Here is to the Beauty, Here is to the Madness… Here is to good company, a glass of Absinthe and to sweet Poesy….
Here is to Women, in all their divine beauty, Here is to our Children… Here is to a future that we can all embrace…
Here is to the Living, and Here is to the Dead…
I tip my glass to the passing of the old, and the coming of the new, Here is to each and every one of you!
Bright Blessings,

Gates Of Eden
Of war and peace the truth just twists

Its curfew gull just glides

Upon four-legged forest clouds

The cowboy angel rides

With his candle lit into the sun

Though its glow is waxed in black

All except when ‘neath the trees of Eden
The lamppost stands with folded arms

Its iron claws attached

To curbs ‘neath holes where babies wail

Though it shadows metal badge

All and all can only fall

With a crashing but meaningless blow

No sound ever comes from the Gates of Eden
The savage soldier sticks his head in sand

And then complains

Unto the shoeless hunter who’s gone deaf

But still remains

Upon the beach where hound dogs bay

At ships with tattooed sails

Heading for the Gates of Eden
With a time-rusted compass blade

Aladdin and his lamp

Sits with Utopian hermit monks

Side saddle on the Golden Calf

And on their promises of paradise

You will not hear a laugh

All except inside the Gates of Eden
Relationships of ownership

They whisper in the wings

To those condemned to act accordingly

And wait for succeeding kings

And I try to harmonize with songs

The lonesome sparrow sings

There are no kings inside the Gates of Eden
The motorcycle black madonna

Two-wheeled gypsy queen

And her silver-studded phantom cause

The gray flannel dwarf to scream

As he weeps to wicked birds of prey

Who pick up on his bread crumb sins

And there are no sins inside the Gates of Eden
The kingdoms of Experience

In the precious wind they rot

While paupers change possessions

Each one wishing for what the other has got

And the princess and the prince

Discuss what’s real and what is not

It doesn’t matter inside the Gates of Eden
The foreign sun, it squints upon

A bed that is never mine

As friends and other strangers

From their fates try to resign

Leaving men wholly, totally free

To do anything they wish to do but die

And there are no trials inside the Gates of Eden
At dawn my lover comes to me

And tells me of her dreams

With no attempts to shovel the glimpse

Into the ditch of what each one means

At times I think there are no words

But these to tell what’s true

And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden

-Robert Zimmerman

Gates of Eden – Bryan Ferry


From The Carmina Gadelica
Hogmanay Carol
I am now come to your country,

To renew to you the Hogmanay,

I need not tell you of it,

It was in the time of our forefathers.
I ascend by the door lintel,

I descend by the doorstep,

I will sing my song becomingly,

Mannerly, slowly, mindfully.
The Hogmanay skin is in my pocket,

Great will be the smoke from it presently.
The house-man will get it in his hand,

He will place its nose in the fire;

He will go sunwards round the babes,

And for seven verities round the housewife.
The housewife it is she who deserves it,

The hand to dispense to us the Hogmanay,

A small gift of the bloom of summer,

Much I wish it with the bread.
Give it to us if it be possible,

If you may not, do not detain us;

I am the servant of God’s Son at the door,

Arise thyself and open to me.
Hogmanay Of The Sack
CALLUINEN HO!–This rune is still repeated in the Isles. Rarely, however, do two persons recite it alike. This renders it difficult to decide the right form of the words.
The walls of the old houses in the West are very thick–from five to eight feet. There are no gables, the walls being of uniform height throughout. The roof of the house being raised from the inner edge of the wall, a broad terrace is left on the outside. Two or three stones project from the wall at the door, forming steps. On these the inmates ascend for purposes of thatching and securing the roof in time of storm.
The ‘gillean Callaig’ carollers or Hogmanay lads perambulate the townland at night. One man is enveloped in the hard hide of a bull with the horns and hoofs still attached. When the men come to a house they ascend the wall and run round sunwise, the man in the hide shaking the horns and hoofs, and the other men striking the hard hide with sticks. The appearance of the man in the hide is gruesome, while the din made is terrific. Having descended and recited their runes at the door, the Hogmanay men are admitted and treated to the best in the house. The performance seems to be symbolic, but of what it is not easy to say, unless of laying an evil spirit. That the rite is heathen and ancient is evident.

Hogmanay of the sack,

Hogmanay of the sack,

Strike the hide,

Strike the hide.

Hogmanay of the sack,

Hogmanay of the sack,

Beat the skin,

Beat the skin.

Hogmanay of the sack,

Hogmanay of the sack,

Down with it! up with it!

Strike the hide.

Hogmanay of the sack,

Hogmanay of the sack,

Down with it! up with it!

Beat the skin.

Hogmanay of the sack,

Hogmanay of the sack.
We are come to the door,

To see if we be the better of our visit,

To tell the generous women of the townland

That to-morrow is Calendae Day.

(hould the guisers be inhospitably treated, they file round the fire withershins and walk out, and raise a cairn in or near the door, called ‘carnan mollachd,’ cairn of malison, ‘carnan cronachd,’ scaith cairn)
The malison of God and of Hogmanay be on you,

And the scath of the plaintive buzzard,

Of the hen-harrier, of the raven, of the eagle,

And the scath of the sneaking fox.
The scath of the dog and of the cat be on you,

Of the boar, of the badger, and of the ‘brugha,’

Of the hipped bear and of the wild wolf,

And the scath of the foul foumart.
The Song Of Hogmanay
Now since we came to the country

To renew to you the Hogmanay,

Time will not allow us to explain,

It has been since the age of our fathers.
Ascending the wall of the house,

Descending at the door,

My carol to say modestly,

As becomes me at the Hogmanay.
The Hogmanay skin is in my pocket,

Great the fume that will come from that;

No one who shall inhale its odour,

But shall be for ever from it healthy.
The house-man will get it in his grasp,

He will put its point in the fire;

He will go sunwise round the children,

And very specially round the goodwife.
The wife will get it, she it is who deserves it,

The hand to distribute the Hogmanay,

The hand to bestow upon us cheese and butter,

The hand without niggardliness, without meanness.
Since drought has come upon the land,

And that we do not expect rarity,

A little of the substance of the summer,

Would we desire with the bread.
If that we are not to have it,

If thou mayest, do not detain us;

I am the servant of God’s Son on Hogmanay,

Arise thyself and open the door.

Hogmanay here! Hogmanay here!

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