Sailing Into The Mythic…

“God is an astronaut, Oz lies over the rainbow, and Midian is where the monsters live.”

Confessional

There was wine in a cup of gold
and a girl of fifteen from Wu,
her eyebrows painted dark
and with slippers of red brocade.

If her conversation was poor,
how beautifully she could sing!
Together we dined and drank
until she settled in my arms.

Behind her curtains
embroidered with lotuses,
how could I refuse
the temptation of her advances?
– Li Po

Dear Friends,

All the latest with Turfing: Wrestling with new set up, trying to up load all of the old illustrations (ain’t going to happen folks) and trying to restore the old Serendipity files again for the ArchivesBook Reviews. Starting book reviews on Turfing, we have received some brilliant books as of late, that I feel everyone needs to be aware of. Way to many for just the magazine, though some reviews may cross migrate. If you know of/ or want a book to be reviewed, please notify us. Sorry, no PDF editions, they take up too much screen time.

I will be sharing some of the newer art I have been up to in the next few weeks here on the Turf. I have become enamored with moiré patterns again, which at this point seems to have become a lifelong obsession, along the lines of a gosling focusing on the first moving object when hatching. Moiré Patterns, Medieval Illustrations, William Morris, Art Noveau, Arabic Tile & Carpet Works all seem to inhabit the same space for my influences and work. The deeper I dig, the more there is to explore with them. Anyway, all have their places in my new illustrations.

There may be some work on the Corporate State as well coming up. I’d like to pursue the idea of entity, and how the idea of “corporate entity” entered into the world, and the pervasiveness of the tacit agreements that we now find ourselves laboring under in regards to the current state of affairs. I remember when Terence McKenna noted the shift from the nation state to the corporate state. He mentioned that he was not so opposed to it; I wonder what he would make of it now?

This Edition: I am pleased to introduce a new band to the line up here, “Psychic Ills”. A neo-psychedelic band out of New York, who have been kicking around for awhile on the art circuit. A little rough on the edges, but very spontaneous. I hope you will like them. We visit with our friends The Maidu of northern California again, this time in a tale of the Muskrat & Coyote. Our poet is the famed Irish bard, Gabriel Rosenstock with poems from his work “Uttering Her Name”. I feel Rosenstock may be the modern equivalent of Robert Graves when it comes to poetry dedicated to the Muse. I truly love this man’s work. We visit a bit with Eric Davis with his short missive titled: “Avatar” – Drink The Jungle Juice. Nuff’ said. You will find quotes by Albert Schweitzer, additional poetry by Li Po (Bai), and some art by yours truly.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Turfing 2.0!

Blessings,
Gwyllm
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On the Menu:
Incidental(s) & Coda; The Poetry of Li Po(Li Bai)
In Memory of Gumby’s father
Albert Schweitzer Quotes
Aya Avatar – Drink the Jungle Juice
Psychic Ills – “Mantis”
Maidu Tales: Coyote And Muskrat
The Poetry Of Gabriel Rosenstock – Uttering Her Name
Psychic Ills – “Eyes Closed”
Art – Gwyllm Llwydd
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In memory of Gumby’s father….
Art Clokey’s – Mandala

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Albert Schweitzer Quotes:

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”

Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose.

“I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics.”

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

“I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.”

“A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.”

“A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.”

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.”

“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”
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Although I think there are multiple of multiple myth structures running through Cameron’s “Avatar”, Eric Davis’s take is very interesting, and timely…

Aya Avatar – Drink the Jungle Juice
Eric Davis

In paradoxical and altogether predictable terms, James Cameron’s ravishing Avatar sets a blue man group of mystically attuned forest dwellers against the aggressive and heartless exploitation that characterizes the military-industrial-media complex, with its virtual interfaces, biotech chimeras, and cyborg war machines. The paradox, of course, is that a version of this latter complex is responsible for delivering Camaron’s visions to us in the first place. To wit: before a recent screening of the film at the Metreon IMAX theater in San Francisco, we hapless begoggled ones were barraged with military ads, not to mention a triumphant techno-fetishist breakdown on the Imax technology that would soon transport us to the planet Pandora almost as thoroughly (and resonantly) as the handicapped jarhead Jake jacks into his computer-generated avatar body.

But those are behind the scenes ironies. With its floating Roger Deanscapes and hallucinogenic flora, the manifest world of Avatar instead spoke another truth: that the jungle pantheism that now pervades the psychoactive counterculture has gone thoroughly mainstream. Of course, noble savage narratives of ecological balance and shamanic wisdom have been haunting the Rousseau-mapped outback of the western mind for centuries. That said, Avatar represents some important twists in that basic tale. The most important of these is that the Na’vi’s nearly telepathic understanding of their environment is grounded not only in ritual, plant-lore, and that earnest seriousness that now afflicts PC Hollywood Indians, but in an organic communications network: the fibrous, animated, and vaguely repulsive pony-tail tentacles that not only allow the Na’vi to form direct control links with animals but also, through the optical filaments of the “Tree of Souls,” to commune with both ancestors and the Eywa, the biological spirit of the planet whose name resonates with Erda, our own Earth.

Call it ayahuasca lite. For while Avatar features nothing like the South American shaman lore and stupendous aya visuals that litter the otherwise very bad 2004 Western released here as Renegade, the film does suggest that the bitter jungle brew, and ideas of ecological wisdom now attached to it, is having a trickle-down effect. The banisteriopsis caapi vine that gives ayahuasca its name (though not its most hallucinogenic alkaloids) is also known as the “Vine of Souls,” which echoes the Na’vi’s Tree of Souls. And when Sigourney Weaver attempts to establish the efficacy of the Trees through a neurological discourse of electrical connection, the corporate tool Parker asks what she’s been smoking—a backhanded way of acknowledging how much Avatar’s visionary take on ecological consciousness is grounded in psychoactive consciousness.

After all, beyond a thriving and in many ways damaging ayahuasca tourist market in Brazil and Peru, clandestine aya circles manned by South American shamans and all manner of Euro-American facilitators are are now well established throughout the west. Among the professional creative classes who make up a sizable portion of West Coast seekers—for spirit and/or thrills—ayahuasca could almost be said to be mainstream. So it no longer matters whether Cameron or his animators have themselves drunk the tea; its active compounds are already swimming in the cultural water supply. Eco-futuristic dreams are now indistinguishable from the visionary potential of media technology itself. Indeed, whether you are talking form (ground-breaking 3D animation) or content (cyber-hippie wetdream decor), Cameron’s visual and technological rhetoric is impossible to disentangle from hallucinogenic experience.

OK, maybe I am the one smoking something. But if there is an aya-Avatar connection, it would explain one crucial way in which the film differs from conventional “noble savage” mysticism. Rather than ground the Na’vi’s grooviness in their folklore or spiritual purity, the film instead presents the vision of a direct and material communications link with the plant mind. Which means that Eywa (aka Aya) does not have to be believed—she can be experienced. After the temporary fusion with the Tree of Souls that fails to prevent her death, Weaver’s chain-smoking left-brain doctor happily confirms Ewya’s existence. Like the Vine of Souls now wending its way through the developed world, the Tree of Souls becomes a kind of bio-mystical media, a visionary communications matrix that uplinks the souls of the dead and the network mind of the ecosphere itself.
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Psychic Ills – “Mantis”

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Alone and Drinking Under the Moon

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,

and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon

accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are

friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.
-Li Po

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Maidu Tales: Coyote And Muskrat

There was a (Muskrat)-Man. And at that place, they say, many women lived. Now, the men went off to hunt, and they returned bringing back deer. And at night, eating their supper, they went to sleep.

And in the morning, as they were getting up, “Do your best, killing deer, drying it, bringing it home to use for the winter! It is indeed a hungry world. The world will not always be as it is now(?),” one said. He was these people’s brother, the oldest man, they say. When he spoke, he said, “Yes, doing this way, it is a good world, and we shall always be healthy if we go hunting. Do the best you can,” he said.

Then they went off, one after another. And by and by, towards night, they came back one after another, from hunting. So one man crawled towards the smoke-hole. And meanwhile there was one who remained in the house, always lying close by the wall. Rising from thence, he took the deer.

Again some one carried a deer there, crawled to (the smoke-hole), and again some one brought deer, and he took it. He laid it down on the opposite side of the fire. Then (another) brought deer home, and brought it (to the smoke-hole), and he took it. The man did only that sort of work, it is said, this man who staid at home.

All the people kept coming back, until they had all arrived. When all the deer had been handed in, there were many (?). The deer were piled up (?). Meanwhile the women leached acorns. And those people kept crawling to (the smoke-hole) until all had crawled thither except one, who came behind. And as he stood up at the smoke-hole, just as he was crawling over in, Muskrat-Man seized him. Very quickly indeed he seized and dragged him away. When he had carried him off and thrown him down, (the victim) cried out repeatedly. And then he killed him, and, carrying him on his back, he took him away.

Meanwhile the crowd of people, seeing what had been done to their brother, said nothing. They sat without listening. They were afraid, it is said, of what had made their brother cry aloud. While their eldest, their brother, was being killed, the women cooked, paying no attention, (although) they saw it. And they (said), “He is a magically powerful man.” Thus the women said to one another; and the men said the same.

Carrying him off towards his house, the Muskrat-Man took (his victim) home. And when he had taken off his load, (his) wife took it, carried it inside, and set it down. Then, skinning it and preparing it, she hung it up to dry. “Yes! If we do thus, we shall have much meat,” she said. “Yes! Killing them continually in that way, I shall kill all of that lot of people,” said Muskrat-Man talking with his wife.

Meanwhile one of those present said to the crowd, “What man, I wonder, has done this to us again! It was an evil man who did it, a strong man, one with whom we can do nothing,” he said. “Do ye all do the best ye can, and live through it,” said he. The oldest man it was who spoke, they say.

Next morning, when they had talked it all over, they went off hunting. just as it was getting night, they returned one after another. They brought back deer. What
(a number) came! They kept coming until they had all arrived. Then that man who worked (slave?) took (the deer). When they passed the deer over the edge (of the smoke-hole), he kept taking them, took them all. Meanwhile the people crawled over in, kept crawling in until all had done so.

All were in but one alone, who crawled over in. Pretty soon he crawled over head-first (?); and just as he came over, (the evil person) jumped suddenly from the place (where he was hid) and seized him. Seizing and dragging him away to one side, he carried him thither. He (the victim) made a noise, crying out repeatedly. Then (the evil person) killed him.

Meanwhile the crowd did not look at him, paid no attention to him, all kept silent. Then (the evil person), having put (his victim) on his back, carried him off. And having carried him home, “Doing thus, I am one who shall kill people. I am one who shall have much meat,” he said. (Then) he skinned, prepared, hung up to dry, and dried (the victim), they say.

Again, when it was dawning, “Yes,” (the chief) said. “In this way I am losing all my people. He does it that way. Thither, my people, without feeling badly, go to the grazing hills, grazing as you go (using decoy heads of deer?),” said he. “Yes,” said they. “What is best for us to do, (seeing that) he does so to us?”–”Ye must say nothing to him, and go on,” said (the chief). Then they went off one after another.

And that (other) man staid there, the man who always remained in the house, and dressed the deer. The man who staid there did only that, they say. Meanwhile, saying nothing to him indeed, the women attended to their work. After a while, they spoke to the chief. “It was here that he came just as the sun went down,” they said. “And
then it was here they all stood about, and crawled in. From what place, I wonder, does he seize them!” they said, asking the chief.

The women did not go in (to the house) all day, (but were) doing their work, pounding acorns, cooking all kinds of food, (until) night came, having to cook (all day because) there were so many people. So these women could not know where the (evil) man staid when he was about to jump out and seize (his victim).

When the chief spoke to them again, they understood. “He stands behind (where) the main post stands. Whenever (the people) are coming, he seizes them from thence, and keeps dragging them on over,” he said. Then they said, “Ho!”

They (the hunters) returned at their usual time, when the sun was almost down. They brought home (food), and kept arriving with it, until they had all come. They kept passing it over in (to the house) until they had passed it all in. Meanwhile that man stood close up behind the main post. And again they crawled over in, kept coming, until they had all crawled in but one man, who crawled over in. And then he (the evil person), making a sudden motion, lifted him up on his shoulder, and, having done so, he threw him down and killed him. So he brought him (the victim) home from his hunting, and arrived there. And his wife took (the body); and thereupon she cut it in strips, dried it, fixed it nicely, made a lot of it.

Next day that crowd of people went again to hunt. “Without being afraid of that man, rise (and get ready) for your grazing hills (?),” 1 . . . he said. The chief spoke. Then his people said, “. . . .,” 1 and thereupon they all went off.

As the sun was going down, a man (Coyote) came. He arrived, and, reaching there, he sat down and talked. The women spoke to him. “Yes,” said he, “my other (new?) cousins, ye women must do the best ye can and cook. After having eaten supper, I shall spend the night,” said he.

Then one woman spoke. “We are feeling very sad, and have not begun to eat food properly (as usual) (?),” she said. Then Coyote said to the woman, “What is the trouble?” And the woman said, “(Because) some sort of supernatural being, coming to seize (us), kills all our brothers, and causes us to grieve. So, crying much, we are staying (here), feeling very sad.”

Then Coyote asked, “Whence does he watch? Where does he carry him off and lay him down?” Then that woman spoke. “Here he carries him off and lays him down,” she said, pointing downward. “So he carries him away,” she said, “He stands up close behind that post, watching people. That is what the chief said, in speaking. Meanwhile the people themselves are evil people, for, being afraid of him (the evil person), they cry while he kills (his victim); and, while looking on, they pay no attention,” she said.

“Pooh!” said (Coyote). I am one who does not fear anything. While I am watching, there is no one who can make people cry out. There is no kind of man who can make (people) cry while I am about. I shall see that (evil person),” he said. “I wonder when it happens!” (?) he said. “When the sun shall be at that stopping-place?” Then, “Yes,” said they, “almost at sunset.”

Then he went off up a little ways, and having gone off, after having strained, he defecated a gopher-head. Thereupon, “See here!” he said, “tell me how I may kill him.”–”On the contrary, you are the one who is to be killed,” it said. “Ah! You always talk that way to me,” said Coyote, and, giving it a kick, he kicked it away down the hill.

Then, after having strained, he defecated a mass of bent-grass. And he asked it, “How shall I kill him?”–”You want to know what to do (?)? There is a round stone where he lays (the victim) down,” it said. “Having hidden that elsewhere, crawl in and hide where the rafters come together at the smoke-hole. Meanwhile he will not see you, for he will be watching constantly another man (the victim). As he seizes the other man, drags him off over the edge and sets him down, after carrying him away,–do you jump up, seize him, and pull him away, and, after carrying him down to where you have hid it, do you strike him with his own round stone,” it said. “Then you will carry him off to his home.”

“All right!” said Coyote. “He is always one who speaks well to me.” So he stuck it back in the same place (from whence it came), and plugged it with the gopher-head. Then he went down again. He hid that (stone) in another place, and then, crawling in, he staid where the posts came together.

Meanwhile the crowd of people got home. They brought deer, kept handing it over in, until they had passed it all in. All the while they crawled in (to the house), kept crawling in, until all had crawled in but one; and he, the last of all, crawled in.

Just then the Muskrat, jumping up quickly, carried the man off and set him down. He caused him to make a noise, making him cry out loud. (Coyote), following close behind, ran after him. “Where is my round stone? Where? Where?” he said often, feeling all about. Meanwhile Coyote, seizing the Muskrat-Man and having dragged him away, killed him.

Then putting (the body) on his back, he carried him off, carried him to the Muskrat’s house, and, taking him inside, laid him down. Then the wife rushed in. She was just going to take up (the body) when she recognized her husband. So she dropped it.

Meanwhile Coyote seized her, and, holding her with his mouth, laid her down. He kept trying to insert his penis, and pretty soon he did so. Just then she said, “Ah! You are squeezing me! Raise up a little!” Then he did raise himself up a little. And then she dived into the water which was in the house. Whereupon he, after having dived through after her, by and by came out, and swore at himself. His rabbit-skin blanket (that was) belted about him was wet, and, wringing this out, he swore.

“I was bad. I was a bad Coyote. I am a person who believes anything. Why didn’t I hold her tightly?” he said, cursing himself. Then he said (to the one he had killed), “You shall not be a person who shall trouble mortal men; but mortal men shall say in stories that Coyote killed the Muskrat-Man. You are evil, and shall stay in the river-canyons, living there, not troubling people. That is what mortal men will tell of you,” he said.

Thereupon he went back down, returning to the same place. When he arrived, he said, “Do you people stay there. I am going away.” And they said., “Very well.” And in that same country they remained long ago. Meanwhile Coyote-Man went off. That is all, it is said.
Footnotes

111:1 Obscure. Hesaetem, “how many;” honwēpepem, “living persons;” tui tseno, “to get up, arise.”

113:1 Obscure.
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The Poetry Of Gabriel Rosenstock – Uttering Her Name




I carved a wind-harp

Dar Óma
out of aged cherry-wood
I carved a wind-harp
and placed it far
from the eyes
and ears of men
a hawk watches over it

I was a beggar

Dar Óma
I was a beggar
You threw me a smile

I ran off
delirious
into the distance

later, tired
hungry
I sat down

now people toss me coins

I throw them back at them

all I ever wanted
was Your smile

no fingers touch
its delicate strings
the breeze it is
that plays the tune
breeze of morning
breeze of night
warm breeze from the south

throughout the day
it sings but You

wordlessly
effortlessly

never the same tune

I create silences

Dar Óma
I create silences
wherever I go
in silence You come to me
I close my eyes and ears
to worlds
my lips

if people ask for directions
I point to the gibbous moon
when asked how I am
I smile the cusp of an eclipse

should someone ask the time
they’ll see in my eyes
it is Dar Óma time
to pray
and to praise

all of creation
is getting in the mood
insects flit silently
movement
but no rustle from trees
I cannot hear my heartbeat

in a distant land
You move noiselessly

sunlight briefly strokes the haggard face of a mountain
a hare cocks his ears
You listen

in a Transylvanian mud-bath

Dar Óma
in a Transylvanian mud-bath
I cover myself in black
oily ooze
Ganesh smiles
mud cakes in the sun
an elephant grey

I lift You with my tusks
like a log far into the forest

all my past
spread out
laid bare

I trample on it
what else to do

carefully I let You down
You stand
where no one has stood before

the ivory silence
as You recline

not the slaked thirst of Bayazid

Dar Óma
not the slaked thirst
of Bayazid
but the prayer of the Prophet
eternally on my lips:
more thirst

like a dog
my tongue hangs out

asleep or awake
how could it be different

I lick Your dew
from grass

howling
I create thunder storms

the air fills
with Your rain

long after it has ceased
trees drip
Your sound

I hear it
even when not listening

seeping
deeper than roots

on first hearing its name

Dar Óma
on first hearing its name
I wanted its shock
had I found an electric eel
I would have kept it close to me
jolted into awareness
whenever vagueness or revery set it

at the end of my fiftieth year
You appeared like an eel, a naga
from the depths

I bristle like a furry animal
sure of its doom
never so alive
as in the force of Your current
that moves and twists in me constantly
cell to delighted cell

slowly like Venice I am sinking

Dar Óma
slowly like Venice
I am sinking
into Your beauty

Your grace
lapping at my door

when will I drown
in the spume-bright story of Your smile?

snake unwinding

Dar Óma
snake unwinding
from a lightning-blasted tree
I’ve spotted You
why should I flee?
I am already deep in Your eyes
come
take all of me
mercifully
let me assist You
here’s my head firmly in Your jaws
do not use Your fangs
to stun me
let me live
this death in You now
inch by slow inch

the grace showered on me

Dar Óma
unbelievable
the grace showered on me
in my darkest hour
I didn’t know above from below

were grace to fall
it would beat on closed casements

in crazy crystals it came
Your disembodied love

I no longer whimper
for Your touch

a tree of love is growing
I sit in its shade

the night sings
ghazals to the absent moon

the herring gull repeatedly lifts a crab

Dar Óma
the herring gull
repeatedly lifts a crab
carries it aloft
and drops it
on rocks below
until it is satisfied
the shell is truly shattered

the meat devoured
not a scrap left behind

You take me ever higher
clawing air
I forget my fate
submitting to Your hunger

what speeded them on their way?

Dar Óma
what speeded them on their way?
what distances did they travel?
the sky was full of falling stars …
You draw down too much light –
soon the heavens will all be bare

why was the veil rent

Dar Óma
why was the veil rent
why did I ever see Your face
what madness
does my purpose hold

I bleed in my core

at least a stigmatist
has wounds to show

dark One, quickly,
send vultures
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Psychic Ills – “Eyes Closed”

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Coda:

Down From The Mountain

As down Mount Emerald at eve I came,
The mountain moon went all the way with me.
Backward I looked, to see the heights aflame
With a pale light that glimmered eerily.

A little lad undid the rustic latch
As hand in hand your cottage we did gain,
Where green limp tendrils at our cloaks did catch,
And dim bamboos o’erhung a shadowy lane.

Gaily I cried, “Here may we rest our fill!”
Then choicest wines we quaffed; and cheerily
“The Wind among the Pines” we sang, until
A few faint stars hung in the Galaxy.

Merry were you, my friend: and drunk was I,
Blissfully letting all the world go by.

Down the Mountain (Reaching the Hermitage)

At evening I make it down the mountain.
Keeping company with the moon.
Looking back I see the paths I’ve taken
Blue now, blue beneath the skyline.
You greet me, show the hidden track,
Where children pull back hawthorn curtains,
Reveal green bamboo, the secret path,
Vines that touch the traveller’s clothes.
I love finding space to rest,
Clear wine to enjoy with you.
Wind in the pines till voices stop,
Songs till the Ocean of Heaven pales.
I get drunk and you are happy,
Both of us pleased to forget the world.
-Li Po

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