whose account is clear can render it without fear.

Sweep, if needs be your friend’s floor; but do not even knock at your enemy’s door.

The brother who is self inflated, is neither brother nor related.

A beautiful character is better than a thousand silk robes.
No pains, no gains.

A young woman would rather be shot at than put up with an old man.

All may be trained alike, but their capacity will vary.

Biography: The Persian Poet Sa’adi 1184 – 1283
Sa‘di (in Persian: سعدی‎, full name in English: Muslih-ud-Din Mushrif-ibn-Abdullah) (1184 – 1283/1291?) is one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is recognized not only for the quality of his writing, but also for the depth of his social thought.

Biography of Saadi
A native of Shiraz, Persia, Saadi left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to study Arabic literature and Islamic sciences at Nizamiah University (1195-1226).
He is known as a Sufi thinker, and was a student of the respected Sufi Sheikh Shahabuddin Suhrawardi. Saadi liked to travel, and lived much of his life as a wandering dervish. After Iraq he traveled the region for nearly thirty years. He went to Shamat (Syria), Palestine, Hijaz (Arabia), Yemen,Egypt and Rum (Turkey), which was in Byzantine control at the time. At one time he is said to have been captured by the Crusaders.
Saadi died in his hometown of Shiraz. There is some discrepancy about the date of his death, but he may have died a centenarian. His tomb was greatly elaborated in 1952 and has since became a tourist attraction.

His works
Saadi’s writings are held to be among the greatest Sufi classics. He wrote “The Orchard” (Bostan) in 1257,”The Rose Garden” (Gulistan) in 1258. There is also a Divan, or collection of his poetry. He wrote short stories and poems about his adventurous life in both his major works.
Saadi has been translated by a number of major Western poets, most of whom were not deterred by the “transparently homoerotic” [1] tone of much of his work. According to Wayne Dynes, “English translators even in the tamer episodes of the Gulistan turn boys into girls and change anecdotes about pederasty into tales of heterosexual Iove.” (Asian Homosexuality p.66)
Chief among these works is Goethe’s West-Oestlicher Divan. Andre du Ryer was the first European to present Saadi to the West, by means of a partial French translation of Golistan in 1634. Adam Olearius followed soon with a complete translation of the Bustan and the Golistan into German in 1654. Ralph Waldo Emerson was also an avid fan of Sa’di’s writings, contributing to some translated editions himself.
One of his more famous quotes is, “Whatever is produced in haste goes easily to waste.” Another famous poem focuses on the kinship of all humans. The same poem is used to grace the entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York with this call for breaking all barriers…
“Of one Essence is the human race,

thus has Creation put the Base;

One Limb impacted is sufficient,

For all Others to feel the Mace.”

A Song Of Peace Shared By Palestinians and Israeli’s..


Phriday Phrolics!

People say, “Don’t you think you ought to be able to do it by yourself?” And I love this question because the answer is: You can’t do it by yourself. That’s the entire message of the last 10,000 years of human history. The self is insufficient. The ego will not suffice…you must humble yourself to the point where you admit that you can’t do it unless you have help from someone whose idea of home is a cow flop.—Terence McKenna

Dear Friends,
I attended a talk at the local Hermetic Society last night, given by friend Lyterphotos. It was excellent fun, and informative (of the Entheogenic Sort). A nice welcoming crowd, and I have to say I really enjoyed myself!
Not much to add on the personal note at this point, except I am off to do some work, and to enjoy the cooler temperatures!
More on the way!
Bright Blessings,

On The Menu:

Charlie Chaplin speech from “The Great Dictator” remix

The Links

The Fairy Race

Poet: Lorca…

Maura O’Connell – The Blessing (Live)

Charlie Chaplin speech from “The Great Dictator” remix

The Links:
Seattle police seize marijuana patient files

Missing 2 and 4….

This Sand…

Photo Essay: From The Beginnings Of The Spanish Civil War

The Fairy Race – by Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde

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.

Poet: Lorca…

The Faithless Wife

So I took her to the river

believing she was a maiden,

but she already had a husband.

It was on St. James night

and almost as if I was obliged to.

The lanterns went out

and the crickets lighted up.

In the farthest street corners

I touched her sleeping breasts

and they opened to me suddenly

like spikes of hyacinth.

The starch of her petticoat

sounded in my ears

like a piece of silk

rent by ten knives.

Without silver light on their foliage

the trees had grown larger

and a horizon of dogs

barked very far from the river.
Past the blackberries,

the reeds and the hawthorne

underneath her cluster of hair

I made a hollow in the earth

I took off my tie,

she too off her dress.

I, my belt with the revolver,

She, her four bodices.

Nor nard nor mother-o’-pearl

have skin so fine,

nor does glass with silver

shine with such brilliance.

Her thighs slipped away from me

like startled fish,

half full of fire,

half full of cold.

That night I ran

on the best of roads

mounted on a nacre mare

without bridle stirrups.
As a man, I won’t repeat

the things she said to me.

The light of understanding

has made me more discreet.

Smeared with sand and kisses

I took her away from the river.

The swords of the lilies

battled with the air.
I behaved like what I am,

like a proper gypsy.

I gave her a large sewing basket,

of straw-colored satin,

but I did not fall in love

for although she had a husband

she told me she was a maiden

when I took her to the river.

Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías

1. Cogida and death
At five in the afternoon.

It was exactly five in the afternoon.

A boy brought the white sheet

at five in the afternoon.

A frail of lime ready prepared

at five in the afternoon.

The rest was death, and death alone.
The wind carried away the cottonwool

at five in the afternoon.

And the oxide scattered crystal and nickel

at five in the afternoon.

Now the dove and the leopard wrestle

at five in the afternoon.

And a thigh with a desolated horn

at five in the afternoon.

The bass-string struck up

at five in the afternoon.

Arsenic bells and smoke

at five in the afternoon.

Groups of silence in the corners

at five in the afternoon.

And the bull alone with a high heart!

At five in the afternoon.

When the sweat of snow was coming

at five in the afternoon,

when the bull ring was covered with iodine

at five in the afternoon.

Death laid eggs in the wound

at five in the afternoon.

At five in the afternoon.

At five o’clock in the afternoon.
A coffin on wheels is his bed

at five in the afternoon.

Bones and flutes resound in his ears

at five in the afternoon.

Now the bull was bellowing through his forehead

at five in the afternoon.

The room was iridiscent with agony

at five in the afternoon.

In the distance the gangrene now comes

at five in the afternoon.

Horn of the lily through green groins

at five in the afternoon.

The wounds were burning like suns

at five in the afternoon.

At five in the afternoon.

Ah, that fatal five in the afternoon!

It was five by all the clocks!

It was five in the shade of the afternoon!
2. The Spilled Blood
I will not see it!
Tell the moon to come,

for I do not want to see the blood

of Ignacio on the sand.
I will not see it!
The moon wide open.

Horse of still clouds,

and the grey bull ring of dreams

with willows in the barreras.
I will not see it!
Let my memory kindle!

Warm the jasmines

of such minute whiteness!
I will not see it!
The cow of the ancient world

passed har sad tongue

over a snout of blood

spilled on the sand,

and the bulls of Guisando,

partly death and partly stone,

bellowed like two centuries

sated with threading the earth.


I will not see it!
Ignacio goes up the tiers

with all his death on his shoulders.

He sought for the dawn

but the dawn was no more.

He seeks for his confident profile

and the dream bewilders him

He sought for his beautiful body

and encountered his opened blood

Do not ask me to see it!

I do not want to hear it spurt

each time with less strength:

that spurt that illuminates

the tiers of seats, and spills

over the cordury and the leather

of a thirsty multiude.

Who shouts that I should come near!

Do not ask me to see it!
His eyes did not close

when he saw the horns near,

but the terrible mothers

lifted their heads.

And across the ranches,

an air of secret voices rose,

shouting to celestial bulls,

herdsmen of pale mist.

There was no prince in Sevilla

who could compare to him,

nor sword like his sword

nor heart so true.

Like a river of lions

was his marvellous strength,

and like a marble toroso

his firm drawn moderation.

The air of Andalusian Rome

gilded his head

where his smile was a spikenard

of wit and intelligence.

What a great torero in the ring!

What a good peasant in the sierra!

How gentle with the sheaves!

How hard with the spurs!

How tender with the dew!

How dazzling the fiesta!

How tremendous with the final

banderillas of darkness!
But now he sleeps without end.

Now the moss and the grass

open with sure fingers

the flower of his skull.

And now his blood comes out singing;

singing along marshes and meadows,

sliden on frozen horns,

faltering soulles in the mist

stoumbling over a thousand hoofs

like a long, dark, sad tongue,

to form a pool of agony

close to the starry Guadalquivir.

Oh, white wall of Spain!

Oh, black bull of sorrow!

Oh, hard blood of Ignacio!

Oh, nightingale of his veins!


I will not see it!

No chalice can contain it,

no swallows can drink it,

no frost of light can cool it,

nor song nor deluge og white lilies,

no glass can cover mit with silver.


I will not see it!
3. The Laid Out Body
Stone is a forehead where dreames grieve

without curving waters and frozen cypresses.

Stone is a shoulder on which to bear Time

with trees formed of tears and ribbons and planets.
I have seen grey showers move towards the waves

raising their tender riddle arms,

to avoid being caught by lying stone

which loosens their limbs without soaking their blood.
For stone gathers seed and clouds,

skeleton larks and wolves of penumbra:

but yields not sounds nor crystals nor fire,

only bull rings and bull rings and more bull rings without walls.
Now, Ignacio the well born lies on the stone.

All is finished. What is happening! Contemplate his face:

death has covered him with pale sulphur

and has place on him the head of dark minotaur.
All is finished. The rain penetrates his mouth.

The air, as if mad, leaves his sunken chest,

and Love, soaked through with tears of snow,

warms itself on the peak of the herd.
What is they saying? A stenching silence settles down.

We are here with a body laid out which fades away,

with a pure shape which had nightingales

and we see it being filled with depthless holes.
Who creases the shroud? What he says is not true!

Nobody sings here, nobody weeps in the corner,

nobody pricks the spurs, nor terrifies the serpent.

Here I want nothing else but the round eyes

to see his body without a chance of rest.
Here I want to see those men of hard voice.

Those that break horses and dominate rivers;

those men of sonorous skeleton who sing

with a mouth full of sun and flint.
Here I want to see them. Before the stone.

Before this body with broken reins.

I want to know from them the way out

for this captain stripped down by death.
I want them to show me a lament like a river

wich will have sweet mists and deep shores,

to take the body of Ignacio where it looses itself

without hearing the double planting of the bulls.
Loses itself in the round bull ring of the moon

which feigns in its youth a sad quiet bull,

loses itself in the night without song of fishes

and in the white thicket of frozen smoke.
I don’t want to cover his face with handkerchiefs

that he may get used to the death he carries.

Go, Ignacio, feel not the hot bellowing

Sleep, fly, rest: even the sea dies!
4. Absent Soul
The bull does not know you, nor the fig tree,

nor the horses, nor the ants in your own house.

The child and the afternoon do not know you

because you have dead forever.
The shoulder of the stone does not know you

nor the black silk, where you are shuttered.

Your silent memory does not know you

because you have died forever
The autumn will come with small white snails,

misty grapes and clustered hills,

but no one will look into your eyes

because you have died forever.
Because you have died for ever,

like all the dead of the earth,

like all the dead who are forgotten

in a heap of lifeless dogs.
Nobady knows you. No. But I sing of you.

For posterity I sing of your profile and grace.

Of the signal maturity of your understanding.

Of your appetite for death and the taste of its mouth.

Of the sadness of your once valiant gaiety.
It will be a long time, if ever, before there is born

an Andalusian so true, so rich in adventure.

I sing of his elegance with words that groan,

and I remember a sad breeze through the olive trees.

City That Does Not Sleep

In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.

Nobody is asleep.

The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.

The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,

and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the

street corner

the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the

Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.

Nobody is asleep.

In a graveyard far off there is a corpse

who has moaned for three years

because of a dry countryside on his knee;

and that boy they buried this morning cried so much

it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.
Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!

We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth

or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead


But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;

flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths

in a thicket of new veins,

and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever

and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.
One day

the horses will live in the saloons

and the enraged ants

will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the

eyes of cows.
Another day

we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead

and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats

we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.

Careful! Be careful! Be careful!

The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,

and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention

of the bridge,

or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe,

we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes

are waiting,

where the bear’s teeth are waiting,

where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,

and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.
Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.

Nobody is sleeping.

If someone does close his eyes,

a whip, boys, a whip!

Let there be a landscape of open eyes

and bitter wounds on fire.

No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.

I have said it before.
No one is sleeping.

But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the


open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight

the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Maura O’Connell – The Blessing (Live)

The Tuesday Update

Rowan came back from Country Faire… he loved it, and the tales he has to tell! I will put some in this week if he will but write them up…
Gotta Hop.
Talk Later,


On The Menu:

Erowid Fund Raiser

Radiohead – House of Cards

The Goose-Girl

The Poetry Of Marie De France

Marie De France: A Possible Biography

Erowid Fund Raiser

Hey everyone,
I wanted to send a quick message letting you all know about

an event being held in Seattle, WA this weekend as a benefit

for Erowid Center. Hopefully most of you know by now that

Erowid gained non-profit status at the end of last year and

since January 1st is now operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit

educational organization.
A small group of people are holding a benefit party and

auction in Seattle this weekend (Saturday July 18th) as a

fundraiser for Erowid Center.
We’d love to have anyone who’s in the area join us (Earth

and I, as well as Jon Hanna who recently joined the Erowid

crew will all be there). It’s a “speakeasy cocktail reception”

at the Columbia City Theater and tickets are $25. Ideally,

tickets would be purchased in advance. You’re all welcome

and we hope we might see a few of you there so we have friendly

faces to talk to. :-)
For more info and to buy tickets:
And for those who have asked recently about contributing now

that we’re a non-profit and donations are tax-deductible:

Radiohead – House of Cards

In Radiohead’s new video for “House of Cards”, no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. …


The Goose-Girl

ONCE upon a time an old queen, whose husband had been dead for many years, had a beautiful daughter. When she grew up she was betrothed to a prince who lived a great way off. Now, when the time drew near for her to be married and to depart into a foreign kingdom, her old mother gave her much costly baggage, and many ornaments, gold and silver, trinkets and knicknacks, and, in fact, everything that belonged to a royal trousseau, for she loved her daughter very dearly. She gave her a waiting- maid also, who was to ride with her and hand her over to the bridegroom, and she provided each of them with a horse for the journey. Now the Princess’s horse was called Falada, and could speak.
When the hour for departure drew near the old mother went to her bedroom, and taking a small knife she cut her fingers till they bled; then she held a white rag under them, and letting three drops of blood fall into it, she gave it to her daughter, and said: “Dear child, take great care of this rag: it may be of use to you on the journey.”
So they took a sad farewell of each other, and the Princess stuck the rag in front of her dress, mounted her horse, and set forth on the journey to her bridegroom’s kingdom. After they had ridden for about an hour the Princess began to feel very thirsty, and said to her waiting- maid: “Pray get down and fetch me some water in my golden cup out of yonder stream: I would like a drink.” “If you’re thirsty,” said the maid, “dismount yourself, and lie down by the water and drink; I don’t mean to be your servant any longer.” The Princess was so thirsty that she got down, bent over the stream, and drank, for she wasn’t allowed to drink out of the golden goblet. As she drank she murmured: “Oh! heaven, what am I to do?” and the three drops of blood replied:
“If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

But the Princess was meek, and said nothing about her maid’s rude behavior, and quietly mounted her horse again. They rode on their way for several miles, but the day was hot, and the sun’s rays smote fiercely on them, so that the Princess was soon overcome by thirst again. And as they passed a brook she called once more to her waiting-maid: “Pray get down and give me a drink from my golden cup,” for she had long ago forgotten her maid’s rude words. But the waiting-maid replied, more haughtily even than before: “If you want a drink, you can dismount and get it; I don’t mean to be your servant.” Then the Princess was compelled by her thirst to get down, and bending over the flowing water she cried and said: “Oh! heaven, what am I to do?” and the three drops of blood replied:
“If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

And as she drank thus, and leaned right over the water, the rag containing the three drops of blood fell from her bosom and floated down the stream, and she in her anxiety never even noticed her loss. But the waiting-maid had observed it with delight, as she knew it gave her power over the bride, for in losing the drops of blood the Princess had become weak and powerless. When she wished to get on her horse Falada again, the waiting- maid called out: “I mean to ride Falada: you must mount my beast”; and this too she had to submit to. Then the waiting-maid commanded her harshly to take off her royal robes, and to put on her common ones, and finally she made her swear by heaven not to say a word about the matter when they reached the palace; and if she hadn’t taken this oath she would have been killed on the spot. But Falada observed everything, and laid it all to heart.
The waiting-maid now mounted Falada, and the real bride the worse horse, and so they continued their journey till at length they arrived at the palace yard. There was great rejoicing over the arrival, and the Prince sprang forward to meet them, and taking the waiting-maid for his bride, he lifted her down from her horse and led her upstairs to the royal chamber. In the meantime the real Princess was left standing below in the courtyard. The old King, who was looking out of his window, beheld her in this plight, and it struck him how sweet and gentle, even beautiful, she looked. He went at once to the royal chamber, and asked the bride who it was she had brought with her and had left thus standing in the court below. “Oh!” replied the bride, “I brought her with me to keep me company on the journey; give the girl something to do, that she may not be idle.” But the old King had no work for her, and couldn’t think of anything; so he said, “I’ve a small boy who looks after the geese, she’d better help him.” The youth’s name was Curdken, and the real bride was made to assist him in herding geese.
Soon after this the false bride said to the Prince: “Dearest husband, I pray you grant me a favor.” He answered: “That I will.” “Then let the slaughterer cut off the head of the horse I rode here upon, because it behaved very badly on the journey.” But the truth was she was afraid lest the horse should speak and tell how she had treated the Princess. She carried her point, and the faithful Falada was doomed to die. When the news came to the ears of the real Princess she went to the slaughterer, and secretly promised him a piece of gold if he would do something for her. There was in the town a large dark gate, through which she had to pass night and morning with the geese; would he “kindly hang up Falada’s head there, that she might see it once again?” The slaughterer said he would do as she desired, chopped off the head, and nailed it firmly over the gateway.
Early next morning, as she and Curdken were driving their flock through the gate, she said as she passed under:
“Oh! Falada, ’tis you hang there”;

and the head replied:
” ‘Tis you; pass under, Princess fair:

If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

Then she left the tower and drove the geese into a field. And when they had reached the common where the geese fed she sat down and unloosed her hair, which was of pure gold. Curdken loved to see it glitter in the sun, and wanted much to pull some hair out. Then she spoke:
“Wind, wind, gently sway,

Blow Curdken’s hat away;

Let him chase o’er field and wold

Till my locks of ruddy gold,

Now astray and hanging down,

Be combed and plaited in a crown.”

Then a gust of wind blew Curdken’s hat away, and he had to chase it over hill and dale. When he returned from the pursuit she had finished her combing and curling, and his chance of getting any hair was gone. Curdken was very angry, and wouldn’t speak to her. So they herded the geese till evening and then went home.
The next morning, as they passed under the gate, the girl said:
“Oh! Falada, ’tis you hang there”;

and the head replied:
” ‘Tis you; pass under, Princess fair:

If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

Then she went on her way till she came to the common, where she sat down and began to comb out her hair; then Curdken ran up to her and wanted to grasp some of the hair from her head, but she called out hastily:
“Wind, wind, gently sway,

Blow Curdken’s hat away;

Let him chase o’er field and wold

Till my locks of ruddy gold,

Now astray and hanging down,

Be combed and plaited in a crown.”

Then a puff of wind came and blew Curdken’s hat far away, so that he had to run after it; and when he returned she had long finished putting up her golden locks, and he couldn’t get any hair; so they watched the geese till it was dark.
But that evening when they got home Curdken went to the old King, and said: “I refuse to herd geese any longer with that girl.” “For what reason?” asked the old King. “Because she does nothing but annoy me all day long,” replied Curdken; and he proceeded to relate all her iniquities, and said: “Every morning as we drive the flock through the dark gate she says to a horse’s head that hangs on the wall:
“`Oh! Falada, ’tis you hang there’;
and the head replies:
“`’Tis you; pass under, Princess fair:

If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.’”

And Curdken went on to tell what passed on the common where the geese fed, and how he had always to chase his hat.
The old King bade him go and drive forth his flock as usual next day; and when morning came he himself took up his position behind the dark gate, and heard how the goose-girl greeted Falada. Then he followed her through the field, and hid himself behind a bush on the common. He soon saw with his own eyes how the goose-boy and the goose-girl looked after the geese, and how after a time the maiden sat down and loosed her hair, that glittered like gold, and repeated:
“Wind, wind, gently sway,

Blow Curdken’s hat away;

Let him chase o’er field and wold

Till my locks of ruddy gold

Now astray and hanging down,

Be combed and plaited in a crown.”

Then a gust of wind came and blew Curdken’s hat away, so that he had to fly over hill and dale after it, and the girl in the meantime quietly combed and plaited her hair: all this the old King observed, and returned to the palace without anyone having noticed him. In the evening when the goose-girl came home he called her aside, and asked her why she behaved as she did. “I may not tell you why; how dare I confide my woes to anyone? for I swore not to by heaven, otherwise I should have lost my life.” The old King begged her to tell him all, and left her no peace, but he could get nothing out of her. At last he said: “Well, if you won’t tell me, confide your trouble to the iron stove there,” and he went away. Then she crept to the stove, and began to sob and cry and to pour out her poor little heart, and said: “Here I sit, deserted by all the world, I who am a king’s daughter, and a false waiting- maid has forced me to take off my own clothes, and has taken my place with my bridegroom, while I have to fulfill the lowly office of goose-girl.
“If my mother only knew

Her heart would surely break in two.”

But the old King stood outside at the stove chimney, and listened to her words. Then he entered the room again, and bidding her leave the stove, he ordered royal apparel to be put on her, in which she looked amazingly lovely. Then he summoned his son, and revealed to him that he had got the false bride, who was nothing but a waiting-maid, while the real one, in the guise of the ex- goose-girl, was standing at his side. The young King re- joiced from his heart when he saw her beauty and learned how good she was, and a great banquet was prepared, to which everyone was bidden. The bridegroom sat at the head of the table, the Princess on one side of him and the waiting-maid on the other; but she was so dazzled that she did not recognize the Princess in her glittering garments. Now when they had eaten and drunk, and were merry, the old King asked the waiting-maid to solve a knotty point for him. “What,” said he, “should be done to a certain person who has deceived everyone?” and he proceeded to relate the whole story, ending up with, “Now what sentence should be passed?” Then the false bride answered: “She deserves to be put stark naked into a barrel lined with sharp nails, which should be dragged by two white horses up and down the street till she is dead.”
“You are the person,” said the King, “and you have passed sentence on yourself; and even so it shall be done to you.” And when the sentence had been carried out the young King was married to his real bride, and both reigned over the kingdom in peace and happiness.[1]
[1] Grimm.


The Poetry Of Marie De France

The Lay Of The Honeysuckle….
It pleases me, I’m willing too

To tell you a story plain and true

‘The Honeysuckle’ is its name

Here’s why and how it came.

Many people have told it me,

And much has been written I see,

Of Tristan and of the Queen,

Of their faithful love I mean,

Of which they had many a pain,

Dying for it on the very same day.
King Mark it seems was angry,

With Tristan his nephew, his fury

Because of his love for the Queen:

He drove him out of his country.

He went to the land of his birth

South Wales, his native earth,

And stayed there a year at least,

Unable to cross the sea.

But then again he set his face

Toward his death and disgrace.

That isn’t so amazing,

Whoever’s in love is grieving

Heavy of heart, he’ll perish

If he can’t have his wish.

Tristan was both pensive and sad,

So he left his own land, the lad

And travelled to Cornwall straight

Where the Queen held state.

He hid in the woods, alone,

Not wanting his presence known:

And he only came out at twilight

To look for a bed for the night.

With peasants, among the poor,

He found a welcoming door.

He asked them for all the news

Of what the King might do.

They told him they had heard

The barons had all been stirred,

To Tintagel they must fare

And join the King’s court there,

At Pentecost, among the nation,

In their joy and celebration,

The Queen, and every knight.

Tristan heard it with delight.

She could scarcely go by,

Without his catching her eye.

On the day the King passed through,

Tristan came to a wood en route

By a road down which he was sure

That whole company would pour:

He cut down a hazel bough,

And trimming it, carefully now,

When he’d prepared the same

With a knife he wrote his name.

If it caught the Queen’s bright eye

Who’d be looking on every side

(For on many another day

She’d met with him this way)

She’d quite easily find

His hazel branch: their sign.

So ran a letter to her of old

In which he’d sent and told

How long he’d been lingering

Hidden there sadly waiting

To discover like any spy

A way to only catch her eye,

Since he couldn’t live without her:

They were two bound together

As the honeysuckle binds

To the hazel that it finds.

When it’s caught and enlaced

Around its branches traced,

They can stick fast like glue,

But if anyone parts the two,

The hazel is quickly gone

Honeysuckle then follows on.

‘Sweet love, so it is with us, too:

No you without me, no me without you.’
So the Queen came riding by:

She looked at a slope nearby,

She saw the branch quite clearly,

Made out the letters easily.

The knights ordered to ride

Who all crowded along beside,

She commanded to stop, confessed

She wished to dismount and rest.

They executed her clear command.

While she strayed far from their band,

Calling her faithful maid,

Branguine, to her aid.

She went from the path some way

In the wood found him, hid away,

Who loved her more than all alive.

Between those two what great delight.

He speaks to her at leisure,

She to him all her pleasure:

Then tells him how he may

Be reconciled to the King that day,

And how grieved she had been

That the King sent him overseas,

Because of the accusations made.

Then she left him, in the glade:

But when it came to their goodbyes

Their tears filled both their eyes.

Tristan now returned to Wales

Till his uncle bade him sail.
Because of the joy he had known

In seeing his beloved, his own,

And because of what he’d penned

As the Queen instructed him then,

So he might more easily remember

Tristan who was a fine harp player,

Made of it a fresh new lay:

Whose title I’ll quickly say:

‘Goat-leaf’ is its English name,

‘Honeysuckle’ in French, the same.

Now I’ve told you the true source

Of the lay I sang you here of course.

From Lanval….
The adventure of another lay,

Just as it happened, I’ll relay:

It tells of a very nice nobleman,

And it’s called Lanval in Breton.
King Arthur was staying at Carduel –

That King of valiant and courtly estate –

His borders there he guarded well

Against the Pict, against the Scot,

Who’d cross into Logres to devastate

The countryside often, and a lot.
He held court there at Pentecost,

The summer feast we call Whitsun,

Giving gifts of impressive cost

To every count and each baron

And all knights of the Round Table.

Never elsewhere so many, such able

Knights assembled! Women and land

He shared with all – except one vassal

Who’d served him well; he forgot Lanval.

Lanval got nothing at the King’s hand.
For being brave and generous,

For his beauty and his prowess,

He was envied by all the court;

Those who claimed to hold him dear,

If Fortune had brought him up short,

Would not have shed a kindly tear.

A king’s son, he’d a noble lineage,

But now, far from his heritage,

He’d joined the household of the King.

He’d spent all the money he could bring

Already. The King gave him no more –

He gave just what Lanval asked for.

Now Lanval knows not what to do;

He’s very thoughtful, very sad.

My lords, I don’t astonish you:

A man alone, with no counsel – or bad –

A stranger in a strange land

Is sad, when no help’s at hand.
This knight – by now you know the one –

Who’d served the King with many a deed,

One day got on his noble steed

And went riding, just for fun.

Alone he rode out of the town,

And came to a meadow – still alone –

Dismounted by a flowing brook.

But his horse trembled now and shook,

So he took off the tackle and let him go,

Rolling free in the broad meadow.

The knight took his own cloak folded

It into a pillow for his head.

From Laustic
The adventure in my next tale

The Bretons made into a lai

Called “Laustic,” I’ve heard them say,

In Brittany; in French they call

The “laustic” a “rossignol”

And in good English, “nightingale.”

Near St. Malo there was a town

(Somewhere thereabouts) of great renown.

Two knights lived there, no lowly vassals,

In houses that were built like castles.

These barons were so good, their fame

Gave their village goodness’s own name.

One of them had married lately:

Polite and polished, such a lady!

She was wise to her own worth

(- Normal in ladies of high birth).

The other lord was a bachelor,

Famed for prowess and for valor,

Loved by all, for he knew how to live:

Joust a lot, spend a lot, what you have give

Away freely. He loved the wife of his neighbor.

He begged so much, and prayed yet more

– And goodness was his striking feature –

So she loved him more than any creature,

Because of the deeds he was famous for,

And because he lived in the castle next door.

Wisely and well they loved, these lovers,

They guarded their love under various covers

And hid it from general sight,

And the lady, at her window, higher,

Speaks, and looks, only desire.

Nights, when the moon her pale light shed,

When her husband had gone to bed,

The lady rose up from his side,

Wrapped herself in a mantle wide,

Went to stand at the window, true

To her friend waiting there, she knew;

For both their lives were just the same,

They waked all night till morning came.

The rapture of looking made them so glad

(That rapture the only one they had).

Marie De France: A Possible Biography
Marie de France was one of the best Old-French poets of the twelfth century. She identifies herself only as Marie who originated in France. Nothing else definite is known about her. Whereas the English poet Denis Piramus (Vie Seint Edmund le rei, after 1170) refers to her as “dame Marie,” emphasizing her noble rank, the scholar Claude Fauchet was the first to coin the name “Marie de France” in his Reueil de l’origine de la langue et poésie françoise (1581). Both the historical circumstances of the manuscripts containing her texts, and linguistic elements of Anglo-Norman, suggest that she lived in England during her adult life, but it seems most likely that she was born in France, probably in the Bretagne. She might have been Marie (I), the abbess of Shaftesbury, illegitimate daughter of Geoffrey IV Plantagenet of Anjou, because our poet translated from English into French a collection of fables (Fables) on the basis of those that King Alfred had allegedly translated from Latin into English, though no such adaptation is known today. The convent of Shaftesbury had been founded by Alfred. This abbess Marie, who was also the half-sister of King Henry II (1133-1189), served in her office from 1181 until at least 1215. Marie (II), the abbess of Reading, would be a second option as the Harley manuscript that contains both Marie’s fables and the lais (today housed in the British Library, MS Harley 978) might have been copied at her convent. Marie (III), the eighth child of Waleran II, Count of Meulan, is the third option, as she was brought up in the modern-day French département of Eure wherein is located the town of Pitres. Pitres is mentioned in Marie’s lai “Les Deus Amanz.” This Marie married Hugh Talbot, Baron of Cleuville who had extensive land holdings in Herefordshire which plays an important role in many of Marie’s lais. The fourth option might be Marie (IV), Countess of Boulogne, daughter of King Stephen of England and Marie de Boulogne. This Countess was raised in a convent and later gained the rank of Abbess of Romsey in Hampshire. King Henry II forced her to marry Matthew of Flanders as he wanted to maintain his power over Boulogne. Through her marriage Marie became the sister-in-law of Hervé II, son of Guiomar of Léon. The parallels between the names of Guiomar and Guigemar, the eponymous hero in one of Marie’s lais, are intriguing, yet not completely compelling. Marie de Boulogne returned to a convent sometime between 1168 and 1180, most likely to the convent of Sainte Austreberthe in Montreuil-sur-Mer. None of these four associations with a historically identifiable person are fully convincing, and our Marie might well have been quite a different person otherwise not documented.

La Fée Verte

Adversus Absynthium (A l’encontre de l’absinthe)
Absynthe, monstre né jadis pour notre perte

De l’Afrique à Paris traînant ta robe verte

Comment donc as-tu pu sous le soleil oser

Souiller ses lèvres d’or de ton âcre baiser

Vile prostituée en tes temples assise

Tu te vends à l’esprit ainsi qu’à la sottise

Et ne fais nul souci aux adieux, laurier

Qui couvre le Poëte ainsi que le guerrier

Hélas ! n’avait-il pas assez de l’amertume

A laquelle en vivant tout grand cœur s’accoutume

Aussi que l’eau du ciel ……

Qu’il ne reste plus rien de ton amer poison

O monstre sois maudit, je te jette à la face

Les imprécations de Tibulle et d’Horace

Et contre toi j’évoque en mon sein irrité

La langue que parlait la belle antiquité.
Fontainebleau, août 1847

Antoni Deschamps


So I awoke this morning, having dreamt of Absinthe for what seems like quite awhile… This dreaming occurs when I haven’t ventured down the path for awhile, or when I have been in discussion about a certain subject… Anyway, it seems there is a local absinthe now, from Integrity Spirits I had tried one of their earlier batches last Winter Solstice, provided by our friend Morgan. It was a bit over the top with the wormwood, so I am holding back purchasing a bottle until I get a taste.
I have had several people say that they only get an alcohol effect from Absinthe. I find this strange, as from my first experience (and I was genuinely not acquainted with the mythos of it) matched up with what has been claimed over the past couple of centuries… The light changes, time dilates, and you enter into a realm of colloquy and understanding.
This only seems to be achieved though (IMO), if you don’t drink to fast (1 absinthe every hour or so), steadily going for 3 hours or so, allowing the alcohol to work its effects without being overbearing, and allowing the wormwood and other herbs to build up in your system until that magick lever is pushed…. 80)
So kids, take it easy, take it slow and make sure you are with good company that enjoys conversation…!

Other Bits… It seems half the known Universe is at Country Fair in Eugene… Rowan is down with friends (photos soon), and as of yesterday had run into his Uncle Peter, Victor (The Lizard Jah), and several friends from school.

On The Menu:

Absinthe drinker in Paris 1900 (Jean Gabin)

Absinthe Quotes

Absinthe: The Green Goddess – Aleister Crowley

The Green Fairy: Children of the Revolution

Absinthe Poetry

Green Fairy

Art: Absinthe Posters from the Epoch….
Bright Blessings!
! News Flash: As I was working on this, a package arrived via Fed Ex… Mary had ordered a new absinthe spoon and 4 absinthe coasters from France, done in the old way! Yowza! Dreams do have a way of manifesting! 80)

Absinthe drinker in Paris 1900…

Featuring Jean Gabin preparing his absinthe in front of the Moulin Rouge in 1900.

From Renoir’s movie French Cancan

Absinthe Quotes:
Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green fairy who lives in the absinthe wants your soul. But you are safe with me.


I understand that absinthe makes the tart grow fonder.

~Ernest Dowson

“Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife into the piano. The woodworms are so bad and eat hell out of all furniture that you can always claim the woodworms did it.”

~Ernest Hemingway

“For me, my glory is but a humble ephemeral absinthe.”

~Paul Verlaine

“Absinthe has a wonderful color, green. A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?”

~Oscar Wilde

Come, the Wines go to the beaches,

And the waves by the millions!

See the wild Bitter

Rolling from the top of the mountains!

Let us, wise pilgrims, reach

The Absinthe with the green pillars….

~Comedy of Thirst, Arthur Rimbaud


Absinthe: The Green Goddess

by Aleister Crowler

Keep always this dim corner for me, that I may sit while the Green Hour glides, a proud pavine of Time. For I am no longer in the city accursed, where Time is horsed on the white gelding Death, his spurs rusted with blood.
There is a corner of the United States which he has overlooked. It lies in New Orleans, between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue; the Mississippi for its base. Thence it reaches northward to a most curious desert land, where is a cemetery lovely beyond dreams. Its walls low and whitewashed, within which straggles a wilderness of strange and fantastic tombs; and hard by is that great city of brothels which is so cynically mirthful a neighbor. As Felicien Rops wrote,–or was it Edmond d’Haraucourt?–”la Prostitution et la Mort sont frere et soeur–les fils de Dieu!” At least the poet of -Le Legende des Sexes- was right, and the psycho-analysts after him, in identifying the Mother with the Tomb. This, then, is only the beginning and end of things, this “quartier macabre” beyond the North Rampart with the Mississippi on the other side. It is like the space between, our life which flows, and fertilizes as it flows, muddy and malarious as it may be, to empty itself into the warm bosom of the Gulf Stream, which (in our allegory) we may call the Life of God.
But our business is with the heart of things; we must go beyond the crude phenomena of nature if we are to dwell in the spirit. Art is the soul of life and the Old Absinthe House is heart and soul of the old quarter of New Orleans.
For here was the headquarters of no common man–no less than a real pirate–of Captain Lafitte, who not only robbed his neighbors, but defended them against invasion. Here, too, sat Henry Clay, who lived and died to give his name to a cigar. Outside this house no man remembers much more of him than that; but here, authentic and, as I imagine, indignant, his ghost stalks grimly.
Here, too are marble basins hollowed–and hallowed!–by the drippings of the water which creates by baptism the new spirit of absinthe.
I am only sipping the second glass of that “fascinating, but subtle poison, whose ravages eat men’s heart and brain” that I have ever tasted in my life; and as I am not an American anxious for quick action, I am not surprised and disappointed that I do not drop dead upon the spot. But I can taste souls without the aid of absinthe; and besides, this is magic of absinthe! The spirit of the house has entered into it; it is an elixir, the masterpiece of an old alchemist, no common wine.
And so, as I talk with the patron concerning the vanity of things, I perceive the secret of the heart of God himself; this, that everything, even the vilest thing, is so unutterably lovely that it is worthy of the devotion of a God for all eternity.
What other excuse could He give man for making him? In substance, that is my answer to King Solomon.
The barrier between divine and human things is frail but inviolable; the artist and the bourgeois are only divided by a point of view–”A hair divided the false and true.”
I am watching the opalescence of my absinthe, and it leads me to ponder upon a certain very curious mystery, persistent in legend. We may call it the mystery of the rainbow.
Originally in the fantastic but significant legend of the Hebrews, the rainbow is mentioned as the sign of salvation. The world has been purified by water, and was ready for the revelation of Wine. God would never again destroy His work, but ultimately seal its perfection by a baptism of fire.
Now, in this analogue also falls the coat of many colors which was made for Joseph, a legend which was regarded as so important that it was subsequently borrowed for the romance of Jesus. The veil of the Temple, too, was of many colors. We find, further east, that the Manipura Cakkra–the Lotus of the City of Jewels–which is an important centre in Hindu anatomy, and apparently identical with the solar plexus, is the central point of the nervous system of the human body, dividing the sacred from the profane, or the lower from the higher.
In western Mysticism, once more we learn that the middle grade initiation is called Hodos Camelioniis, the Path of the Chameleon. There is here evidently an illusion to this same mystery. We also learn that the middle stage in Alchemy is when the liquor becomes opalescent.
Finally, we note among the visions of the Saints one called the Universal Peacock, in which the totality is perceived thus royally appareled.
Would it were possible to assemble in this place the cohorts of quotation; for indeed they are beautiful with banners, flashing their myriad rays from cothurn and habergeon, gay and gallant in the light of that Sun which knows no fall from Zenith of high noon!
Yet I must needs already have written so much to make clear one pitiful conceit: can it be that in the opalescence of absinthe is some occult link with this mystery of the Rainbow? For undoubtedly one does indefinably and subtly insinuate the drinker in the secret chamber of Beauty, does kindle his thoughts to rapture, adjust his point of view to that of the artists, at least to that degree of which he is originally capable, weave for his fancy a gala dress of stuff as many-colored as the mind of Aphrodite.
Oh Beauty! Long did I love thee, long did I pursue thee, thee elusive, thee intangible! And lo! thou enfoldest me by night and day in the arms of gracious, of luxurious, of shimmering silence. III.
The Prohibitionist must always be a person of no moral character; for he cannot even conceive of the possibility of a man capable of resisting temptation. Still more, he is so obsessed, like the savage, by the fear of the unknown, that he regards alcohol as a fetish, necessarily alluring and tyrannical.
With this ignorance of human nature goes an ever grosser ignorance of the divine nature. He does not understand that the universe has only one possible purpose; that, the business of life being happily completed by the production of the necessities and luxuries incidental to comfort, the residuum of human energy needs an outlet. The surplus of Will must find issue in the elevation of the individual towards the Godhead; and the method of such elevation is by religion, love, and art. These three things are indissolubly bound up with wine, for they are species of intoxication.
Yet against all these things we find the prohibitionist, logically enough. It is true that he usually pretends to admit religion as a proper pursuit for humanity; but what a religion! He has removed from it every element of ecstasy or even of devotion; in his hands it has become cold, fanatical, cruel, and stupid, a thing merciless and formal, without sympathy or humanity. Love and art he rejects altogether; for him the only meaning of love is a mechanical–hardly even physiological!–process necessary for the perpetuation of the human race. (But why perpetuate it?) Art is for him the parasite and pimp of love. He cannot distinguish between the Apollo Belvedere and the crude bestialities of certain Pompeian frescoes, or between Rabelais and Elenor Glyn.
What then is his ideal of human life? one cannot say. So crass a creature can have no true ideal. There have been ascetic philosophers; but the prohibitionist would be as offended by their doctrine as by ours, which, indeed, are not so dissimilar as appears. Wage-slavery and boredom seem to complete his outlook on the world.
There are species which survive because of the feeling of disgust inspired by them: one is reluctant to set the heel firmly upon them, however thick may be one’s boots. But when they are recognized
as utterly noxious to humanity–the more so that they ape its form–then courage must be found, or, rather, nausea must be swallowed. May God send us a Saint George!
It is notorious that all genius is accompanied by vice. Almost always this takes the form of sexual extravagance. It is to be observed that deficiency, as in the cases of Carlyle and Ruskin, is to be reckoned as extravagance. At least the word abnormalcy will fit all cases. Farther, we see that in a very large number of great men there has also been indulgence in drink or drugs. There are whole periods when practically every great man has been thus marked, and these periods are those during which the heroic spirit has died out of their nation, and the burgeois is apparently triumphant.
In this case the cause is evidently the horror of life induced in the artist by the contemplation of his surroundings. He must find another world, no matter at what cost.
Consider the end of the eighteenth century. In France the men of genius are made, so to speak, possible, by the Revolution. In England, under Castlereagh, we find Blake lost to humanity in mysticism, Shelley and Byron exiles, Coleridge taking refuge in opium, Keats sinking under the weight of circumstance, Wordsworth forced to sell his soul, while the enemy, in the persons of Southey and Moore, triumphantly holds sway.
The poetically similar period in France is 1850 to 1870. Hugo is in exile, and all his brethren are given to absinthe or to hashish or to opium.
There is however another consideration more important. There are some men who possess the understanding of the City of God, and know not the keys; or, if they possess them, have not force to turn them in the wards. Such men often seek to win heaven by forged credentials. Just so a youth who desires love is too often deceived by simulacra, embraces Lydia thinking her to be Lalage.
But the greatest men of all suffer neither the limitations of the former class nor the illusions of the latter. Yet we find them equally given to what is apparently indulgence. Lombroso has foolishly sought to find the source of this in madness–as if insanity could scale the peaks of Progress while Reason recoiled from the bergschrund. The explanation is far otherwise. Imagine to yourself the mental state of him who inherits or attains the full consciousness of the artist, that is to say, the divine consciousness.
He finds himself unutterably lonely, and he must steel himself to endure it. All his peers are dead long since! Even if he find an equal upon earth, there can scarcely be companionship, hardly more than the far courtesy of king to king. There are no twin souls in genius.
Good–he can reconcile himself to the scorn of the world. But yet he feels with anguish his duty towards it. It is therefore essential to him to be human.
Now the divine consciousness is not full flowered in youth. The newness of the objective world preoccupies the soul for many years. It is only as each illusion vanishes before the magic of the master that he gains more and more the power to dwell in the world of Reality. And with this comes the terrible temptation–the desire to enter and enjoy rather than remain among men and suffer their illusions. Yet, since the sole purpose of the incarnation of such a Master was to help humanity, they must make the supreme renunciation. It is the problem of the dreadful bridge of Islam, Al Sirak–the razor-edge will cut the unwary foot, yet it must be trodden firmly, or the traveler will fall to the abyss. I dare not sit in the Old Absinthe House forever, wrapped in the ineffable delight of the Beatific Vision. I must write this essay, that men may thereby come at last to understand true things. But the operation of the creative godhead is not enough. Art is itself too near the reality which must be renounced for a season.
Therefore his work is also part of his temptation; the genius feels himself slipping constantly heavenward. The gravitation of eternity draws him. He is like a ship torn by the tempest from the harbor where the master must needs take on new passengers to the Happy Isles. So he must throw out anchors and the only holding is the mire! Thus in order to maintain the equilibrium of sanity, the artist is obliged to seek fellowship with the grossest of mankind. Like Lord Dunsany or Augustus John, today, or like Teniers or old, he may love to sit in taverns where sailors frequent; or he may wander the country with Gypsies, or he may form liaisons with the vilest men and women. Edward Fitzgerald would seek an illiterate fisherman and spend weeks in his company. Verlaine made associates of Rimbaud and Bibi la Puree. Shakespeare consorted with the Earls of Pembroke and Southampton. Marlowe was actually killed during a brawl in a low tavern. And when we consider the sex-relation, it is hard to mention a genius who had a wife or mistress of even tolerable good character. If he had one, he would be sure to neglect her for a Vampire or a Shrew. A good woman is too near that heaven of Reality which he is sworn to renounce!
And this, I suppose, is why I am interested in the woman who has come to sit at the nearest table. Let us find out her story; let us try to see with the eyes of her soul!
She is a woman of no more than thirty years of age, though she looks older. She comes here at irregular intervals, once a week or once a month, but when she comes she sits down to get solidly drunk on that alternation of beer and gin which the best authorities in England deem so efficacious.
As to her story, it is simplicity itself. She was kept in luxury for some years by a wealthy cotton broker, crossed to Europe with him, and lived in London and Paris like a Queen. Then she got the idea of “respectability” and “settling down in life”; so she married a man who could keep her in mere comfort. Result: repentance, and a periodical need to forget her sorrows. She is still “respectable”; she never tires of repeating that she is not one of “those girls” but “a married woman living far uptown,” and that she “never runs about with men.”
It is not the failure of marriage; it is the failure of men to recognize what marriage was ordained to be. By a singular paradox it is the triumph of the bourgeois. Only the hero is capable of marriage as the church understands it; for the marriage oath is a compact of appalling solemnity, an alliance of two souls against the world and against fate, with invocation of the great blessing of the Most High. Death is not the most beautiful of adventures, as Frohman said, for death is unavoidable; marriage is a voluntary heroism. That marriage has today become a matter of convenience is the last word of the commercial spirit. It is as if one should take a vow of knighthood to combat dragons–until the dragons appeared.
So this poor woman, because she did not understand that respectability is a lie, that it is love that makes marriage sacred and not the sanction of church or state, because she took marriage as an asylum instead of as a crusade, has failed in life, and now seeks alcohol under the same fatal error.
Wine is the ripe gladness which accompanies valor and rewards toil; it is the plume on a man’s lancehead, a fluttering gallantry–not good to lean upon. Therefore her eyes are glassed with horror as she gazes uncomprehending upon her fate. That which she did all to avoid confronts her: she does not realize that, had she faced it, it would have fled with all the other phantoms. For the sole reality of this universe is God.
The Old Absinthe House is not a place. It is not bounded by four walls. It is headquarters to an army of philosophies. From this dim corner let me range, wafting thought through every air, salient against every problem of mankind: for it will always return like Noah’s dove to this ark, this strange little sanctuary of the Green Goddess which has been set down not upon Ararat, but by the b
anks of the “Father of Waters.”

Ah! the Green Goddess! What is the fascination that makes her so adorable and so terrible? Do you know that French sonnet “La legende de l’absinthe?” He must have loved it well, that poet. Here are his witnesses.
_Apollon, qui pleurait le trepas d’Hyacinthe, Ne voulait pas ceder la victoire a la mort. Il fallait que son ame, adepte de l’essor, Trouvat pour la beaute une alchemie plus sainte. Donc de sa main celeste il epuise, il ereinte Les dons les plus subtils de la divine Flore. Leurs corps brises souspirent une exhalaison d’or Dont il nous recueillait la goutte de–l’Absinthe!
Aux cavernes blotties, aux palis petillants, Par un, par deux, buvez ce breuvage d’aimant! Car c’est un sortilege, un propos de dictame, Ce vin d’opale pale avortit la misere, Ouvre de la beaute l’intime sanctuaire –Ensorcelle mon coeur, extasie mort ame!_

What is there in absinthe that makes it a separate cult? The effects of its abuse are totally distinct from those of other stimulants. Even in ruin and in degradation it remains a thing apart: its victims wear a ghastly aureole all their own, and in their peculiar hell yet gloat with a sinister perversion of pride that they are not as other men.
But we are not to reckon up the uses of a thing by contemplating the wreckage of its abuse. We do not curse the sea because of occasional disasters to our marines, or refuse axes to our woodsmen because we sympathize with Charles the First or Louis the Sixteenth. So therefore as special vices and dangers pertinent to absinthe, so also do graces and virtues that adorn no other liquor.
The word is from the Greek apsinthion. It means “undrinkable” or, according to some authorities, “undelightful.” In either case, strange paradox! No: for the wormwood draught itself were bitter beyond human endurance; it must be aromatized and mellowed with other herbs.
Chief among these is the gracious Melissa, of which the great Paracelsus thought so highly that he incorporated it as the preparation of his Ens Melissa Vitae, which he expected to be an elixir of life and a cure for all diseases, but which in his hands never came to perfection.
Then also there are added mint, anise, fennel and hyssop, all holy herbs familiar to all from the Treasury of Hebrew Scripture. And there is even the sacred marjoram which renders man both chaste and passionate; the tender green angelica stalks also infused in this most mystic of concoctions; for like the artemisia absinthium itself it is a plant of Diana, and gives the purity and lucidity, with a touch of the madness, of the Moon; and above all there is the Dittany of Crete of which the eastern Sages say that one flower hath more puissance in high magic than all the other gifts of all the gardens of the world. It is as if the first diviner of absinthe had been indeed a magician intent upon a combination of sacred drugs which should cleanse, fortify and perfume the human soul.
And it is no doubt that in the due employment of this liquor such effects are easy to obtain. A single glass seems to render the breathing freer, the spirit lighter, the heart more ardent, soul and mind alike more capable of executing the great task of doing that particular work in the world which the Father may have sent them to perform. Food itself loses its gross qualities in the presence of absinthe and becomes even as manna, operating the sacrament of nutrition without bodily disturbance.
Let then the pilgrim enter reverently the shrine, and drink his absinthe as a stirrup-cup; for in the right conception of this life as an ordeal of chivalry lies the foundation of every perfection of philosophy. “Whatsoever ye do, whether ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God!” applies with singular force to the absintheur. So may he come victorious from the battle of life to be received with tender kisses by some green-robed archangel, and crowned with mystic vervain in the Emerald Gateway of the Golden City of God.
And now the cafe is beginning to fill up. This little room with its dark green woodwork, its boarded ceiling, its sanded floor, its old pictures, its whole air of sympathy with time, is beginning to exert its magic spell. Here comes a curious child, short and sturdy, with a long blonde pigtail, with a jolly little old man who looks as if he had stepped straight out of the pages of Balzac.
Handsome and diminutive, with a fierce mustache almost as big as the rest of him, like a regular little Spanish fighting cock–Frank, the waiter, in his long white apron, struts to them with the glasses of ice-cold pleasure, green as the glaciers themselves. He will stand up bravely with the musicians bye and bye, and sing us a jolly song of old Catalonia.
The door swings open again. A tall dark girl, exquisitely slim and snaky, with masses of black hair knotted about her head, comes in. On her arm is a plump woman with hungry eyes, and a mass of Titian red hair. They seem distracted from the outer world, absorbed in some subject of enthralling interest and they drink their aperitif as if in a dream. I ask the mulatto boy who waits at my table (the sleek and lithe black panther!) who they are; but he knows only that one is a cabaret dancer, the other the owner of a cotton plantation up river. At a round table in the middle of the room sits one of the proprietors with a group of friends; he is burly, rubicund, and jolly, the very type of the Shakespearean “Mine host.” Now a party of a dozen merry boys and girls comes in. The old pianist begins to play a dance, and in a moment the whole cafe is caught up in the music of harmonious motion. Yet still the invisible line is drawn about each soul; the dance does not conflict with the absorption of the two strange women, or with my own mood of detachment.
Then there is a “little laughing lewd gamine” dressed all in black save for a square white collar. Her smile is broad and free as the sun and her gaze as clean and wholesome and inspiring. There is the big jolly blonde Irish girl in the black velvet beret and coat, and the white boots, chatting with two boys in khaki from the border. There is the Creole girl in pure white cap-a-pie, with her small piquant face and its round button of a nose, and its curious deep rose flush, and its red little mouth, impudently smiling. Around these islands seems to flow as a general tide the more stable life of the quarter. Here are honest good-wives seriously discussing their affairs, and heaven only knows if it be love or the price of sugar which engages them so wholly. There are but a few commonplace and uninteresting elements in the cafe; and these are without exception men. The giant Big Business is a great tyrant! He seizes all the men for slaves, and leaves the women to make shift as best they can for–all that makes life worth living. Candies and American Beauty Roses are of no use in an emergency. So, even in this most favored corner, there is dearth of the kind of men that women need.
At the table next to me sits an old, old man. He has done great things in his day, they tell me, an engineer, who first found it possible to dig Artesian wells in the Sahara desert. The Legion of Honor glows red in his shabby surtout. He comes here, one of the many wrecks of the Panama Canal, a piece of jetsam cast up by that tidal wave of speculation and corruption. He is of the old type, the thrifty peasantry; and he has his little income from the Rente. He says that he is too old to cross the ocean–and why should he, with the atmosphere of old France to be had a stone’s throw from his little apartment in Bourbon Street? It is a curious type of house that one finds in this quarter in New Orleans; meagre without, but within one comes unexpectedly upon great spaces, car
ved wooden balconies on which the rooms open. So he dreams away his honored days in the Old Absinthe House. His rusty black, with its worn red button, is a noble wear.
Black, by the way, seems almost universal among the women: is it instinctive good taste? At least, it serves to bring up the general level of good looks. Most American women spoil what little beauty they may have by overdressing. Here there is nothing extravagant, nothing vulgar, none of the near-Paris-gown and the lust-off-Bond-Street hat. Nor is there a single dress to which a Quaker could object. There is neither the mediocrity nor the immodesty of the New York woman, who is tailored or millinered on a garish pattern, with the Eternal Chorus Girl as the Ideal–an ideal which she always attains, though (Heaven knows!) in “society” there are few “front row” types.
On the other side of me a splendid stalwart maid, modern in muscle, old only in the subtle and modest fascination of her manner, her face proud, cruel and amorous, shakes her wild tresses of gold in pagan laughter. Her mood is universal as the wind. What can her cavalier be doing to keep her waiting? It is a little mystery which I will not solve for the reader; on the contrary–
Yes, it was my own sweetheart (no! not all the magazines can vulgarize that loveliest of words) who was waiting for me to be done with my musings. She comes in silently and stealthily, preening and purring like a great cat, and sits down, and begins to Enjoy. She know I must never be disturbed until I close my pen. We shall go together to dine at a little Italian restaurant kept by an old navy man, who makes the best ravioli this side of Genoa; then we shall walk the wet and windy streets, rejoicing to feel the warm sub-tropical rain upon our faces. We shall go down to the Mississippi, and watch the lights of the ships, and listen to the tales of travel and adventure of the mariners. There is one tale that moves me greatly; it is like the story of the sentinel of Herculaneum. A cruiser of the U.S. Navy was detailed to Rio de Janeiro. (This was before the days of wireless telegraphy.) The port was in quarantine; the ship had to stand ten miles out to sea. Nevertheless, Yellow Jack managed to come aboard. The men died one by one. There was no way of getting word to Washington; and, as it turned out later, the Navy Department had completely forgotten the existence of the ship. No orders came; the captain stuck to his post for three months. Three months of solitude and death! At last a passing ship was signaled, and the cruiser was moved to happier waters. No doubt the story is a lie; but did that make it less splendid in the telling, as the old scoundrel sat and spat and chewed tobacco? No, we will certainly go down, and ruffle it on the wharves. There is really better fun in life than going to the movies, when you know how to sense Reality.
There is beauty in every incident of life; the true and the false, the wise and the foolish, are all one in the eye that beholds all without passion or prejudice: and the secret appears to lie not in the retirement from the world, but in keeping a part of oneself Vestal, sacred, intact, aloof from that self which makes contact with the external universe. In other words, in a separation of that which is and perceives from that which acts and suffers. And the art of doing this is really the art of being an artist. As a rule, it is a birthright; it may perhaps be attained by prayer and fasting; most surely, it can never be bought.
But if you have it not. This will be the best way to get it–or something like it. Give up your life completely to the task; sit daily for six hours in the Old Absinthe House, and sip the icy opal; endure till all things change insensibly before your eyes, you changing with them; till you become as gods, knowing good and evil, and that they are not two but one.
It may be a long time before the veil lifts; but a moment’s experience of the point of view of the artist is worth a myriad martyrdoms. It solves every problem of life and death–which two also are one.
It translates this universe into intelligible terms, relating truly the ego with the non-ego, and recasting the prose of reason in the poetry of soul. Even as the eye of the sculptor beholds his masterpiece already existing in the shapeless mass of marble, needing only the loving kindness of the chisel to cut away the veils of Isis, so you may (perhaps) learn to behold the sum and summit of all grace and glory from this great observatory, the Old Absinthe House of New Orleans.
V’la, p’tite chatte; c’est fini, le travail. Foutons le camp!

“The Green Fairy” : Children of the Revolution


Absinthe Poetry
August Strindberg
Indian summer

From the sickroom’s chloral smelling pillows,

darkened by suffocated sighs

and hitherto unheard blasphemes;

from the bedside table,

encumbered with medicinal bottles,

prayer books and Heine,

I stumbled out on the balcony

to look at the sea.

Shrouded in my flowered blanket

I let the October sun shine

on my yellow cheeks

and onto a bottle of absinthe,

green as the sea,

green as the spruce twigs

on a snowy street

where a funeral cortège had gone ahead.
The sea was dead calm

and the wind slept –

as if nothing had passed!

Then came a butterfly,

a brown awful butterfly,

which once was a caterpillar

but now crawled its way up

out of a newly set heap of leaves,

fooled by the sunshine

oh dear!
Trembling from cold

or unaccostumedness

he sat down

on my flowered blanket.

And he chose among the roses

and the anilin lilacs

the smallest and the ugliest one –

how can one be so stupid!
When the hour had passed

and I got up

to go and get inside,

he still sat there,

the stupid butterfly.

He had fulfilled his destiny

and was dead,

the stupid bastard!

Glenn MacDonough
I will free you first from burning thirst

That is born of a night of the bowl,

Like a sun ’twill rise through the inky skies

That so heavily hang o’er your souls.

At the first cool sip on your fevered lip

You determine to live through the day,

Life’s again worth while as with a dawining smile

You imbibe your absinthe frappé.

Charles-Pierre Baudelaire
Get Drunk!
One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters;

that’s our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time’s

horrible burden one which breaks your shoulders and bows

you down, you must get drunk without cease.
But with what?

With wine, poetry, or virtue

as you choose.

But get drunk.
And if, at some time, on steps of a palace,

in the green grass of a ditch,

in the bleak solitude of your room,

you are waking and the drunkenness has already abated,

ask the wind, the wave, the stars, the clock,

all that which flees,

all that which groans,

all that which rolls,

all that which sings,

all that which speaks,

ask them, what time it is;

and the wind, the wave, the stars, the birds, and the clock,

they will all reply:
“It is time to get drunk!
So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time,

get drunk, get drunk,

and never pause for rest!

With wine, poetry, or virtue,

as you choose!”

Five o’clock Absinthe – By Raoul Ponchon
When sundown spreads its hyacinth veil

Over Rastaquapolis

It’s surely time for an absinthe

Don’t you think, my son?
It’s especially in summer, when thirst wears you down

– Like a hundred Dreyfus gossips –

That it’s fitting to seek a fresh terrace

Along the boulevards
Where one finds the best absinthe

That of the sons of Pernod

Forget the rest! They’re like a sharp by Gounod:

mere illusion.
I say along the boulevards, and not in Rome,

Nor at the home of the Bonivards;

To be an absinthier is not to be any less a man.

And on our boulevards
One sees pass the sweetest creatures

With the gentlest manners:

You’re drinking, they rouse your nature,

They are exquisite… but let it pass.
You have your absinthe, it’s all about preparation

This is not, believe me,

As the cynics think, a small matter

Banal and without emotion
The heart should not be elsewhere

For the moment at least.

Absinthe wants first, beautiful ice water

The gods are my witness!
Tepid water, none of that: Jupiter condemns it.

Yourself, what say you?

Might as well, my faith, drink donkey piss

Or enema broth
And don’t come on like a German,

And scare her,

With your carafe; she would think, poor dear!

That you want to drown her.
Always rouse her from the first drop …

Like so … and so … very gently

Then behold her quiver, all vibrant

With an innocent smile;
Water must be for her like dew,

You must be certain about that:

Awaken the juices of which she is made

Only little by little.
Such as a young wife hesitates, startled

When, on her wedding night,

Her husband brusquely invades her bed

Thinking only of himself…
But wait: your absinthe has bloomed in the meantime,

See how she flowers,

Iridescent, passing through every shade of the opal

With a rare spirit.
You may sniff now, she is made;

And the beloved liquor

In the same instant brings joy to your head

And indulgence to your heart …

Sonnet de l’Absinthe – by Raoul Ponchon
Absinthe, oh my lively liquor

It seems, when I drink you,

I inhale the young forest soul

During the beautiful green season.
Your perfume disconcerts me

Aand in your opalescence,

I see the heavens of yore

Aas through an open gate.
What matter, O refuge of the damned,

That you a vain paradise be,

If you appease my need;
And if, before I enter the gate,

You make me put up with life,

By accustoming me with death

the sterile woman’s icy majesty.


Déridez-la toujours d’une première goutte…

Là… là… tout doucement.

Vous la verrez alors palpiter, vibrer toute,

Sourire ingénûment;
Il faut que l’eau lui soit ainsi qu’une rosée,

Tenez-vous-le pour dit :

N’éveillerez les sucs dont elle est composée

Que petit à petit.
Telle une jeune épouse hésite et s’effarouche

Quand, la première nuit,

Son mari brusquement l’envahit sur sa couche

En ne pensant qu’à lui…




Always rouse her from the first drop …

Like so … and so … very gently

Then behold her quiver, all vibrant

With an innocent smile;
Water must be for her like dew,

You must be certain about that:

Awaken the juices of which she is made

Only little by little.
Such as a young wife hesitates, startled

When, on her wedding night,

Her husband brusquely invades her bed

Thinking only of himself…

-Raoul Ponchon

Green Fairy

Have a wonderful weekend, we are!

All Them Heavy People…

On The Radio: Drift ~ ‘Ember (Remember)’

A bit of this and that for Sunday…. Enjoy!


On The Menu:

Zen Quotes

The Links

War Is A Racket….Part 2

Spiritual Teachings Concealed?: Kate Bush

Art: Ernst Fuchs

I found this list… Though it says Zen Quotes, it throws a wider net – G
Zen Quotes:
Whatever is material shape, past, future, present, subjective or objective, gross or subtle, mean or excellent, whether it is far or near — all material shape should be seen by perfect intuitive wisdom as it really is: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.” Whatever is feeling, whatever is perception, whatever are habitual tendencies, whatever is consciousness, past, future, present, subjective or objective, gross or subtle, mean or excellent, whether it is far or near — all should be seen by perfect intuitive wisdom as it really is: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.” …Gautama
Externally keep yourself away from all relationships, and internally have no paintings in your heart; when your mind is like unto a straight-standing wall, you may enter into the Path….Bodhidharma
Just think of the trees: they let the birds perch and fly, with no intention to call them when they come and no longing for their return when they fly away. If people’s hearts can be like the trees, they will not be off the Way.
One single still light shines bright: if you intentionally pursue it, after all it’s hard to see. Suddenly encountering it, people’s hearts are opened up, and the great matter is clear and done. This is really living, without any fetters — no amount of money could replace it. Even if a thousand sages should come, they would all appear in it’s shadow….Chuzhen
When you’re deluded, every statement is an ulcer; when you’re enlightened, every word is wisdom….Zhiqu
The living meaning of Zen is beyond all notions. To realize it in a phrase is completely contrary to the subtle essence; we cannot avoid using words as expedients, though, but this has limitations. Needless to say, of course, random talk is useless. Nonetheless, the matter is not one-sided, so we temporarily set forth a path in the way of teaching, to deal with people….Qingfu
Neither is there Bodhi-tree, Nor yet a mirror bright; Since in reality all is void, Whereon can the dust fall?….Hui Neng
He who wherever he goes is attached to no person and to no place by ties of flesh; who accepts good and evil alike, neither welcoming the one nor shrinking from the other — take it that such a one has attained Perfection. …”Bhagavad-Gita”
The mind that does not understand is the Buddha. There is no other…. Ma-Tsu.
You cannot describe it or draw it. You cannot praise it enough or perceive it. No place can be found in which to put the Original Face; it will not disappear even when the universe is destroyed….Mumon.
No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself….Tilopa.
When you pass through, no one can pin you down, no one can call you back….Ying-An.

The Links:

Stone-Age Concert Hall?

The evolution of a conspiracy theory

Why Fly When You Could Float?

Gigantic Sand Art!


I promised to continue with this several weeks ago… duh… here it is-G

War Is A Racket….Part 2

The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United States some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man, woman, and child. And we haven’t paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our children will pay it, and our children’s children probably still will be paying the cost of that war.
The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.
Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and “we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,” but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed. Let’s just take a few examples:
Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people – didn’t one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let’s look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.
Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump – or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!
Or, let’s take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.
There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let’s look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.
Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.
Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.
Let’s group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.
A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.
Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren’t the only ones. There are still others. Let’s take leather.
For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916 Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per cent. That’s all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.
International Nickel Company – and you can’t have a war without nickel – showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.
American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.
Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.
And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public – even before a Senate investigatory body.
But here’s how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculators chiseled their way into war profits.
Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits. They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more, to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some of these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought – and paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.
There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn’t any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it – so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.
Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches – one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!
Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam.
There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.
Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 – count them if you live long enough – was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.
Undershirts for soldiers cost 14¢ [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30¢ to 40¢ each for them – a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manuf
acturers and the steel helmet manufacturers – all got theirs.
Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment – knapsacks and the things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them – and they will do it all over again the next time.
There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.
One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh, they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell these, too, to your Uncle Sam.
Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn’t ride in automobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen a picture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards were sold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But the buckboard manufacturer got his war profit.
The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and wouldn’t float! The seams opened up – and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits.
It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.
The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface.
Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying “for some time” methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee – with the War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall Street speculator – to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn’t suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.
Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses – that is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit the loss of life.
There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed.
Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.


I first became familiar with Kate back in 1977 when I was living in London. She struck me as a singular, and very unique talent. Beautiful to boot, I learned about her primarily through Mary who had shared dance classes with Kate from the mid-70′s. (Mary has some of the best tales of London!)-G
Spiritual Teachings Concealed?: Kate Bush
Them Heavy People

Them Heavy People

Rolling the ball, rolling the ball, rolling the ball to me

They arrived at an inconvienient time

I was hiding in a room in my mind

They made me look at myself

I saw it well, I’d shut the people out of my life

So now I take the opportunities

Wonderful teachers ready to teach me

I must work on my mind

For now I realize that everyone of us

Has a heaven inside
Them heavy people hit me in a soft spot

Them heavy people help me

Them heavy people hit me in a soft spot

Rolling the ball, rolling the ball, rolling the ball to me

They open doorways that I thought were shut for good

They read me Gurdjieff and Jesu

They build up my body

Break me emotionally, it’s nearly killing me

But what a lovely feeling!

I love the whirling of the Dervishes

I love the beauty of rare innocence

You don’t need no crystal ball

Don’t fall for a magic wand

We humans got it all, we perform the miracles


Cloud Bursting

Cloud Bursting
I still dream of algernon.

I wake up crying.

Youre making rain,

And youre just in reach,

When you and sleep escape me.
Youre like my yo-yo

That glowed in the dark.

What made it special

Made it dangerous,

So I bury it

And forget.
But every time it rains,

Youre here in my head,

Like the sun coming out–

Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen.

And I dont know when,

But just saying it could even make it happen.
On top of the world,

Looking over the edge,

You could see them coming.

You looked too small

In their big, black car,

To be a threat to the men in power.
I hid my yo-yo

In the garden.

I cant hide you

From the government.

Oh, god, daddy–

I wont forget,
cause every time it rains,

Youre here in my head,

Like the sun coming out–

Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen.

And I dont know when,

But just saying it could even make it happen.
The suns coming out.

Your sons coming out.

The Sensual World

The Sensual World
Mmh, yes,
Then Id taken the kiss of seedcake back from his mouth

Going deep south, go down, mmh, yes,

Took six big wheels and rolled our bodies

Off of howth head and into the flesh, mmh, yes,
He said I was a flower of the mountain, yes,

But now Ive powers oer a womans body, yes.
Stepping out of the page into the sensual world.

Stepping out…
To where the water and the earth caress

And the down of a peach says mmh, yes,

Do I look for those millionaires

Like a machiavellian girl would

When I could wear a sunset? mmh, yes,
And how wed wished to live in the sensual world

You dont need words–just one kiss, then another.
Stepping out of the page into the sensual world

Stepping out, off the page, into the sensual world.
And then our arrows of desire rewrite the speech, mmh, yes,

And then he whispered would i, mmh, yes,

Be safe, mmh, yes, from mountain flowers?

And at first with the charm around him, mmh, yes,

He loosened it so if it slipped between my breasts

Hed rescue it, mmh, yes,

And his spark took life in my hand and, mmh, yes,

I said, mmh, yes,

But not yet, mmh, yes,

Mmh, yes.


The Cloud Messenger…

July 5th….

The 4th came and went, we stayed at home (whilst Rowan went to the Blues Festival again. He is heading down to the Oregon Country Faire with friends this week-end, trying out those new wings for 3 days. If you see him there… say hi!
Rik and Christel over in the South of France sent him the obligatory beret for graduation this weekend! He looks good in it!
Wacked my back again, muscles or something today. argh. This runs interference with life altogether.
I now have a facebook account… check for me with a search for Gwyllm Llwydd… John Archdeacon, and many others are on there as well.
Working on the new Magazine, and uploading, loads of music to the radio station. We will start having radio shows again soon…
Picked up ‘Endogenous Sun’ from the muralist exhibit Tuesday. Getting it cleaned up from where someone spilt coffee or dirty water over it …. argh. Anyway, it looks like it may have found a home… I will keep you posted.
Have a good weekend!
Bright Blessings,

On The Menu:

L’Ham de Foc – Husseyni Azeri

The Cloud Messenger (Parts 1 thru 4)

Ham de Foc – Concert a la ciutat de València

The Poetry Of Ancient India: Kalidasa

Kalidasa Bio

L’ Ham de Foc- el Que vull

L’Ham de Foc – Husseyni Azeri


The Cloud Messenger – Part 01

A certain yaksha who had been negligent in the execution of his own duties,

on account of a curse from his master which was to be endured for a year and

which was onerous as it separated him from his beloved, made his residence

among the hermitages of Ramagiri, whose waters were blessed by the bathing

of the daughter of Janaka1 and whose shade trees grew in profusion.
That lover, separated from his beloved, whose gold armlet had slipped from

his bare forearm, having dwelt on that mountain for some months, on the first

day of the month of Asadha, saw a cloud embracing the summit, which

resembled a mature elephant playfully butting a bank.
Managing with difficulty to stand up in front of that cloud which was the

cause of the renewal of his enthusiasm, that attendant of the king of kings,

pondered while holding back his tears. Even the mind of a happy person is

excited at the sight of a cloud. How much more so, when the one who longs to

cling to his neck is far away?
As the month of Nabhas was close at hand, having as his goal the sustaining

of the life of his beloved and wishing to cause the tidings of his own welfare

to be carried by the cloud, the delighted being spoke kind words of welcome

to the cloud to which offerings of fresh kutaja flowers had been made.
Owing to his impatience, not considering the imcompatibility between a cloud

consisting of vapour, light, water and wind and the contents of his message

best delivered by a person of normal faculties, the yaksha made this request to

the cloud, for among sentient and non-sentient things, those afflicted by desire

are naturally miserable:
Without doubt, your path unimpeded, you will see your brother’s wife, intent

on counting the days, faithful and living on. The bond of hope generally

sustains the quickly sinking hearts of women who are alone, and which wilt

like flowers.
Just as the favourable wind drives you slowly onward, this cataka cuckoo,

your kinsman, calls sweetly on the left. Knowing the season for fertilisation,

cranes, like threaded garlands in the sky, lovely to the eye, will serve you.
Your steady passage observed by charming female siddhas who in trepidation

wonder ‘Has the summit been carried off the mountain by the wind?’, you

who are heading north, fly up into the sky from this place where the nicula

trees flourish, avoiding on the way the blows of the trunks of the elephants of

the four quarters of the sky.
This rainbow, resembling the intermingled sparkling of jewels, appears before

Mt Valmikagra, on account of which your dark body takes on a particular

loveliness, as did the body of Vishnu dressed as a cowherd with the peacock’s

feather of glistening lustre.
While being imbibed by the eyes of the country women who are ignorant of

the play of the eyebrows, who are tender in their affection, and who are

thinking ‘The result of the harvest depends on you’, having ascended to a

region whose fields are fragrant from recent ploughing, you should proceed a

little to the west. Your pace is swift. Go north once more.
Mt Amrakuta will carefully bear you upon its head—you whose showers

extinguished its forest fires and who are overcome by fatigue of the road.

Even a lowly being, remembering an earlier kind deed, does not turn its back

on a friend who has come for refuge; how much less, then, one so lofty?
When you, remembling a glossy braid of hair, have ascended its summit, the

mountain whose slopes are covered with forest mangoes, glowing with ripe

fruit, takes on the appearance of a breast of the earth, dark at the centre, the

rest pale, worthy to be beheld by a divine couple.
Having rested for a moment at a bower enjoyed by the forest-dwelling

women, then travelling more swiftly when your waters have been discharged,

the next stage thence is crossed. You will see the river Reva spread at the foot

of Mt Vandhya, made rough with rocks and resembling the pattern formed by

the broken wrinkles on the body of an elephant.
Your showers shed, having partaken of her waters that are scented with the

fragrant exudation of forest elephants and whose flow is impeded by thickets

of rose-apples, you should proceed. Filled with water, the wind will be unable

to lift you, O cloud, for all this is empty is light, while fullness results in

Seeing the yellow-brown nipa with their stamens half erect, eating the kankali

flowers whose first buds have appeared on every bank, and smelling the

highly fragrant scent of the forest earth, the deer will indicate the way to the

Watching the cataka cuckoos that are skilled in catching raindrops, and

watching the herons flying in skeins as they count them, the siddhas will hold

you in high regard at the moment of your thundering, having received the

trembling, agitated embraced of their beloved female companions!
I perceive in an instant, friend, your delays on mountain after mountain

scented with kakubha flowers—you who should desire to proceed for the sake

of my beloved. Welcomed by peacocks with teary eyes who have turned their

cries into words of welcome, you should somehow resolve to proceed at once.
Reaching their capital by the name of Vidisha, renowned in all quarters, and

having won at once complete satisfaction of your desires, you will drink the

sweet, rippling water from the Vetravati River which roars pleasantly at the

edge of her banks, rippling as if her face bore a frown.
There, for the sake of rest, your should occupy the mountain known as Nicaih

which seems to thrill at your touch with its full-blown kadamba flowers, and

whose grottoes make known the unbridled youthful deeds of the townsmen by

emitting the scent of intercourse with bought women.
After resting, move on while watering with fresh raindrops the clusters of

jasmine buds that grow in gardens on the banks of the forest rivers—you who

have made a momentary acquaintance with the flower-picking girls by lending

shade to their faces, the lotuses at whose ears are withered and broken as they

wipe away the perspiration from their cheeks.
Even though the route would be circuitous for one who, like you, is

northward-bound, do not turn your back on the love on the palace roofs in

Ujjayini. If you do not enjoy the eyes with flickering eyelids of the women

startled by bolts of lightning there, then you have been deceived!
On the way, after you have ascended to the Nirvandhya River, whose girdles

are flocks of birds calling on account of the turbulence of her waves, whose

gliding motion is rendered delightful with stumbling steps, and whose

exposed navel is her eddies, fill yourself with water, for amorous distraction

is a woman’s first expression of love for their beloved.
When you have passed that, you should duly adopt the means by which the

Sindhu River may cast off her emaciation—she whose waters have become

like a single braid of hair, whose complexion is made pale by the old leaves

falling from the trees on her banks, and who shows you goodwill because she

has been separated from you, O fortunate one.
Having reached Avanti where the village elders are well-versed in the legend

of Udayana, make your way to the aforementioned city of Vishala, filled with

splendour, like a beautiful piece of heaven carried there by means of the

remaining merit of gods who had fallen to earth when the fruits of the good

actions had nearly expired;
Where, at daybreak, the breeze from the Shipra River, carrying abroad the

sweet, clear, impassioned cries of the geese, fragrant from contact with the

scent of full-blown lotuses and pleasing to the body, carries off the lassitude

of the women after their love-play, like a lover making entreaties for further

And having see by the tens of millions the strings of pearls with shining gems

as their central stones, conches, pearl-shells, emeralds as green as fresh grass

with radiating brilliance and pieces of coral displayed in the market there, the

oceans appear to contain nothing but water;
And where the knowledgeable populace regale visiting relatives thus: ‘Here

the king of the Vatsa brought the precious daughter of Pradyota. Here was the

golden grove of tala-trees of that same monarch. Here, they say, roamed

Nalagiri (the elephant), having pulled out his tie-post in fury.’
Your bulk increased by the incense that is used for perfuming the hair that

issues from the lattices, and honoured with gifts of dance by the domestic

peacocks out of their love for their friend, lay aside the weariness of the

travel while admiring the splendour of its palaces which are scented with

flowers and marked by the hennaed feet of the lovely women.
Observed respectfully by divine retinues who are reminded of the colour of

their master’s throat, you should proceed to the holy abode of the lord of the

three worlds, husband of Chandi, whose gardens are caressed by the winds

from the Gandhavati River, scented with the pollen of the blue lotuses and

perfumed by the bath-oils used by young women who delight in water-play.
Even if you arrive at Mahakala at some other time, O cloud, you should wait

until the sun passes from the range of the eye. Playing the honourable role of

drum at the evening offering to Shiva, you will receive the full reward for

your deep thunder.
There, their girdles jingling to their footsteps, and their hands tired from the

pretty waving of fly-whisks whose handles are brilliant with the sparkle of

jewels, having received from you raindrops at the onset of the rainy season

that soothe the scratches made by fingernails, the courtesans cast you

lingering sidelong glances that resemble rows of honey-bees.
Then, settled above the forests whose trees are like uplifted arms, being round

in shape, producing an evening light, red as a fresh China-rose, at the start of

Shiva’s dance, remove his desire for a fresh elephant skin—you whose

devotion is beheld by Parvati, her agitation stilled and her gaze transfixed.
Reveal the ground with a bolt of lightning that shines like a streak of gold

on a touchstone to the young women in that vicinity going by night to the homes of

their lovers along the royal highroad which has been robbed of light by a

darkness that could be pricked with a needle. Withhold your showers of rain

and rumbling thunder: they would be frightened!
Passing that night above the roof-top of a certain house where pigeons sleep,

you, whose consort the lightning is tired by prolonged sport, should complete

the rest of your journey when the sun reappears. Indeed, those who have

promised to accomplish a task for a friend do not tarry.
At that time, the tears of the wronged wives are to be soothed away by their

husbands. Therefore abandon at once the path of the sun. He too has returned

to remove the tears of dew from the lotus-faces of the lilies. If you obstruct

his rays, he may become greatly incensed.

The Cloud Messenger – Part 02

Your naturally beautiful reflection will gain entry into the clear waters of the

Gambhira River, as into a clear mind. Therefore it is not fitting that you, out

of obstinancy, should render futile her glances which are the darting leaps of

little fish, as white as night-lotus flowers.
Removing her blue garment which is her water, exposing her hips which are

her banks, it is clutched by cane-branches as if grasped by her hands.

Departure will inevitably be difficult for you who tarries, O friend. Who,

having experienced enjoyment, is able to forsake another whose loins are laid

A cool breeze, grown pleasant through contact with the scent of the earth

refreshed by your showers, which is inhaled by elephants with a pleasing

sound at their nostrils, and which is the ripener of wild figs in the forest,

gently fans you who desire to proceed to Devagiri.
There, you, taking the form of a cloud of flowers, should bathe Skanda, who

always resides there, with a shower of flowers, wet with the water of the

heavenly Ganges. For he is the energy surpassing the sun, that was born into

the mouth of the fire by the bearer of the crescent moon6 for the purpose of

protecting the forces of of the sons of Indra.
Then, with claps of thunder, magnified by their own echoes, you should cause

to dance the peacock of the son of Agni, the corners of whose eyes are bathed

by the light of the crescent moon at the head of Shiva and whose discarded

tail-feather, ringed by rays of light, Parvati placed behind her ear, next

to the petal of the blue lotus, out of her love for her son.
Having worshipped that god born in a reedbed, after you have travelled

further, your route abandoned by siddha-couples carrying lutes because they

fear rain-drops, you should descend while paying homage to the glory of

Randideva, born from the slaughter of the daughter of Surabhi, and who

arose on earth in the form or a river.
When you, the robber of the complexion of bearer of the bow Sharnga, stoop

to drink the water of that river, which is broad but appears narrow from a

distance, those who range the skies, when they look down, will certainly see

that the stream resembles a single string of pearls on the earth, enlarged at

its centre with a sapphire.
Having crossed the river, go on, making yourself into a form worthy of the

curiosity of the eyes of the women of Dashapura, adept in the amorous play of

their tendril-like eyebrows, whose dark and variageted brilliance flashes up at

the fluttering of their eyelashes, and whose splendour has been stolen from the

bees attendant on tossing kunda flowers.
Then, entering the district of Brahmavarta, accompanied by your shadow, you

should proceed to the plain of the Kurus, evocative of the battle of the

warriors, where the one whose bow is Gandiva brought down showers of

hundreds of sharp arrows, just as you bring down showers of rain on the faces

of the lotuses.
Having partaken of the waters of the Sarasvati which were enjoyed by the

bearer of the plough who was averse to war on account of his love for his

kinsfolk, after he had forsaken the wine of agreeable flavour which was

marked by the reflection of Revati’s eyes, you, friend, will be purified within:

only your colour will be black.
From there you should go to the daughter of Jahnu above the Kanakhula

mountains, where she emerges from the Himalaya, who provided a flight of

steps to heaven for the sons of Sagara, and who laughing with her foam at the

frown on the face of Gauri, made a grab at the hair of Shambhu and clasped

his crescent moon with her wave-hands.
If you, like an elephant of the gods, your front partly inclining down from the

sky to drink her waters which are pure as crystal, in an instrant, because of

your reflection on her gliding current, she would become very lovely, as if

united with the Yamuna in second location.
Having reached the mountain which is the source of that very river, whose

crags are made fragrant with the scent of the musk of the deer that recline

there, white with snow, reposing on the summit which dispells the fatigue of

travel, you will take on the splendour like that of the white soil cast up

by the bull of the three-eyed one.
If, when the wind is blowing, a forest fire were to afflict the mountain,

ignited by the friction of branches of the sarala trees, burning with its

flames the tailhairs of the yaks, it would befit you to extinguish it

completely with thousands of torrents of water, for the resources of the

great have as their fruit the alleviation of those who suffer misfortune.
The sharabha there, intent on springing in anger at you who departs from

their path, would lunge at you, only to break their own limbs. You should

cover them with a tumultuous storm of hail and rain. Who, intent upon a

fruitless endeavour, would not be the object of contempt?
There, with your body bowed in devotion, you should circumambulate the

foot-print of the one wears the half-moon diadem, which is continually

heaped with offerings from ascetics, and at the sight of which, at their

departure from the bodies, cleansed of their misdeeds, the faithful are able to

achieve the immuteable state of membership of Shiva’s following.
The bamboo canes filled with the wind sound sweetly. Victory over the three

cities is celebrated in song by the Kinnari demi-gods. If your rumbling like a

muraja drum resounds in the caves, the theme of a concert for Shiva will be

Having passed various features on the flanks of the Himalayas, proceed thence

north to Krauncarandhra, gateway for wild geese, which was the route to glory

for Bhrgupati—you whose beautiful form is flat and long, like the dark blue

foot of Vishnu uplifted for the suppression of Bali.
And having gone further, become the guest of Mt Kailasa, the seams of whose

peaks were rent by the arms of the ten-faced one and which is a mirror for

the consorts of the Thirty Gods, and which, extending with lofty peaks like

white lotuses, stands in the sky like the loud laughter of the three-eyed

one accumulated day by day.
I foresee that when you, resembling glossy powdered kohl, reach the foot of

that mountain as white as a freshly cut piece of ivory, the imminent beauty

will be fit to be gazed upon with an unerring eye, like the dark blue garment

placed on the shoulder of the plough-carrier.
And if Gauri should take a walk on the foot of that pleasure-hill, lent a hand

by Shiva who has set aside his serpent-bracelet, your shape transformed into a

flight of steps, your torrents of water withheld within yourself, become a

stairway rising in front of her for the ascent of the jewel-slopes.
There the young women of the gods will use you as a shower—you whose

waters are brought forth by the striking together of the diamonds in their

bracelets. If, friend, you were unable to release yourself from them, being

encountered in the hot season, startle them who are intent on playing with

you, with claps of thunder, harsh to the ear.
Partaking of the waters of Manasa which bring forth golden lotuses, bringing

at pleasure momentary delight like a cloth upon the face of Airavata, shaking

with your winds the sprouts of wish-fulfilling trees like garments, enjoy the

king of mountains with various playful actions, O cloud.
Once you, who wander at will, have seen Alaka seated in the lap of the

mountain like a lover, with the Ganges like a garment that has slipped, you

will not fail to recognise her again with her lofty palaces and bearing hosts of

clouds with showers of rain at the time of year when you are present,

resembling a woman whose tresses are interwoven with strings of pearls.

The Cloud Messenger – Part 03

Where the palaces are worthy of comparison to you in these various aspects:

you possess lightning, they have lovely women; you have a rainbow, they are

furnished with pictures; they have music provided by resounding drums, you

produce deep, gentle rumbling; you have water within, they have floors made

of gemstones; you are lofty, their rooftops touch the sky;
Where there are decorative lotuses in the hands of the young wives; fresh

jasmine woven into their hair; where the beauty of their faces is made whiter

by the pollen of lodhra flowers; in the thick locks on their crowns are fresh

kurubaka flowers; on their ears charming shirisa flowers; and on the parting

of their hair, nipa flowers that bloom on your arrival;
Where the trees, humming with intoxicated bees, are always in flower; the lily

pools, having rows of wild geese as waistbands, always produce lotuses;

where the tails of the tame peacocks, their necks upstretched to cry out, are

always resplendent; and where the evenings are perpetually moonlit and

pleasant, and darkness has been banished;
Where the tears of the lords of wealth are of utmost joy, having no other

cause, there being no suffering other than that caused by the flower-arrowed

god which is to be assuaged by union with the desired one; where there is

separation other than that arising from lovers’ quarrels; and where there is

indeed no age other than youth;
Where yakshas, having assembled on the upper terraces of the palace, made of

crystal, accompanied by their excellent womenfolk, enjoy ratiphalam wine

produced by a wish-fulfilling tree, while drums whose sound resembles your

deep thunder are beaten softly;
Where the girls fanned by breezes cooled by the waters of the Mandakini

river, the heat dispelled by the shade of the mandara trees that grow on its

banks, are urges by the gods to play with jewels hidden by burying them with

clenched fists in the golden sands and which are to be searched for;
Where the handfuls of powder flung by those red-lipped women bewildered

by shame when their lovers passionately pull away their linen garments, the

ties of which have been loosened and undone by restless hands, although they

reach the long-rayed jewel-lamps, they fail to extinguish them;
Where ragged clouds, like yourself, brought to the upper stories of the palaces

by the leader of the wind, having committed the misdeed of shedding

raindrops on a painting, cleverly imitating puffs of smoke, flee immediately

by way of the lattices as if filled with dread;
Where at night the moonstones, hanging from a web of threads and shedding

full drops of water under the influence of moonbeams bright since the removal

of your obstruction, dispel the physical langour after sexual enjoyment on the

part of the women who are freed from the embraces of their lovers’ arms;

Where lovers, with inexhaustible treasure their residences, together with the

kinnaras who sing with sweet voices of the glory of the lord of wealth,

accompanied by celestial courtesans, engage in conversation and enjoy

everyday the outer grove known as Vaibhraja;
Where at sunrise the route taken by women the previous night is indicated by

mandara flowers with torn petals that were shaken from their hair by the

movement of their walking, by the golden lotuses that slipped from behind

their ears, and by necklaces of strings of pearls the threads of which broke

upon their breasts;
Where a single wish-fulfilling tree produces every adornment for women:

coloured garments, wine which is suitable for introducing an amorous

playfulness to the eyes, flowers together with buds which are distinctive

among ornaments, and red lac dye suitable for application to their lotus-like

Where horses, as dark as leaves, rival the steeds of the sun; where elephants,

as tall as mountains, pour forth showers, like you, from the pores of their

temples; and where the foremost warriors stood in battle against the ten-faced

one, the splendour of their ornmanets surpassed by the scars of the wounds

from Candrahasa;
Where the god of love does not generally carry his bow strung with bees,

knowing that the god who is the friend of the lord of wealth dwells there in

person: his task is accomplished by the amorous play of talented women

whose glances are cast by means of curved eyebrows and which are not in

vain among the objects of their desire.
There, to the north of the residence of the lord of wealth, our home is to be

recognised from afar by an arched portal as lovely as a rainbow, near which a

young mandara tree, caused to bow down by bunches of flowers that may be

touched by the hand, is cherished by my beloved like an adopted son.
And within is a pool the steps of which are studded with emerald stone, filled

with flowering golden lotuses whose stalks are of smooth chrysoberyl. On its

waters the geese that have take up residence there do not think of Lake Manas

close at hand, and are free from sorrow, having seen you.
On its bank there is a pleasure hill whose summit is studded with fine

sapphires, beautiful to behold with a hedge of golden plantain trees. Having

seen you, O friend, with flashing lightning, near at hand, I recall that mountain

with a despondent mind, thinking, ‘It is enjoyed by my spouse’.
Here is a red ashoka with trembling buds and a charming kesara near a hedge

of kurubaka and a bower of madhavi. One desires (as I do) the touch of your

friend’s left foot. The other longs for a mouthful of wine from her, having as

its pretext a craving.
And between these is a golden perch with a crystal base, studded at its foot

with gems that shine like half-grown bamboo, on which rests your friend the

blue-necked one, who, at the day’s end, is caused to dance by my beloved

with claps of her hands, made pleasant by the jingling of her bracelets.
Having seen the figures of Shanka and Padma painted near the door, by

these signs preserved in yout heart, O noble one, you may distinguish the

residence, now reduced in beauty because of my absence. Indeed, at the

setting of the sun, even the lotus does not display its own splendour.
Having shrunk at once to the size of a small elephant for the sake of a swift

descent, resting on the pleasure mountain with lovely peaks that I have

mentioned, please cast your gaze in the form of a flickering bolt of faint

lightning upon the interior of the house, like the glow of a swarm of fire-flies.

The Cloud Messenger – Part 04

The slender young woman who is there would be the premier creation by the

Creator in the sphere of women, with fine teeth, lips like a ripe bimba fruit, a

slim waist, eyes like a startled gazelle’s, a deep navel, a gait slow on account

of the weight of her hips, and who is somewhat bowed down by her breasts.
You should know that she whose words are few, my second life, is like a

solitary female cakravaka duck when I, her mate, am far away. While these

weary days are passing, I think the girl whose longing is deep has taken on an

altered appearance, like a lotus blighted by frost.
Surely the face of my beloved, her eyes swollen from violent weeping, the

colour of her lower lip changed by the heat of her sighs, resting upon her

hand, partially hidden by the hanging locks of her hair, bears the miserable

appearance of the moon with its brightness obscured when pursued by you.
She will come at once into your sight, either engaged in pouring oblations, or

drawing from memory my portrait, but grown thin on account of separation,

or asking the sweet-voiced sarika bird in its cage, ‘I hope you remember the

master, O elegant one, for you are his favourite’;
Or having placed a lute on a dirty cloth on her lap, friend, wanting to sing a

song whose words are contrived to contain my name, and somehow plucking

the strings wet with tears, again and again she forgets the melody, even

though she composed it herself;
Or engaged in counting the remaining months set from the day of our

separation until the end by placing flowers on the ground at the threshold, or

enjoying acts of union that are preserved in her mind. These generally are the

diversions of women when separated from their husbands.
During the day, when she has distractions, separation will not torment her so

much. I fear that your friend will have greater suffering at night without

distraction. You who carry my message, positioned above the palace roof-top,

see the good woman at midnight, lying on the ground, sleepless, and cheer her

Grown thin with anxiety, lying on one side on a bed of separation, resembling

the body of the moon on the eastern horizon when only one sixteenth part

remains, shedding hot tears, passing that night, lengthened by separation,

which spent in desired enjoyments in company with me would have passed in

an instant.
Covering with eyelashes heavy with tears on account of her sorrow, her eyes

which were raised to face the rays of the moon, which were cool with nectar

and which entered by way of the lattice, fall again on account of her previous

love, like a bed of land-lotuses on an overcast day, neither open nor closed.
She whose sighs that trouble her bud-like lower lip will surely be scattering

the locks of her hair hanging at her cheek, dishevelled after a simple bath,

thinking how enjoyment with me might arise even if only in a dream, yearning

for sleep, the opportunity for which is prevented by the affliction of tears;
She who is repeatedly pushing from the curve of her cheek with her hand

whose nails are unkempt, the single braid, plaited by me, stripped of its

garland, on the first day of our separation, which will be loosened by me when

I am free from sorrow at the expiry of the curse, and which is rough to the

touch, stiff, and hard.
That frail woman, supporting her tender body which he has laid repeatedly in

great suffering on a couch, will certainly cause even you to shed tears in the

form of fresh rain. Generally all tender-hearted beaing have a compassionate

I know that the mind of your friend is filled with accumulated love for me. On

account of that I imagine her condition thus at our first separation. Even the

thought of my good fortune does not make me feel like talking. All that I have

said, brother, will be before your eyes before long.
I think of the eyes of that deer-eyed one, the sideways movements of which

are concealed by her hair, which are devoid of the glistening of collyrium,

which have forgotten the play of their eyebrows on account of abstinence

from sweet liqour, and whose upper eyelids tremble when you are near: these

eyes take on the semblance of the beauty of a blue lotus that is trembling with

the movement of a fish.
And her lovely thigh will tremble, being without the impressions of my

fingernails, caused to abandon it long-accustomed string of pearls by the

course of fate, used to the caresses of my hand at the end of our enjoyment,

and as pale as the stem of a beautiful plantain palm.
At that time, O cloud, if she is enjoying the sleep she has found, remaining

behind her, your thunder restrained, wait during the night-watch. Let not the

knot of her creeper-like arms in close embrace with me her beloved, somehow

found in a dream, fall from my neck at once.
Having woken her with a breeze cooled by your own water droplets, she will

be refreshed like the fresh clusters of buds of the malati. Your lightning held

within, being firm, begin to address her with words of thunder; she, the proud

on whose eyes are fixed on the window occupied by you:
‘O you who are not a widow, know me to be a cloud who is a dear friend of

your husband. With messages stored in my heart I have arrived at your side,

and with slow and friendly rumblings I urge along the road a multitude of

weary travellers who are eager to loosen the braids of their womenfolk.’
When this has been said, like Sita looking up at Hanuman, having beheld you

with her heart swollen with longing and having honoured you, she will listen

attentively to you further, O friend. For women, news of their beloved that

brought by a friend is little short of union.
O long-lived one, following my instructions and to bring credit to yourself,

address her thus: ‘Your partner who resides at the ashram on Ramagiri, who is

still alive though separated from you, inquires after your news, madam. This

is the very thing that is first asked by beings who may easily fall into

He whose path is blocked by an invidious command and is at a distance, by

means of these intentions, unites his body with yours, the emaciated with the

emaciated, the afflicted with the deeply afflicted, that which is wet with tears

with that which is tearful, that whose longing is ceaseless with that which is

longed for, that whose sighs are hot with that whose sighs are even more

He who has become eager to say what is to be said in words in your ear, in the

presence of your female friends, with a desire to touch your face, he who is

beyond the range of your ears, unseen by your eyes, addresses these words

composed on account of his desire, through the agency of my mouth:
“I perceive your body in the priyangu vines, your glances in the eyes of the

startled deer, the beauty of your face in the moon, your hair in the peacock’s

feathers and the play of your eyebrows in the delicate ripples on the river, but

alas, your whole likeness is not to be found in a single thing, O passionate

Having painted your likeness, with mineral colours on a rock, appearing angry

because of love, as soon as I wish to paint myself fallen at your feet, my

vision is clouded again and again with copious tears. Cruel fate does not

permit our union, even in this picture.
Watching me with my arms stretched up into the air for an ardent embrace

when you have somhow been found by me in a vision or in a dream, the local

deities repeatedly shed teardrops as big as pearls on the buds of the trees.

Those winds from the snowy mountains which having broken open the sepals

of the buds of the devadaru trees become fragrant with their milky sap and

which blow southwards—they are embraced by me, O virtuous one, with the

thought that your body might previously have been touched by them.
How can the night with its long watches by compressed into a moment? How

may a day become cooler in every season? Thus my mind, whose desires are

difficult to satisfy, is rendered without refuge by the deep and burning pangs

of separation from you, O one of trembling eyes.
Indeed, ever brooding, I maintain myself by means of myself alone.

Therefore, O beautiful one, you also should not fear. Whose happiness is

endless or whose suffering is complete? The condition of life rises and falls

like the felly of a wheel.
The the holder of the bow called Sharnga rises from his serpent bed, the

curse will end for me. Having closed your eyes, endure the remaining four

months. After that, we two will indulge our own various desires, increased by

separation, on nights lit by the full autumn moon.”
And he said further, “In the past you embraced my neck as we lay on our bed,

you called out something in your sleep and woke up. When I asked over and

over, you said to me with an inward smile, ‘I saw you in my dream enjoying

another girl, you cheat!’
Having ascertained from the telling of this account that I am well, do not be

suspicious of me on account of any rumour, O dark-eyed one. They say that

love somehow perishes during separation, but because there is no fulfilment,

the love for that which is desired with increasing desire, becomes a even more

Having comforted her thus, your friens whose sorrow is great in her first

separation, return at once from the mountain whose peaks were cast up by the

bull of three-eyed one. Then you should prop up my life which flags like

kunda flowers in the morning with her words about her welfare, and an

account of her.
I hope, friend, that you are firmly resolved upon this friendly service for me. I

certainly do not regard your silences as indicating refusal. When requested

you also apportion rain to the cataka cuckoos in silence, for the response of

the virtuous to those who make a request is the performance of that which is

Having undertaken this favour for me who bears this request that is unworthy

of you, with thoughts of compassion for me, either out of friendship or

because you think that I am alone, proceed to your desired destination, O

cloud, your splendour enhanced by rainy season, and may you never be

separated like this even for a moment from your spouse, the lightning.

Ham de Foc – Concert a la ciutat de València


The Poetry Of Ancient India: Kalidasa


The autumn comes, a maiden fair

In slenderness and grace,

With nodding rice-stems in her hair

And lilies in her face.

In flowers of grasses she is clad;

And as she moves along,

Birds greet her with their cooing glad

Like bracelets’ tinkling song.

A diadem adorns the night

Of multitudinous stars;

Her silken robe is white moonlight,

Set free from cloudy bars;

And on her face (the radiant moon)

Bewitching smiles are shown:

She seems a slender maid, who soon

Will be a woman grown.

Over the rice-fields, laden plants

Are shivering to the breeze;

While in his brisk caresses dance

The blossomed-burdened trees;

He ruffles every lily-pond

Where blossoms kiss and part,

And stirs with lover’s fancies fond

The young man’s eager heart.

Look To this Day

Look to this day:

For it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course

Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.

The bliss of growth,

The glory of action,

The splendour of achievement

Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow is only a vision;

And today well-lived, makes

Yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well therefore to this day;

Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

or Vikramorvasie
A monologue from the play

PURURAVAS: [Angrily] Halt, ruffian, halt! Thou in thy giant arms

Bearest away my Urvasie! He has

Soared up from a great crag in the sky

And wars me, hurling downward bitter rain

Of arrows. With this thunderbolt I smite thee.

[He lifts up a clod and runs as to hurl it; then pauses and looks upward.]

I am deceived! This was a cloud

Equipped for rain, no proud and lustful fiend,

The rainbow, not a weapon drawn to kill,

Quick-driving showers are these, not sleety rain

Of arrows; and that brilliant line like streak

Of gold upon a touchstone, cloud-inarmed,

I saw, was lightning, not my Urvasie.

[Sorrowfully] Where shall I find her now? Where clasp those thighs

Swelling and smooth and white?

This grove, this grove should find her.

And here, O here is something to enrage my resolution.

Red-tinged, expanding, wet and full of rain,

These blossom-cups recall to me her eyes

Brimming with angry tears. How shall I trace her,

Or what thing tells me “Here and here she wandered?”

If she had touched with her beloved feet

The rain-drenched forest-sands, there were a line

Of little gracious footprints seen, with lac

Envermeilled, sinking deeper towards the heel

Because o’erburdened by her hips’ large glories.

I see a hint of her! This way

Then went her angry beauty! Lo, her bodice

Bright green as is a parrot’s belly, smitten

With crimson drops. It once veiled in her bosom

And paused to show her naval deep as love.

These are her tears that from those angry eyes

Went trickling, stealing scarlet from her lips

To spangle all this green. Doubtless her heaving

Tumult of breasts broke its dear hold and, she

Stumbling in anger, from my Heaven it drifted.

I’ll gather it to my kisses.

[He stoops to it, then sorrowfully:]

O my heart!

Only green grass with dragon-wings enamelled!

From whom shall I in all the desolate forest

Have tidings of her, or what creature help me?

Lo, in yon waste of crags the peacock! he

Upon a cool moist rock that breathes of rain

Exults, aspires, his gorgeous mass of plumes

Seized, blown and scattered by the roaring gusts.

Pregnant of shrillness is his outstretched throat,

His look is with the clouds. Him I will question:

Have the bright corners of thine eyes beheld,

O sapphire-throated bird, her, my delight,

My wife, my passion, my sweet grief? Yielding

No answer, he begins his gorgeous dance.

Why should he be so glad of my heart’s woe?

I know thee, peacock. Since my cruel loss

Thy plumes that stream in splendour on the wind,

Have not one rival left. For when her heavy

Dark wave of tresses over all the bed

In softness wide magnificently collapsed

On her smooth shoulders massing purple glory

And bright with flowers, she passioning in my arms,

Who then was ravished with thy brilliant plumes,

Vain bird? I question thee not, heartless thing,

That joyest in others’ pain.

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Hero and the Nymph. Trans. Sri Aurobindo. Hyderabad: Government Central Press, 1911.

An Indian poet and dramatist, Kalidasa lived sometime between the reign of Agnimitra, the second Shunga king (c. 170 BC) who was the hero of one of his dramas, and the Aihole inscription of AD 634 which praises Kalidasa’s poetic skills. Most scholars now associate him with the reign of Candra Gupta II (reigned c. 380-c. 415).
Little is known about Kalidasa’s life. According to legend, the poet was known for his beauty which brought him to the attention of a princess who married him. However, as legend has it, Kalidasa had grown up without much education, and the princess was ashamed of his ignorance and coarseness. A devoted worshipper of the goddess Kali (his name means literally Kali’s slave), Kalidasa is said to have called upon his goddess for help and was rewarded with a sudden and extraordinary gift of wit. He is then said to have become the most brilliant of the “nine gems” at the court of the fabulous king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Legend also has it that he was murdered by a courtesan in Sri Lanka during the reign of Kumaradasa.
Kalidasa’s first surviving play, Malavikagnimitra or Malavika and Agnimitra tells the story of King Agnimitra, a ruler who falls in love with the picture of an exiled servant girl named Malavika. When the queen discovers her husbands passion for this girl, she becomes infuriated and has Malavika imprisoned, but as fate would have it, Malavika is in fact a true-born princess, thus legitimizing the affair.
Kalidasa’s second play, generally considered his masterpiece, is the Shakuntala which tells the story of another king, Dushyanta, who falls in love with another girl of lowly birth, the lovely Shakuntala. This time, the couple is happily married and things seem to be going smoothly until Fate intervenes. When the king is called back to court by some pressing business, his new bride unintentionally offends a saint who puts a curse on her, erasing the young girl entirely from the king’s memory. Softening, however, the saint concedes that the king’s memory will return when Shakuntala returns to him the ring he gave her. This seems easy enough–that is, until the girl loses the ring while bathing. And to make matters worse, she soon discovers that she is pregnant with the king’s child. But true love is destined to win the day, and when a fisherman finds the ring, the king’s memory returns and all is well. Shakuntala is remarkable not only for it’s beautiful love poetry, but also for its abundant humor which marks the play from beginning to end.
The last of Kalidasa’s surviving plays, Vikramorvashe or Urvashi Conquered by Valor, is more mystical than the earlier plays. This time, the king (Pururavas) falls in love with a celestial nymph named Urvashi. After writing her mortal suitor a love letter on a birch leaf, Urvashi returns to the heavens to perform in a celestial play. However, she is so smitten that she misses her cue and pronounces her lover’s name during the performance. As a punishment for ruining the play, Urvashi is banished from heaven, but cursed to return the moment her human lover lays eyes on the child that she will bear him. After a series of mishaps, including Urvashi’s temporary transformation into a vine, the curse is eventually lifted, and the lovers are allowed to remain together on Earth. Vikramorvashe is filled poetic beauty and a fanciful humor that is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In addition to his plays, Kalidasa wrote two surviving epic poems Raghuvamsha (“Dynasty of Raghu”) and Kumarasambhava (“Birth of the War God”), as well as the lyric “Meghaduta” (“Cloud Messenger”). He is generally considered to be the greatest Indian writer of any epoch.

No Visuals, but the music is great….

L’ Ham de Foc- el Que vull


Big Sur Burning…

Ah… sad day with the fires…

I hope this entry finds you safe, with family, friends, Loved Ones.

Life is fleeting, but beauty, she is everywhere….
On The Menu:

Big Sur Burning

Henry on Big Sur….

Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch…

Big Sur, The Way It Was…

Poet Of The Blessed Coast: Robinson Jeffers

A gift from Mike Crowley: Rabbi Shergill – Bulla Ki Jaana Maen Kaun

Big Sur Burning
This was going to be an edition with some very nice poetry from ancient India, but a fire got in the way.
As I write, Big Sur is burning. Maybe Nepenthes, The Big Sur Store, or Deetjens… Big Sur, has always been a place of great beauty and a location that changes me spiritually from when I was 15, and standing on the shore, to living up Lime Kiln Creek Canyon a half year later.
Big Sur is where Mary and I had our honeymoon, (8 years into our marriage)… staying at Deetjen’s: (this is the original building when the highway ran right past… ) We stayed in the Fireside Room, with nightly visits from the Raccoon’s after they raided the kitchens….
Lots of good memories of that time… Tripping up the Little Sur with the Blessed Little Ones, watching the sunset at Nepenthes, driving down past Esalen, Emile White holding and kissing Mary’s hand and making cooing sounds about her beauty at The Henry Miller Memorial Library…. He must of been about 88 then. We still have his poster on the wall next to Mary’s computer.
Mary says we’ll go south in a year or so, to visit. I have promised Rowan and his friends a road trip south down Highway 1/101. We will end at Lime Kiln Creek where my life took a turn and by the blessings of the sea, sky and land of the Sur, I ended up who I am today. Everything changes everytime I visit. The road opens up, and vision comes clear again.
Big Sur has that effect. Long may it tumble down into the sea….



Henry on Big Sur….


Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch…

“Some will say they do not wish to dream their lives away. As if life itself were not a dream, a very real dream from which there is no awakening! We pass from one state of dream to another: from the dream of sleep to the dream of waking, from the dream of life to the dream of death. Whoever has enjoyed a good dream never complains of having wasted his time. On the contrary, he is delighted to have partaken of a reality which serves to heighten and enhance the reality of everyday.
The oranges of Bosch’s “millennium,” as I said before, exhale this dreamlike reality which constantly eludes us and which is the very substance of life. They are far more delectable, far more potent, than the Sunkist oranges we daily consume in the naive belief that they are laden with wonder-working vitamins. the millennial oranges which Bosch created restore the soul: the ambiance in which he suspended them is the everlasting one of spirit become real.

Every creature, every object, everyplace has it’s own ambiance. Our world itself possesses an ambiance which is unique. But worlds, objects, creatures, places, all have this in common: they are ever in a state of transformative power. when the personality liquefies, so to speak, as it does so deliciously in dream, and the very nature of one’s being is alchemized, when form and substance, time and space, become yeilding and elastic, responsive and obedient to one’s slightest wish, he who awakens from his dream knows beyond all doubt that the imperishable soul which he calls his own is but a vehicle of the eternal element of change”

Big Sur, The Way It Was…

Poet Of The Blessed Coast: Robinson Jeffers

Fire On The Hills

The deer were bounding like blown leaves

Under the smoke in front the roaring wave of the brush-fire;

I thought of the smaller lives that were caught.

Beauty is not always lovely; the fire was beautiful, the terror

Of the deer was beautiful; and when I returned

Down the back slopes after the fire had gone by, an eagle

Was perched on the jag of a burnt pine,

Insolent and gorged, cloaked in the folded storms of his shoulders

He had come from far off for the good hunting

With fire for his beater to drive the game; the sky was merciless

Blue, and the hills merciless black,

The sombre-feathered great bird sleepily merciless between them.

I thought, painfully, but the whole mind,

The destruction that brings an eagle from heaven is better than men.

July Fourth By The Ocean

The continent’s a tamed ox, with all its mountains,

Powerful and servile; here is for plowland, here is

for park and playground, this helpless

Cataract for power; it lies behind us at heel

All docile between this ocean and the other. If

flood troubles the lowlands, or earthquake

Cracks walls, it is only a slave’s blunder or the


Shudder of a new made slave. Therefore we happy

masters about the solstice

Light bonfires on the shore and celebrate our power.

The bay’s necklaced with fire, the bombs make crystal

fountains in the air, the rockets

Shower swan’s-neck over the night water…. I


The stars drew apart a little as if from troublesome

children, coldly compassionate;

But the ocean neither seemed astonished nor in awe:

If this had been the little sea that Xerxes whipped,

how it would have feared us.

The Summit Redwood

Only stand high a long enough time your lightning

will come; that is what blunts the peaks of


But this old tower of life on the hilltop has taken

it more than twice a century, this knows in


Cell the salty and the burning taste, the shudder

and the voice.
The fire from heaven; it has

felt the earth’s too

Roaring up hill in autumn, thorned oak-leaves tossing

their bright ruin to the bitter laurel-leaves,

and all

Its under-forest has died and died, and lives to be

burnt; the redwood has lived. Though the fire


It cored the trunk while the sapwood increased. The

trunk is a tower, the bole of the trunk is a

black cavern,

The mast of the trunk with its green boughs the

mountain stars are strained through

Is like the helmet-spike on the highest head of an

army; black on lit blue or hidden in cloud

It is like the hill’s finger in heaven. And when the

cloud hides it, though in barren summer, the


Make their own rain.
Old Escobar had a cunning trick

when he stole beef. He and his grandsons

Would drive the cow up here to a starlight death and

hoist the carcass into the tree’s hollow,

Then let them search his cabin he could smile for

pleasure, to think of his meat hanging secure

Exalted over the earth and the ocean, a theft like a

star, secret against the supreme sky.


I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside

Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling

high up in heaven,

And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit


I understood then

That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-


Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.

I could see the naked red head between the great wings

Bear downward staring. I said, ‘My dear bird, we are wasting time


These old bones will still work; they are not for you.’ But how


he looked, gliding down

On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the


over the precipice. I tell you solemnly

That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak


become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–

What a sublime end of one’s body, what an enskyment; what a life

after death.



Rabbi Shergill – Bulla Ki Jaana Maen Kaun

Thanks for reading Turfing.

Bright Blessings…



A quick one….
I have had the bulk of this sitting about for a week or so. I have been doing art, trying to get the magazine jump started, and dealing with a whole bunch of new customers. Summer is a busy time at Caer Llwydd, and life has been doing a jig in and out the door, through the garden and down our streets.
Mary, Rowan and I had a day together yesterday, first time that we have had an outing in a long time. Took some books to Powell’s warehouse , then off to lunch on NE 23rd at a deli, then to Powell’s itself… Mary picked up some new cook-books (Afghani Food Rocks!), Rowan a gaming book and a small book to carry around for writing down poetry, and I picked up Allen Ginsberg’s Collected Works, 1947-1997, the Gary Snyder Reader, and some design books for the magazine. We had a great time….
California is burning, and my thoughts have been with friends who live in the hills. Here is praying that the fire season passes quickly. I talked to Mike Crowley, who lives in the Trinity Alps, and he says it is beyond smoky where he is. I have emailed other friends on the west slope of the Sierra’s but haven’t heard back yet….

Time to tell ya…. the radio has lots of new music. Please check it out! I am uploading lots of new stuff, and we are looking at doing regular shows again if there is an interest in it from all those good folks who visit it…
There is lots of stuff going on with it, and especially the spoken word channel… as I type this, there is a talk about Ecstasy going on, and there will be poetry coming up shortly…..
Today we are featuring an Italian Folk/Techno outfit: Fiamma Fumana… thanks to Peter for mentioning them in an email.
Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:

Italian Quotes

Fiamma Fumana 1.0 Live in Winnipeg

Gary Snyder Interview…

Leonard Cohen Poems: Songs Of Love And Hate

Fiamma Fumana “Di madre in figlia” live in Winnipeg

Italian Quotes:
“Old wine and friends improve with age.”
“He who knows little quickly tells it”
“Eggs have no business dancing with stones”
“He who is guilty believes all men speak ill of him”
“Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.”
“The teacher is like the candle, which lights others in consuming itself”

Fiamma Fumana 1.0 Live in Winnipeg

Gary Snyder Interview…

This interview originated at Caffeine Destiny..
Gary Snyder was born in San Francisco and studied at Reed College in Portland. Zen poet and environmental activist, he’s worked as a logger and a trail-crew member, and studied Oriental langauges at Berkeley. He’s also written many books of poetry and prose, including, The Gary Snyder Reader , No Nature:New and Selected Poems , Riprap , Axe Handles , Regarding Wave, and Turtle Island, which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
He is currently a professor of English at the University of California, Davis, and recently took the time to answer a few of our questions.
Caffeine Destiny: What is the most satisfying thing for you about writing, and has that changed over the years?

Gary Snyder: The act of making something, bringing elements together and creating a new thing with craft and wit hidden in it, is a great pleasure. It’s not the only sort of pleasure, but it is challenging and satisfying, and not unlike other sorts of creating and building. In Greek “poema” means “makings.” It doesn’t change with the years, or with the centuries.
How do you know when a poem is finished?

It tastes done.
If animals wrote things down, who would you rather hear a poem by – a raccoon or a possum?

A raccoon’s poem is alert and inquisitive, and amazes you by what a mess it makes. A possum’s poem seems sort of slow and dumb at first, but then it rolls over. When you get close to it, it spits in your eye.
What’s the most striking difference to you between California wilderness and Oregon wilderness?

You need to specify east side or west side, north or south, for this to be a useful question. The northwestern California-southwestern Oregon zone is basically one. Southeast Oregon belongs with the Great Basin and then a lot of eastern Oregon to the Columbia Plateau. Lower Columbia includes both sides of the river. The differences, east or west, are expressed basically in precipitation, and the Northern Spotted Owl needs bigger and denser groves than the Southern.
Do you find yourself working on several poems at once, or do you start one poem and see it through to some kind of conclusion before you start on another one?

Both, and also other strategies and variations as well. An artist is a total switch-hitter.
Are there some poets whose work you return to again and again?

Yes, among them Du Fu, Lorca, Basho, Pound, Yeats, Buson, Bai Ju-yi, Li He, Su Shih, Homer, Mira Bhai, Kalidasa.
What is your advice to writers who are just starting out?

Think like a craftsperson, learn your materials, your tools, and then read a lot of poetry so you don’t keep inventing wheels.
Can poetry change the world?


Leonard Cohen Poems: Songs Of Love And Hate

Well I stepped into an avalanche,

it covered up my soul;

when I am not this hunchback that you see,

I sleep beneath the golden hill.

You who wish to conquer pain,

you must learn, learn to serve me well.
You strike my side by accident

as you go down for your gold.

The cripple here that you clothe and feed

is neither starved nor cold;

he does not ask for your company,

not at the centre, the centre of the world.
When I am on a pedestal,

you did not raise me there.

Your laws do not compel me

to kneel grotesque and bare.

I myself am the pedestal

for this ugly hump at which you stare.
You who wish to conquer pain,

you must learn what makes me kind;

the crumbs of love that you offer me,

they’re the crumbs I’ve left behind.

Your pain is no credential here,

it’s just the shadow, shadow of my wound.
I have begun to long for you,

I who have no greed;

I have begun to ask for you,

I who have no need.

You say you’ve gone away from me,

but I can feel you when you breathe.
Do not dress in those rags for me,

I know you are not poor;

you don’t love me quite so fiercely now

when you know that you are not sure,

it is your turn, beloved,

it is your flesh that I wear.

Joan Of Arc
Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc

as she came riding through the dark;

no moon to keep her armour bright,

no man to get her through this very smoky night.

She said, “I’m tired of the war,

I want the kind of work I had before,

a wedding dress or something white

to wear upon my swollen appetite.”
Well, I’m glad to hear you talk this way,

you know I’ve watched you riding every day

and something in me yearns to win

such a cold and lonesome heroine.

“And who are you?” she sternly spoke

to the one beneath the smoke.

“Why, I’m fire,” he replied,

“And I love your solitude, I love your pride.”
“Then fire, make your body cold,

I’m going to give you mine to hold,”

saying this she climbed inside

to be his one, to be his only bride.

And deep into his fiery heart

he took the dust of Joan of Arc,

and high above the wedding guests

he hung the ashes of her wedding dress.
It was deep into his fiery heart

he took the dust of Joan of Arc,

and then she clearly understood

if he was fire, oh then she must be wood.

I saw her wince, I saw her cry,

I saw the glory in her eye.

Myself I long for love and light,

but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?

Famous Blue Raincoat
It’s four in the morning, the end of December

I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better

New York is cold, but I like where I’m living

There’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening.
I hear that you’re building your little house deep in the desert

You’re living for nothing now, I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.
Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair

She said that you gave it to her

That night that you planned to go clear

Did you ever go clear?
Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older

Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder

You’d been to the station to meet every train

And you came home without Lili Marlene
And you treated my woman to a flake of your life

And when she came back she was nobody’s wife.
Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth

One more thin gypsy thief

Well I see Jane’s awake –
She sends her regards.

And what can I tell you my brother, my killer

What can I possibly say?

I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you

I’m glad you stood in my way.
If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me

Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.
Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes

I thought it was there for good so I never tried.
And Jane came by with a lock of your hair

She said that you gave it to her

That night that you planned to go clear

Love Calls You By Your Name
You thought that it could never happen

to all the people that you became,

your body lost in legend, the beast so very tame.

But here, right here,

between the birthmark and the stain,

between the ocean and your open vein,

between the snowman and the rain,

once again, once again,

love calls you by your name.
The women in your scrapbook

whom you still praise and blame,

you say they chained you to your fingernails

and you climb the halls of fame.

Oh but here, right here,

between the peanuts and the cage,

between the darkness and the stage,

between the hour and the age,

once again, once again,

love calls you by your name.
Shouldering your loneliness

like a gun that you will not learn to aim,

you stumble into this movie house,

then you climb, you climb into the frame.

Yes, and here, right here

between the moonlight and the lane,

between the tunnel and the train,

between the victim and his stain,

once again, once again,

love calls you by your name.
I leave the lady meditating

on the very love which I, I do not wish to claim,

I journey down the hundred steps,

but the street is still the very same.

And here, right here,

between the dancer and his cane,

between the sailboat and the drain,

between the newsreel and your tiny pain,

once again, once again,

love calls you by your name.
Where are you, Judy, where are you, Anne?

Where are the paths your heroes came?

Wondering out loud as the bandage pulls away,

was I, was I only limping, was I really lame?

Oh here, come over here,

between the windmill and the grain,

between the sundial and the chain,

between the traitor and her pain,

once again, once again,

love calls you by your name.

Fiamma Fumana “Di madre in figlia” live in Winnipeg