“Every branch of human knowledge if traced up to its source and final principles vanishes into mystery” – Arthur Machen
So, this past week has been a bit of fun. Last Saturday was my birthday, and Mary and I wandered on foot from our house, across the river and eventually to Powell’s main bookstore and then back again. Picked up some books (illustrations: Arabic, India Paisley Designs, and a couple of Art Nouveau source books) that will help with The Invisible College and other projects. Before Powells, we hit the Saturday Market, saw our friend Doran, looked for Rory’s Booth to no avail then headed west. We had lunch along the way at Deschutes Brewery across from Art Institute of Portland (Rowan’s school)… On the way in we ran into our friends Richard Hoyen and Karen Di Mila, (he is a painter & she makes films) we talked awhile having not seen each other in a few months. All in all, it was a most beautiful day.
During the week we worked on a friends kitchen, and I got my system further up to speed. We had a nice stream of visitors over the week, and a record rain or two.
Saturday: Terry C. came along today with me for a Poetry Post installation over off of South East Division. Then we unpacked and installed our new Lexmark printer, as our Epson was dying the death sadly enough. I have since been working on Turfing and The Invisible College, as well as re-painting the roof on our Poetry Post.
That is all the local news…
Hope this finds you enjoying the waning days….
On The Menu:
Arpanet – Wireless Internet (2002)
Arthur Machen Quotes
Celtic Wonder Tales – The Earth-Shapers
The Poems of Arthur Symons
Arthur Symons Bio: (Short)
Arpanet – Gravitational Lense
Arpanet – Wireless Internet (2002)
Arthur Machen Quotes:
It is all nonsense, to be sure; and so much the greater nonsense inasmuch as the true interpretation of many dreams – not by any means of all dreams – moves, it may be said, in the opposite direction to the method of psycho-analysis.
“We both wondered whether these contradictions that one can’t avoid if one begins to think of time and space may not really be proofs that the whole of life is a dream, and the moon and stars bits of nightmare.”
“We have just begun to navigate a strange region; we must expect to encounter strange adventures, strange perils.”
“For, contrary to the common opinion, it is the wealthy who are greedy of wealth; while the populace are to be gained by talking to them about liberty, their unknown god. And so much are they enchanted by the words liberty, freedom, and such like, that the wise can go to the poor, rob them of what little they have, dismiss them with a hearty kick, and win their hearts and their votes for ever, if only they will assure them that the treatment which they have received is called liberty.”
“Now, everybody, I suppose, is aware that in recent years the silly business of divination by dreams has ceased to be a joke and has become a very serious science.”
“If a man dreams that he has committed a sin before which the sun hid his face, it is often safe to conjecture that, in sheer forgetfulness, he wore a red tie, or brown boots with evening dress.”
Celtic Wonder Tales
by Ella Young
In Tir-na-Moe, the Land of the Living Heart, Brigit was singing. Angus the Ever-Young, and Midyir the Red-Maned, and Ogma that is called Splendour of the Sun, and the Dagda and other lords of the people of Dana drew near to listen.
Now comes the hour foretold, a god-gift bringing .
Is it a star new-born and splendid up springing Out of the night?
Is it a wave from the Fountain of Beauty up flinging Foam of delight?
Is it a glorious immortal bird that is Winging Hither its flight?
It is a wave, high-crested, melodious, triumphant,
Breaking in light.
It is a star, rose-hearted and joyous, a splendour Risen from night.
It is flame from the world of the gods, and love runs before it,
A quenchless delight.
Let the wave break, let the star rise, let the flame leap.
Ours, if our hearts are wise,
To take and keep.
Brigit ceased to sing, and there was silence for a little space in Tir-na-Moe. Then Angus said:
“Strange are the words of your song, and strange the music: it swept me down steeps of air–down–down–always further down. Tir-na-Moe was like a dream half-remembered. I felt the breath of strange worlds on my face, and always your song grew louder and louder, but you were not singing it. Who was singing it?”
“The Earth was singing it.”
“The Earth!” said the Dagda. “Is not the Earth in the pit of chaos? Who has ever looked into that pit or stayed to listen where there is neither silence nor song? ”
“O Shepherd of the Star-Flocks, I have stayed to listen. I have shuddered in the darkness that is round the Earth. I have seen the black hissing waters and the monsters that devour each other–I have looked into the groping writhing adder-pit of hell.”
The light that pulsed about the De Danaan lords grew troubled at the thought of that pit, and they cried out: “Tell us no more about the Earth, O Flame of the Two Eternities, and let the thought of it slip from yourself as a dream slips from the memory.”
“O Silver Branches that no Sorrow has Shaken,” said Brigit, “hear one thing more! The Earth wails all night because it has dreamed of beauty.”
“What dream, O Brigit?”
“The Earth has dreamed of the white stillness of dawn; of the star that goes before the sunrise; and of music like the music of my song.”
“O Morning Star,” said Angus, “would I had never heard your song, for now I cannot shake the thought of the Earth from me!”
“Why should you shake the thought from you, Angus the Subtle-Hearted? You have wrapped yourself in all the colours of the sunlight; are you not fain to look into the darkness and listen to the thunder of abysmal waves; are you not fain to make gladness in the Abyss?”
Angus did not answer: he reached out his hand and gathered a blossom from a branch:
he blew upon the blossom and tossed it into the air: it became a wonderful white bird, and circled about him singing.
Midyir the Haughty rose and shook out the bright tresses of his hair till he was clothed with radiance as with a Golden Fleece.
“I am fain to look into the darkness,” he said. “I am fain to hear the thunder of the Abyss.”
“Then come with me,” said Brigit, “I am going to put my mantle round the Earth because it has dreamed of beauty.”
“I will make clear a place for your mantle,” said Midyir. “I will throw fire amongst the monsters.”
“I will go with you too,” said the Dagda, who is called the Green Harper.
“And I,” said Splendour of the Sun, whose other name is Ogma the Wise. “And I,” said Nuada Wielder of the White Light. “And I,” said Gobniu the Wonder-Smith, “we will remake the Earth!”
“Good luck to the adventure!” said Angus. “I would go myself if ye had the Sword of Light with you.”
“We will take the Sword of Light,” said Brigit, “and the Cauldron of Plenty and the Spear of Victory and the Stone of Destiny with us, for we will build power and wisdom and beauty and lavish-heartedness into the Earth.”
It is well said,” cried all the Shining Ones.
“We will take the Four Jewels.”
Ogma brought the Sword of Light from Findrias the cloud-fair city that is in the east of the De Danaan world; Nuada brought the Spear of Victory from Gorias the flame-bright city that is in the south of the Dc Danaan world; the Dagda brought the Cauldron of Plenty from Murias the city that is builded in the west of the De Danaan world and has the stillness of deep waters; Midyir brought the Stone of Destiny from Falias the city that is builded in the north of the De Danaan world and has the steadfastness of adamant. Then Brigit and her companions set forth.
They fell like a rain of stars till they came to the blackness that surrounded the Earth, and looking down saw below them, as at the bottom of an abyss, the writhing, contorted, hideous life that swarmed and groped and devoured itself ceaselessly.
From the seething turmoil of that abyss all the Shining Ones drew back save Midyir. He grasped the Fiery Spear and descended like a flame.
His comrades looked down and saw him treading out the monstrous life as men tread grapes in a wine-press; they saw the blood and foam of that destruction rise about Midyir till he was crimson with it even to the crown of his head; they saw him whirl the Spear till it became a wheel of fire and shot out sparks and tongues of flame; they saw the flame lick the darkness and turn back on itself and spread and blossom–murk-red–blood-red–rose-red at last!
Midyir drew himself out of the abyss, a Ruby Splendour, and said:
“I have made a place for Brigit’s mantle. Throw down your mantle, Brigit, and bless the Earth! ”
Brigit threw down her mantle and when it touched the Earth it spread itself, unrolling like silver flame. It took possession of the place Midyir had made as the sea takes possession, and it continued to spread itself because everything that was foul drew back from the little silver flame at the edge of it.
It is likely it would have spread itself over all the earth, only Angus, the youngest of the gods, had not patience to wait: he leaped down and stood with his two feet on the mantle. It ceased to be fire and became a silver mist about him. He ran through the mist laughing and calling on the others to follow. His laughter drew them and they followed. The drifting silver mist closed over them and round them, and through it they saw each other like images in a dream–changed and fantastic. They laughed when they saw each other. The Dagda thrust both his hands into the Cauldron of Plenty.
“O Cauldron,” he said, “you give to every one the gift that is meetest, give me now a gift meet for the Earth.”
He drew forth his hands full of green fire and he scattered the greenness everywhere as a sower scatters seed. Angus stooped and lifted the greenness of the earth; he scooped hollows in it; he piled it in heaps; he played with it as a child plays with sand, and when it slipped through his fingers it changed colour and shone like star-dust–blue and purple and yellow and white and red.
Now, while the Dagda sowed emerald fire and Angus played with it, Mananaun was aware that the exiled monstrous life had lifted itself and was looking over the edge of Brigit’s mantle. He saw the iron eyes of strange creatures jeering in the blackness and he drew the Sword of Light from its scabbard and advanced its gleaming edge against that chaos. The strange life fled in hissing spume, but the sea rose to greet the Sword in a great foaming thunderous wave.
Mananaun swung the Sword a second time, and the sea rose again in a wave that was green as a crysolite, murmurous, sweet-sounding, flecked at the edges with amythest and purple and blue-white foam.
A third time Mananaun swung the Sword, and the sea rose to greet it in a wave white as crystal, unbroken, continuous, silent as dawn.
The slow wave fell back into the sea, and Brigit lifted her mantle like a silver mist. The De Danaans saw everything clearly. They saw that they were in an island covered with green grass and full of heights and strange scooped-out hollows and winding ways. They saw too that the grass was full of flowers–blue and purple and yellow and white and red.
“Let us stay here,” they said to each other, “and make beautiful things so that the Earth may be glad.”
Brigit took the Stone of Destiny in her hands: it shone white like a crystal between her hands.
“I will lay the Stone in this place,” she said, “that ye may have empire.”
She laid the Stone on the green grass and it sank into the earth: a music rose about it as it sank, and suddenly all the scooped-out hollows and deep winding ways were filled with water–rivers of water that leaped and shone; lakes and deep pools of water trembling into stillness.
“It is the laughter of the Earth!” said Ogma the Wise.
Angus dipped his fingers in the water.
“I would like to see the blue and silver fishes that swim in Connla’s Well swimming here,” he said, “and trees growing in this land like those trees with blossomed branches that grow in the Land of the Silver Fleece.”
“It is an idle wish, Angus the Young,” said Ogma. “The fishes in Connla’s Well are too bright for these waters and the blossoms that grow on silver branches would wither here. We must wait and learn the secret of the Earth, and slowly fashion dark strange trees, and fishes that are not like the fishes in Connla’s Well.”
“Yea,” said Nuada, “we will fashion other trees, and under their branches shall go hounds that are not like the hound Failinis and deer that have not horns of gold. We will make ourselves the smiths and artificers of the world and beat the strange life out yonder into other shapes. We will make for ourselves islands to the north of this and islands to the west, and round them shall go also the three waves of Mananaun for we will fashion and re-fashion all things till there is nothing unbeautiful left in the whole earth.”
“It is good work,” cried all the De Danaans, “we will stay and do it, but Brigit must go to Moy Mel and Tir-na-Moe and Tir-nan-Oge and Tir-fo-Tonn, and all the other worlds, for she is the Flame of Delight in every one of them.”
“Yes, I must go,” said Brigit.
“O Brigit!” said Ogma, “before you go, tie a knot of remembrance in the fringe of your mantle so that you may always remember this place–and tell us, too, by what name we shall call this place.”
“Ye shall call it the White Island,” said Brigit, “and its other name shall be the Island of Destiny; and its other name shall be Ireland.”
Then Ogma tied a knot of remembrance in the fringe of Brigit’s mantle.
Before the Squall
The wind is rising on the sea,
The windy white foam-dancers leap;
And the sea moans uneasily,
And turns to sleep, and cannot sleep.
Ridge after rocky ridge uplifts,
Wild hands, and hammers at the land,
Scatters in liquid dust, and drifts
To death among the dusty sand.
O water, voice of my heart, Crying in the sand
O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand,
All night long crying with a mournful cry,
As I lie and listen, and cannot understand
The voice of my heart in my side or the voice of the sea,
O water, crying for rest, is it I, is it I?
All night long the water is crying to me.
Unresting water, there shall never be rest
Till the last moon droop and the last tide fail,
And the fire of the end begin to burn in the west;
And the heart shall be weary and wonder and cry like the sea,
All life long crying without avail,
As the water all night long is crying to me.
Why is it I remember yet
You, of all women one has met,
In random wayfare, as one meets
The chance romances of the streets,
The Juliet of a night? I know
Your heart holds many a Romeo.
And I, who call to mind your face
In so serene a pausing-place,
Where the bright pure expanse of sea,
Seems a reproach to you and me,
I too have sought on many a breast
The ecstasy of an unrest,
I too have had my dreams, and met
(Ah me!) how many a Juliet.
Why is it, then, that I recall
You, neither first nor last of all?
For, surely as I see to-night
The phantom of the lighthouse light,
Against the sky, across the bay,
Fade, and return, and fade away,
So surely do I see your eyes
Out of the empty night arise;
Child, you arise and smile to me
Out of the night, out of the sea,
The Nereid of a moment there,
And is it seaweed in your hair?
O lost and wrecked, how long ago,
Out of the drowning past, I know
You come to call me, come to claim
My share of your delicious shame.
Child, I remember, and can tell
One night we loved each other well,
And one night’s love, at least or most,
Is not so small a thing to boast.
You were adorable, and I
Adore you to infinity,
That nuptial night too briefly borne
To the oblivion of morn.
Ah! no oblivion, for I feel
Your lips deliriously steal
Along my neck, and fasten there;
I feel the perfume of your hair,
I feel your breast that heaves and dips
Desiring my desirous lips,
And that ineffable delight
When souls turn bodies, and unite
In the intolerable, the whole
Rapture of the embodied soul.
That joy was ours, we passed it by;
You have forgotten me, and I
Remember you thus strangely, won
An instant from oblivion.
And I, remembering, would declare
That joy, not shame, is ours to share,
Joy that we had the frank delight
To choose the chances of one night,
Out of vague nights, and days at strife,
So infinitely full of life.
What shall it profit me to know
Your heart holds many a Romeo?
Why should I grieve, though I forget
How many another Juliet?
Let us be glad to have forgot
That roses fade, and loves are not,
As dreams, immortal, though they seem
Almost as real as a dream.
It is for this I see you rise,
A wraith, with starlight in your eyes,
Where calm hours weave, for such a mood
Solitude out of solitude;
For this, for this, you come to me
Out of the night, out of the sea.
Your kisses, and the way you curl,
Delicious and distracting girl,
Into one’s arms, and round about,
Inextricably in and out,
Twining luxuriously, as twine
The clasping tangles of the vine;
So loving to be loved, so gay
And greedy for our holiday;
Strong to embrace and long to kiss,
And strenuous for the sharper bliss,
A little tossing sea of sighs,
Till the slow calm seal up your eyes.
And then how prettily you sleep!
You nestle close and let me keep
My straying fingers in the nest
Of your warm comfortable breast;
And as I dream, lying awake,
Of sleep well wasted for your sake,
I feel the very pulse and heat
Of your young life-blood beat, and beat
With mine; and you are mine; my sweet!
The Broken Tryst
That day a fire was in my blood;
I could have sung: joy wrapt me round;
The men I met seemed all so good,
I scarcely knew I trod the ground.
How easy seemed all toil! I laughed
To think that once I hated it.
The sunlight thrilled like wine, I quaffed
Delight, divine and infinite.
The very day was not too long;
I felt so patient; I could wait,
Being certain. So, the hours in song
Chimed out the minutes of my fate.
For she was coming, she, at last,
I knew: I knew that bolts and bars
Could stay her not; my heart throbbed fast,
I was not more certain of the stars.
The twilight came, grew deeper; now
The hour struck, minutes passed, and still
The passionate fervour of her vow
Ran in my heart’s ear audible.
I had no doubt at all: I knew
That she would come, and I was then
Most certain, while the minutes flew:
Ah, how I scorned all other men!
Next moment! Ah! it was–was not!
I heard the stillness of the street.
Night came. The stars had not forgot.
The moonlight fell about my feet.
So I rebuked my heart, and said:
“Be still, for she is coming, see,
Next moment–coming. Ah, her tread,
I hear her coming–it is she!”
And then a woman passed. The hour
Rang heavily along the air.
I had no hope, I had no power
To think–for thought was but despair.
A thing had happened. What? My brain
Dared not so much as guess the thing.
And yet the sun would rise again
Next morning! I stood marvelling.
The feverish room and that white bed,
The tumbled skirts upon a chair,
The novel flung half-open, where
Hat, hair-pins, puffs, and paints are spread;
The mirror that has sucked your face
Into its secret deep of deeps,
And there mysteriously keeps
Forgotten memories of grace;
And you half dressed and half awake,
Your slant eyes strangely watching me,
And I, who watch you drowsily,
With eyes that, having slept not, ache;
This (need one dread? nay, dare one hope?)
Will rise, a ghost of memory, if
Ever again my handkerchief
Is scented with White Heliotrope.
Arthur Symons Bio: (Short)
Born on Feb. 28th, 1865 at Milford Haven, Wales. Arthur Symons was the son of a Wesleyan minister.
English poet and critic, considered a leader of the symbolists in England. In 1884-1886 he edited four of Quaritch’s Shakespeare Quarto Facsimiles, and in 1888-1889 seven plays of the “Henry Irving” Shakespeare. He became a member of the staff of the Athenaeum in 1891, and of the Saturday Review in 1894.
His first volume of verse, Days and Nights (1889), consisted of dramatic monologues. His later verse is influenced by a close study of modern French writers, of Baudelaire and especially of Verlaine. He reflects French tendencies both in the subject-matter and style of his poems, in their eroticism and their vividness of description.
Arpanet – Gravitational Lense(Chwolson Xallarap Remix)