Tear Drop…

(love)love is a verb

Love is a doing word

Feathers on my breath

Gentle impulsion

Shakes me makes me lighter

Feathers on my breath
Teardrop on the fire

Feathers on my breath
In the night of matter

Black flowers blossom

Feathers on my breath

Black flowers blossom

Feathers on my breath
Teardrop on the fire

Feathers on my breath
Water is my eye

Most faithful my love

Feathers on my breath

Teardrop on the fire of a confession

Feathers on my breath

Most faithful my love

Feathers on my breath
Teardrop on the fire

Feathers on my breath

This is Massive Attack’s “Tear Drop” With Liz Fraser from The Cocteau Twins singing.
A wondrous piece of music.
Have A Good Weekend!


All Is Full Of Love

Youll be given love

Youll be taken care of

Youll be given love

You have to trust it

Maybe not from the sources

Youve poured yours


Maybe not

From the directions

You are

Staring at

Twist your head around

Its all around you

All is full of love

All around you

All is full of love

You just aint receiving

All is full of love

Your phone is off the hook

All is full of love

Your doors are all shut

All is full of love

Factory Girl…


(M. Jagger/K. Richards)
Waiting for a girl who’s got curlers in her hair

Waiting for a girl she has no money anywhere

We get buses everywhere

Waiting for a factory girl
Waiting for a girl and her knees are much too fat

Waiting for a girl who wears scarves instead of hats

Her zipper’s broken down the back

Waiting for a factory girl
Waiting for a girl and she gets me into fights

Waiting for a girl we get drunk on Friday night

She’s a sight for sore eyes

Waiting for a factory girl
Waiting for a girl and she’s got stains all down her dress

Waiting for a girl and my feet are getting wet

She ain’t come out yet

Waiting for a factory girl

This is perhaps my favourite song from that time period. A decent try.
Oh Yeah,

The Oracular Voice

Started this last Friday, I have been wrestling with some problems with security. It seems we got hacked, (once more!) and I am trying to figure out security settings etc.
Meanwhile, The Invisible College On Line PDF magazine is finished editing, all I have to do is assemble the PDF file, and we will upload it, hopefully today.
For all of you out there with a penchant for new and adventurous exercises in journalism, art and fiction, the new Journey Book is out! Rak Razam’s & Tim Parish have really done it this time! I am doing distribution for them State Side, but put your orders in at the website. More info soon… This is a great adventure for our Australian friends!
We will keep you posted on what is coming up next like…. Videos/ TV & Radio Free EarthRites for mobile phones? Keep Ya Posted,
Brigth Blessings,


On The Menu:

Hakim Bey – Peter Lamborn Wilson Quotes

Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor I – Introitus and Kyrie

The Hound of Mons

Robert Graves: The Oracular Voice

Morphine – Cure for Pain

Art: Waterhouse & Godward


Hakim Bey – Peter Lamborn Wilson Quotes:

“Sorcery: the systematic cultivation of enhanced consciousness or non-ordinary awareness & its deployment in the world of deeds & objects to bring about desired results.”

“Those who understand history are condemned to watch other idiots repeat it.”

“The Law waits for you to stumble on a mode of being, a soul different from the FDA-approved purple-stamped standard dead meat — & as soon as you begin to act in harmony with nature the Law garottes & strangles you — so don’t play the blessed liberal middleclass martyr — accept the fact that you’re a criminal & be prepared to act like one.”

“Moloch merely shovels babies into the fire of productive capitalism. Mammon hooks them on the dead heroin of envy.” – Peter Lamborn Wilson

“In the late 18th or early 19th century a group of runaway slaves and serfs fled from Kentucky into the Ohio Territory, where they inter-married with Natives and formed a tribe – red, white & black – called the Ben Ishmael tribe. The Ishmaels (who seem to have been Islamically inclined) followed an annual nomadic route through the territory, hunting & fishing, and finding work as tinkers and minstrels. They were polygamists, and drank no alcohol. Every winter they returned to their original settlement, where a village had grown.
But eventually the US Govt. opened the Territory to settlement, and the ~official~ pioneers arrived. Around the Ishmael village a town began to spring up, called Cincinnati. Soon it was a big city. But Ishmael village was still there, engulfed & surrounded by “civilization.” Now it was a ~slum~.
Hasn’t something similar happened to the Internet? The original freedom-loving hackers & guerrilla informationists, the true pioneers of cyberspace, are still there. But they have been surrounded by a vastness of virtual “development,” and reduced to a kind of ghetto. True, for a while the slums remain colorful – one can go there for a “good time,” strum a banjo, spark up a romance. Folkways survive. One remembers the old days, the freedom to wander, the sense of openness. But History has gone… somewhere else. Capital has ~moved on~.
Incidentally, in the late 19th & early 20th century the Ishmaels were discovered by the Eugenics movement, which declared them to be racial mongrels & degenerates. The Ishmaels were targeted for extinction; those who did not flee & disappear were institutionalized or even sterilized. The old slum was cleared & built over, and the Ishmaels were forgotten.”

“Physical separateness can never be overcome by electronics, but only by “conviviality”, by “living together” in the most literal physical sense. The physically divided are also the conquered and the controlled. “True desires” – erotic, gustatory, olfactory, musical, aesthetic, psychic, & spiritual – are best attained in a context of freedom of self and other in physical proximity & mutual aid. Everything else is at best a sort of representation.”

Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor I – Introitus and Kyrie

Blasts from the Past – The News that Time Forgot

The Hound of Mons

A strange horror story from the battlefields of World War I, when a terrible devil-dog was said to haunt the allied trenches.

By Theo Paijmans

(found at Fortean Times..)

Accounts of anomalous occurrences, tall tales and yarns, superstitions and rumours – all are born in the confusion and upheaval of every great conflict, and World War I was no exception. French linguist Albert Dauzat treats several fascinating legends that emerged from military conflicts, and lists a number of tales from WWI in his Légendes, Prophéties et Superstitions de la Guerre. In his book, published two years after the war, Dauzat recounts how he experienced a number of these legends firsthand, such as the rumoured arrival of large contingents of Russian troops: “At Pont-Audemer, a friend told me, during the whole of the Winter of 1914–1915, people believed in the disembarking of the Russians who had come from Arkhangelsk to Honfleur (situated less than 30km [or 19 miles] away), saying ‘I saw them as I saw you.’” Or the bombardment of Paris by the German railway guns, that spawned rumours of curious aerial phenomena: “The first day of the bombardment of Paris by the long distance guns, many persons… declared that they saw parachutes or red ball­oons descending from the air: a hallucination in certain cases that I have observed myself…” [1]
The best-known legend of WWI is undoubtedly that of the Angels of Mons. In connection with this, Dauzat writes of various aerial phenomena witnessed during time of war and tells of another near the end of the war: “In the first days of November 1918, at the moment when President Wilson and the German government were holding preliminary discussions concerning a cease-fire, the tale ran across the American front that a ‘white dove of peace’ had, on a clear day, circled the lines for more than an hour. It was an aeroplane, according to the testimony of a colonel and two majors: they even recalled certain less truthful details, which proved that they too were the victims of a mild form of suggestion. It was, they said, a completely white aeroplane, of a type unknown on the western front, not carrying an insignia of any kind, and, flying very high, it passed over the American trenches, then circled the German lines.” It did so for over an hour, then turned north and disappeared. [2]
This account and many others were quickly forgotten in the turmoil following the end of the bloody conflict. The legend of the Angels of Mons fared better; as late as 1934, various news­papers were publishing all kinds of explanations for the miracle, and it has been the subject of a recent scholarly study. [3] But apparently another, darker rumour hid in the shadows of Mons. The curious tale was published in 1919, but this time bears witness not to miraculous apparitions of angelic beings, but to the evil doings of an enorm­ous hound of hell during those terrible days at the front:

That weird legend of No Man’s Land, the gruesome epic of the ‘hound of Mons’, has, according to FJ Newhouse, a returned Canad­ian veteran, been vindicated throughout Europe as fact and not fiction. For four years civilian sceptics laughed at the soldiers’ tale of a giant, skulking hound, which stalked among the corpses and shell holes of No Man’s Land and dragged down British soldiers to their death. An apparition of fear-crazed minds, they said. But to the soldiers it was a reality and one of the most fearful things of the world war.
“The death of Dr Gottlieb Hochmuller in the recent Spartacan riots in Berlin”, said Capt. Newhouse, “has brought to light facts concerning the fiendish application of this German scientist’s skill that have astounded Europe. For the hound of Mons was not an accident, a phantom, or an halluc­ination – it was the deliberate result of one of the strangest and most repulsive scientific experiments the world has ever known.
Teeth Marks in Throats

What was the hound of Mons? According to the soldiers, the legend started in the terrible days of the defence of Mons. On the night of November 14, 1914, Capt. Yeskes and four men of the London Fusiliers entered No Man’s Land on a patrol. The last living trace of them was when they started into the darkness between the lines. Several days afterwards their dead bodies were found – just as they had been dragged down – with teeth marks at the throats.
Several nights later a weird, blood-curdling howl was heard from the darkness toward which the British trenches faced. It was the howl of the hound of Mons. From then on this phantom hound became the terror of the men who faced death by bullets with a smile. It was the old fear of the unknown.
Howl is Heard

Patrol after patrol, during two years of warfare, ventured out only to be found days later with the telltale marks at their throats. The ghastly howl continued to echo through No Man’s Land. Several times sentries declared that they saw a lean, grey wraith flit past the barbed wire – the form of a gigantic hound running silently. But civilian Europe always doubted the story.
Then after two years, while many brave men lost their lives with only those teeth marks at the throat to show, the hound of Mons disappeared. From then on the Germans never had another important success. “And now”, says Captain Newhouse, “secret papers have been taken from the residence of the late Dr Hochmuller which prove that the hound of Mons was a terrible living reality, a giant hound with the brain of a human madman”.
Hound Had Human Brain

Captain Newhouse says that the papers show that this hound was the only successful issue of a series of experiments by which Dr Hochmuller hoped to end the war in Germany’s favour. The scientist had gone about the wards of the German hospitals until he found a man gone mad as the result of his insane hatred of England. Hochmuller, with the sanction of the German government, operated upon him and removed his brain, taking in particular the parts which dominated hatred and frenzy.
At the same time a like operat­ion was performed on a giant Siberian wolfhound. Its brain was taken out and the brain of the madman inserted. By careful nursing the dog lived. The man was permitted to die. The dog rapidly grew stronger and, after careful training in fiendishness, was taken to the firing line and released in No Man’s Land. There for two years it became the terror of outposts and patrols. [4]

Could there possibly be any truth in this outrageous tale? There are a number of ways of interpreting it; leaving aside the fact that the surgical procedure described above is quite impossible, the story does resemble plenty of other spurious tales of alleged atrocit­ies committed by the German troops. While legends concerning the Allied forces usually show them as being saved by angelic beings or the Christ-like ‘Comrade in White’, those concerning the German army tend to concern completely unproven atrocities committed by ‘the Hun’. Most of these tales have since been proven to be nothing more than crude propaganda (even if the same can’t be said of the German army’s conduct in WWII).
Then there is the element of that fiendish doctor Gottlieb Hochmuller – of whose existence I have found no evidence – and his bizarre medical procedures, which echo the dark experiments of his fictional fellow countryman of some centuries before, Baron von Frankenstein.
The story of the Hound of Mons remains one of the strangest to come from the front, although there are plenty more weird rumours to be found, such as those concerning free-roaming bands of derelicts and deserters from both sides who turned cannibal and stalked the labyrinthine trenches of no-man’s land.
The sudden disappearance of the Hound of Mons in Newhouse’s account has elements of the fairy tale and the various legends of demon dogs and hell hounds. But perhaps a huge dog really did stalk the trenches; perhaps, abandoned by its master as Mons turned into a battlefield, it turned feral and, in its hunger, prowled the battlefield, giving rise to this strange story. I have never heard of the tale before; but scattered accounts and sightings of a huge dog at Mons might have given rise to this tale that was all but forgotten after the much more dramatic – and much more favourable – one of the Angels of Mons.
Newhouse’s tale can also be seen as the clever concoction of an enterprising journalist, or of the Canadian veteran himself, forming a variant of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of The Baskervilles; this story, published in 1902, is reportedly inspired by legends of a black hound on Dartmoor – or elsewhere in Britain. In this regard we also note that famous thriller writer Agatha Christie placed one of her supernatural short stories, The Hound of Death (1933), in Belgium during World War I. [5] It is a strange tale with decidedly Lovecraftian undertones (his story The Hound dates from 1922), and one in which Christie makes use of another legend of the Great War, that of German soldiers attempting to take over a convent during the invasion of Belgium. In her story, as soon as the soldiers enter the building it explodes, killing them all. Dauzat remarks in his book that French author Leon Bloy, who died in 1917, tells of an event allegedly having occurred in 1914, where German soldiers tried to enter a church in which was housed a miraculous statue. Its doors would not open, so the German officer commanded them to be blasted away by the cannons. All of a sudden, the doors opened by themselves, as if magically; but the German troops who prepare to enter the church all fall dead at the spot. Writes Dauzat: “Similar legends have been formed or created in Bavaria, in Austria and all through the Orient.” [6]


1 Albert Dauzat: Légendes, Prophéties et Superstitions de la Guerre, la Renaissance Du Livre, 1920, pp30–31.
2 Ibid, pp231–232.
3 David Clarke: The Angel Of Mons, Wiley, 2004.
4 “American Wolf Hound With Brain of a Man Was Terror to No Man’s Land”, Evening News, Ada, Oklahoma, 11 Aug 1919.
5 Agatha Christie: The Hound of Death and Other Stories, Odhams Press, 1933.
6 op.cit., Dauzat, p118.

The Oracular Voice: Robert Graves

He is quick, thinking in clear images;

I am slow, thinking in broken images.
He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;

I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images.
Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;

Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.
Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact;

Questioning their relevance, I question their fact.
When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;

when the fact fails me, I approve my senses.
He continues quick and dull in his clear images;

I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.
He in a new confusion of his understanding;

I in a new understanding of my confusion.

Love is universal migraine,

A bright stain on the vision

Blotting out reason.
Symptoms of true love

Are leanness, jealousy,

Laggard dawns;
Are omens and nightmares –

Listening for a knock,

Waiting for a sign:
For a touch of her fingers

In a darkened room,

For a searching look.
Take courage, lover!

Could you endure such pain

At any hand but hers?

Those who dare give nothing

Are left with less than nothing;

Dear heart, you give me everything,

Which leaves you more than everything-

Though those who dare give nothing

Might judge it left you less than nothing.
Giving you everything,

I too, who once had nothing,

Am left with more than everything

As gifts for those with nothing

Who need, if not our everything,

At least a loving something.

To bring the dead to life

Is no great magic.

Few are wholly dead:

Blow on a dead man’s embers

And a live flame will start.
Let his forgotten griefs be now,

And now his withered hopes;

Subdue your pen to his handwriting

Until it prove as natural

To sign his name as yours.
Limp as he limped,

Swear by the oaths he swore;

If he wore black, affect the same;

If he had gouty fingers,

Be yours gouty too.
Assemble tokens intimate of him –

A ring, a hood, a desk:

Around these elements then build

A home familiar to

The greedy revenant.
So grant him life, but reckon

That the grave which housed him

May not be empty now:

You in his spotted garments

Shall yourself lie wrapped.


Morphine – Cure for Pain


Shaer-E Sahir

William Turner – Flint Castle

Nothing long winded, but an entry for Imbolc, for Bhride in all her glory. Welcome to Spring, it has been such a long, long winter!
Bright Blessings,


On The Menu:

Ghata Tharang- Rhythmic Rapsody

The Links

Entheogen – Aakening The Divine Within

From The Carmina Gadelica – Sloinntireach Bhride

Poetry: Shaer-E Sahir – Hafiz

Live performance of Ghatam Suresh

Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner

On Recommendation From Mike Crowley:

Ghata Tharang- Rhythmic Rapsody

The Links:

10 Awesome Episodes of “In Search Of”

Let in the Sun

Smith: Imbolc holiday to mark first day of spring

Bart Simpson recruited into Scientology against his will

School can expel lesbian students, court rules

Entheogen – Awakening The Divine Within

From The Carmina Gadelica Sloinntireach Bhride

The Genealogy of Bride was current among people who had a latent belief in its efficacy. Other hymns to Bride were sung on her festival, but nothing now remains except the names and fragments of the words. The names are curious and suggestive, as: ‘Ora Bhride,’ Prayer of Bride, ‘Lorg Bhride,’ Staff of Bride, ‘Luireach Bhride,’ Lorica of Bride, ‘Lorig Bhride,’ Mantle of Bride, ‘Brot Bhride,’ Corslet of Bride, and others. La Feill Bhride, St Bridget’s Day, is the first of February, new style, or the thirteenth according to the old style, which is still much in use in the Highlands. It was a day of great rejoicing and jubilation in olden times, and gave rise to innumerable sayings, as:–
‘Feill na Bride, feis na finne.’
‘Bride binn nam bas ban.’
‘A Bhride chaoin cheanail,

Is caoimh liom anail do bheoil,

’D uair reidhinn air m’ aineol

Bu to fein ceann eisdeachd mo sgeoil.’

Feast of the Bride, feast of the maiden.
Melodious Bride of the fair palms.
Thou Bride fair charming,

Pleasant to me the breath of thy mouth,

When I would go among strangers

‘Thou thyself wert the hearer of my tale.

There are many legends and customs connected with Bride. Some of these seem inconsistent with one another, and with the character of the Saint of Kildare. These seeming inconsistencies arise from the fact that there were several Brides, Christian and pre-Christian, whose personalities have become confused in the course of centuries–the attributes of all being now popularly ascribed to one. Bride is said to preside over fire, over art, over all beauty, ‘fo cheabhar agus fo chuan,’ beneath the sky and beneath the sea. And man being the highest type of ideal beauty, Bride presides at his birth and dedicates him to the Trinity. She is the Mary and the Juno of the Gael. She is much spoken of in connection with Mary,–generally in relation to the birth of Christ. She was the aid-woman of the Mother of Nazareth in the lowly stable, and she is the aid-woman of the mothers of Uist in their humble homes.
It is said that Bride was the daughter of poor pious parents, and the serving-maid in the inn of Bethlehem. Great drought occurred in the land, and the master of the hostel went away with his cart to procure water from afar, leaving with Bride ‘faircil buirn agus breacag arain,’ a stoup of water and a bannock of bread to sustain her till his return. The man left injunctions with Bride not to give food or drink to any one, as he had left only enough for herself, and not to give shelter to any one against his return.
As Bride was working in the house two strangers came to the door. The man was old, with brown hair and grey beard, and the woman was young and beautiful, with oval face, straight nose, blue eyes, red lips, small ears, and golden brown hair, which fell below her waist. They asked the serving-maid for a place to rest, for they were footsore and weary, for food to satisfy their hunger, and for water to quench their thirst. Bride could not give them shelter, but she gave them of her own bannock and of her own stoup of water, of which they partook at the door; and having thanked Bride the strangers went their way, while Bride gazed wistfully and sorrowfully after them. She saw that the sickness of life was on the young woman of the lovely face, and her heart was sore that she had not the power to give them shade from the heat of the sun, and cover from the cold of the dew. When Bride returned into the house in the darkening of the twilight, what was stranger to her to see than that the bannock of bread was whole, and the stoup of water full, as they had been before! She did not know under the land of the world what she would say or what she would do. The food and the water of which she herself had given them, and had seen them partake, without a bit or a drop lacking from them! When she recovered from her wonderment Bride went out to look after the two who had gone their way, but she could see no more of them. But she saw a brilliant golden light over the stable door, and knowing that it was not ‘dreag a bhais,’ a meteor of death, she went into the stable and was in time to aid and minister to the Virgin Mother, and to receive the Child into her arms, for the strangers were Joseph and Mary, and the child was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, come to earth, and born in the stable of the hostel of Bethlehem. “D uair a rugadh an leanabh chuir Bride tri braona burna fuarain fioir-uisge air clar a bhathais ann an ainm De, ann an ainm Iosa, ann an ainm Spioraid.’ When the Child was born Bride put three drops of water from the spring of pure water on the tablet of His forehead, in name of God, in name of Jesus, in name of Spirit. When the master of the inn was returning home, and ascending the hill on which his house stood, he heard the murmuring music of a stream flowing past his house, and he saw the light of a bright star above his stable door. He knew from these signs that the Messiah was come and that Christ was born, ‘oir bha e ann an dailgneachd nan daoine gum beirte Iosa Criosda Mac De ann am Betlehem, baile Dhaibhidh’–for it was in the seership of the people that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would be born in Bethlehem, the town of David. And the man rejoiced with exceeding joy at the fulfilment of the prophecy, and he went to the stable and worshipped the new Christ, whose infant cradle was the manger of the horses.
Thus Bride is called ‘ban-chuideachaidh Moire,’ the aid-woman of Mary. In this connection, and in consequence thereof, she is called ‘Muime Chriosda,’ foster-mother of Christ; ‘Bana-ghoistidh Mhic De,’ the god-mother of the Son of God; ‘Bana-ghoistidh Iosda Criosda nam bane agus nam beannachd,’ god-mother of Jesus Christ of the bindings and blessings. Christ again is called ‘Dalta Bride,’ the foster-son of Bride; ‘Dalta Bride bith nam beannachd,’ the foster-son of Bride of the blessings; ‘Daltan Bride,’ little fosterling of Bride, a term of endearment.
John the beloved is called Dalta Moire,’ foster-son of Mary, and ‘Comhdhalta Chriosda,’ the foster-brother, literally co-foster, of Christ. Fostership among the Highlanders was a peculiarly close and tender tie, more close and more tender even than blood. There are many proverbs on the subject, as, ‘Fuil gu fichead, comhdhaltas gu ceud,’ blood to the twentieth, fostership to the hundredth degree. A church in Islay is called ‘Cill Daltain,’ the Church of the Fosterling.
When a woman is in labour, the midwife or the woman next her in importance goes to the door of the house, and standing on the ‘fad-buinn,’ sole-sod, doorstep, with her hands on the jambs, softly beseeches Bride to come:
‘Bhride! Bhride! thig a steach,

Tha do bheatha deanta,

Tabhair cobhair dha na bhean,

’S tabh an gein dh’an Triana.’

Bride! Bride! come in,

Thy welcome is truly made,

Give thou relief to the woman,

And give the conception to the Trinity.

When things go well, it indicates that Bride is present and is friendly to the family; and when they go ill, that she is absent and offended. Following the action of Bride at the birth of Christ, the aid-woman dedicates the child to the Trinity by letting three drops of clear cold water fall on the tablet of his forehead. (See page 114.)
The aid-woman was held in reverence by all nations. Juno was worshipped with greater honour than any other deity of ancient Rome, and the Pharaohs paid tribute to the aid-women of Egypt. Perhaps, however, appreciation of the aid-woman was never more touchingly indicated than in the reply of two beautiful maidens of St Kilda to John Macdonald, the kindly humorist, and the unsurpassed seaman and pilot of Admiral Otter of the West Coast Survey: ‘O ghradhanan an domhain agus an t-saoghail, carson a Righ na gile ’s na greine! nach ’eal sibh a posadh is sibh cho briagh?’ ‘A ghaol nan daona, ciamar a phosas sinne? nach do chaochail a bheanghluin!’ ‘Oh! ye loves of the domain and of the universe, why, King of the moon and of the sun! are ye not marrying and ye so beautiful?’ ‘Oh! thou love of men, how can we marry? has not the knee-wife died!’
On Bride’s Eve the girls of the townland fashion a sheaf of corn into the likeness of a woman. They dress and deck the figure with shining shells, sparkling crystals, primroses, snowdrops, and any greenery they may obtain. In the mild climate of the Outer Hebrides several species of plants continue in flower during winter, unless the season be exceptionally severe. The gales of March are there the destroyers of plant-life. A specially bright shell or crystal is placed over the heart of the figure. This is called ‘reul-iuil Bride,’ the guiding star of Bride, and typifies the star over the stable door of Bethlehem, which led Bride to the infant Christ. The girls call the figure ‘Bride,’ ‘Brideag,’ Bride, Little Bride, and carry it in procession, singing the song of ‘Bride bhoidheach oigh nam mile beus,’ Beauteous Bride, virgin of a thousand charms. The ‘banal Bride,’ Bride maiden band, are clad in white, and have their hair down, symbolising purity and youth. They visit every house, and every person is expected to give a gift to Bride and to make obeisance to her. The gift may be a shell, a spar, a crystal, a flower, or a bit of greenery to decorate the person of Bride. Mothers, however, give ‘bonnach Bride,’ a Bride bannock, ‘cabag Bride,’ a Bride cheese, or ‘rolag Bride,’ a Bride roll of butter. Having made the round of the place the girls go to a house to make the ‘feis Bride,’ Bride feast. They bar the door and secure the windows of the house, and set Bride where she may see and be seen of all. Presently the young men of the community come humbly asking permission to honour Bride. After some parleying they are admitted and make obeisance to her.
Much dancing and singing, fun and frolic, are indulged in by the young men and maidens during the night. As the grey dawn of the Day of Bride breaks they form a circle and sing the hymn of ‘Bride bhoidheach muime chorr Chriosda,’ Beauteous Bride, choice foster-mother of Christ. They then distribute fuidheal na feisde,’ the fragments of the feast–practically the whole, for they have partaken very sparingly, in order to have the more to give–among the poor women of the place.
A similar practice prevails in Ireland. There the churn staff, not the corn sheaf, is fashioned into the form of a woman, and called ‘Brideog,’ little Bride. The girls come clad in their best, and the girl who has the prettiest dress gives it to Brideog. An ornament something like a Maltese cross is affixed to the breast of the figure. The ornament is composed of straw, beautifully and artistically interlaced by the deft fingers of the maidens of Bride. It is called ‘rionnag Brideog,’ the star of little Bride. Pins, needles, bits of stone, bits of straw, and other things are given to Bride as gifts, and food by the mothers.
Customs assume the complexion of their surroundings, as fishes, birds, and beasts assimilate the colours of their habitats. The seas of the ‘Garbh Chriocha,’ Rough Bounds in which the cult of Bride has longest lived, abound in beautiful iridescent shells, and the mountains in bright sparkling stones, and these are utilised to adorn the ikon of Bride. In other districts where the figure of Bride is made, there are no shining shells, no brilliant crystals, and the girls decorate the image with artistically interlaced straw.
The older women are also busy on the Eve of Bride, and great preparations are made to celebrate her Day, which is the first day of spring. They make an oblong basket in the shape of a cradle, which they call ‘leaba Bride,’ the bed of Bride. It is embellished with much care. Then they take a choice sheaf of corn, generally oats, and fashion it into the form of a woman. They deck this ikon with gay ribbons from the loom, sparkling shells from the sea, and bright stones from the hill. All the sunny sheltered valleys around are searched for primroses, daisies, and other flowers that open their eyes in the morning of the year. This lay figure is called Bride, ‘dealbh Bride,’ the ikon of Bride. When it is dressed and decorated with all the tenderness and loving care the women can lavish upon it, one woman goes to the door of the house, and standing on the step with her hands on the jambs, calls softly into the darkness, ‘Tha leaba Bride deiseal,’ Bride’s bed is ready. To this a ready woman behind replies, ‘Thigeadh Bride steach, is e beatha Bride,’ Let Bride come in, Bride is welcome. The woman at the door again addresses Bride, ‘A Bhride! Bhride thig a stench, tha do leaba deanta. Gleidh an teach dh’an Triana,’ Bride! Bride, come thou in, thy bed is made. Preserve the house for the Trinity. The women then place the ikon of Bride with great ceremony in the bed they have so carefully prepared for it. They place a small straight white wand (the bark being peeled off) beside the figure. This wand is variously called ‘slatag Bride,’ the little rod of Bride, ‘slachdan Bride,’ the little wand of Bride, and ‘barrag Bride,’ the birch of Bride. The wand is generally of birch, broom, bramble, white willow, or other sacred wood, ‘crossed’ or banned wood being carefully avoided. A similar rod was given to the kings of Ireland at their coronation, and to the Lords of the Isles at their instatement. It was straight to typify justice, and white to signify peace and purity–bloodshed was not to be needlessly caused. The women then level the ashes on the hearth, smoothing and dusting them over carefully. Occasionally the ashes, surrounded by a roll of cloth, are placed on a board to safeguard them against disturbance from draughts or other contingencies. In the early morning the family closely scan the ashes. If they find the marks of the wand of Bride they rejoice, but if they find ‘long Bride,’ the footprint of Bride, their joy is very great, for this is a sign that Bride was present with them during the night, and is favourable to them, and that there is increase in family, in flock, and in field during the coming year. Should there be no marks on the ashes, and no traces of Bride’s presence, the family are dejected. It is to them a sign that she is offended, and will not hear their call. To propitiate her and gain her ear the family offer oblations and burn incense. The oblation generally is a cockerel, some say a pullet, buried alive near the junction of three streams, and the incense is burnt on the hearth when the family retire for the night.
In the Highlands and Islands St Bride’s Day was also called ‘La Cath Choileach,’ Da y of Cock-fighting. The boys brought cocks to the school to fight. The most successful cock was call
ed ‘coileach buadha,’ victor cock, and its proud owner was elected king of the school for the year. A defeated bird was called ‘fuidse,’ craven, ‘coileach fuidse,’ craven cock. All the defeated, maimed, and killed cocks were the perquisites of the schoolmaster. In the Lowlands ‘La Coinnle,’ Candlemas Day, was the day thus observed. It is said in Ireland that Bride walked before Mary with a lighted candle in each hand when she went up to the Temple for purification. The winds were strong on the Temple heights, and the tapers were unprotected, yet they did not flicker nor fail. From this incident Bride is called ‘Bride boillsge,’ Bride of brightness. This day is occasionally called ‘La Fheill Bride nan Coinnle,’ the Feast Day of Bride of the Candles, but more generally ‘La Fheill Moire nan Coinnle,’ the Feast Day of Mary of the Candles–Candlemas Day.
The serpent is supposed to emerge from its hollow among the hills on St Bride’s Day, and a propitiatory hymn was sung to it. Only one verse of this hymn has been obtained, apparently the first. It differs in different localities:–
‘Moch maduinn Bhride,

Thig an nimhir as an toll,

Cha bhoin mise ris an nimhir,

Cha bhoin an nimhir rium.’

Early on Bride’s morn

The serpent shall come from the hole,

I will not molest the serpent,

Nor will the serpent molest me.

Other versions say:–
La Feill na Bride,

Thig nighean Imhir as a chnoc,

Cha bhean mise do nighean

’S cha dean i mo lochd.’ [Imhir,
‘La Fheill Bride brisgeanach

Thig an ceann de in chaiteanach,

Thig nighean Iomhair as an tom

Le fonn feadalaich.’
‘Thig an nathair as an toll

La donn Bride,

Ged robh tri traighean dh’ an

Air leachd an lair.’ [t-sneachd

The Feast Day of the Bride,

The daughter of Ivor shall come from the knoll,

I will not touch the daughter of Ivor,

Nor shall she harm me.
On the Feast Day of Bride,

The head will come off the ‘caiteanach,’

The daughter of Ivor will come from the knoll

With tuneful whistling.
The serpent will come from the hole

On the brown Day of Bride,

Though there should be three feet of snow

On the flat surface of the ground.

The ‘daughter of Ivor’ is the serpent; and it is said that the serpent will not sting a descendant of Ivor, he having made ‘tabhar agus tuis,’ offering and incense, to it, thereby securing immunity from its sting for himself and his seed for ever.
‘La Bride nam brig ban

Thig an rigen ran a tom,

Cha bhoin mise ris an rigen ran,

’S cha bhoin an rigen ran rium.’

On the day of Bride of the white hills

The noble queen will come from the knoll,

I will not molest the noble queen,

Nor will the noble queen molest me.

These lines would seem to point to serpent-worship. One of the most curious customs of Bride’s Day was the pounding of the serpent in effigy. The following scene was described to the writer by one who was present:–’I was one of several guests in the hospitable house of Mr John Tolmie of Uignis, Skye. One of my fellow-guests was Mrs Macleod, widow of Major Macleod of Stein, and daughter of Flora Macdonald. Mrs Macleod was known among her friends as “Major Ann.” She combined the warmest of hearts with the sternest of manners, and was the admiration of old and young for her wit, wisdom, and generosity. When told that her son had fallen in a duel with the celebrated Glengarry–the Ivor MacIvor of Waverley–she exclaimed, “Math thu fein mo ghiullan! math thu fein mo ghiullan! gaol geal do mhathar fein! Is fearr bias saoidh na gras daoidh; cha bhasaich an gaisgeach ach an aon turas, ach an gealtair iomadaidh uair!”–”Good thou art my son! good thou art my son! thou the white love of thine own mother! Better the hero’s death than the craven’s life; the brave dies but once, the coward many times.” In a company of noblemen and gentlemen at Dunvegan Castle, Mrs Macleod, then in her 88th year, danced the reel of Tulloch and other reels, jigs, and strathspeys as lightly as a girl in her teens. Wherever she was, all strove to show Mrs Macleod attention and to express the honour in which she was held. She accepted all these honours and attentions with grace and dignity, and without any trace of vanity or self-consciousness. One morning at breakfast at Uignis some one remarked that this was the Day of Bride. “The Day of Bride,” repeated Mrs Macleod meditatively, and with a dignified bow of apology rose from the table. All watched her movements with eager curiosity. Mrs Macleod went to the fireside and took up the tongs and a bit of peat and walked out to the doorstep. She then took off her stocking and put the peat into it, and pounded it with the tongs. And as she pounded the peat on the step, she intoned a “rann,” rune, only one verse of which I can remember:–
“An diugh La Bride,

Thig an righinn as an tom,

Cha bhean mise ris an righinn,

Cha bhean an righinn rium.”

This is the day of Bride,

The queen will come from the mound,

I will not touch the queen,

Nor will the queen touch me.

‘Having pounded the peat and replaced her stocking, Mrs Macleod returned to the table, apologising for her remissness in not remembering the Day earlier in the morning. I could not make out whether Mrs Macleod was serious or acting, for she was a consummate actress and the delight of young and old. Many curious ceremonies and traditions in connection with Bride were told that morning, but I do not remember them.’
The pounding in the stocking of the peat representing the serpent would indicate destruction rather than worship, perhaps the bruising of the serpent’s head. Probably, however, the ceremony is older, and designed to symbolise something now lost.
Gaelic lore is full of sayings about serpents. These indicate close observation. ‘Tha cluas nathrach aige,’–he has the ear of a serpent (he hears keenly but does not speak); ‘Tha a bhana-bhuitseach lubach mar an nathair,’–the witch-woman is crooked as the serpent; ‘Is e an t-iorball is neo-chronail dhiot, cleas na nathrach nimhe,’–the tail is the least harmful of thee, the trick of the serpent venomous.
‘Ge min do chraicionn

Is nimheil gath do bheuil;

Tha thu mar an nathair lachdann,

Gabh do rathad fein.’
‘Bean na maise te neo-fhialaidh,

’S i lan do na briathra blath,

Tha, i mar an nathair riabhach,

’S gath na spiocaireachd na dail.’

Though smooth be thy skin,

Venomous is the sting of by mouth;

Thou art like the dun serpent,

Take thine own road.
The beauteous woman, ungenerous,

And she full of warm words,

Is like the brindled serpent,

And the sting of greed is in her.

The people of old practised early retiring, early rising, and diligent working:–
‘Suipeir is soillse Oidhch Fheill Bride,

Cadal is soillse Oidhch Fheill Paruig.’

Supper and light the Night of St Bride,

Sleep and light the Night of St Patrick.

The dandelion is called ‘bearnan Bride,’ the little notched of Bride, in allusion to the serrated edge of the petal. The linnet is called ‘bigein Bride,’ little bird of Bride. In Lismore the oyster-catcher is called ‘gille Bride,’ page of Bride:–
‘Gille Bride bochd,

Gu de bhigil a th’ ort?

Poor page of Bride,

What cheeping ails thee?

In Uist the oyster-catcher is called ‘Bridein,’ bird of Bride. There was once an oyster-catcher in Uist, and he was so elated with his own growing riches that he thought he would like to go and see something of the great world around him. He went away, leaving his three beautiful, olive-brown, blotched black-and-grey eggs in the rough shingle among the stones of the seashore. Shortly after he left the grey crow came hopping round to see what was doing in the place. In her peering she saw the three eggs of the oyster-catcher in the hollow among the rocks, and she thought she would like to try the taste of one of them, as a variant upon the refuse of land and shore. So she drove her strong bill through the broad end of an egg, and seizing it by the shell, carried it up to the mossy holm adjoining. The quality of the egg was so pleasing to the grey crow that she went back for the second, and then for the third egg. The grey crow was taking the last suck of the last egg when the oyster-catcher was heard returning with his usual fuss and flurry and hurry-scurry. He looked at his nest, but there were no eggs there–no, not one, and the oyster-catcher knew not what to do or say. He flew about to and fro, hither and thither in great distress, crying out in the bitterness of his heart, ‘Co dh’ ol na h-uibhean? Co dh’ ol na h-uibhean? Cha chuala mi riamh a leithid! Cha chuala mi riamh a leithid!’ Who drank the eggs? Who drank the eggs? I never heard the like! I never heard the like! The grey crow listened now on this side and now on that, and gave two more precautionary wipes to her already well-wiped bill in the fringy, friendly moss, then looked up with much affected innocence and called out in deeply sympathetic tones, ‘Cha chuala na sinne sinn fhein sin, ged is sine is sine ’s an aite,’ No, nor heard we ourselves that, though we are older in the place.
Bride is said to preside over the different seasons of the year and to bestow their functions upon them according to their respective needs. Some call January ‘am mios marbh,’ the dead month, some December, while some apply the terms, ‘na tri miosa marbh,’ the three dead months, ‘an raithe marbh,’ the dead quarter, and ‘raithe marbh na bliadhna,’ the dead quarter of the year, to the winter months when nature is asleep. Bride with her white wand is said to breathe life into the mouth of the dead Winter and to bring him to open his eyes to the tears and the smiles, the sighs and the laughter of Spring. The venom of the cold is said to tremble for its safety on Bride’s Day and to flee for its life on Patrick’s Day. There is a saying:–
‘Chuir Bride miar ’s an abhuinn

La na Feill Bride

Is dh’ fhalbh mathair ghuir an fhuachd,

Is nigh i basan anns an abhuinn

La na Feill Padruig

Is dh’ fhalbh mathair ghin an fhuachd.’

Bride put her finger in the river

On the Feast Day of Bride

And away went the hatching mother of the cold,

And she bathed her palms in the river

On the Feast Day of Patrick

And away went the conception mother of the cold,

Another version says:–
‘Chuir Brighid a bas ann,

Chuir Moire a cas ann,

Chuir Padruig a chiach fhuar ann.’ (?)

Bride put her palm in it,

Mary per her foot in it,

Patrick put the cold stone in it,

alluding to the decrease in cold as the year advances. In illustration of this is– ‘Chuir Moire meoirean anns an uisge La Fheili Bride is thug i neimh as, ’s La Fheill Padruig nigh i lamhan ann ’s dh’ fhalbh am fuachd uil as,’ Mary put her fingers in the water on Bride’s Feast Day and the venom went out of it, and on Patrick’s Feast Day she bathed her hands in it and all the cold went out of it,
Poems narrating the events of the seasons were current. That mentioning the occurrences of Spring begins:–
‘La Bride breith an earraich

Thig an dearrais as an tom,

Theirear “tri-bhliadhnaich” ri aighean,

Bheirear gearrain chon nam fonn.’

The Day of Bride, the birthday of Spring,

The serpent emerges from the knoll,

‘Three-years-olds’ is applied to heifers,

Garrons are taken to the fields.

In Uist the flocks are counted and dedicated to Bride on her Day.
‘La Fheill Bride boidheach

Cunntar spreidh air mointeach.

Cuirear fitheach chon na nide,

’S cuirear rithis rocais.’

On the Feast Day of beautiful Bride

The flocks are counted on the moor.

The raven goes to prepare the nest,

And again goes the rook.

Nead air Bhrighit, ugh air Inid, ian air Chasg,

Mar a bith aig an fhitheach bithidh am bas.’

Nest at Brigit, egg at Shrove, chick at Easter,

If the raven has not he has death.

The raven is the first bird to nest, closely followed by the mallard and the rook. It is affirmed that–
‘Co fad ’s a theid a ghaoth ’s an dorus

La na Feill Bride,

Theid an cathadh anns an dorus

La na Feill Paruig.’

As far as the wind shall enter the door

On the Feast Day of Bride,

The snow shall enter the door

On the Feast Day of Patrick.

In Barra, lots are cast for the ‘iolachan iasgaich,’ fishing-banks, on Bride’s Day. These fishing-banks of the sea are as well known and as accurately defined by the fishermen of Barra as are the qualities and boundaries of their crofts on land, and they apportion them with equal care. Having ascertained among themselves the number of boats going to the long-line fishing, the people divide the banks accordingly. All go to church on St Bride’s Day. After reciting the virtues and blessings of Bride, and the examples to be drawn from her life, the priest reminds his hearers that the great God who made the land and all thereon, also made the sea and all therein, and that ‘murachan na mara agus tachar na tire,’ ‘cuilidh Chaluim agus cuilidh Mhoire,’ the wealth of sea and the plenty of land, the treasury of Columba and the treasury of Mary, are His gift to them that follow Him and call upon His name, on rocky hill or on crested wave. The priest urges upon them to avoid disputes and quarrels over their fishing, to remember the dangers of the deep and the precariousness of life, and in their fishing to remember the poor, the widow and the orphan, now left to the fatherhood of God and to the care of His people. Having come out of church, the men cast lots for the fishing-banks at the church door. After this, they disperse to their homes, all talking loudly and discussing their luck or unluck in the drawing of the lots. A stranger would be apt to think that the people were quarrelling. But it is not so. The simultaneous talking is their habit, and the loudness of their speaking is the necessity of their living among the noise of winds and waves, whether on sea or on shore. Like the people of St Kilda, the people of Barra are warmly attached to one another, the joy of one and the grief of another being the joy and grief of all.
The same practice of casting lots for their fishing-banks prevails among the fisher-folks of the Lofodin Islands, Norway.
From these traditional observations, it will be seen that Bride and her services are near to the hearts and lives of the people. In some phases of her character she is much more to them than Mary is.
Dedications to Bride are common throughout Great Britain and Ireland.

William Turner – Chichester Canal

Poetry: Shaer-E Sahir – Hafiz

Last night I dreamed that angels stood without

The tavern door, and knocked in vain, and wept;

They took the clay of Adam, and, methought,

Moulded a cup therewith while all men slept.

Oh dwellers in the halls of Chastity!

You brought Love’s passionate red wine to me,

Down to the dust I am, your bright feet stept.

For Heaven’s self was all too weak, to bear

The burden of His love God laid on it,

He turned to seek a messenger elsewhere,

And in the Book of Fate my name was writ.

Between my Lord and me such concord lies.

As makes the Huris glad in Paradise,

With songs of praise through the green glades they flit.
A hundred dreams of Fancy’s garnered store

Assail me – Father Adam went astray

Tempted by one poor grain of corn! Wherefore

Absolve and pardon him that turns away

Though the soft breath of Truth reaches his ears,

For two-and-seventy Jangling creeds he hears,

And loud-voiced Fable calls him ceaselessly.
That, that is not the flame of Love’s true fire

Which makes the torchlight shadows dance in rings,

But where the radiance draws the moth’s desire

And send him fort with scorched and drooping wings.

The heart of one who dwells retired shall break,

Rememb’ring a black mole and a red cheek,

And his life ebb, sapped at its secret springs.
Yet since the earliest time that man has sought

To comb the locks of Speech, his goodly bride,

Not one, like Hafiz, from the face of Thought

Has torn the veil of Ignorance aside.

There is the righteous one, here is ruined me.

See how far it is from one to the other!

What link do piety and righteousness have to the rend’s way?

There is the sound of the sermon, here is the melody of the rabab.
My heart grew weary of the cloister, the hypocrite’s cloak.

Where is the monastery of the Magi? Where is pure wine?
The day of union are gone. Let them be a joyful memory.

Where is that amorous glance? Where is that reproach?
What can the enemy’s heart find in my love’s face?

There is that dead lamp, here is this sun candle.
Do not be seduced by her dimpled chin, there is a well in that road.

Where are you going, O heart, in such a hurry?
Since the kohl of our insight is the dust of your doorway,

Please tell us, where do we go from this threshold?
Do not cover rest and sleep from Hafiz, O friend.

What is rest? Which is patience? And where is sleep?

Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire

With the light of wine! oh minstrel, sing:

The world fulfilleth my heart’s desire!

Reflected within the goblet’s ring

I see the glow of my Love’s red cheek,

And scant of wit, ye who fail to seek

The pleasures that wine alone can bring!

Let not the blandishments be checked

That slender beauties lavish on me,

Until in the grace of the cypress decked,

Love shall come like a ruddy pine-tree

He cannot perish whose heart doth hold

The life love breathes – though my days are told,

In the Book of the World lives my constancy.
But when the Day of Reckoning is here,

I fancy little will be the gain

That accrues to the Sheikh for his lawful cheer,

Or to me for the drought forbidden I drain.

The drunken eyes of my comrades shine,

And I too, stretching my hand to the wine,

On the neck of drunkenness loosen the rein.
Oh wind, if thou passest the garden close

Of my heart’s dear master, carry for me

The message I send to him, wind that blows!

“Why hast thou thrust from thy memory

My hapless name?” breathe low in his ear;

“Knowest thou not that the day is near

When nor thou nor any shall think on me?”
If with tears, oh Hafiz, thine eyes are wet,

Scatter them round thee like grain, and snare

The Bird of joy when it comes to thy net.

As the tulip shrinks from the cold night air,

So shrank my heart and quailed in the shade;

Oh Song-bird Fortune, the toils are laid,

When shall thy bright wings lie pinioned there?
The heavens’ green sea and the bark therein,

The slender bark of the crescent moon,

Are lost in thy bounty’s radiant noon,

Vizir and pilgrim, Kawameddin!

Another one from the page that Mike Crowley suggested:
Live performance of Ghatam Suresh

More at this Addy: Ghatam Music Thanks Mike!

William Turner – Light and Colour (Goethe’s Theory) – The Morning after the Deluge – Moses Writing the Book of Genesis.

The Children Of The Hive

(Older Self – Younger Self by Gwyllm Llwydd)

On The Radio Free Earthrites: Bill Laswell – Ohm Shanti

Children Of The Hive: This term came to me the other night. I like the flavour of it my mouth, and the images it produces, a cascade of emotive visions boil up from the depths, drenched with the waters of that inner sea. It has been summoning up my imagination on how to portray the ideas, and thoughts around it.

Ah…. Saturday. I have been running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Off with friends looking for a new door for their house, then back home, get ready, and out the door over to Nemo’s to talk art, and some of the hidden his/herstories of Magick in the late 60′s, and on. As I left their home I looked west across Portland –
-A moment in suspended time, images that coalesce: Gary Snyder blowing the conch to summon up the New Age at The Human Be-In, Tim Leary and Allen Ginsberg on 17th & Pearl stopping to talk to a wide-eyed 15 year old, the Manson Family women gathered out front of The Drog Store inviting people to go inside and see ‘Charlie’ perform, Sufi Sam Lewis twirling, with his students dancing around him… Sitting on Mt. Shasta with the sun rising and touching the peaks of the Siskiyous… and then, I am standing next to my Land Cruiser, looking to the west across Portland. Years collapse, and widen out, arcing across lifetimes and infinities of possibilities.-
I got in the LC, and drove home, feeling the tides of time wash to and fro within my being.
I have been working on the body of this entry for a few days. It ties up loose ends that have been rattling in my head for awhile. We have the Links back in action, and visit with Paul Bowles with quotes and a short story. I renew my fascination with Hildegard Von Bingen, and show off some of my new art. I hope you enjoy!
Bright Blessings,



On The Menu:

The Links

Paul Bowles Quotes

Hildegard Von Bingen, Spiritus Sanctus

In The Red Room – Paul Bowles

Poetry: Fragments-Aubrey Beardsley

Vision of Hildegard von Bingen-voice Hana Blochová-Kvinterna

Art: Gwyllm Llwydd

The Links:

Tribe of Ukrainian Fighting Women

Not Now, Playing Xbox…

10 Top Natural Disasters

Broken Robot Girl

Locust swarms ‘high’ on serotonin

Paul Bowles Quotes:

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

“Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else.”

“Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

— (The Sheltering Sky)

“There is a way to master silence

Control its curves, inhabit its dark corners

And listen to the hiss of time outside.”

“How many times his (Port’s) friends, envying him his life, had said to him: “Your life is so simple.” “Your life seems always to go in a straight line.” Whenever they had said the words he heard in them an implicit reproach: it is not difficult to build a straight road on a treeless plain. He felt that what they really meant to say was: “You have chosen the easiest terrain.” But if they elected to place obstacles in their own way-which they clearly did, encumbering themselves with every sort of unnecessary allegiance-that was no reason why they should object to his having simplified his life. So it was with a certain annoyance that he would say: “Everyone makes the life he wants. Right?” as though there were nothing further to be said.”

– (The Sheltering Sky)

“The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.”

“The soul is the weariest part of the body.”

— (The Sheltering Sky)

Hildegard Von Bingen, Spiritus Sanctus

In The Red Room

by Paul Bowles

When I had a house in Sri Lanka, my parents came out one winter to see me. Originally I had felt some qualms about encouraging their visit. Any one of several things–the constant heat, the unaccustomed food and drinking water, even the presence of a leprosy clinic a quarter of a mile from the house might easily have an adverse effect on them in one way or another. But I had underestimated their resilience; they made a greater show of adaptability than I had thought possible, and seemed entirely content with everything. They claimed not to mind the lack of running water in the bathrooms, and regularly praised the curries prepared by Appuhamy, the resident cook. Both of them being in their seventies, they were not tempted by the more distant or inaccessible points of interest. It was enough for them to stay around the house reading, sleeping, taking twilight dips in the ocean, and going on short trips along the coast by hired car. If the driver stopped unexpectedly at a shrine to sacrifice a coconut, they were delighted, and if they came upon a group of elephants lumbering along the road, the car had to be parked some distance up ahead, so that they could watch them approach and file past. They had no interest in taking photographs, and this spared me what is perhaps the most taxing duty of cicerone: the repeated waits while the ritual between man and machine is observed. They were ideal guests.
Colombo, where all the people I knew lives, was less than a hundred miles away. Several times we went up for weekends, which I arranged with friends by telephone beforehand. There we had tea on the wide verandas of certain houses in Cinnamon Gardens, and sat at dinners with professors from the university, Protestant ministers, and assorted members of the government. (Many of the Sinhalese found it strange that I should call my parents by their first names, Dodd and Hannah; several of them inquired if I were actually their son or had been adopted.) These weekends in the city were hot and exhausting, and they were always happy to get back to the house, where they could change into comfortable clothing.
One Sunday not long before they were due to return to America, we decided to take in the horse races at Gintota, where there are also some botanical gardens that Hannah wanted to see. I engaged rooms at the New Oriental in Galle and we had lunch there before setting out.
As usual, the events were late in starting. It was the spectators, in any case, who were the focus of interest. The phalanx of women in their shot-silk saris moved Hannah to cries of delight. The races themselves were something of a disappointment. As we left the grounds, Dodd said with satisfaction: It’ll be good to get back to the hotel and relax.
But we were going to the botanical gardens, Hannan reminded him. I’d like to have just a peek at them.
Dodd was not eager. Those places cover a lot of territory, you know, he said.
We’ll look inside and come out again, she promised.
The hired car took us to the entrance. Dodd was tired, and as a result was having a certain amount of difficulty in walking. The last year or so I find my legs aren’t’ always doing exactly what I want ‘em to do, he explained.
You two amble along, Hannah told us. I’ll run up ahead and find out if there’s anything to see.
We stopped to look up at a clove tree; its powerful odor filled the air like a gas. When we turned to continue our walk, Hannah was no longer in sight. We went on under the high vegetation, around a curve in the path, looked ahead, and still there was no sign of her.
What does your mother think she’s doing? The first thing we know she’ll be lost.
She’s up ahead somewhere.
Soon, at the end of a short lane overhung by twisted lianas, we saw her, partially hidden by the gesticulating figure of a Sinhalese standing next to her.
What’s going on? Dodd hastened his steps. Run over there, he told me, and I started ahead, walking fast. Then I saw Hannah’s animated smile, and slowed my pace. She and the young man stood in front of a huge bank of brown spider orchids.
Ah! I thought we’d lost you, I said.
Look at these orchids. Aren’t they incredible?
Dodd came up, nodded at the young man, and examined the display of flowers. They look to me like skunk cabbage, he declared.
The young man broke into wild laughter. Dodd stared at him.
This young man has been telling me the history of the garden, Hannah began hurriedly. About the opposition to it, and how it finally came to be planted. It’s interesting.
The Sinhalese beamed triumphantly. He wore white flannels and a crimson blazer, and his sleek black hair gave off a metallic blue glint in the sunlight.
Ordinarily I steer a determined course away from the anonymous person who tries to engage me in conversation. This time it was too late; encouraged by Hannah, the stranger strolled beside her, back to the main path. Dodd and I exchanged a glance, shrugged, and began to follow along behind.
Somewhere up at the end of the gardens a pavilion had been built under the high rain trees. It had a veranda where a few sarong- draped men reclined in long chairs. The young man stopped walking. Now I invite you to a cold ginger beer.
Oh, Hannah said, at a loss. Well, yes. That would be nice. I’d welcome a chance to sit down.
Dodd peered at his wristwatch. I’ll pass up the beer, but I’ll sit and watch you.
We sat and looked out at the lush greenness. The young man’s conversation leapt from one subject to another; he seemed unable to follow any train of thought further than its inception. I put this down as a bad sign, and tried to tell from the inflections of Hannah’s voice whether she found him as disconcerting as I did.
Dodd was not listening. He found the heat of low-country Ceylon oppressive, and it was easy to see that he was tired. Thinking I might cover up the young man’s chatter, I turned to Dodd and began to talk about whatever came into my head: the resurgence of mask-making in Ambalangoda, devil-dancing, the high incidence of crime among the fishermen converted to Catholicism. Dodd listened, but did no more than move his head now and then in response.
Suddenly I heard the young man saying to Hannah: I have just the house for you. A godsend to fill your requirements. Very quiet and protected.
She laughed. Mercy, no! We’re not looking for a house. We’re only going to be here a few weeks more.
I looked hard at her, hoping she would take my glance as a warning against going on and mentioning the place where she was staying. The young man was not paying attention, in any case. Quite all right. You are not buying houses. But you should see this house and tell your friends. A superior investment, no doubt about that. Shall I introduce myself, please? Justus Gonzag, called Sonny by friends.
His smile, which was not a smile at all, gave me an unpleasant physical sensation.
Come anyway. A five-minute walk, guaranteed. He looked searchingly at Hannah. I intend to give you a book of poems. My own. Autographed for you with your name. That will make me very happy.
Oh, Hannan said, a note of dismay in her voice. Then she braced herself and smiled. That would be lovely. But you understand, we can’t stay more than a minute.
There was a silence. Dodd inquired plaintively: Can’t we go in the car, at least?
Impossible, sir. We are having a very narrow road. Car can’t get through. I am arranging in a jiffy. He called out. A waiter came up, and he addressed him in Sinhalese at some length. The man nodded and went inside. Your driver is now bringing your car to this gate. Very close by.
This was going a little too far. I asked him how he though anyone was going to know which car was ours.
No problem. I was prese
nt when you were leaving the Pontiac. Your driver is called Wickramasinghe. Up-country resident, most reliable. Down here people are hopeless.
I disliked him more each time he spoke. You’re not from around here? I asked him.
No, no! I’m a Colombo chap. These people are impossible scoundrels. Every one of the blighters has a knife in his belt, guaranteed.
When the waiter brought the check, he signed it with a rapid flourish and stood up. Shall we be going on to the house, then?
No one answered, but all three of us rose and reluctantly moved off with him in the direction of the exit gate. The hired car was there; Mr. Wickramasinghe saluted us from behind the wheel.
The afternoon heat had gone, leaving only a pocket here and there beneath the trees where the air was still. Originally the lane where we were walking had been wide enough to admit a bullock- car, but the vegetation encroaching on each side had narrowed it to little more than a footpath.
At the end of the lane were two concrete gateposts with no gate between them. We passed through, and went into a large compound bordered on two sides by ruined stables. With the exception of one small ell, the house was entirely hidden by high bushes and flowering trees. As we came to a doorway the young man stopped and turned to us, holding up one finger. No noises here, isn’t it? Only birds.
It was the hour when the birds begin to awaken from their daytime lethargy. An indeterminate twittering came from the trees. He lowered his finger and turned back to the door. Mornings they are singing. Now not.
Oh, it’s lovely, Hannah told him.
He led us through a series of dark empty rooms. Here the dhobi was washing the soiled clothing. This is the kitchen, you see? Ceylon style. Only the charcoal. My father was refusing paraffin and gas both. Even in Colombo.
We huddled in a short corridor while he opened a door, reached in, and flooded the space inside with blinding light. It was a small room, made to seem still smaller by having given glistening crimson walls and ceiling. Almost all the space was filled by a big bed with a satin coverlet of a slightly darker red. A row of straight-backed chairs stood along one wall. Sit down and be comfy, our host advised us.
We sat, staring at the bed and at the three framed pictures on the wall above its brass-spoked headboard: on the left a girl, in the middle our host, and on the right another young man. The portraits had the imprecision of passport photographs that have been enlarged to many times their original size.
Hannah coughed. She had nothing to say. The room gave off a cloying scent of ancient incense, as in a disused chapel. The feeling of absurdity I got from seeing us sitting there side by side, wedged in between the bed and the wall, was so powerful that it briefly paralyzed my mental processes. For once the young man was being silent; he sat stiffly, looking straight ahead, like someone at the theater.
Finally I had to say something. I turned to our host and asked him if he slept in this room. The question seemed to shock him. Here? he cried, as if the thing were inconceivable. No, no! This house is unoccupied. No one sleeping on the premises. Only a stout chap to watch out at night. Excuse me one moment.
He jumped up and hurried out of the room. We heard his footsteps echo in the corridor and then grow silent. From somewhere in the house there came the sonorous chiming of a grandfather’s clock; its comfortable sound made the shiny blood-colored cubicle even more remote and unlikely.
Dodd stirred uncomfortably in his chair; the bed was too close for him to cross his legs. As soon as he comes back, we go, he muttered.
He’s looking for the book, I imagine, said Hannah.
We waited a while. Then I said: Look. If he’s not back in two minutes, I move we just get up and leave. We can find out way out all right.
Hannah objected, saying it would be unpardonable.
Again we sat in silence, Dodd now shielding his eyes from the glare. When Sonny Gonzag returned, he was carrying a glass of water which he drank standing in the doorway. His expression had altered: he now looked preoccupied, and he was breathing heavily.
We slowly got to our feet, Hannah still looking expectant.
We are going, then? Come. With the empty glass still in his hand he turned off the lights, shut the door behind us, opened another, and led us quickly through a sumptuous room furnished with large divans, coromandel screens, and bronze Buddhas. We had no time to do more than glance from side to side as we followed him. As we went out through the front door, he called one peremptory word back into the house, presumably to the caretaker.
There was a wide unkempt lawn on this side, where a few clumps of high areca palms were being slowly strangled by the sheaths of philodendron roots and leaves that encased their trunks. Creepers had spread themselves unpleasantly over the tops of shrubs like the meshes of gigantic cobwebs. I knew that Hannah was thinking of snakes. She kept her eyes on the ground, stepping carefully from flagstone to flagstone as we followed the exterior of the house around to the stables, and thence out into the lane.
The swift twilight had come down. No one seemed disposed to speak. When we reached the car Mr. Wickramasinghe stood beside it.
Cheery-bye, then, and tell your friends to look for Sonny Gonzag when they are coming to Gintota. He offered his hand to Dodd first, then me, finally to Hannah, and turned away.
They were both very quiet on the way back to Galle. The road was narrow and the blinding lights of oncoming cars made them nervous. During dinner we made no mention of the afternoon.
At breakfast, on the veranda swept by the morning breeze, we felt sufficiently removed from the experience to discuss it. Hannah said: I kept waking up in the night and seeing that awful bed.
Dodd groaned.
I said it was like watching television without the sound. You saw everything, but you didn’t get what was going on.
The kid was completely non compos mentis. You could see that a mile away, Dodd declared.
Hannah was not listening. It must have been a maid’s room. But why would he take us there? I don’t know; there’s something terribly depressing about the whole thing. It makes me feel a little sick just to think about it. And that bed!
Well, stop thinking about it, then! Dodd told her. I for one am going to put it right out of my mind. He waited. I feel better already. Isn’t that the way the Buddhists do it?
The sunny holiday continued for a few weeks more, with longer trips now to the east, to Tissamaharana and the wild elephants in the Yala Preserve. We did not go to Colombo again until it was time for me to put them onto the plane.
The black weather of the monsoons was blowing in from the southwest as we drove up the coast. There was a violent downpour when we arrived in midafternoon at Mount Lavinia and checked into our rooms. The crashing of the waves outside my room was so loud that Dodd had to shut the windows in order to hear what we were saying.
I had taken advantage of the trip to Colombo to arrange a talk with my lawyer, a Telugu-speaking Indian. We were to meet in the bar at the Galleface, some miles up the coast. I’ll be back at six, I told Hannah. The rain had abated somewhat when I started out.
Damp winds moved through the lobby of the Galleface, but the smoky air in the bar was stirred only by fans. As I entered, the first person I noticed was Weston of the Chartered Bank. The lawyer had not yet come in, so I stood at the bar with Weston and ordered a whiskey.
Didn’t I see you in Gintota at the races last month? With an elderly couple?
I was there with my parents. I didn’t notice you.
I couldn’t tell. It was too far away. But I saw the same three people alter with a local character. What did you think of Sonny Gonzag?
I laughed. He dragged us off to his house.
You know
the story, I take it.
I shook my head.
The story, which he recounted with relish, began on the day after Gonzag’s wedding, when he stepped into a servant’s room and found his bride in bed with the friend who had been best man. How he happened to have a pistol with him was not explained, but he shot them both in the face, and later chopped their bodies into pieces. As Weston remarked: That sort of thing isn’t too uncommon, of course. But it was the trial that caused the scandal. Gonzag spent a few weeks in a mental hospital, and was discharged.
You can imagine, said Weston. Political excitement. The poor go to jail for a handful of rice, but the rich can kill with impunity, and that sort of thing. You still see references to the case in the press now and then.
I was thinking of the crimson blazer and the botanical gardens. No. I never heard about it, I said.
He’s mad as a hatter, but there he is, free to do whatever he feels like. And all he wants now is to get people into that house and show them the room where the great event took place. The more the merrier as far as he’s concerned.
I saw the Indian come into the bar. It’s unbelievable, but I believe it, I told Weston.
Then I turned to greet the lawyer, who immediately complained of the stale air in the bar. We sat and talked in the lounge.
I managed to get back to Mount Lavinia in time to bathe before dinner. As I lay in the tepid water, I tried to imagine the reactions of Hannah and Dodd when I told them what I had heard. I myself felt a solid satisfaction at knowing the rest of the story. But being old, they might well brood over it, working it up into an episode so unpleasant in retrospect that it stained the memory of their holiday. I still had not decided whether to tell them or not when I went to their room to take them down to dinner.
We sat as far away from the music as we could get. Hannah had dressed a little more elaborately than usual, and they both were speaking with more than their accustomed animation. I realized that they were happy to be returning to New York. Halfway through he meal they began to review what they considered the highlights of their visit. They mentioned the Temple of the Tooth, the pair of Bengal tiger cubs in Dehiwala which they had petted but regretfully declined to purchase, the Indonesian dinner on Mr. Bultjens’s lawn, where the myna bird had hopped over to Hannah and said: “Eat it up,” the cobra under the couch at Mrs. de Sylva’s tea party.
And that peculiar young man in the strange house, Hannah added meditatively.
Which one was that? asked Dodd, frowning as he tried to remember. Then it came to him. Oh, God, he muttered. Your special friend. He turned to me. Your mother certainly can pick ‘em.
Outside, the ocean roared. Hannah seemed lost in thought. I know what it was like! she exclaimed suddenly. It was like being shown around one of the temples by a bhikku. Isn’t that what they call them?
Dodd sniffed. Some temple! he chuckled.
No, I’m serious. That room had a particular meaning for him. It was like a sort of shrine.
I looked at her. She had got to the core without needing the details. I felt that, too, I said. Of course, there’s no way of knowing.
She smiled. Well, what you don’t know won’t hurt you.
I had heard her use the expression a hundred times without ever being able to understand what she meant by it, because it seemed so patently untrue. But for once it was apt. I nodded my head and said: That’s right.

(DMT Mantis – Gwyllm Llwydd)

Poetry: Fragments-Aubrey Beardsley

The Celestial Lover
A fragment of verse in prose
The Café Strelitz was almost empty.

Upon a hot midday in July,

Don Juan wandered into the Café Strelitz for his breakfast. I know not by what chance he had left the rest of the world to go that day to the Valdau races with[out] him. Whether in search of some adventure…

– – –

The most fashionable of Restaurants was white with empty tables, for the Prix d’Honneur was being run that afternoon at Valdau—magnificent waiters sat about in magnificent unruffled expectation of the telegrams from the racecourse and rose reluctantly when there came some demand for coffee or the addition.

The Ballad of a Barber

The Coiffing

The Coiffing
Here is the tale of Carrousel,

The barber of Meridian Street.

He cut, and coiffed, and shaved so well,

That all the world was at his feet.
The King, the Queen, and all the Court,

To no one else would trust their hair,

And reigning belles of every sort

Owed their successes to his care.
With carriage and with cabriolet

Daily Meridian Street was blocked,

Like bees about a bright bouquet

The beaux about his doorway flocked.
Such was his art he could with ease

Curl wit into the dullest face;

Or to a goddess of old Greece

Add a new wonder and a grace.
All powders, paints, and subtle dyes,

And costliest scents that men distil,

And rare pomades, forgot their price

And marvelled at his splendid skill.
The curling irons in his hand

Almost grew quick enough to speak,

The razor was a magic wand

That understood the softest cheek.
Yet with no pride his heart was moved;

He was so modest in his ways!

His daily task was all he loved,

And now and then a little praise.
An equal care he would bestow

On problems simple or complex;

And nobody had seen him show

A preference for either sex.
How came it then one summer day,

Coiffing the daughter of the King,

He lengthened out the least delay

And loitered in his hairdressing?
The Princess was a pretty child,

Thirteen years old, or thereabout.

She was as joyous and as wild

As spring flowers when the sun is out.
Her gold hair fell down to her feet

And hung about her pretty eyes;

She was as lyrical and sweet

As one of Schubert’s melodies.
Three times the barber curled a lock,

And thrice he straightened it again;

And twice the irons scorched her frock,

And twice he stumbled in her train.
His fingers lost their cunning quite,

His ivory combs obeyed no more;

Something or other dimmed his sight,

And moved mysteriously the floor.
He leant upon the toilet table,

His fingers fumbled in his breast;

He felt as foolish as a fable,

And feeble as a pointless jest.
He snatched a bottle of Cologne,

And broke the neck between his hands;

He felt as if he was alone,

And mighty as a king’s commands.
The Princess gave a little scream,

Carrousel’s cut was sharp and deep;

He left her softly as a dream

That leaves a sleeper to his sleep.
He left the room on pointed feet;

Smiling that things had gone so well.

They hanged him in Meridian Street.

You pray in vain for Carrousel.
1896. First published in The Savoy, No.3, July 1896.
Originally intended to be printed as an episode of Under the Hill, Beardsley’s poem was adversely criticised by Arthur Symons, the magazine’s literary editor. When he heard of Symons’s reaction, Beardsley wrote facetiously to Leonard Smithers: “I am horrified at what you tell me about ‘the Ballad’. I had no idea it was ‘poor’. For goodness’ sake print the poem under a pseudonym and separately from Under the Hill… What do you think of ‘Symons’ as a nom de plume?”

The Three Musicians – first version
Along the path that skirts the wood,

The three musicians wend their way,

Pleased with their thoughts, each other’s mood,

Franz Himmel’s latest roundelay,

The morning’s work, a new-found theme,

their breakfast and the summer day.
One’s a soprano, lightly frocked

In cool, white muslin that just shows

Her brown silk stockings gaily clocked,

Plump arms and elbows tipped with rose,

And frills of petticoats and things, and outlines

as the warm wind blows.
Beside her a slim, gracious boy

Hastens to mend her tresses’ fall,

And dies her favour to enjoy,

And dies for réclame and recall

At Paris and St. Petersburg, Vienna and St. James’s Hall.
The third’s a Polish Pianist

With big engagements everywhere,

A light heart and an iron wrist,

And shocks and shoals of yellow hair,

And fingers that can trill on sixths and fill beginners with despair.
The three musicians stroll along

And pluck the ears of ripened corn,

Break into odds and ends of song,

And mock the woods with Siegfried’s horn,

And fill the air with Gluck, and fill the tweeded tourist’s soul with scorn.

The Three Musicians

The Three Musicians – published version
The Polish genius lags behind,

And, with some poppies in his hand,

Picks out the strings and wood and wind

Of an imaginary band,

Enchanted that for once his men obey

his beat and understand.
The charming cantatrice reclines

And rests a moment where she sees

Her chateau’s roof that hotly shines

Amid the dusky summer trees,

And fans herself, half shuts her eyes, and smoothes

the frock about her knees.
The gracious boy is at her feet,

And weighs his courage with his chance;

His fears soon melt in noon-day heat.

The tourist gives a furious glance,

Red as his guide-book grows, moves on,

and offers up a prayer for France.

1895. First published in The Savoy, No.1, Jan 1896. Written during the Summer of 1895 at Arques-la-Bataille and in Dieppe. Arthur Symons described the verses as being “in their own way, a tour de force,” but peevishly added that they revealed only that Aubrey had succeeding “in doing what he certainly had no aptitude for doing.” According to a highly unlikely legend, the first version of the drawing made to accompany these verses was censored by Leonard Smithers, who is reputed to have thought the pose of the young man, with his hand upon the girl’s knee, too suggestive.

Vision of Hildegard von Bingen-voice Hana Blochová-Kvinterna