For Phil….

“Et in Arcadia ego

At the twilight, a moon appeared in the sky;

Then it landed on earth to look at me.

Like a hawk stealing a bird at the time of prey;

That moon stole me and rushed back into the sky.

I looked at myself, I did not see me anymore;

For in that moon, my body turned as fine as soul.

The nine spheres disappeared in that moon;

The ship of my existence drowned in that sea.

Divan, 649:1-3,5 – Rumi


This is a special edition of Turfing:

In Loving Memory Of Our Friend Phil Davies

Rumi Quotes

Rumi Poems On Life & Dying

Kate Bush – Heavy People


In Loving Memory Of Our Friend Phil Davies

Who Died At Home In London, November 20, 2009

For Phil’s Partner Gennaro, for Ley, Cheri & all of Phil’s friends…

Moments in time, telescoping away. The seconds, minutes, the hours, days and years recede.

I first met Phil Davies about 4-5 days after I met Mary in London. We met at the restaurant where Mary was working at, “Buggin’s”, directly across the street from “The Young Vic” on The Cut, near Waterloo Station. I went there to continue my wooing of Mary, and ended up helping out with the holidaze crowds that they were seating. (This was around the 13th of December or so, in 1977) I met Phil in the kitchen where he was doing prep, and generally having a great time. We hit it off right away, he had a wicked sense of humour, and he applied it as liberally as he did the sauces he was working with. I ended up doing dishes a couple of nights, so, we were pretty much side by side through out the evenings. During this time, I was bringing flowers every night to Mary. I was head over heels as the saying goes, and I pressed my case most ardently. Phil was bemused. He would tease Mary, and then later come out to the table where we were sitting sipping Cointreau, smoking cigarettes… staring into each others eyes, and up would come Phil, and he’d say “Okay you two, knock it off”! Sit down, and get us talking.

Later on when Mary had left Buggins, and I had left the Wine Bar (The Green Room) he and Mary opened up a small in-house catering set up in the Antiques area of Knightsbridge, and then he brought Mary to open up a concession for Greg Edwards of Capital Radio via his and Greg’s mutual friend Cheri Class. (I became club manager & head bar-tender) to open up a dance club where Greg and friends would DJ at near Hampstead Heath (the location is a bit fuzzy now…) We all past the summer of 78 in these pursuits together. Lots of good times spent with Phil then.

One of my fondest memories of Phil was when we visited him one time at his flat during summer. Phil was sitting at his table, rolling a spliff of “Black Congolese” wearing a suit with a tie as he was often to be found. We smoked a bit, and then ended up in the garden on our hands and knees, sniffing his roses and giggling like mad people. Afterwards of course, he served tea and scones. This is Phil as I remember him.

Really it was a golden period. I learned a lot from his take on life. He was a most gentle and forgiving soul.

When October came, Mary and I were married. Phil was our best man. (The photos of him are from the wedding and party after) Shortly after, we moved to L.A., but came back frequently for several years to visit, and to live again in London. I remember going to clubs with Phil, and the myriad of good times we had through that period.

Phil was a master of Tarot. His readings were legendary in London. He was a long time member of the Golden Dawn, and he more than once remonstrated me on my inability at that time to control my anger and my then misuse of metaphysical principles that I was unaware of. He always did this with affection, and often in frustration. (I got it Phil, I got it!)

Over the years, and our resettling back in the U.S., we lost touch. We finally reconnected through our mutual friend Ley via FB… I was under the impression after learning Phil had cancer, that he was in remission. He and Gennaro visited Ley in France this summer, and it sounded like he was doing well. I was looking forward to visiting him this next year, and reconnecting after all these years. Sadly, this was not to be, he went back into hospital, and came home Thursday last for hospice care… Ley informed me on the Monday that if we were to be in touch, now was a time to send a card, which we did. Ley hurried south from Scotland (where he lives most of the year) to help out and all. Phil was in and out of sleeping, and on Friday morning, surrounded by Gennaro, Ley, and other friends he died surrounded by love. If ever a man who personified love, it was Phil. Our card arrived, after he had past.

Phil was a pivotal friend in my life, and in my relationship to the world. He will be sorely missed by all of those whose lives he touched.

Today, I understand that his funeral and wake was celebrated. Phil requested a cardboard coffin, and our card was one of the decorations on it from what Ley said. On our family altar is a book Phil loaned me which I was going to bring back to him this next year: “Magic Black & White” by Franz Hartmann. Now, I will keep it, and remember the lessons that Phil so freely shared, as well as his deep and abiding humanity.

Much Love,



Rumi Quotes:

Load the ship and set out. No one knows for certain whether the vessel will sink or reach the harbor. Cautious people say, “I’ll do nothing until I can be sure”. Merchants know better. If you do nothing, you lose. Don’t be one of those merchants who wont risk the ocean.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.

Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls.

Whatever posessions and objects of its desires the lower self may obtain, it hangs on to them, refusing to let them go out of greed for more, or out of fear of poverty and need.

If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.


Rumi Poems On Life & Dying


Why cling to one life

till it is soiled and ragged?

The sun dies and dies

squandering a hundred lived

every instant

God has decreed life for you

and He will give

another and another and another

Our death is our wedding with eternity.

What is the secret? “God is One.”

The sunlight splits when entering the windows of the house.

This multiplicity exists in the cluster of grapes;

It is not in the juice made from the grapes.

For he who is living in the Light of God,

The death of the carnal soul is a blessing.

Regarding him, say neither bad nor good,

For he is gone beyond the good and the bad.

Fix your eyes on God and do not talk about what is invisible,

So that he may place another look in your eyes.

It is in the vision of the physical eyes

That no invisible or secret thing exists.

But when the eye is turned toward the Light of God

What thing could remain hidden under such a Light?

Although all lights emanate from the Divine Light

Don’t call all these lights “the Light of God”;

It is the eternal light which is the Light of God,

The ephemeral light is an attribute of the body and the flesh.

…Oh God who gives the grace of vision!

The bird of vision is flying towards You with the wings of desire.

look at love

how it tangles

with the one fallen in love

look at spirit

how it fuses with earth

giving it new life

why are you so busy

with this or that or good or bad

pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all

the known and the unknown

see how the unknown merges into the known

why think seperately

of this life and the next

when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue

one feels but deaf and dumb

the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire

earth and wind

enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb

the lion and the deer

far away yet together

look at the unity of this

spring and winter

manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends

since the earth and the sky

are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane

sweet yet silent

don’t get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows

right out of my own heart

how much more union can there be?

you mustn’t be afraid of death

you’re a deathless soul

you can’t be kept in a dark grave

you’re filled with God’s glow

be happy with your beloved

you can’t find any better

the world will shimmer

because of the diamond you hold

when your heart is immersed

in this blissful love

you can easily endure

any bitter face around

in the absence of malice

there is nothing but

happiness and good times

don’t dwell in sorrow my friend


Phil shared our love of Kate’s music back when. This always reminded me of him… 80)

Kate Bush – “Heavy People”


In sweet memory……

The Ridge…

“Probably the central concept of shamanism, wherever in the world it is found, is the notion that underlying all the visible forms in the world, animate and inanimate, there lies a vital essence from which they emerge and by which they are nurtured. Ultimately everything returns to this ineffable, mysterious impersonal unknown…” -Douglas Sharon, Wizard of the Four Winds: A Shaman’s Story

Today’s entry was originally started on November 2nd. It has taken that long to finalize it. I get these bumps in the creative process, and the main bump is the Internet for some reason. Even though I use the web for gathering information, I have noticed of late that it is also a very large distraction. (this is not news for everyone I am sure) So, I am trying to cut back a bit, and try things differently.

This entry is built around The Ridge During Bapaboka (Maidu/Fall), which was the time that we finally got away from Oregon for just under a week. Originally we planned a longer journey, some 2.5 weeks, which would of taken us to Arizona to visit family, up the California coast etc into Oregon… well it didn’t happen. We did take an abbreviated time, and this article came out of this. We were not able to visit all that we wanted as it was anyway, due to the fact of health, time, and business issues; and I am profoundly sorry that those visits will have to be delayed a while longer.

We cover a large area in this edition; from quotes of George Eliot, to the music of Robbie Robertson. We visit again with the Maidu in a time of myth and magic. As we are concentrating on the San Juan Ridge, I feel it is only appropriate that we visit with Gary Snyder, who lives upon it.

Bright Blessings,



On The Menu:

The Links

Robbie Robertson – Ghost Dance

The Quotes From George Eliot

The Ridge During Bapaboka (Maidu/Fall)

Maidu Tales: The Girls Who Married The Stars…

Native Son: Gary Snyder

Robbie Robertson – A Good Day To Die


The Links:

The Atlantic – 1491 Excerpt

Interview with Mary Midgley (Thanks Dale!)

Dark Galaxy Crashing Milky Way Party?

Evidence Of Stone Age Multi-Tasking


Robbie Robertson – Ghost Dance


The Quotes From George Eliot:

“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”

“Conscientious people are apt to see their duty in that which is the most painful course.”

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

“Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.”


Click on the wee pics for bigger ones…this was initially started 3 weeks ago. Thanks to all whose patience this has tested. There is an underlying theme to this article, which in my mind is In-habitation… It has been bouncing around my brain quite a bit lately.

The Ridge During Bapaboka (Maidu/Fall):

That Classic On The Road Photo….

Getting There: We went off to visit Dale and Laura, (with a dollop of time over at Leslie & Roberto’s, and then over to Will Penna’s.) This was our first time for a vacation together (on our own) since before Rowan was born. We drove to Medford on Monday, and stayed with our friends the Nixon’s at Ashford Oaks, their home on the north rim above central Medford. We drove down the next day, stopping off at Mt. Shasta, where I seemingly became afflicted by memories/ghost of earlier times. (maybe more on the later) We flew down the road past Dunsmuir, Redding, Anderson and further south. As I was driving along, memories flooded in of the countless times I hitchhiked/drove through the valley .

It seemed like the longest drive, but then I haven’t ventured far as of late. Last time south was to Mt. Shasta for my Mother’s memorial service 7 years previously. I enjoy being on the road with Mary. It was beautiful, sunny and just about right, except for the heavy traffic. How did 5 get so busy? Redding was a bit hellacious and all, crazed people zipping in and out like mad… eventually we made it to our exit and headed through the marshes and rice paddies to the east. Strangely enough, I had forgotten that I had travelled this road some 40 years before.

Up On The Ridge: The San Juan Ridge is a striking anomaly in the topographical maps of Norte California. The foot hills rise out of rice paddies, bird sanctuaries (from the remnants of the ancient west coast flyway) up to ridge. Driving along, past the hyper-ancient remains of an ancient continent (Lemuria!) dead ending in Smartville California (no really) you go perhaps another 10 miles to a visible bump, and then go downhill and you have missed it on the way to Grass Valley.

Off Highway 20 you find gated communities of transplanted nouveau riche unable to sever their ties to suburban living and bunker mentalities with artificial lakes, medical facilities, minimalls ad-nauseaum. These areas are contained within their fences; more than likely the fences keep the inmates in, and the surrounding areas safer for it.

To the south you find small towns, and small holdings cobbled out of old cattle ranches now transmuted into horse paddocks… anomalies in this area of oak, and the dragon bones of ancient volcanic eruptions bouldering through fields as if thrown there by giants in a harsher age.

To the north, the land runs wilder. Defined by the Yuba River snaking through, sending her tributaries up deep gulches and sheer drop offs. this was once gold mining country, (as it all was) up through French Corral (once the largest “city” of Norte California if my memory serves me) going towards where Lew Welche walked away from it all in 1971. Settlements are sparser here, It is a land that time has passed by on both sides of Highway 20.

Mary sitting amongst the boulders on the Ridge…

It’s ancient economy that lasted thousands of years was based on acorns (if an economy can be based on mutual cooperation and the long dance) climaxing with the Maidu people who were eclipsed by the coming of the 49′ers, gold and then cattle came in vogue for some 140 years. Since then, artist, writers, and cannabis farmers have taken hold. I would venture that without cannabis, this area might be far sparser populated than it is now. It is not unusual to be driving at night and smell what seems to be a dead skunk, don’t be alarmed, it is the local cannabis farmer burning stems and shake to remove the evidence. So The Ridge has never actually suffered from the gentile civilizing influences of the coastal and valley communities. Yes, there may be pockets of gated suburban compounds springing up, but the land doesn’t take to them to well. It looks as if aliens had landed, and imposed something truly foreign. In time, with possible hiccups in the steady diet of cheap energy, these enclaves may go the way of older ghost settlements in these hills.

The Meadow with wild turkeys…

Sitting outside in the morning sun, looking up towards the ridge, you can see the buzzards riding thermals as they have for countless millennia. They spiral in ancient gyres, tracing out mysteries, illuminating secrets that they only can decipher. There is a slight chill to wind, but from what I understand, this won’t last so long. I sit, surrounded by birdsong, musing over a notebook as I reconstruct parts of an earlier life. I find myself now able to hold up “periods” of my life as if they were frozen moments in time. This passes. The land speaks. It always does. I can hear a pulsing beat that could be taken for drums, or the beating of wings. It is early; there is a mist rising off the meadow.

Skull Rock down into the canyon

There is a dusty softness to this land. I lived with it for many years, in other parts of California. The oaks and the manzanita, scrabbling up and down the hills… Big Sur has a version, Mt. Shasta and Lassen as well. I discovered this version, when I was quite young. We lived in Sacramento, and would drive on the weekends up into the Sierra. Memories, waft up, and then vanish of course. I am not so old yet they will come with great clarity. Give me a few years, and it will all be crystal clear.

Late at night, the Coyotes come out. Mid week, two packs were in a deep howling competition. One pack would go off to the west, then the other to the east. Scat in the morning on the drive, Coyote has been after voles, and eating berries. Sophie (the wonder dog’s) hackles go up when she sniffs the scat. She knows bad company when she smells it. She looks around, trying to figure out where the tricksters are hanging out. She is sleeping in the truck, so at night who knows who dances around the Land Cruiser?

Wednesday/Thursday night, the pack to the east catch something. Perhaps a fawn. There is a screaming going on under the moon. Not quick, not elegant, but do they ever play… A long time, I dream about it, hearing snuffling around the door in early morning fugues. I hear a BOOM! against the wall. What the hell was that? Not Coyote, as he tends to be a bit more elegant. Ghost I guess.

At Dale & Laura’s: The time we spent at Dale and Laura’s has those moments of stillness… We slept down in their converted barn, where their offices, workshops, library, Zendo etc. are located. It sits next to a field, that I figure was a paddock at one time, though the fences are gone. It is a magical place, silent, full of light during the day, and pitch black at night.

I had been curious about their land since they first moved there. Every time Dale & Laura visited here, we would end up somewhere along the line talking about it. I understand why now , having been there. It is a special place, and It lends itself to stillness, and finding a bit of the inner silence. You’ll find yourself staring up into the pines and manzanita as I did many times…

Discussions do break out here, in fact it was one of the real joys of the visit. Poetry seemed to be one of the main themes, and transformation of the self, and society. We had some great talks, ranging late, late into the evening. There is a heck of a lot of writing going on, and the sense of discipline behind is very cool. I wish I had that sense of discipline, but the old stuttering dyslexic mind of mine almost precludes it with some serious mental alterations… 8O}

Beating the bounds…

On our last day, we walked the bounds with Laura and Dale. Their love of their land is palpable; hesitating here, there and taking in what needs to be done this season and next. A sense of stewardship that I recognize. I have seen this love time and again when people find that place where they have “gone to ground”.

Robert & Leslie out near Big Sur…

At Robert & Leslies’: We met Robert & Leslie through Dale & Laura. Laura (I think) turned them onto Turfing, and we bumped into each other on Face Book. (yes, I confess!) They visited us this last August on the way down from an art-show in Seattle. They have lived up on the Ridge for several years, being kinda local and all, having grown up over the hill in Nevada.

The House of Art….

I have featured their art before, from . On the second night down, we went with Dale & Laura over to visit and for dinner. They kinda live out there, but what an amazing drive. Their property was almost taken by the fires this past August. Luckily, it didn’t happen. We spent a great evening, talking, drinking moderately, and enjoying the very fine company.

We got to come back and visit on Thursday, and was able to visit their studio(s). The studio is an amazing building, originally a dairy barn, it was built in the 1850′s. The original structure is clad now in metal, but it has an amazing feel inside. The lower level is where the cement and stained glass work is done, (Roberto) and the upper level is where the woodworking is done. (Leslie) Sophie was able to really play about at Leslie & Roberts, they have two amazing dogs, Bodie & Kiara pups really tho 9 years old. The 3 dogs romped whilst we hung out.

Garden Art…

One of the things I notice with Rob & Leslie is their attention to the moment, and the sheer joy that jumps off of their collective skins. Their combined artistic talents are pretty overwhelming. We puttered around their home, looked at the spring (yes actual spring) in their basement. Then we went off to Nevada City, to run errands. Rob had to drop off a piece at Mowen-Solinsky Gallery on Broad St. (great place!) and then we dithered off to the pub with John Mowen, a most amazing guy. We sat back, and had some delightful IPA, talked art and just hung for a couple of hours.

Driving North: We went north the next day. Sadly we couldn’t hit Will’s, my health was playing silly games with the lymph system and allergies and I had to head north. We hit the road, and stopped again in Mt. Shasta to pick up a cup for Rowan. We got out, and walked about on the main street. In a way, it felt good. I feel alien to it, as though the form is there, nothing remains really of the place I knew, and the times we inhabited there. It was sweet, but getting on the road was sweeter. Riding up through Siskiyou County was lovely. I always liked the ride through there. The volcanic hills, the slow transitions in the terrain. The greatest treat though… was as we approached the border, low flying clouds. Up over the Siskiyou past, into fog & cloud, and then breaking through, to sunshine above, and a swirling sea of fog on the valley floor. We drove past Ashland, and on to Medford.

At Randy & Deirdre’s:We arrived up at Randy & Deidre’s late afternoon, to find dinner on, and drinks at hand. Randy and Dee live up on the high crest to the north of Medford. Their house is situated just below the ridge line, and has a view over the valley, and across the Siskiyous. Truly one of the most breath-taking of locations, and it is such a quiet place. Wildlife abounds, and the deer are everywhere, to Sophie’s delight. During the fall this is a place of mist and clouds…

Randy & Deirdre cooking…

Sometimes it is like an island above a sea of fog… As it happened, we got to hang for Halloween night, watching Nosferatu and Dawn of the Dead. Life, she is sweet. Randy and Dee cooked up a storm while we were there, Randy is the master of the barbecue, and has lately taken to curing his own bacon! (ummmmm bacon!) They are perhaps the most relaxed couple that we know, we always have a nice time with them. Both are from the south, and they have such a great take on life, and live at a wonderful pace. I was very happy to have visited them, not enough time together since they moved to Medford from Portland.

Randy, Deirdre & their daughter Bailey…

Coming back north, I realize how at home I am here in Oregon. It’s the moisture and the green woods folks, and Portland. I love her as I once loved London, Amsterdam, San Francisco. But, I have gone to ground, at least for now. I do promise to get back out on the road more often, it was a breaking of habit, and we had a sweet time with dear friends.

It has taken me awhile to write it all down, but finally it is here.

Big Love,



Maidu Tales: The Girls Who Married The Stars…

Two girls who were of an age to dance the puberty dance, were dancing it. And having stopped dancing just at dawn, they both slept. Toward morning the two girls, who were sleeping, arising, went off to dig roots. When they returned at night, the people all danced the round-dance.

Having finished the round-dance, they danced forward and back. And just as the light came over the hills, while it grew brighter, after having run off after the one who carried the rattle, they (the two girls) went to sleep. They dreamed. “If you have a bad dream, you must dive into the stream after having pierced your ear-lobe. Then you must blow away all evil from yourselves. Thus ye will arise feeling entirely well,” she said. So their mothers told the two girls.

They dreamed of Star-Men, but did not blow the evil away from themselves; they did not pierce their ears, did not bathe. When the dance was over, they went again to make camp with their mothers at the spring to dig roots. And having arrived there, they camped. And going to sleep at that place, lying on their backs and looking upward, they talked.

“Do you want to go there?” said one. “If I got there, I should like to see that red, very bright star.” Then the other said, “I also, I should like to go to that one that looks blue. I wish I might see what he looks like!” Then they went to sleep. As they slept, in the morning they woke up there, where the Star-Men were.

The old woman hunted for them back here. She hunted to find where they had gone. She kept looking for tracks, but could not see them, could not trace them; so she went back, weeping, to the house. When she returned, the people got back from a hunting-expedition. They kept coming back; and when they had returned, they searched. They kept looking for tracks, and, not finding them, they went back. And so, having returned, they remained there.

Meanwhile the two girls staid up there in the sky, and were married. They talked together. “Our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, have felt very badly at not being able to trace us,” said the younger girl. “You wanted very much to come to this country; and I, believing you, came thus far. It is making my father feet badly, my mother feel badly, my brothers feel badly. It was your idea,” she said.

“Our mothers gave us very good advice. But you, not believing her, when you had bad dreams, did not pierce your ear. It is for that reason that we are living far away here. I am going back. If you want to remain, you may stay. All my relatives are thinking about me. I feel very badly. I ought not to speak that way, but I have said it. I feel very badly, thinking about it,” said she, the younger girl.

(The other) said to her sister, “Let us both go back in some way! Let us go and gather some kind of food! We shall learn something in time.” So they remained. To each a child was born; and they, making a hut at a little distance, staid there. After they had remained there for some time, they said, “These children ask for sinew.” So the husbands gave them sinew. Again, “They ask for sinew,” they said, and the men gave it to them.

Meanwhile the two girls made rope. Every day, “They call for sinew,” they said. And they gave them sinew. So the two girls kept making rope, until night they made rope. Letting it down towards the earth, they measured it. “How far down does the rope extend?” they said. But it did not quite reach the ground. So they still said, “They ask for sinew. These children are eating a great deal, but only sinew,” they said. And the two men believed.

And so the two women kept making rope until it was sufficient, till it reached all the way down, till it reached down to the earth. Then having made the children remain, they came back down. Having fastened the rope, and just as they were halfway down to the end, the children began to cry, kept crying and crying. “What can be the matter with those two children! Suppose you go and see,” said one of the men. Then one went over to the house; and going across, when he reached it, there was no one there but the two children only, crying.

When he had looked about, he saw the rope hanging down hither. So he cut it; and the women, who had almost reached the ground, fell and were killed. And one of their brothers, who was still hunting for them, saw them. And the rope was there also. Taking that, he went off to the house; and, arriving there, he told all the brothers, “Our two sisters are dead,” he said.

Then they went, and, having arrived there, lifting up the bodies, they brought them back. And having carried them there, they laid them in the water. In the morning the two girls awoke, and, waking, they came out of the water, came back to the house, and after a while they spoke.

“She spoke that way. When she loved him much, I talked with her, talking like her, I followed her,” said the younger girl. “She said it would be good to go to the place where the man was whom she had dreamed of while dancing. . . . She said that truly; and I, thinking it was said in fun, said the same. When we had said this, the men we loved did, indeed, do so to us. When we returned, they, learning about it up there, cut the rope, and in that way we died,” said the youngest one, speaking to her mother and relatives.

“One was a very red man, who ate only hearts. One was a bluish man, who only ate fat. There are many people of that sort, each always eating but one kind of food. Some eat only liver, some only meat. There are men of that kind,” said the younger girl. But the other girl said nothing. And thereafter they remained there in the olden time. That is all, they say.


Native Son: Gary Snyder

this poem is for deer

I dance on all the mountains

On five mountains, I have a dancing place

When they shoot at me I run

To my five mountains”

Missed a last shot

At the Buck, in twilight

So we came back sliding

On dry needles through cold pines.

Scared out a cottontail

Whipped up the winchester

Shot off its head.

The white body rolls and twitches

In the dark ravine

As we run down the hill to the car.

deer foot down scree

Picasso’s fawn, Issa’s fawn,

Deer on the autumn mountain

Howling like a wise man

Stiff springy jumps down the snowfields

Head held back, forefeet out,

Balls tight in a tough hair sack

Keeping the human soul from care

on the autumn mountain

Standing in late sun, ear-flick

Tail-flick, gold mist of flies

Whirling from nostril to eyes.

Home by night

drunken eye

Still picks out Taurus

Low, and growing high:

four-point buck

Dancing in the headlights

on the lonely road

A mile past the mill-pond,

With the car stopped, shot

That wild silly blinded creature down.

Pull out the hot guts

with hard bare hands

While night-frost chills the tongue

and eye

The cold horn-bones.

The hunter’s belt

just below the sky

Warm blood in the car trunk.


the limp tongue.

Deer don’t want to die for me.

I’ll drink sea-water

Sleep on beach pebbles in the rain

Until the deer come down to die

in pity for my pain.

No Matter, Never Mind

The Father is the Void

The Wife Waves

Their child is Matter.

Matter makes it with his mother

And their child is Life,

a daughter.

The Daughter is the Great Mother

Who, with her father/brother Matter

as her lover,

Gives birth to the Mind.


Pine tree tops

In the blue night

frost haze, the sky glows

with the moon

pine tree tops

bend snow-blue, fade

into sky, frost, starlight.

The creak of boots.

Rabbit tracks, deer tracks,

what do we know.


There Are Those Who Love To Get Dirty

There are those who love to get dirty

and fix things.

They drink coffee at dawn,

beer after work,

And those who stay clean,

just appreciate things,

At breakfast they have milk

and juice at night.

There are those who do both,

they drink tea.

this poem is for bear

“As for me I am a child of the god of the mountains.”

A bear down under the cliff.

She is eating huckleberries.

They are ripe now

Soon it will snow, and she

Or maybe he, will crawl into a hole

And sleep. You can see

Huckleberries in bearshit if you

Look, this time of year

If I sneak up on the bear

It will grunt and run

The others had all gone down

From the blackberry brambles, but one girl

Spilled her basket, and was picking up her

Berries in the dark.

A tall man stood in the shadow, took her arm,

Led her to his home. He was a bear.

In a house under the mountain

She gave birth to slick dark children

With sharp teeth, and lived in the hollow

Mountain many years.

snare a bear: call him out:


forest apple


Old man in the fur coat, Bear! come out!

Die of your own choice!

Grandfather black-food!

this girl married a bear

Who rules in the mountains, Bear!

you have eaten many berries

you have caught many fish

you have frightened many people

Twelve species north of Mexico

Sucking their paws in the long winter

Tearing the high-strung caches down

Whining, crying, jacking off

(Odysseus was a bear)

Bear-cubs gnawing the soft tits

Teeth gritted, eyes screwed tight

but she let them.

Til her brothers found the place

Chased her husband up the gorge

Cornered him in the rocks.

Song of the snared bear:

“Give me my belt.

“I am near death.

“I came from the mountain caves

“At the headwaters,

“The small streams there

“Are all dried up.

– I think I’ll go hunt bears.

“hunt bears?

Why shit Snyder.

You couldn’t hit a bear in the ass

with a handful of rice!”


Robbie Robertson – A Good Day To Die

Phil Davies


For your sake, I hurry over land and water:
For your sake, I cross the desert and split the mountain in two,
And turn my face from all things,
Until the time I reach the place
Where I am alone with You.”

Kill Me, My Faithful Friends

Kill me, my faithful friends,
For in my being killed is my life.
Love is that you remain standing
In front of your Beloved
When you are stripped of all your attributes;
Then His attributes become your qualities.
Between me and You, there is only me.
Take away the me, so only You remain

– Al Hallaj –

Hello There….

I have been working on a very large entry about Mary & my recent trip south. I am kinda stuck, so there is a delay. I seem to have selective writers/creative block, so I am moving around the ‘scape so to speak. Working on The Invisible College, some new art (yay!), clearing out the house and garage, printing T-Shirts for Daniel Seibert at SageWisdom (check em out!) and putting time in on that this weekend made me realize how much I have missed printing. I should have some new shirts and other items soon(ish). I will keep ya alerted. We are having our post cards printed up, so as soon as I clean up both websites, you’ll see those soon as well I hope.

I have been writing again as well, and still, still spending tooooo much time on the computer and Face Book. Just slap me, please.

Love n Sprockets,



On The Menu:

Phil Davies
The Links:
Cheikha Rimitti – El Dzair
Folk Tales From Morocco: The Jackal & The Hedgehog
Rumi Poems
Nakhla by Cheikha Rimitti
Prelude/Coda: Al Hallaj

Phil Davies:

Stockwell Road, London….

I have been in touch with a dear old friend from London days, Ley. He lives in Scotland now (originally from Durham) and it has been really, really sweet being in touch. Our conversation picked up 25 years after we last spoke (found him on FaceBook) and it is as if no time has passed, if you can ignore all of his children that came along, change in residence, us moving to the US, then up from L.A. to the NW, Rowan etc…

I asked him about mutual friends, and I found sadly many (well most) have died over the years. The one exception was Philip Davies, who was our best man at our wedding. Ley informed me that Phil, who is about 9 years older than I had cancer over this last summer. In my mind, I understand he is getting treatment, and there will be time to connect. Phil was/is a most amazing man. A gentleman, in all ways. Perhaps the most British person I have ever known in a London way. Phil’s mother was a nice girl from Golder’s Green, and his father was a GI… which meant Phil grew up in an orphanage. He connected with his mother eventually, and found out that he had a younger brother, and sister. They bonded to a degree, and he was ever affectionate of them when we talked. His father was dead when he finally found his family in the US…. Phil’s real family was his friends; Ley, Sherry, Mary, and many, many others over the years. If Phil was your friend, well you knew it.

I always felt a blessing and a giggle in his presence. An ardent Occultist, he was a member of the Golden Dawn when I met him, and well known in many circles in London. He has in turn been a fashion designer, cook, small business owner, you name it. He has a most creative mind. I can see him sitting at his table, looking out on the garden, rolling a spliff, and serving up tea and biscuits in one of his immaculate suits. He was, and is a good dear friend. I ask myself why I hesitated in getting in touch at times. Life, catches up, and you attend to what is in your face. That is the way of it.

I was planning on seeing him this next year, and then a message from Ley came today: Phil is in the hospital, he has taken a turn for the worse and he is coming home to hospice at his flat off of Stockwell Road. The day has been a swirl of wind, leaves, and memories and thoughts. I am hoping our card gets to him, or that he’ll be able to take a phone call.

Don’t hesitate in getting in touch with the ones you care about. Don’t put off doing what makes someone happy, and make sure they know that you care about and love them.

Time goes so swiftly, and then things change. Ley is in London taking care of Phil. Friendship and Love. We will see what happens. He could pull a miracle, he has before. The stories I could tell about the man!




The Links:

Karen Armstron: The Case For God
The Jaw-Jaw After The War On Drugs..
Love In The Age Of Neuro-Science
The Evolution Of The God Gene

Cheikha Rimitti – El Dzair


Folk Tales From Morocco: The Jackal & The Hedgehog

Once upon a time a jackal and a hedgehog were good friends. One day they agreed to steal beans from a peasant’s underground stock. They discussed their plan of action. The hedgehog volunteered to go down into the thasraft to fill the sacks with beans. When the jackal pulled up the last sack, he said, ” Goodbye, my friend.”

The hedgehog felt betrayed. “How can you leave me in this trap?” he asked.

“Right now it’s not so bad,” the jackal replied. “But just wait until tomorrow morning when the peasant arrives and finds you!”

The hedgehog had to think fast to find a way out. “All right, my friend,” he told the jackal in a pitiful tone. “Please take one sack along to my children.”

The hedgehog filled up the sack, then dived into it himself, hiding under the beans. The jackal pulled the heavy sack out and then left.

On the road, the hedgehog put out his head and started whistling. The jackal thought it was the peasant approaching and ran away fast. When he reached the hedgehog’s children, he told them the peasant had caught their father. But before he had even finished his sentence, the hedgehog jumped out laughing. “Thank God,” said the hedgehog, “now I know you for what you are!”

Sometime later, they agreed to go hunting together. They came across a herd of sheep. The hedgehog was assigned to keep the shepherd busy while the jackal snatched a sheep and ran away with it. When the hedgehog was sure the jackal had escaped, he followed him.

When they reached a valley, they slaughtered the sheep and took off the skin. Suddenly, the hedgehog shouted, “The shepherd is coming!”

Frightened, the jackal ran away and disappeared from sight. The hedgehog took the entire sheep and went home with it.

Later, the hedgehog was making a meal for his children. The jackal smelled it cooking and asked him for a bowl. When he had tasted it, he said, “Oh, how delicious it is! It tastes rich. Where did you get the fat?”

“I pulled it from my armpits,” replied the hedgehog. To convince the jackal, he had hidden a piece of sheep’s fat under his armpits and used it to give him a demonstration.

The jackal went away and tried the trick again and again. Every day he tried taking fat from his armpits until it became very painful. Then he started to bleed and died.


Rumi Poems…

Oh, if a tree could wander
and move with foot and wings!
It would not suffer the axe blows
and not the pain of saws!
For would the sun not wander
away in every night ?
How could at every morning
the world be lighted up?
And if the ocean’s water
would not rise to the sky,
How would the plants be quickened
by streams and gentle rain?
The drop that left its homeland,
the sea, and then returned ?
It found an oyster waiting
and grew into a pearl.
Did Yusaf not leave his father,
in grief and tears and despair?
Did he not, by such a journey,
gain kingdom and fortune wide?
Did not the Prophet travel
to far Medina, friend?
And there he found a new kingdom
and ruled a hundred lands.
You lack a foot to travel?
Then journey into yourself!
And like a mine of rubies
receive the sunbeams? print!
Out of yourself ? such a journey
will lead you to your self,
It leads to transformation
of dust into pure gold!

Whoever Brought Me Here, Will Have To Take Me Home.

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.
This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

It is your turn now

It is your turn now,
you waited, you were patient.
The time has come,
for us to polish you.
We will transform your inner pearl
into a house of fire.
You’re a gold mine.
Did you know that,
hidden in the dirt of the earth?
It is your turn now,
to be placed in fire.
Let us cremate your impurities.

This World Which Is Made of Our Love for Emptiness

Praise to the emptiness that blanks out existence. Existence:
This place made from our love for that emptiness!
Yet somehow comes emptiness,
this existence goes.
Praise to that happening, over and over!
For years I pulled my own existence out of emptiness.
Then one swoop, one swing of the arm,
that work is over.
Free of who I was, free of presence, free of dangerous fear, hope,
free of mountainous wanting.
The here-and-now mountain is a tiny piece of a piece of straw
blown off into emptiness.
These words I’m saying so much begin to lose meaning:
Existence, emptiness, mountain, straw:
Words and what they try to say swept
out the window, down the slant of the roof.

Nakhla by Cheikha Rimitti


I am the One Whom I Love
I am the One whom I love, and the One whom I love is myself.
We are two souls incarnated in one body;
if you see me, you see Him,
if you see Him, you see us.

Your spirit is mingled with mine
as wine is mixed with water;
whatever touches you touches me.
In all the stations of the soul you are I.

– Al Hallaj –

Autumn Aums…

“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.” – Edward Abbey

On The Poetry Post…

Intoxicated by the Wine of Love.

From each a mystic silence Love demands.

What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.

What do they whisper to each other? Love.

Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.

In Love no longer ‘thou’ and ‘I’ exist,

For Self has passed away in the Beloved.

Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,

And in the temple of mine inmost soul,

Behold the Friend; Incomparable Love.

He who would know the secret of both worlds,

Will find the secret of them both, is Love.

– Farid al-Din Attar –


Friday Evening: It has been a week of watching changes, and reentry for Mary & myself. We will have some pics soon of our time away.

I have been wrestling with illustrations, finding a bit of work, and the rest of the daily parade.

There is a theme that runs through this entry, and the next one (I think). We were out of the city for a few days, and we spent time by what has been identified as a possible ancient site of the Maidu people. I spent time thinking on in-habitation, caretaking of the earth, and how the ancients used what they had to encourage the earth to be fertile. I thought what it means to be indigenous, which is something I have contemplated most of my adult life. Why do the Sami people venerate the earth more than their Nordic neighbors? How is it that poets find that the earth they live on influence their works? How do people forget their ancient ties and commitments to the land that nurtures them? All mysteries. I sat in the sun, pondering all of these questions and more.

You can read my writings, and eventually you’ll see my mentioning of being a child of the arboreal north. This is true. It is also true I am at home best near the ocean. Funny enough, Portland, city and all is a good fit. In my fantasy, it would be where Astoria on the coast is, but I can deal with it not being so. My point is, I am at home here. The only equivalent would be back in Scotland, but I don’t think that is in the cards. The Willamette Valley is about as far south as I can now comfortably live. It is raining tonight, and we are snug. The trees are shedding leaves, and the early days of the winter are slipping in.

Saturday Noon: Storming like crazy. It is raining sideways, down-ways, up-ways. It really, really is coming down.

So, in this entry you will find some English Country music by “Show Of Hands”. I like their feel, and their message. It goes right along with my thoughts on inhabitation of where you are… We start off with quotes from Edward Abbey, the environmental writer/philosopher in commemoration of his death 20 years ago. We next dive into the Maidu thread, with a Coyote tale. It has a certain flavor that I really like. Our poetry entry is from Rainer Marie Rilke, on Autumn and related subjects. The art works today is by John Everett Millais, one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite art movement. His landscapes have often been ignored, but their subject matter has always impressed my sensibilities.

I hope this finds you well!

Bright Blessings,



On The Menu:

The Links

Show Of Hands – Roots

Edward Abbey Quotes

Maidu Tales… Coyote’s Adventures

Autumn Poetry… Rainer Marie Rilke

Show Of Hands – Country Life

Coda…. Farid al-Din Attar

Artist: John Everett Millais


The Links:

The Real Challenge…


Sioux To Reclaim The Black Hills

Bird shuts down Large Hadron Collider

The Coal Did It…


Show Of Hands – Roots


It has been 20 years since Edward Abbey died. I was introduced to his works by friends in the Wiccan & EarthFirst! communities. His works moved me, between his writing and Gary Snyder’s I reconnected with being in the US after Britain. I was stunned to realize how fast the time had gone since his passing… -Gwyllm

Edward Abbey Quotes

“The mind is everything,” wrote Proust. No doubt true, when you’re dead from the neck down.

Anywhere, anytime, I’d sacrifice the finest nuance for a laugh, the most elegant trope for a smile.

Appearance VERSUS reality? Appearance is reality, God damn it!

The gurus come from the sickliest nation on earth to tell us how to live. And we pay them for it.

To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.

If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture – that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.

The tragedy of modern war is not so much that the young men die but that they die fighting each other – instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.


Maidu Tales… Coyote’s Adventures

Coyote-Man was married. He had two wives, they say, and his mother-in-law lived with him also. Coyote went off hunting, and, returning from his hunt, he remained at home. After a while he spoke. “The pis-ant orphans are going to hunt deer, they say.” “Yes,” said his mother-in-law. “They asked me to go too,” said he. “If you want to go there also, we will go in the morning.” Then they slept.

In the morning (Coyote) said, “Well! They may have gone. Let us go!” Then that old woman fixed up her things, and they went. They went off, kept going until they came to a river. “You will have to wade across,” said he. “They call this the slippery river.” She stepped in. “Lift your skirt up high,” said he. He went across behind her. He touched her anus with his penis, pushing it in a little between her legs. “Hn, hn! The fish are touching us,” she said. “It is that way in the slippery river.” And doing thus as they crossed, when they had almost reached the other side, he stopped poking her.

They came out of the water; and when they had gotten out, they went on, kept travelling until they camped. “You stay here,” he said. “I am going to see where the pis-ant orphans are camped.” Then he went off. Having gone a little ways, he said, “Let rain come in this place, let rain come to-night!” Then he went off hunting, and, as he went along, he saw something that the mountain-lion had killed. So, cutting off a piece, he carried it with him, and returned before dark. Meanwhile it grew cloudy. “I think it is going to rain,” he said; so they fixed up a bark shelter. On one side he fixed it nicely, but his own sleeping-place he made poorly. Then they roasted some venison, and ate supper. The meat stunk a little, indeed. “What the pis-ant orphans kill always stinks,” said (Coyote). “They eat anything that way.”

Just as they went to sleep, it began to rain. Then they went to sleep. After sleeping a little while, he got very wet. So he woke up, and, having waked up, he said, “I am very wet. I’ll sleep over here,” he said, crawling across towards his mother-in-law’s feet. “If I sleep here, I might touch you,” he said; so he set up a piece of bark, on edge between them.

Then he went to sleep, and the woman went to sleep. He got up, and lay upon the woman, and had connection with her all night, until, when it was nearly daylight, he went off. Then the woman awoke. She bore a child. By and by, after she had washed it, she went away, carrying it. She kept travelling; and when she had reached the river, she waded across. She went on, kept going until she arrived at home.

Standing at the smoke-hole, she spoke. “Is Coyote here?” she said. Then Coyote said (to his wives), “Tell her no.” Then one of them replied, “Yes, he is here.” Then (the mother-in-law) said, “Coyote! Here is your child. Take it!” Then (Coyote) jumped out and ran away. She threw his child at him as he went. He ran away. She, having crawled in, stayed there. “‘Bad Coyote! He made his mother-in-law bear a child.’ That is what mortal men will say of me,” said (Coyote).

Then he went away. He kept travelling, came toward this country here. He sat down, sitting on a log, below a place where there was a house. Some one spoke. “You sitting on that log, look like a doctor. Come I you must doctor some one for me,” said (a woman). Then (Coyote) said, “I guess she is calling me. Why don’t I get up and hop along this log?” So he stood up and hopped along the log.

“That’s the one! You who are hopping along that log, you look like a doctor. I am calling you,” she said. “Yes, I guess she is speaking to me,” (he said), and jumped off. “You that are jumping, I am calling you,” she said. “Yes, she has been calling me,” (Coyote) said. So he walked up there.

Going up there, he arrived and sat down. Then (the woman) spoke: “There is some one ill. I called you to doctor them.”–”Whatever it may be like, (I can do it),” he said. “I have come thus far, going about doctoring people nicely. I am coming back from going about among the Mussel-eaters (Modocs); and I have got this far, halfway to my house,” he said. “There is nothing that I have been doctoring that I cannot cure” (?) he said. Then, crawling over, and having sat down beside (the woman who was ill), he sang. He kept singing. “‘I said that when told that way, I did not wish to conquer he said to me,’ 1 said Coyote. “That spirit told me, ‘I will not speak in this kind of a place. I am a spirit. Shut up the house; and when it is shut tight, I will speak.’ So if you crawl out, and stay outside by the door, to me alone the spirit will speak, he told me,” said he.

So the old woman crawled out, and shut the door, and remained by the door outside. Then (Coyote) sang. He made a great deal of noise. “Now he is doctoring,” (the old woman) said. (Those outside) heard the patient groaning. “May he be dead! Why did I bring him here to doctor?” said (the old woman). Then she peeked through a hole. (Coyote) was cohabiting with the girl, making her groan. The old woman, having picked up a large stick, jumped in. just as she was going to strike, (Coyote), breaking off his penis, jumped out through the smoke-hole and ran away. He kept going until he reached the place where Badger lived, and there he staid.

The woman was very ill, and (the old woman) came to Badger to get him to doctor. On arriving, she said, “I hired Coyote as a doctor; and when he was about to begin, he sent me out, and I remained outside by the door while he was singing; and while he sang, the girl groaned, and, peeping in, I found he was cohabiting with her. Then, intending to strike him, I jumped in; and he, jumping out, broke off his penis. With that in addition to her illness, she will die. So I ask you to come and doctor her.”

Then Coyote spoke. “Coyote-Man did that way a long time ago to me myself,” (?) he said. “When some one hires you to doctor, go,” said he. “You yourself shall doctor, working over the sick person (?). 1 So do the best you can; and when the spirit-man talks with you, he will be strong. I will go with you,” he said. Then she went. And he (Badger 2) went, after having painted his forehead in stripes. He kept travelling until he arrived. Then he sang, kept singing, and after a while he said, “What will you do with it, with what I suck out as the cause of pain? What will you do with it?”

The (old woman) said, “I will cover it up with ashes in the fire.” Then Coyote said, “Formerly when they burned up sickness in the fire, in burning, it burned along everywhere, as it were,” said he; “but when it was put into water, it was all right.” Then the old woman said, “I’ll cover it up in the fire.” Then the Badger-Man, after he had sung, cured the girl, and passed the Coyote’s penis to the (old woman). She opened the fire, to cover it up in the ashes. Meanwhile, not letting the woman see him, Coyote blew gently. “Let a layer of ice come up from under the ground!” he said. The old woman, when she had finished opening a place in the fire, put (the thing that he had sucked out) in. As she was putting it in, as she was putting it down toward the fire, (Coyote) seized it, and, snatching it away, ran off with it, ran away.

“I was right thinking that you were not a different person, after all; I did not recognize you,” said (the woman). Then that doctor, after he had staid quiet for a while, went off; and they say that he is still striped with paint, as he was striped for doctoring.

So Coyote went away. He kept going until he saw a place where many women were living. Then, having returned on his tracks a short distance, he said, “Let any kind of a worn-out pack-basket come, a platter-basket also, and a worn-out cradle frame also!” Then he saw there all that he had wished for. Then he picked a large root, and pounded it, mashed it fine, prepared it carefully, and, when it was very finely ground, he made it into a representation of a woman’s genitals. Then attaching it to himself, he fixed it carefully, and finished making it. He made a woman’s apron, worn out, fall of tears, so that when it was put on, it should not wholly cover him up.

And thus he went on. Picking up his penis, he washed and fixed it up as a baby, and placed it in the cradle-frame. Then, making a cane from a piece of wood, he went on, walking bent far over, like a very old woman.

Meanwhile the women remained there, and just about dark he arrived. Then they said, “Well, this is indeed an old woman to be going about thus!” and they played with the child. It does not look just like a child,” (said they.) “I am very weak,” (said Coyote.) “In picking it up, it slipped out of my hands, and fell, striking on its head. That is why it looks all swollen. Its father is dead. It makes me feel very sad to speak of its father,” said she. Then the child said, “Lbl-lbl-lbl!”–”It says that always, and makes me feel sad,” said (Coyote).

He spoke just like a woman. “Because it cries a great deal, it makes me feel sad, for I was weak and let it fall,” said he. Then they saw his genitals through the holes, although they were covered. All the women saw them. Two of the youngest women said, “It does not look just like a child;” but the others said, “No, it is indeed a child. This swelling is due to its fall.”–”That is the head of a penis” said (the two women,) “that swelled when it fell.”

But the other women all believed, and only the two were careful. “Look at her! She is an old woman; can’t you see her genitals are of that kind?” the others said. Then these two said, “Very well!” So they gave her some supper; and when it grew dark, they were afraid (?). So they said, “You had better sleep right here. You might be cold.” So she went to sleep, lying in the middle between two of them.

Meanwhile all the rest slept close by, in one place. But the two who had doubted went off to sleep elsewhere; they were careful. Then in the night (Coyote) untied his sleeping-powder, and, scattering it about, made all sleep soundly. Then, having thrown away his disguise, he cohabited with the women. He kept working until it was nearly dawn, and then went off. Then those women all bore children in the morning; and the children were crying, and made a great noise. Meanwhile he went off.

He kept going, travelling along beside a river, until he saw some women. They were there bathing. He watched these water-bug women. He watched them as they crawled out of the water to the bank, and kept jumping in. “Whee! Her anus!” said he. “That’s the one. Whee! There’s another one!” He kept talking, and then jumped to seize the very biggest one. Just as she was jumping, just starting to jump, jumping right behind her, he seized her. By and by, after working for some time, he crawled out, and went away.

He kept going; and when he was some ways from the middle of the world, his penis pained him. He walked along scratching. Then he cut off the end of it, and, having thrown it away, went on. A little ways farther on, it pained very badly. Again, having cut it off and thrown it away, he went on. And having gone a little farther, it pained him again: so he cut another piece off. And still again he cut it off, even at the very base. Then as he went along, just as he started to go, he died.

He lay there dead. As he lay there, the Crow brothers flew up, and pecked out an eye. They kept pecking it out, then began on the other eye. When they had pulled just a little, (Coyote) came to consciousness again. He stood up. “I have been having a council with the Alturas people, and was sleepy. Do not say anything about it, or you will die.” (?) Then, picking up a stick, he threw it at them. Then, having risen, he went off.

As he went along, Humming-Bird Man, after hovering about close to the top of a tree, came darting down, and, when almost to the ground, swooped upwards again, singing “Piuno!” all the time. (Coyote) stood there and watched him. “Yes, you have learned how to do that very well, my cousin. I think that if I learned that, the women everywhere would love me. Why don’t you teach me how you learned to do it so well?” said he. Then (the Humming-Bird) said, “All right! If you wish to learn, I will show you. I was not afraid, and so I learned. When I began to learn, I climbed up a tree, kept climbing until I reached the top, and having reached the top of the tree, standing on a large limb, I used to jump off head-first,” said he.

“All right!” said Coyote, “I will do that. Thus I shall be loved in very many countries; for, knowing many pretty things to do, women will talk about me,” said he. Then he climbed up, kept climbing, and when he had climbed to the top, he stood up. Then he jumped down. Darting down toward the earth crying “Pi!” just as he neared the ground he raised his head. just then he struck on his head. So he died.

As he lay there, (the Humming-Bird) went away. By and by the Crow brothers flew up, and pecked out his eye. They kept pecking; and as they were about to pull it out, when they pulled gently, he awoke. He stood up. “I have been talking with chiefs, and fell asleep. Do not say anything about it, or you will die.” (?)

Then, having departed, he went off, and kept going until he reached the place where a man lived with his wives. Then he stopped there. By and by Coyote said, “Where can one marry such fine-looking women?” said he. “Where do such fine-looking women live?”–”It was a very old woman that I married. After staying with me for a little while, she turned into a fine-looking one,” said (the other). “Is that so!” said (Coyote). “Do you know where such sort of old women live? Tell me,” said Coyote.

Then the other said, “The camps are over there, there are many camps. By going, thither you will reach them,” said he. “There is a house opposite the last one; when you get there, there will be an ugly old woman living there. Marry her; and then, if she is too weak to walk, carry her, and bring her back. I did that way with my wife here. After getting back, and staying a few days, one morning, she woke up very fine-looking. That is the way it will be. Thus you will marry a good woman,” said he.

“Very well!” said Coyote, and the next morning he went off. He kept going until he arrived there. Reaching the last house, he crossed over and got to the house opposite. He went in, and there was an ugly old woman sitting there. Having gone in, he sat down, and remained there. Meanwhile night came on, and, crawling across, he slept with that old woman.

In the morning, when they had risen, they came back; and after they had come a little ways, she became tired. So carrying her, he returned, and kept coming back until he reached the place he had set out from. It came night; and after sleeping, he staid there in the morning. Meanwhile the other man went hunting, and at evening he came back bringing a bear.

Then Coyote said, “I wonder how you killed him. You had better tell me, I also went hunting. Where did you kill him?” Then the other said, “All right! I went around behind this mountain, a large trail runs there, and I sat down close by it.”–”Good!” said Coyote, “I will do that way.” The other man said, “I carried a big, heavy stick. Hitting the bear with that, I killed him. From where I stood, close to the trail, I struck him.”–”All right!” said Coyote, “I will do the same.”

Then the next morning he went hunting. He kept travelling, and finally reached the place that had been pointed out to him. A large bear-trail led along there,–a trail up which they went to feed. When he reached it, he stood there, kept standing close beside the trail. Then the bears came, kept coming, walking fast. Meanwhile Coyote said, “I am not looking for you, I am looking for another, a big one.” They kept going along, until, in the middle of the lot, there came a large one. As he was walking by, (Coyote) struck him. When he struck, the stick bounced back, for he did not strike him just on the head. Then from all sides they seized Coyote, and threw him down and killed him.

Coyote did not return in the morning. Then the other man crossed over (to Coyote’s house), and killed the old woman; and she was that man’s grandmother, they say. And having killed her, and carried her to the spring, he threw her in. And (Coyote) still had not returned when it grew dark. In the morning, the woman, having come to life in the spring, went back to the camp, and staid there.

Meanwhile Coyote was dead; and to the place where he lay the Crow brothers came, and pecked his eyes. They kept pecking, and were just about to pull out one eye, when Coyote sat up. “Really, I have been talking with chiefs. Do not say anything about it, or you will die.” Then, when he was thoroughly awake, he went on.

After he had gone a little ways, he heard two girls singing. It sounded very pretty. So, standing up, he listened. It seemed to come from close by, behind a point like this. “Well, I guess they see me,” thought he; for it sounded as if they sang in time to his step. “They must have seen me,” he said. Then he walked and capered about, dancing to the song of the girls, stepping just as they sang. It sounded as if they were watching; it seemed as if it came from close by.

He went across in the direction of the sound, climbed a ridge, and, when he looked across, it sounded as if it came from across on the other side, from the point of the ridge. So, starting off, he ran across, and, getting to the top of the ridge, looked across, when it seemed to come from the opposite side. “Well, I guess you love me, are fond of me, for you are singing in time to my steps; but I will get over there to where you are. Then you will see me,” he said.

Meanwhile his wife remained here, at their house. So he went off, never thinking of his wife. So starting off, he ran on, kept running until he was tired; and when it was night, he stopped and camped. Here the two women’s singing sounded as if it came from far away. And in the morning he could not hear it. And as he went about everywhere, he met Cottontail-Rabbit, and came to the place where he made his camp. Cottontail told him, “There are many women who dance, but I never go to see them.”–”Well,” said (Coyote) “are we going together to the dance?”–”Yes! We will dance when it grows dark,” said Cottontail. Then it was night, and they heard singing and dancing all about. So they went off, kept going until (Coyote) said, “Stop a minute! I’ll tell you something. You had better stay behind here.”–”All right!” said Cottontail. “You had better stay here. Women are very careful and suspicious of me,” said (Coyote). “If I have this (his penis) on, they are afraid of me. When the women think I am all right, I will whistle. When you hear that., bring it along,” So Cottontail staid there.

Meanwhile (Coyote) went off, and arrived there. Then he heard the women dancing and shouting. He got there. Very pretty women were dancing. He took a partner there, and two very pretty women fell in love with him. They followed him off. They followed him as he walked about; and when they got near the place where Cottontail was staying, they sat down.

Then Coyote whistled, but there was no reply. He whistled again. “What are you doing?” said the girls. “Oh, that is nothing! I am only playing,” he said. “I feel very happy to be going about with two women, I feel very good,” said he. Then they laughed, putting their legs over him, playing with him. “Why don’t you wait? Keep quiet, ye two!” said he.

Then, having run off up the hill, he came to that place (where Cottontail was). He whistled. He did not hear anything. He got very angry. Going about hunting for him, he did not see him. Then, returning, he reached the place where the girls were.

“What are you doing, going about calling (for some one)?” they said. “No, I was not doing anything,” said he. Then they lay down beside each other, he being in the middle, between the two; and they played with him, and straddled over him. Again he went off to hunt (for Cottontail), went about hunting in the same place he had gone before. Again he couldn’t see him, and was very angry.

Now, while (Coyote) walked down, having made (Cottontail) stay (where he was), two Star-Women came along, and he (Cottontail) followed them. After a while Cottontail had connection with them, with the oldest woman, making her groan, almost making her cry. Then the younger said, “How can such a man almost make you cry? Such a little man, I guess, cannot make me do that. Such a tiny little fellow can’t make me cry!” said the youngest woman. He cohabited with that very one, he almost made her cry. He made all (both) groan loudly.

Meanwhile Coyote-Man kept sleeping with the two women until it was light. Then in the morning he went on; and when he had reached that house, Cottontail was staying there. Having rushed in, he (Coyote) looked angry. “I have a good mind to kill you,” he said. “Why didn’t you stay where I told you?” he said. He was very angry. “Two women having come along, I followed them,” said Cottontail. “Then what did you do?” said (Coyote). “I cohabited some, with yours (i. e., your penis),” he said. “Oh!” said (Coyote). “I almost made the two girls cry,” said (Cottontail). Then “Oh!” said (Coyote), “it will make little women cry.” He felt as if he had cohabited much. Very quickly he got over his anger.

When (Cottontail) had handed it over, (Coyote) washed and cleaned it with water and put it away. “That is very good,” said he. “It is just right for big women.” Next day they did not dance, the dance was over. So, staying until it was night, he went off in the morning.

He kept travelling until he reached the place where the Ground-Squirrel women lived. They were sitting in a row on a log, and he passed along close by the log. He looked around as he went along. Now, the last one that sat there was very large, and fat. So he seized her; but as he seized her, she jumped aside, and he missed her. Meanwhile they rushed in the tiny door (of their house). Then (Coyote), reaching down through, seized one. Meanwhile the women all seized him. One went off to call Badger. And when they had told him, he came, and arriving there, seizing (Coyote) by the arm, he pulled off one arm.

Then (Badger) went off. He gave the arm to the women. Now, after a while Coyote went off. After he had gone about looking for a limb of a tree, he saw one which was, just right, and, having rubbed it with pitch, he stuck it on. Then when it grew evening, again, just as it became dark, he arrived (at the Ground-Squirrel’s house). But they did not recognize him; and when they had given him some supper, (the women) sang, while he ate his supper.

Now. he stopped eating. “How did you learn what you are singing?” said Coyote. “In what country, how, who has been wicked?” he said. “They say they are singing (about) some other people’s hand. In what country have the people been bad?” Coyote said. Then Badger-Man spoke. “It is not like that,” he said. “They say they are singing about Coyote’s hand,” he said. (Coyote) said, “No, that is not it! They say they are singing about a stranger’s hand!”–”Very well!” said Badger, “I am going to dance.”–”Let us dance!” said (Coyote). “Go ahead!” said (Coyote), so they both went.

Travelling along, they arrived there. And they (the women) were dancing, they danced throwing the arm across from one to the other. And when Coyote and Badger arrived there, the women did not recognize him. They did not know Coyote-Man, since he had two arms. They all danced together. And while they were dancing, after a while he (Coyote) caught the arm. He started to run off with it. He ran away with it, and, continuing to run away with it, he camped for the night at a distance. Meanwhile those women stopped dancing when he got back what they had.

That morning he went on, kept going until he came to a house. He married the one (woman who lived there); then he staid there. He lived there, hunting mice. He had a daughter, and lived there married; lived there, hunting only mice. Now his daughter had grown large. He kept living there, doing the same thing, and now had a son. He never went hunting for deer, they say; lived there, hunting only mice. Meanwhile his children now had grown large, his daughter had grown of age. She grew to be a very fine-looking girl, Coyote’s daughter did. Then Coyote thought. “I wonder how I may marry this girl!” he said. “But what (about) this! I am sick, so I’ll lie down all the time, saying I am going to die. When I have done that, they will believe me,” he said.

Then he went off hunting; and by and by, hunting along, he came back at night. Then, after he had lain down, by and by he spoke. “I am very sick, I almost was unable to come back,” said he. Then sleeping, he could hardly sleep (before) morning. He lay there sick. “Very sick I am,” said he. Meanwhile his wife went out to pick food with the daughter. “You and your two children will be able to keep alive picking all sorts of food,” said he. “I am sick, and shall recover. If I should not recover, ye must live here (?),” said he.

“Over there there lives a man who looks like me. When your daughter has married him, ye must live there. Ye must live without thinking about me, without crying much. When your daughter is married, if he (her husband) gives you anything, you must live there and eat with him … if I die,” said he. Then he lay there sick and groaning.

Meanwhile the women went off to pick food. “Some time the house may burn down; and then ye, having seen me, must go away,” said he, So he went off; and by and by, having brought in and piled together some deer-bones, he set fire to his house. And when he had set fire to it, the house burned. When it was burned down, they, returning, saw that there were bones, all burnt up, lying where he had lain. Then they, after crying, went off in the morning to the place where he had instructed them to go. When they went off, they came to a house, and they arrived there. Now, he (Coyote) was living there. He had rubbed his hair all over with pitch, so that they could not see it (?). And when they got there, that man (Coyote) married the girl. So he lived with his mother-in-law and brother-in-law. And the two, Coyote and his brother-in-law, went hunting mice.

Now, that which he had rubbed on, came off in his armpit when he was digging. And his brother-in-law saw it. They came back from the hunt just before dark. And when they had arrived, they slept; and in the morning Coyote went hunting, (but) the brother-in-law remained at home. And when Coyote had gone away, he spoke. “Look here, my mother! He looks very much like my father. I have recognized him. He moves just like him. When he was digging, he looked around just like him; and that which he had rubbed on, came off under the armpit. I saw that,” said he. “Surely he is my father!”

Then the two women, having fixed things up, went off, went away angry. And after a while (Coyote) got back, (and there was) no one there. So, after he had looked and peered everywhere about, by and by he went off. “I was wicked,” then said Coyote. “Mortal men, in telling of the olden time, (will say) that Coyote married his daughter long ago.” So, along the edge of the valley he went on.

So he arrived in the north (?). And there he married the Frog-Old-Woman. And as they were living there, a dance was announced. They sent (messengers) to tell him. “They say there is a dance,” said they. “They say there is to be a singing-contest. So they sent to all countries for men who were good singers,” they said. “They say it is to be a great dance.” Then (Coyote) said “All right! I am going to sing.” Six days had passed, when his wife fell ill, two days before (the time set). She lay there groaning. Then he said, “What are you going to do, shall you watch the dance, or are you too weak?”–”Yes,” said she, “you go alone. I will lie here, and not go about; I am weak.” So he threw in some wood, and, after piling it up, went away. Going along, when he got there, the singers were singing. Crane was singing, Bluejay was singing, Wekwek was singing, Antelope was singing, Papam (a root) was singing. And as he got there, Tadpole was singing, Shitepoke was singing, all people were singing.

And Coyote, when he got there, sang,–a winning song, they say. Many women were dancing, Wolf-Man sang, very pretty-looking women danced. There was one woman there who was, of all, the most beautiful. Coyote danced with her. And when they had danced around a few times, he lifted her up and carried her off. And having carried her off down to a dark place, and laid her down, he lay upon her. “Do you think I am the only pretty one among all the women?” (?) said she. (Now) that was his wife; and being angry, he whipped her; and, having beaten her to death, he went up (back again).

And coming up, as he got there, a most beautiful woman, who looked different, was dancing. Then he went off to look at his wife. “I’ll go and see,” (he said). And running away, when he had run thither, he approached slowly, and then peeped in softly. She still lay there, groaning faintly; so, having walked back slowly, he went. And so returning, after he had stood up, he danced with that woman.

And dancing around, after they had danced around a few times, he picked her up, and carried her off on his shoulder, carried her on his back to a dark place. Then he lay between her legs. Meanwhile she said, “. . . .” 1 It was the old woman, his wife. Then kicking her, and striking her, having knocked her over, he killed her, and, coming up, he got back (to the dance). She, having made, (herself) pretty, danced again,–the same one, they say, the Frog-Old-Woman. She knew Coyote very well, they say, not wishing to see (him) bothering many pretty women. So she conquered Coyote.

The people (?) kept on doing this (singing) all the time until nearly dawn, (when) they said that Tadpole-Man was a bad singer (?). Then Tadpole-Man, getting angry, stole all the songs. Then they, not being able to sing, being unable to remember the songs, ceased.

And there Coyote did himself evil (?). And mortal men, telling of the olden time, (shall say) “Those people, that kind of people, were conquering in song in the olden time,” that way they said (?). And so, “There shall be singing at dances,” they said,–”these olden-time songs,” they say. “And (if) one man knows it (a song), they (will) ask him to sing, (if) they wish to hear it”(?), they said. “And then, learning it, mortal men, women and men also, shall sing it,” they said. “These songs mortal men shall sing in all countries,” they said.

And there Coyote, overcoming himself, went away. Having returned, he said, “After I had staid at my chief’s, smoking tobacco, I did not see the dance, and it came morning.” Meanwhile the Bluejay-Man, returning from the dance, said he wished to put on feather ornaments. Then his grandmother put on him her pubic hair as feathers. And so he went, and at evening he sang. And when he sang, the women shouted at him, “The man who wears his grandmother’s pubic hair for feathers, Bluejay-Man!” they said. And then, being ashamed, he departed, after remaining a while. And in the morning they all went home, all were gone. And then the world was quiet.


Autumn Poetry… Rainer Marie Rilke


The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,

as if orchards were dying high in space.

Each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”

And tonight the heavy earth is falling

away from all other stars in the loneliness.

We’re all falling. This hand here is falling.

And look at the other one. It’s in them all.

And yet there is Someone, whose hands

infinitely calm, holding up all this falling.

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.

Lay your shadow on the sundials

and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;

give them another two more southerly days,

press them to ripeness, and chase

the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one


Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long


will stay up, read, write long letters,

and wander the avenues, up and down,

restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

Buddha In Glory

Center of all centers, core of cores,

almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–

all this universe, to the furthest stars

all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;

your vast shell reaches into endless space,

and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.

Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,

blazing high above your head.

But in you is the presence that

will be, when all the stars are dead.

Rainer Marie Rilke


Show Of Hands – Country Life



All Pervading Consciousness

And as His Essence all the world pervades

Naught in Creation is, save this alone.

Upon the waters has He fixed His Throne,

This earth suspended in the starry space,

Yet what are seas and what is air? For all

Is God, and but a talisman are heaven and earth

To veil Divinity. For heaven and earth,

Did He not permeate them, were but names;

Know then, that both this visible world and that

Which unseen is, alike are God Himself,

Naught is, save God: and all that is, is God.

And yet, alas! by how few is He seen,

Blind are men’s eyes, though all resplendent shines

The world by Deity’s own light illumined,

0 Thou whom man perceiveth not, although

To him Thou deignest to make known Thyself;

Thou all Creation art, all we behold, but Thou,

The soul within the body lies concealed,

And Thou dost hide Thyself within the soul,

0 soul in soul! Myst’ry in myst’ry hid!

Before all wert Thou, and are more than all!

– Farid al-Din Attar –

A Day In The Life…

How shall the nameless be defined

A thousand times my Guru I asked:

How shall the Nameless be defined?

I asked and asked but all in vain.

The Nameless Unknown, it seems to me,

Is the source of the something that we see.

Think On

Think within thee, till the light of day

Be as the darkness of very night—

Till the self-illuminated Way

Show thee the Darkness to be but Light.

Then shall the bounds of the solid Earth

Mingle with the liquid of the Sky:

Then shalt thou gain freedom from Re-birth,

Merging into Shiv the Self on high.

When the nectar of the waning Moon

Riseth to feed the awaiting Sun,

What is it aught but an empty boon?

Booty that the maw of Rah hath won.

Yet shall Self-illuminated Thought

Show another picture, late or soon:—

Ignorance blind—as a demon caught;

Rah himself as booty of the Moon.

There be that to know and to be known.

There be knowledge, too, to know them by.

By the Light in thee shall both be shown,

Thinking and thinking, if thou but try.

Rah it was came booty for the Moon;

Now shall the Moon be booty of thine.

Think on, and both shall a void soon:

Only shall remain the Thought Divine.

– Lalla Ded

The last week we have been on a bit of a walk-about, so I have not had a real chance to work on Turfing… Here we have it for this Saturday.

Sitting in bank of clouds, on the north rim at Ashford-Oaks.

Hope You Enjoy!



On The Menu:

D.T. Suzuki Quotes

Rena Jones – Vital

Three Tales From Lord Dunsany

The Poetry of Anna Akhmatova

Rena Jones: The Passing Storm

Coda… Lalla Ded


D. T. Suzuki Quotes:

“When traveling is made too easy and comfortable, its spiritual meaning is lost. This may be called sentimentalism, but a certain sense of loneliness engendered by traveling leads one to reflect upon the meaning of life, for life is after all a traveling from one unknown to another unknown.”

“The right art is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede.”

“The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s hum drum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.”

“Zen opens a man’s eyes to the greatest mystery as it is daily and hourly performed; it enlarges the heart to embrace eternity of time and infinity of space in its every palpitation; it makes us live in the world as if walking in the garden of Eden.”


Rena Jones – Vital


Three Tales From Lord Dunsany:

The Worm & The Angel

As he crawled from the tombs of the fallen a worm met with an angel.

And together they looked upon the kings and kingdoms, and youths and maidens and the cities of men. They saw the old men heavy in their chairs and heard the children singing in the fields. They saw far wars and warriors and walled towns, wisdom and wickedness, and the pomp of kings, and the people of all the lands that the sunlight knew.

And the worm spake to the angel saying: “Behold my food.”

“Be dakeon para Thina poluphloisboio Thalassaes,” murmured the angel, for they walked by the sea, “and can you destroy that too?”

And the worm paled in his anger to a greyness ill to behold, for for three thousand years he had tried to destroy that line and still its melody was ringing in his head.


A Moral Little Tale

There was once an earnest Puritan who held it wrong to dance. And for his principles he labored hard, his was a zealous life. And there loved him all of those who hated the dance; and those that loved the dance respected him too; they said “He is a pure, good man and acts according to his lights.”

He did much to discourage dancing and helped to close several Sunday entertainments. Some kinds of poetry, he said, he liked, but not the fanciful kind as that might corrupt the thoughts of the very young. He always dressed in black.

He was quite interested in morality and was quite sincere and there grew to be much respect on Earth for his honest face and his flowing pure-white beard.

One night the Devil appeared unto him in a dream and said “Well done.”

“Avaunt,” said that earnest man.

“No, no, friend,” said the Devil.

“Dare not to call me ‘friend,’” he answered bravely.

“Come, come, friend,” said the Devil. “Have you not put apart the couples that would dance? Have you not checked their laughter and their accursed mirth? Have you not worn my livery of black? O friend, friend, you do not know what a detestable thing it is to sit in hell and hear people being happy, and singing in theatres and singing in the fields, and whispering after dances under the moon,” and he fell to cursing fearfully.

“It is you,” said the Puritan, “that put into their hearts the evil desire to dance; and black is God’s own livery, not yours.”

And the Devil laughed contemptuously and spoke.

“He only made the silly colors,” he said, “and useless dawns on hill-slopes facing South, and butterflies flapping along them as soon as the sun rose high, and foolish maidens coming out to dance, and the warm mad West wind, and worst of all that pernicious influence Love.”

And when the Devil said that God made Love that earnest man sat up in bed and shouted “Blasphemy! Blasphemy!”

“It’s true,” said the Devil. “It isn’t I that send the village fools muttering and whispering two by two in the woods when the harvest moon is high, it’s as much as I can bear even to see them dancing.”

“Then,” said the man, “I have mistaken right for wrong; but as soon as I wake I will fight you yet.”

“O, no you don’t,” said the Devil. “You don’t wake up out of this sleep.”

And somewhere far away Hell’s black steel doors were opened, and arm in arm those two were drawn within, and the doors shut behind them and still they went arm in arm, trudging further and further into the deeps of Hell, and it was that Puritan’s punishment to know that those that he cared for on Earth would do evil as he had done.


The Giant Poppy

I dreamt that I went back to the hills I knew, whence on a clear day you can see the walls of Ilion and the plains of Roncesvalles. There used to be woods along the tops of those hills with clearings in them where the moonlight fell, and there when no one watched the fairies danced.

But there were no woods when I went back, no fairies nor distant glimpse of Ilion or plains of Roncesvalles, only one giant poppy waved in the wind, and as it waved it hummed “Remember not.” And by its oak-like stem a poet sat, dressed like a shepherd and playing an ancient tune softly upon a pipe. I asked him if the fairies had passed that way or anything olden.

He said: “The poppy has grown apace and is killing gods and fairies. Its fumes are suffocating the world, and its roots drain it of its beautiful strength.” And I asked him why he sat on the hills I knew, playing an olden tune.

And he answered: “Because the tune is bad for the poppy, which would otherwise grow more swiftly; and because if the brotherhood of which I am one were to cease to pipe on the hills men would stray over the world and be lost or come to terrible ends. We think we have saved Agamemnon.”

Then he fell to piping again that olden tune, while the wind among the poppy’s sleepy petals murmured “Remember not. Remember not.”



The Poetry of Anna Akhmatova

Here Is My Gift

Here is my gift, not roses on your grave,

not sticks of burning incense.

You lived aloof, maintaining to the end

your magnificent disdain.

You drank wine, and told the wittiest jokes,

and suffocated inside stifling walls.

Alone you let the terrible stranger in,

and stayed with her alone.

Now you’re gone, and nobody says a word

about your troubled and exalted life.

Only my voice, like a flute, will mourn

at your dumb funeral feast.

Oh, who would have dared believe that half-crazed I,

I, sick with grief for the buried past,

I, smoldering on a slow fire,

having lost everything and forgotten all,

would be fated to commemorate a man

so full of strength and will and bright inventions,

who only yesterday it seems, chatted with me,

hiding the tremor of his mortal pain.


When, in the night, I wait for her, impatient,

Life seems to me, as hanging by a thread.

What just means liberty, or youth, or approbation,

When compared with the gentle piper’s tread?

And she came in, threw out the mantle’s edges,

Declined to me with a sincere heed.

I say to her, “Did you dictate the Pages

Of Hell to Dante?” She answers, “Yes, I did.”


‘Here we’re all drunkards and whores,’

Here we’re all drunkards and whores,

joylessly stuck together!

On the walls, birds and flowers

pine for the clouds and air.

The smoke from your black pipe

makes strange vapours rise.

The skirt I wear is tight,

revealing my slim thighs

Windows tightly closed:

who’s there, frost or thunder?

Your eyes, are they those

of some cautious cat, I wonder?

O, my heart how you yearn!

Is it for death you wait?

Or that girl, dancing there,

for hell to be her sure fate?


‘Always so many pleas from a lover!’

Always so many pleas from a lover!

None when they fall out of love.

I’m so glad it plunges, the river,

beneath colourless ice above.

And I’m to stand – God help me! –

on the surface, fissured, gleaming,

with my letters, for posterity

to judge, in your safe keeping,

so that clearly, and distinctly,

they can see you, brave and wise,

in your glorious biography,

no gaps revealed to the eye?

To drink of Earth’s too sweet,

and Love’s nets are too fine.

But may my name be seen

in the students’ books in time,

and, let them smile, secretly,

on reading my sad story…

if I can’t have love, if I can’t have peace,

grant me a bitter glory.


Rena Jones: The Passing Storm



Why do you dote

Why do you dote upon someone, my Soul,

who is not your true love ?

Why have you taken the false for the true?

Why can’t you understand, why can’t you know?

It is ignorance that binds you to the false,

To the ever-recurring wheel of birth and death,

this coming and going.

For ever we came

For ever we come, for ever we go;

For ever, day and night, we are on the move.

Whence we come, thither we go,

For ever in the round of birth and death,

From nothingness to nothingness.

But sure, a mystery here abides,

A Something is there for us to know.

(It cannot all be meaningless).

– Lalla Ded