The Fairy Child…

Here is the Offering for today! one of my great delights is discovering a new poet (well new to me). This would be Ciaran Carson, from Ulster. Wonderful Stuff! I hope you enjoy.

Gotta head out,

Gwyllm

On The Menu:

Heap o’ Links

Cyber Life Links

Story: The Fairy Child

Poetry: Ciaran Carson

Art: Our Mr. Bosch!

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Heap o’ Links…

LEYLA`S CHAYHANE

Second sight

Sion/Plantard Part 1

Sion/Plantard Part 2

—–

Cyber Life Links:

World of Warcraft Memorial Service

Another Clan Shows Up and Slaughters the Funeral Party…

The Video Evidence

Retribution Begins…

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The Fairy Child

There was a sailor that lived up in Grange when he was at home; and one time, when he was away seven or eight months, his wife was brought to bed of a fine boy. She expected her husband home soon, and she wished to put off the christening of the child till he’d be on the spot. She and her husband were not natives of the country, and they were not as much afraid of leaving the child unchristened as our people would be.

Well, the child grew and throve, and the neighbours all bothered the woman to take him to Father M.’s to be baptized, and all they said was no use. “Her husband would be soon home, and then they’d have a joyful christening.”

There happened to be no one sick up in that neighbourhood for some time, so the priest did not come to the place, nor hear of the birth, and none of the people about her could make up their minds to tell upon her, it is such an ugly thing to be informing; and then the child was so healthy, and the father might be on the spot any moment.

So the time crept on, and the lad was a year and a half old, and his mother up to that time never lost five nights’ rest by him; when one evening that she came in from binding after the reapers, she heard wonderful whingeing and lamenting from the little bed where he used to sleep. She ran over to him and asked him what ailed him. “Oh, mammy, I’m sick, and I’m hungry, and I’m cold; don’t pull down the blanket.” Well, the poor woman ran and got some boiled bread and, milk as soon as she could, and she asked her other son, that was about seven years old, when he took sick. “Oh, mother,” says he, “he was as happy as a king, playing near the fire about two hours ago, and I was below in the room, when I heard a great rush like as a whole number of fowls were flying down the chimley. I heard my brother giving a great cry, and then another sound like as if the fowls were flying out again; and when I got into the kitchen there he was, so miserable-looking that I hardly knew him, and he pulling his hair, and his clothes, and his poor face so dirty. Take a look at him, and try do you know him at all.”

So when she went to feed him she got such a fright, for his poor face was like an old man’s, and his body, and legs, and arms, all thin and hairy. But still he resembled the child she left in the morning, and “mammy, mammy,” was never out of his mouth. She heard of people being fairy-struck, so she supposed it was that that happened to him, but she never suspected her own child to be gone, and a fairy child left in its place.

Well, it’s he that kept the poor woman awake many a night after, and never let her have a quiet day, crying for bread and milk, and mashed pitaytees, and stirabout; and it was still “mammy, mammy, mammy,” and the glows and the moans were never out of his mouth. Well, he had like to eat the poor woman out of house and home, and the very flesh off her bones with watching and sorrow. Still nothing could persuade her that it wasn’t her own child that was in it.

One neighbour and another neighbour told her their minds plain enough. “Now, ma’am, you see what it is to leave a child without being christened. If you done your duty, fairy, nor spirit, nor divel, would have no power over your child. That ounkran (cross creature) in the bed is no more your child nor I am, but a little imp that the Duiné Sighe (fairy people)–God between us and harm!–left you. By this and by that, if you don’t whip him up and come along with us to Father M.’s, we’ll go, hot foot, ourselves, and tell him all about it. Christened he must be before the world is a day older.”

So she went over and soothered him, and said, “Come, alanna, let me dress you, and we’ll go and be christened.” And such roaring and screeching as came out of his throat would frighten the Danes. “I haven’t the heart,” says she at last; “and sure if we attempted to take him in that state we’d have the people of the three townlands followinging us to the priest’s, and I’m afeard he’d take it very badly.”

The next day when she came in, in the evening, she found him quite clean and fresh-looking, and his hair nicely combed. “Ah, Pat,” says she to her other son, “was it you that done this?” Well, he said nothing till he and his mother were up at the fire, and the angashore (wretch) of a child in his bed in the room. “Mother,” says he then, in a whisper, “the neighbours are right, and you are wrong. I was out a little bit, and when I was coming round by the wall at the back of the room, I heard some sweet voices as if they were singing inside; and so I went to the crack in the corner, and what was round the bed but a whole parcel of nicely-dressed little women, with green gowns; and they singing, and dressing the little fellow, and combing his hair, and he laughing and crowing with them. I watched for a long time, and then I stole round to the door, but the moment I pulled the string of the latch I hears the music changed to his whimpering and crying, and when I got into the room there was no sign of anything only himself. He was a little better looking, but as cantankerous as ever.” “Ah,” says the mother, “you are only joining the ill-natured neighbours; you’re not telling a word of truth.”

Next day Pat had a new story. “Mother,” says he, “I was sitting here while you were out, and I began to wonder why ‘he was so quiet, so I went into the room to see if he was asleep. There he was, sitting up with his old face on him, and he frightened the life out of me, he spoke so plain. ‘Paudh,’ says he, ‘go and light your mother’s pipe, and let me have a shough; I’m tired o’ my life lying here.’ ‘Ah, you thief,’ ‘says I, ‘wait till you hear what she’ll say to you when I tell her this.’ ‘Tell away, you pick-thanks,’ says he; ‘she won’t believe a word you say.’” “And neither do I believe one word from you,” said the mother.

At last a letter came from the father, that was serving on board the Futhryom (Le Foudroyant?), saying he’d be home after the letter as soon as coaches and ships could carry him. “Now,” says the poor woman, “we’ll have the christening any way.” So the next day she went to New Ross to buy sugar and tay, and beef and pork, to give a grand let-out to welcome her husband; but bedad the long-headed neighbours took that opportunity to gain their ends of the fairy imp. They gathered round the house, and one stout woman came up to the bed, promiskis-like, and wrapped him up in the quilt before he had time to defend himself, and away down the lane to the Boro she went, and the whole townland at her heels. He thought to get away, but she held him pinned as if he was in a vice: and he kept roaring, and the crowd kept laughing, and they never crack-cried till they were at the stepping-stones going to Ballybawn from Grange.

Well, when he felt himself near the water he roared like a score of bulls, and kicked like the divel, but my brave woman wasn’t to be daunted. She got on the first stepping-stone, and the water, as black as night from the turf-mull (mould), running under her. He felt as heavy as lead, but she held on to the second. Well, she thought she’d go down there with the roaring, and the weight, and the dismal colour of the river, but she got to the middlestone, and there down through the quilt he fell as a heavy stone would through a muslin handkerchief. Off he went, whirling round and round, and letting the frightfulest laughs out of him, and showing his teeth and cracking his fingers at the people on the banks. “Oh, yous think yous are very clever, now,” says he. “You may tell that fool of a woman from me that all I’m sorry for is that I didn’t choke her, or do worse for her, before her husband comes home; bad luck to yous all!”

Well, they all came back joyful enough, though they were a little frightened. But weren’t they rejoiced to meet the poor woman running to them with her fine healthy child in her arms, that she found in a delightful sleep when she got back from the town. You may be sure the next day didn’t pass over him till he was baptized, and the next day his father got safe home. Well, I needn’t say how happy they were; but bedad the woman was a little ashamed of herself next Sunday at Rathnure Chapel while Father James was preaching about the wickedness of neglecting to get young babies baptized as soon as possible after they’re born.

Life among the Icelandic elves only partially resembles that among the Celtic fairies. The process of jetting rid of one of them when introduced into a human family is, however, much the same among Celts and Scandinavians. The Breton or Irish housewife being incommoded by a squalling, rickety brat, collects a number of eggs; and after throwing away the contents, places the shells carefully in a pot set over the fire. He looks with wonder on the operation; and when, in reply to his question, she explains that she is going to extract beer from them, he cries out, “I remember when they were building Babel, and never heard before of a brewery of egg-shells.” Being now sure of his quality she summons her relations, and they get rid of him by taking him on a shovel, and landing him comfortably in the middle of the dung-lough at the bottom of the bawn, and letting him cry his fill. His fairy relations come to his rescue with little loss of time, and he vents his rage at not having done more mischief while he had been in such comfortable quarters.

Ión Arnason tells us, in his “Icelandic Legends” lately published by Mr. Bentley, that a Northern woman, under the same circumstances, sets a pot, furnished with some eatable, on the fire; and having fastened many twigs in continuation of a spoon handle till the end of the shank appears above the chimney, she inserts the bowl in the mess. This excites the curiosity of the imp, and he is dislodged in the same way as his far-off brother in Galway. It would be, perhaps, trying the patience of the reader unduly to enlarge on all the ingenious devices practised for the ejectment of different intruders, so we will, using a story-teller’s privilege, surround one case with the circumstances which waited on three or four.

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Poetry From Ulster: Ciaran Carson

Belfast Confetti

Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining

exclamation marks,

Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the

explosion.

Itself – an askerisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst

of rapid fire…

I was trying to complete a sentence in my head but it kept

stuttering,

All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops and

colons.

I know this labyrinth so well – Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman,

Odessa Street –

Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea

Street. Dead end again.

A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-

talkies. What is

My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A

fusillade of question- marks.

——–

Eaves

Rain in summer –

It is the sound of a thousand cows

Being milked.

In winter

The eaves are heavy with ice,

Their snowy teats drip silence.

From the Welsh

———

Dresden

Horse Boyle was called Horse Boyle because of his brother Mule;

Though why Mule was called Mule is anybody’s guess. I stayed there once,

Or rather, I nearly stayed there once. But that’s another story.

At any rate they lived in this decrepit caravan, not two miles out of Carrick,

Encroached upon by baroque pyramids of empty baked bean tins, rusts

And ochres, hints of autumn merging into twilight. Horse believed

They were as good as a watchdog, and to tell you the truth

You couldn’t go near the place without something falling over:

A minor avalanche would ensue – more like a shop bell, really,

The old-fashioned ones on string, connected to the latch, I think,

And as you entered in, the bell would tinkle in the empty shop, a musk

Of soap and turf and sweets would hit you from the gloom. Tobacco.

Baling wire. Twine. And, of course, shelves and pyramids of tins.

An old woman would appear from the back – there was a sizzling pan in there,

Somewhere, a whiff of eggs and bacon – and ask you what you wanted;

Or rather, she wouldn’t ask; she would talk about the weather. It had rained

That day, but it was looking better. They had just put in the spuds.

I had only come to pass the time of day, so I bought a token packet of Gold Leaf.

All this time the fry was frying away. Maybe she’d a daughter in there

Somewhere, though I hadn’t heard the neighbours talk of it; if anybody knew,

It would be Horse. Horse kept his ears to the ground.

And he was a great man for current affairs; he owned the only TV in the place.

Come dusk he’d set off on his rounds, to tell the whole townland the latest

Situation in the Middle East , a mortar bomb attack in Mullaghbawn –

The damn things never worked, of course – and so he’d tell the story

How in his young day it was very different. Take young Flynn, for instance,

Who was ordered to take this bus and smuggle some sticks of gelignite

Across the border, into Derry , when the RUC – or was it the RIC? –

Got wind of it. The bus was stopped, the peeler stepped on. Young Flynn

Took it like a man, of course: he owned up right away. He opened the bag

And produced the bomb, his rank and serial number. For all the world

Like a pound of sausages. Of course, the thing was, the peeler’s bike

Had got a puncture, and he didn’t know young Flynn from Adam. All he wanted

Was to get home for his tea. Flynn was in for seven years and learned to speak

The best of Irish. He had thirteen words for a cow in heat;

A word for the third thwart in a boat, the wake of a boat on the ebb tide.

He knew the extinct names of insects, flowers, why this place was called

Whatever: Carrick, for example, was a rock. He was damn right there –

As the man said, When you buy meat you buy bones, when you buy land you buy stones.

You’d be hard put to find a square foot in the whole bloody parish

That wasn’t thick with flints and pebbles. To this day he could hear the grate

And scrape as the spade struck home, for it reminded him of broken bones:

Digging a graveyard, maybe – or better still, trying to dig a reclaimed tip

Of broken delph and crockery ware – you know that sound that sets your teeth on edge

When the chalk squeaks on the blackboard, or you shovel ashes from the stove?

Master McGinty – he’d be on about McGinty then, and discipline, the capitals

Of South America , Moore ‘s Melodies, the Battle of Clontarf, and

Tell me this, an educated man like you: What goes on four legs when it’s young,

Two legs when it’s grown up, and three legs when it’s old? I’d pretend

I didn’t know. McGinty’s leather strap would come up then, stuffed

With threepenny bits to give it weight and sting. Of course, it never did him

Any harm: You could take a horse to water but you couldn’t make him drink.

He himself was nearly going on to be a priest.

And many’s the young cub left the school, as wise as when he came.

Carrowkeel was where McGinty came from – Narrow Quarter, Flynn explained –

Back before the Troubles, a place that was so mean and crabbed,

Horse would have it, men were known to eat their dinner from a drawer.

Which they’d slide shut the minute you’d walk in.

He’d demonstrate this at the kitchen table, hunched and furtive, squinting

Out the window– past the teetering minarets of rust, down the hedge-dark aisle –

To where a stranger might appear, a passer-by, or what was maybe worse,

Someone he knew. Someone who wanted something. Someone who was hungry.

Of course who should come tottering up the lane that instant but his brother

Mule. I forgot to mention they were twins. They were as like two –

No, not peas in a pod, for this is not the time nor the place to go into

Comparisons, and this is really Horse’s story, Horse who – now I’m getting

Round to it – flew over Dresden in the war. He’d emigrated first, to

Manchester . Something to do with scrap – redundant mill machinery,

Giant flywheels, broken looms that would, eventually, be ships, or aeroplanes.

He said he wore his fingers to the bone.

And so, on impulse, he had joined the RAF. He became a rear gunner.

Of all the missions, Dresden broke his heart. It reminded him of china.

As he remembered it, long afterwards, he could hear, or almost hear

Between the rapid desultory thunderclaps, a thousand tinkling echoes –

All across the map of Dresden , store-rooms full of china shivered, teetered

And collapsed, an avalanche of porcelain, slushing and cascading: cherubs,

Shepherdesses, figurines of Hope and Peace and Victory, delicate bone fragments.

He recalled in particular a figure from his childhood, a milkmaid

Standing on the mantelpiece. Each night as they knelt down for the rosary,

His eyes would wander up to where she seemed to beckon to him, smiling,

Offering him, eternally, her pitcher of milk, her mouth of rose and cream.

One day, reaching up to hold her yet again, his fingers stumbled, and she fell.

He lifted down a biscuit tin, and opened it.

It breathed an antique incense: things like pencils, snuff, tobacco.

His war medals. A broken rosary. And there, the milkmaid’s creamy hand, the outstretched

Pitcher of milk, all that survived. Outside, there was a scraping

And a tittering; I knew Mule’s step by now, his careful drunken weaving

Through the tin-stacks. I might have stayed the night , but there’s no time

to go back to that now; I could hardly, at any rate, pick up the thread.

I wandered out through the steeples of rust, the gate that was a broken bed.

——-

Turn Again

There is a map of the city which shows the bridge that was never built.

A map which shows the bridge that collapsed; the streets that never existed.

Ireland’s Entry, Elbow Lane, Weigh-House Lane, Back Lane, Stone-Cutter’s Entry –

Today’s plan is already yesterday’s – the streets that were there are gone.

And the shape of the jails cannot be shown for security reasons.

The linen backing is falling apart -the Falls Road hangs by a thread.

When someone asks me where I live, I remember where I used to live.

Someone asks me for directions, and I think again. I turn into

A side-street to try to throw off my shadow, and history is changed.

——

Hippocrene

Tomato juice, black pepper, Worcester sauce – a dash –

Tabasco, salt, the vodka measured to your taste.

Ice-cubes, ditto. Then sip this freezing balderdash;

Think about it. It is not to be consumed in haste.

Immediately ensanguined, your lips tremble and burn,

As if they’d got a massive intravenous shot

Of haemoglobin, and you’re drinking from a Grecian urn;

The bar you understand you’re in is called The Elfin Grot.

Karaoke singers mouth their lip-synch rhymes.

Tape-loop music tinkles harp arpeggios of ice.

The videos are showing scenes of ancient times:

Here is Moscow burning, horses led to slaughter,

Wandering the snowy waste of martial sacrifice,

Trails of blood emblazoned in the frozen water.

—————

Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast in 1948. His first language was Irish. Until recently he worked as Literature and Traditional Arts Officer in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. His collections include The New Estate and Other Poems, The Irish for No, Belfast Confetti, First Language and Opera Et Cetera. He is a musician and has published Last Night’s Fun, a book about Irish Traditional Music.

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Beltane Soon…

On The Music Box: Silence….

We were heading south for Beltane Celebrations; but due to business and attending matters we will be lighting the Baal Fire on May Eve at Caer Llwydd.

We have devoted this edition of Turfing to the celebration of Beltane/Beltain, getting it in a bit earlier than usual… Spring is coming to its glorious climax here in the Arboreal North, and May-Eve will see the beginnings of True Summer in.

On the Menu:

The Links

The Article: A Celebration of May Day

The Poetry: The Old Age of Queen Maeve – W.B. Yeats

Here is to the coming celebration, Drink Deeply To The Life!

Gwyllm

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The Links

Just A Plant…

Afghan Farmers Fight Ban on Poppy Growing

Bushism as Greek Drama: “Hubris” and “Tragic Flaws”

Hell on Earth

The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and The Illuminati

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A Celebration of May Day

by Mike Nichols

‘Perhaps it’s just as well that you won’t be here…to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.’

– Lord Summerisle to Sgt. Howie from ‘The Wicker Man’

There are four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year and the modern Witch’s calendar, as well. The two greatest of these are Halloween (the beginning of winter) and May Day (the beginning of summer). Being opposite each other on the wheel of the year, they separate the year into halves. Halloween (also called Samhain) is the Celtic New Year and is generally considered the more important of the two, though May Day runs a close second. Indeed, in some areas — notably Wales — it is considered the great holiday.

May Day ushers in the fifth month of the modern calendar year, the month of May. This month is named in honor of the goddess Maia, originally a Greek mountain nymph, later identified as the most beautiful of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. By Zeus, she is also the mother of Hermes, god of magic. Maia’s parents were Atlas and Pleione, a sea nymph. The old Celtic name for May Day is Beltane (in its most popular Anglicized form), which is derived from the Irish Gaelic ‘Bealtaine’ or the Scottish Gaelic ‘Bealtuinn’, meaning ‘Bel-fire’, the fire of the Celtic god of light (Bel, Beli or Belinus). He, in turn, may be traced to the Middle Eastern god Baal.

Other names for May Day include: Cetsamhain (‘opposite Samhain’), Walpurgisnacht (in Germany), and Roodmas (the medieval Church’s name). This last came from Church Fathers who were hoping to shift the common people’s allegiance from the Maypole (Pagan lingham – symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the Cross – Roman instrument of death).

Incidentally, there is no historical justification for calling May 1st ‘Lady Day’. For hundreds of years, that title has been proper to the Vernal Equinox (approx. March 21st), another holiday sacred to the Great Goddess. The nontraditional use of ‘Lady Day’ for May 1st is quite recent (since the early 1970′s), and seems to be confined to America, where it has gained widespread acceptance among certain segments of the Craft population. This rather startling departure from tradition would seem to indicate an unfamiliarity with European calendar customs, as well as a lax attitude toward scholarship among too many Pagans. A simple glance at a dictionary (‘Webster’s 3rd’ or O.E.D.), excyclopedia (‘Benet’s’), or standard mythology reference (Jobe’s ‘Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore & Symbols’) would confirm the correct date for Lady Day as the Vernal Equinox.

By Celtic reckoning, the actual Beltane celebration begins on sundown of the preceding day, April 30, because the Celts always figured their days from sundown to sundown. And sundown was the proper time for Druids to kindle the great Bel-fires on the tops of the nearest beacon hill (such as Tara Hill, Co. Meath, in Ireland). These ‘need-fires’ had healing properties, and sky-clad Witches would jump through the flames to ensure protection.

Sgt. Howie (shocked): ‘But they are naked!’ Lord Summerisle: ‘Naturally. It’s much too dangerous to jump through the fire with your clothes on!’ –from “The Wicker Man”

Frequently, cattle would be driven between two such bon-fires (oak wood was the favorite fuel for them) and, on the morrow, they would be taken to their summer pastures.

Other May Day customs include: walking the circuit of one’s property (‘beating the bounds’), repairing fences and boundary markers, processions of chimney-sweeps and milk maids, archery tournaments, morris dances, sword dances, feasting, music, drinking, and maidens bathing their faces in the dew of May morning to retain their youthful beauty.

In the words of Witchcraft writers Janet and Stewart Farrar, the Beltane celebration was principly a time of ‘…unashamed human sexuality and fertility.’ Such associations include the obvious phallic symbolism of the Maypole and riding the hobby horse. Even a seemingly innocent children’s nursery rhyme, ‘Ride a cock horse to Banburry Cross…’ retains such memories. And the next line ‘…to see a fine Lady on a white horse’ is a reference to the annual ride of ‘Lady Godiva’ though Coventry. Every year for nearly three centuries, a sky-clad village maiden (elected Queen of the May) enacted this Pagan rite, until the Puritans put an end to the custom.

The Puritans, in fact, reacted with pious horror to most of the May Day rites, even making Maypoles illegal in 1644. They especially attempted to suppress the ‘greenwood marriages’ of young men and women who spent the entire night in the forest, staying out to greet the May sunrise, and bringing back boughs of flowers and garlands to decorate the village the next morning. One angry Puritan wrote that men ‘doe use commonly to runne into woodes in the night time, amongst maidens, to set bowes, in so muche, as I have hearde of tenne maidens whiche went to set May, and nine of them came home with childe.’ And another Puritan complained that, of the girls who go into the woods, ‘not the least one of them comes home again a virgin.’

Long after the Christian form of marriage (with its insistance on sexual monogamy) had replaced the older Pagan handfasting, the rules of strict fidelity were always relaxed for the May Eve rites. Names such as Robin Hood, Maid Marion, and Little John played an important part in May Day folklore, often used as titles for the dramatis personae of the celebrations. And modern surnames such as Robinson, Hodson, Johnson, and Godkin may attest to some distant May Eve spent in the woods.

These wildwood antics have inspired writers such as Kipling:

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,

Or he would call it a sin;

But we have been out in the woods all night,

A-conjuring Summer in!

And Lerner and Lowe:

It’s May! It’s May!

The lusty month of May!…

Those dreary vows that ev’ryone takes,

Ev’ryone breaks.

Ev’ryone makes divine mistakes!

The lusty month of May!

It is certainly no accident that Queen Guinevere’s ‘abduction’ by Meliagrance occurs on May 1st when she and the court have gone a-Maying, or that the usually efficient Queen’s Guard, on this occasion, rode unarmed.

Some of these customs seem virtually identical to the old Roman feast of flowers, the Floriala, three days of unrestrained sexuality which began at sundown April 28th and reached a crescendo on May 1st.

There are other, even older, associations with May 1st in Celtic mythology. According to the ancient Irish ‘Book of Invasions’, the first settler of Ireland, Partholan, arrived on May 1st; and it was on May 1st that the plague came which destroyed his people. Years later, the Tuatha De Danann were conquered by the Milesians on May Day. In Welsh myth, the perenial battle between Gwythur and Gwyn for the love of Creudylad took place each May Day; and it was on May Eve that Teirnyon lost his colts and found Pryderi.

May Eve was also the occasion of a fearful scream that was heard each year throughout Wales, one of the three curses of the Coranians lifted by the skill of Lludd and Llevelys.

By the way, due to various calendrical changes down through the centuries, the traditional date of Beltane is not the same as its astrological date. This date, like all astronomically determined dates, may vary by a day or two depending on the year. However, it may be calculated easily enough by determining the date on which the sun is at 15 degrees Taurus (usually around May 5th). British Witches often refer to this date as Old Beltane, and folklorists call it Beltane O.S. (‘Old Style’). Some Covens prefer to celebrate on the old date and, at the very least, it gives one options. If a Coven is operating on ‘Pagan Standard Time’ and misses May 1st altogether, it can still throw a viable Beltane bash as long as it’s before May 5th. This may also be a consideration for Covens that need to organize activities around the week-end.

This date has long been considered a ‘power point’ of the Zodiac, and is symbolized by the Bull, one of the ‘tetramorph’ figures featured on the Tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune. (The other three symbols are the Lion, the Eagle, and the Spirit.) Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four ‘fixed’ signs of the Zodiac (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft. Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four gospel-writers.

But for most, it is May 1st that is the great holiday of flowers, Maypoles, and greenwood frivolity. It is no wonder that, as recently as 1977, Ian Anderson could pen the following lyrics for the band Jethro Tull:

“For the May Day is the great day,

Sung along the old straight track.

And those who ancient lines did ley

Will heed this song that calls them back.”

__________

THE OLD AGE OF QUEEN MAEVE – W.B. Yeats

MAEVE the great queen was pacing to and fro,

Between the walls covered with beaten bronze,

In her high house at Cruachan; the long hearth,

Flickering with ash and hazel, but half showed

Where the tired horse-boys lay upon the rushes,

Or on the benches underneath the walls,

In comfortable sleep; all living slept

But that great queen, who more than half the night

Had paced from door to fire and fire to door.

Though now in her old age, in her young age

She had been beautiful in that old way

That’s all but gone; for the proud heart is gone,

And the fool heart of the counting-house fears all

But soft beauty and indolent desire. p. 52

She could have called over the rim of the world

Whatever woman’s lover had hit her fancy,

And yet had been great bodied and great limbed,

Fashioned to be the mother of strong children;

And she’d had lucky eyes and a high heart,

And wisdom that caught fire like the dried flax,

At need, and made her beautiful and fierce,

Sudden and laughing.

O unquiet heart,

Why do you praise another, praising her,

As if there were no tale but your own tale

Worth knitting to a measure of sweet sound?

Have I not bid you tell of that great queen

Who has been buried some two thousand years?

When night was at its deepest, a wild goose

Cried from the porter’s lodge, and with long clamour

Shook the ale horns and shields upon their hooks;

But the horse-boys slept on, as though some power

Had filled the house with Druid heaviness;

And wondering who of the many-changing Sidhe

Had come as in the old times to counsel her, p. 53

Maeve walked, yet with slow footfall, being old,

To that small chamber by the outer gate.

The porter slept, although he sat upright

With still and stony limbs and open eyes.

Maeve waited, and when that ear-piercing noise

Broke from his parted lips and broke again,

She laid a hand on either of his shoulders,

And shook him wide awake, and bid him say

Who of the wandering many-changing ones

Had troubled his sleep. But all he had to say

Was that, the air being heavy and the dogs

More still than they had been for a good month,

He had fallen asleep, and, though he had dreamed nothing,

He could remember when he had had fine dreams.

It was before the time of the great war

Over the White-Horned Bull, and the Brown Bull.

She turned away; he turned again to sleep

That no god troubled now, and, wondering

What matters were afoot among the Sidhe,

Maeve walked through that great hall, and with a sigh

Lifted the curtain of her sleeping-room,

Remembering that she too had seemed divine p. 54

To many thousand eyes, and to her own

One that the generations had long waited

That work too difficult for mortal hands

Might be accomplished. Bunching the curtain up

She saw her husband Ailell sleeping there,

And thought of days when he’d had a straight body,

And of that famous Fergus, Nessa’s husband,

Who had been the lover of her middle life.

Suddenly Ailell spoke out of his sleep,

And not with his own voice or a man’s voice,

But with the burning, live, unshaken voice,

Of those that it may be can never age.

He said, “High Queen of Cruachan and Magh Ai,

A king of the Great Plain would speak with you.”

And with glad voice Maeve answered him, “What king

Of the far wandering shadows has come to me?

As in the old days when they would come and go

About my threshold to counsel and to help.”

The parted lips replied, “I seek your help,

For I am Aengus, and I am crossed in love.”

“How may a mortal whose life gutters out

Help them that wander with hand clasping hand, p. 55

Their haughty images that cannot wither,

For all their beauty’s like a hollow dream,

Mirrored in streams that neither hail nor rain

Nor the cold North has troubled?”

He replied:

“I am from those rivers and I bid you call

The children of the Maines out of sleep,

And set them digging under Bual’s hill.

We shadows, while they uproot his earthy house,

Will overthrow his shadows and carry off

Caer, his blue-eyed daughter that I love.

I helped your fathers when they built these walls,

And I would have your help in my great need,

Queen of high Cruachan.”

“I obey your will

With speedy feet and a most thankful heart:

For you have been, O Aengus of the birds,

Our giver of good counsel and good luck.”

And with a groan, as if the mortal breath

Could but awaken sadly upon lips

That happier breath had moved, her husband turned

Face downward, tossing in a troubled sleep;

But Maeve, and not with a slow feeble foot,

Came to the threshold of the painted house,

Where her grandchildren slept, and cried aloud,

Until the pillared dark began to stir p. 56

With shouting and the clang of unhooked arms.

She told them of the many-changing ones;

And all that night, and all through the next day

To middle night, they dug into the hill.

At middle night great cats with silver claws,

Bodies of shadow and blind eyes like pearls,

Came up out of the hole, and red-eared hounds

With long white bodies came out of the air

Suddenly, and ran at them and harried them.

The Maines’ children dropped their spades, and stood

With quaking joints and terror-strucken faces,

Till Maeve called out: “These are but common men.

The Maines’ children have not dropped their spades,

Because Earth, crazy for its broken power,

Casts up a show and the winds answer it

With holy shadows.” Her high heart was glad,

And when the uproar ran along the grass

She followed with light footfall in the midst,

Till it died out where an old thorn tree stood.

Friend of these many years, you too had stood

With equal courage in that whirling rout; p. 57

For you, although you’ve not her wandering heart,

Have all that greatness, and not hers alone,

For there is no high story about queens

In any ancient book but tells of you;

And when I’ve heard how they grew old and died,

Or fell into unhappiness, I’ve said:

“She will grow old and die, and she has wept!”

And when I’d write it out anew, the words,

Half crazy with the thought, She too has wept!

Outrun the measure.

I’d tell of that great queen

Who stood amid a silence by the thorn

Until two lovers came out of the air

With bodies made out of soft fire. The one,

About whose face birds wagged their fiery wings,

Said: “Aengus and his sweetheart give their thanks

To Maeve and to Maeve’s household, owing all

In owing them the bride-bed that gives peace.”

Then Maeve: “O Aengus, Master of all lovers,

A thousand years ago you held high talk

With the first kings of many-pillared Cruachan. p. 58

O when will you grow weary?”

They had vanished;

But out of the dark air over her head there came

A murmur of soft words and meeting lips.

_______

Rabi’a Al-’Adawiyya

Welcome To the Tuesday Installment. Today’s entry is devoted to Rabi’a Al-’Adawiyya, a Sufi Saint and Poet from Basra, Iraq. She is reverred throughout the middle east. I hope you enjoy this one!

Gwyllm

_______

The Links:

StoneFridge

Swallowed alive in his house…

9th Circuit: Schools Can Ban Racist, Anti-Gay T-Shirts

Honour amongst thieves

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The Article:

Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya, an 8th Century Islamic Saint from Iraq (an extraction from a larger article)

By Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

One of the most famous Islamic mystics was a woman: Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya (c.717-801). This 8th century saint was an early Sufi who had a profound influence on later Sufis, who in turn deeply influenced the European mystical love and troubadour traditions. Rabi’a was a woman of Basra, a seaport in southern Iraq. She was born around 717 and died in 801 (185-186). Her biographer, the great medieval poet Attar, tells us that she was “on fire with love and longing” and that men accepted her “as a second spotless Mary”. She was, he continues, “an unquestioned authority to her contemporaries”.

As Cambridge professor Margaret Smith explains, Rabi’a began her ascetic life in a small desert cell near Basra, where she lost herself in prayer and went straight to God for teaching. As far as is known, she never studied under any master or spiritual director. She was one of the first of the Sufis to teach that Love alone was the guide on the mystic path. A later Sufi taught that there were two classes of “true believers”: one class sought a master as an intermediary between them and God — unless they could see the footsteps of the Prophet on the path before them, they would not accept the path as valid. The second class “…did not look before them for the footprint of any of God’s creatures, for they had removed all thought of what He had created from their hearts, and concerned themselves solely with God.

Rabi’a was of this second kind. She felt no reverence even for the House of God in Mecca: “It is the Lord of the house Whom I need; what have I to do with the house?” One lovely spring morning a friend asked her to come outside to see the works of God. She replied, “Come you inside that you may behold their Maker. Contemplation of the Maker has turned me aside from what He has made”. During an illness, a friend asked this woman if she desired anything.

“…[H]ow can you ask me such a question as ‘What do I desire?’ I swear by the glory of God that for twelve years I have desired fresh dates, and you know that in Basra dates are plentiful, and I have not yet tasted them. I am a servant (of God), and what has a servant to do with desire?”

When a male friend once suggested she should pray for relief from a debilitating illness, she said, “O Sufyan, do you not know Who it is that wills this suffering for me? Is it not God Who wills it? When you know this, why do you bid me ask for what is contrary to His will? It is not well to oppose one’s Beloved.”

She was an ascetic. It was her custom to pray all night, sleep briefly just before dawn, and then rise again just as dawn “tinged the sky with gold” (187). She lived in celibacy and poverty, having renounced the world. A friend visited her in old age and found that all she owned were a reed mat, screen, a pottery jug, and a bed of felt which doubled as her prayer-rug (186), for where she prayed all night, she also slept briefly in the pre-dawn chill. Once her friends offered to get her a servant; she replied, “I should be ashamed to ask for the things of this world from Him to Whom the world belongs, and how should I ask for them from those to whom it does not belong?”

A wealthy merchant once wanted to give her a purse of gold. She refused it, saying that God, who sustains even those who dishonor Him, would surely sustain her, “whose soul is overflowing with love” for Him. And she added an ethical concern as well: “…How should I take the wealth of someone of whom I do not know whether he acquired it lawfully or not?”

She taught that repentance was a gift from God because no one could repent unless God had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance. She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did. For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping God neither from fear of Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such self-interest as unworthy of God’s servants; emotions like fear and hope were like veils — i.e., hindrances to the vision of God Himself. The story is told that once a number of Sufis saw her hurrying on her way with water in one hand and a burning torch in the other. When they asked her to explain, she said: “I am going to light a fire in Paradise and to pour water on to Hell, so that both veils may vanish altogether from before the pilgrims and their purpose may be sure…”

She was once asked where she came from. “From that other world,” she said. “And where are you going?” she was asked. “To that other world,” she replied. She taught that the spirit originated with God in “that other world” and had to return to Him in the end. Yet if the soul were sufficiently purified, even on earth, it could look upon God unveiled in all His glory and unite with him in love. In this quest, logic and reason were powerless. Instead, she speaks of the “eye” of her heart which alone could apprehend Him and His mysteries.

Above all, she was a lover, a bhakti, like one of Krishna’s Goptis in the Hindu tradition. Her hours of prayer were not so much devoted to intercession as to communion with her Beloved. Through this communion, she could discover His will for her. Many of her prayers have come down to us:

“I have made Thee the Companion of my heart,

But my body is available for those who seek its company,

And my body is friendly towards its guests,

But the Beloved of my heart is the Guest of my soul.”

Another: “O my Joy and my Desire, my Life and my Friend. If Thou art satisfied with me, then, O Desire of my heart, my happiness is attained.”

At night, as Smith, writes, “alone upon her roof under the eastern sky, she used to pray”:

“O my Lord, the stars are shining and the eyes of men are closed, and kings have shut their doors, and every lover is alone with his beloved, and here I am alone with Thee.”

She was asked once if she hated Satan. “My love to God has so possessed me that no place remains for loving or hating any save Him.”

To such lovers, she taught, God unveiled himself in all his beauty and re-vealed the Beatific Vision. For this vision, she willingly gave up all lesser joys.

“O my Lord,” she prayed, “if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, then withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty.”

Rabi’a was in her early to mid eighties when she died, having followed the mystic Way to the end. By then, she was continually united with her Beloved. As she told her Sufi friends, “My Beloved is always with me”.

_______

Poetry: Rabi’a Al-’Adawiyya

Love

I have loved Thee with two loves –

a selfish love and a love that is worthy of Thee.

As for the love which is selfish,

Therein I occupy myself with Thee,

to the exclusion of all others.

But in the love which is worthy of Thee,

Thou dost raise the veil that I may see Thee.

Yet is the praise not mine in this or that,

But the praise is to Thee in both that and this.

———-

My Joy

My joy –

My Hunger –

My Shelter –

My Friend –

My Food for the journey –

My journey’s End –

You are my breath,

My hope,

My companion,

My craving,

My abundant wealth.

Without You — my Life, my Love –

I would never have wandered across these endless countries.

You have poured out so much grace for me,

Done me so many favors, given me so many gifts –

I look everywhere for Your love –

Then suddenly I am filled with it.

O Captain of my Heart

Radiant Eye of Yearning in my breast,

I will never be free from You

As long as I live.

Be satisfied with me, Love,

And I am satisfied.

——–

O my Lord, the stars glitter

O my Lord,

the stars glitter

and the eyes of men are closed.

Kings have locked their doors

and each lover is alone with his love.

Here, I am alone with you.

———

O God, Another Night is passing away

O God, Another Night is passing away,

Another Day is rising –

Tell me that I have spent the Night well so I can be at peace,

Or that I have wasted it, so I can mourn for what is lost.

I swear that ever since the first day You brought me back to life,

The day You became my Friend,

I have not slept –

And even if You drive me from your door,

I swear again that we will never be separated.

Because You are alive in my heart.

——–

Brothers, my peace is in my aloneness.

Brothers, my peace is in my aloneness.

My Beloved is alone with me there, always.

I have found nothing in all the worlds

That could match His love,

This love that harrows the sands of my desert.

If I come to die of desire

And my Beloved is still not satisfied,

I would live in eternal despair.

To abandon all that He has fashioned

And hold in the palm of my hand

Certain proof that He loves me—

That is the name and the goal of my search.

——–

I carry a torch in one hand

I carry a torch in one hand

And a bucket of water in the other:

With these things I am going to set fire to Heaven

And put out the flames of Hell

So that voyagers to God can rip the veils

And see the real goal.

———

I have two ways of loving You:

I have two ways of loving You:

A selfish one

And another way that is worthy of You.

In my selfish love, I remember You and You alone.

In that other love, You lift the veil

And let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face.

_________

Rabia, sometimes called Rabia of Basra or Rabia al Basri, was born to a poor family in Basra in what is now Iraq. Her parents died of famine and she was eventually sold into slavery.

The story is told that her master one night woke up and saw a light shining above her head while she was praying. Stunned, he freed her the next morning.

Rabia chose a solitary life of prayer, living much of her life in desert seclusion.

Her fame as a Sufi holy woman spread and people began to journey to her retreat, to ask advice, to study, to learn.

Today she is greatly revered by devout Muslims and mystics throughout the world.

The Mystery of it All

“The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer– they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.”

– Ken Kesey

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Dandelions. Thousands of dandelions. The front yard has been a breeding patch for these little mutants. I had the pleasure of digging dandelions Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. I think we reduced their number by a third… yet more pop up. I understand the siren call of using weed killer, but the water tables… the water tables…

Sunday Do the Chores:

Dandelions (see above)

Off to Goodwill, picking up work clothes. Found 2 great books: Huston Smith’s “The World’s Religions & James Fadiman & Robert Frager’s ” Essential Sufism.

Feeling rather chuffed at that I proceeded up to the CD store and picked up Donovan’s BARABAJAGAL, (I had gone in for a remix of Philip Glass) which Rowan has since squirrelled away somewhere in his room…

After the CD store we walked the Doglet over in the park around the corner. Socialization Hour for the Pooch. She was unimpressed with the local male canines. She felt they were all a bit rude. She even ignored the off-leash joy of chasing the stick. Ah… well. Headed home…

So what is the big mystery? The life, pure and simple. Watching Mary call a Robin down to her, and have it rooting for worms underneath her feet, calm in the fact that she (the Robin) is safe with the human.

The Mystery? The utter beauty that cannot be classified. The joy of knowing life in the moment, in the eternal now.

The Mystery? Why so much of the world is shrouded in our Dreams.

On The Menu:

The Links…

The Article… Magic Lanterns

The Poetry: Earth Prayers

Have a good Monday…

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The Links:

Just Monkeys…

Tag It!

Nothing like being removed further from Reality…

Excellent exploration of the Arts….

KUNSTBAR…

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Magic Laterns…

Robert Halliday

The Rendlesham Incident of 1980 is by no means the earliest case of strange lights in the area. Alan Murdie and Robert Halliday have uncovered an account dating to the 1940s.

Illustrations by Alex Severin

As is well known, that cause célèbre of British ufology, the Rendlesham Forest UFO case, first came to public attention in early 1981. Over the years, it has grown in importance, spawning a whole series of books, articles, claims and counter-claims from sceptics and believers alike. It has drawn in military figures, politicians, the Ministry of Defence and the Pentagon. And, as with Roswell, while the stories have become more fantastic as time has gone on, critiques of the case have become increasingly detailed.

ome of the more extraordinary tales in circulation can be traced back to the local ufologist Brenda Butler, who was responsible for launching the Rendlesham story back in 1981. It was Brenda who, with Dot Street, brought the story to the attention of Jenny Randles, who contacted Flying Saucer Review. In the spring of 1981, an account was also provided to the local fortean magazine Lantern, produced by the now defunct Borderline Science Investigation Group from Lowestoft. Under the title “CIII at Woodbridge?” Lantern carried what, at this distance, is an incredibly low-key treatment of the Rendlesham incident, burying it away on page 17. 1 Brenda Butler has maintained her belief in the story through thick and thin. Like Arthur Shuttlewood at Warminster or Alex Campbell at Loch Ness, she has kept the story rolling along with interviews and broadcasts. Brenda Butler generously gives her time to guiding groups through the forests, which seem almost to have become sacred to her.

Potentially the most significant of these ancillary stories were claims that mysterious lights were seen in the Rendlesham area in the past. Stories of strange lights being seen during the Victorian era and earlier are mentioned in Georgina Bruni’s You Can’t Tell the People (2001). Bruni’s source was Brenda Butler and, if true, these would be suggestive of at least something strange in the area – even if only anomalous lights rather than full-blown UFO phenomena. On a visit to Rendlesham Forest in September 2002 we took the opportunity to talk to Brenda Butler about the stories. Persisting in asking how she had learned of them, we eventually obtained from Brenda an admission that she could no longer remember the identity of her local sources with any precision. Regrettably, these stories have thus become hearsay, illustrating the difficulties of collecting oral testimony.

It is therefore most intriguing to come across a local report of strange light activity a few miles from Rendlesham which cannot in any way be attributed to any post-1980/81 witness account, rumour or hearsay. A search for forteana in a rare local collection, The East Anglian Miscellany, published between 1933-1943, reveals a letter from a Mr GF Fell of Orford, which reads as follows:

“Hobby Lanterns

“May I beg a space in the ‘Miscellany’ for a problem I have never been able to solve? Perhaps some reader can explain or enlighten me on the subject. In my boyhood days 60 years ago [i.e. c.1882] there were no cinemas or dance halls, not even a gramophone, and us boys had to find material for amusement standing at the corner of the street. Most people have heard or read stories about ‘Will-o’-the-wisps’: we called them Hobby Lanterns. I expect very few people have seen one, and some may think no-one else has, but this story is absolutely true. At Sudbourne there are two fields known as Workhouse Field and Kiln Field and on certain nights one of these objects could be seen on these fields. They look like a dull red light, like a lantern with the glass smoky. It moved to and fro across the field, about walking pace, always in the same track above the ground: it never went near the hedge.” 2

At this point, it should be mentioned that Sudbourne is a hamlet close to what is now known as Rendlesham Forest. In an incident which mirrors the actions of American servicemen 100 years later, the boys decided to go and hunt down the light:

“One night we went out to see if we could find what it was. When we went off the road on the field it vanished, so we spread out and walked across the field and back slowly, but we could see nothing. Then as we were going off the field it suddenly appeared again: then half of us stopped on the road and the others went to have another look; they could see nothing, but from the road it was visible all the time except at intervals of a few seconds it was invisible.”

Like the American servicemen from Bentwaters a century later, the boys made repeated efforts to trace the light on successive nights. Mr Fell recalled:

“We tried it several nights: the result was always the same, so we had to leave it a mystery. Now the problem is: It was visible at two or three hundred yards or more and invisible at less than one hundred yards. Why?”

Anyone familiar with the Rendlesham Forest sightings of December 1980 will notice certain parallels. Like one of the lights initially reported by the American servicemen in the Rendlesham Forest, Mr Fell’s light was red and appeared and vanished intermittently, confusing observers. As with the American witnesses, it was an experience that made a lasting impression and clearly stayed with Mr Fell for many years afterwards. Although no time of year is stated for Mr Fell’s experience, it is possible that the light was seen in the wintertime when it would have been dark early and there were no other games or entertainments to pursue. The light is also described as being close to the ground, which might suggest an autumn or wintertime appearance, the ground being free of crops or long grass. Aficionados of the earthlight hypothesis (they too seem to occur often in wintertime) will also recognise the comparison with a lantern.

The prime candidate explanaining the phenomenon, as with the 1980 Rendlesham UFO incident is, a misidentification of the Orfordness Lighthouse (see FT152:28-32). The current light is one of several to have existed at Orford over the centuries. The earliest form of lighthouse was established in the area in 1634, and there has been a light at the present site since 1792 when a structure with candles and burning coals was set up. 4 However, Sudbourne seems too far from the site for a lighthouse beam to be directly implicated as a culprit in the way it has been with the Rendlesham case. From an examination of old maps of the area we discovered that Kiln Field and Workhouse field are quite widely separated within the parish itself, so the mysterious red light was able to cover a considerable distance in Sudbourne. It is conceivable that a strange atmospheric effect might have distorted beams from the lighthouse, but how did the light appear to move “at walking pace” on two fields separated by some distance?

Interestingly, to the east of Sudbourne lies an area known suggestively as “the Lantern Marshes”. The name is certainly an old one, apparently predating the establishment of any lighthouse or beacon, and a check of the records reveals a map carrying the name “Lanterne Marsh” dating from 1600.5 Strange lights were frequently referred to as “Lantern Men”, “Jack O’ Lanterns” and “Hobby Lanterns” (the term used by Mr Fell) in Suffolk dialect. However, it would be wrong to read too much into the place name in the absence of other evidence.

More pertinently, it may be noted that strange red lights are not the only oddities to have been seen in the neighbourhood. A green meteor was reported moving in the direction of Orford in the autumn of 1999, stimulating correspondence in the local press; 6 forteans and ufologists may note how writers from Charles Fort to John Keel have made much of strange meteors, and green ones were also a concern in the early days of the modern UFO phenomena in the USA. 7

Regrettably, Mr Fell never received any answer or explanation for his appeal, at least not through the pages of the East Anglian Miscellany. However, we hope its reprinting here will be of comfort to any surviving readers of the Miscellany or descendants of Mr Fell insofar as his plea did not go entirely unnoticed.

In the meantime, the discovery of this old account arguably poses a problem. It is a strange coincidence – if nothing else – that witnesses in the 1880s had successive sightings of strange red lights not far from the site of one of the major British UFO incidents of the second half of the 20th century. Indeed, it will be interesting to see what sceptics of anomalous light phenomena at Rendlesham will make of Mr Fell’s account, which obviously pre-dates any notions of UFOs, particularly just when the Rendlesham story seemed to be at the point of final exorcism. Indeed, for those who have pronounced the case “solved”, Mr Fell’s statement may bring to mind a remark by the philosopher Professor CD Broad. Considering claims that the presence of infra-red equipment in séance rooms frustrated spiritualist manifestations, he remarked: “It may or may not be a significant fact but it is certainly an unfortunate one”.

________

Earth Prayers: A big Thanks to Tomas for turning me on to the book “Earth Prayers”

We Two—How Long We were Fool’d.

(Walt Whitman)

WE two—how long we were fool’d!

Now transmuted, we swiftly escape, as Nature escapes;

We are Nature—long have we been absent, but now we return;

We become plants, leaves, foliage, roots, bark;

We are bedded in the ground—we are rocks;

We are oaks—we grow in the openings side by side;

We browse—we are two among the wild herds, spontaneous as any;

We are two fishes swimming in the sea together;

We are what the locust blossoms are—we drop scent around the lanes, mornings and

evenings;

We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals;

We are two predatory hawks—we soar above, and look down;

We are two resplendent suns—we it is who balance ourselves, orbic and stellar—we

are as two comets;

We prowl fang’d and four-footed in the woods—we spring on prey;

We are two clouds, forenoons and afternoons, driving overhead;

We are seas mingling—we are two of those cheerful waves, rolling over each other, and

interwetting each other;

We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious, impervious:

We are snow, rain, cold, darkness—we are each product and influence of the globe;

We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again—we two have;

We have voided all but freedom, and all but our own joy.

—-

(Hildegard Von Bingen)

I am the one whose praise echoes on high.

I adorn all the earth.

I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.

I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.

I am led by the spirit to feed the purest streams.

I am the rain coiming from the dew

that causes the greasses to laugh with the joy of life.

I am the yearning for good.

—-

(Herman Hesse)

Sometimes, when a bird cries out,

Or the wind sweeps through a tree,

Or a dog howls in a far-off farm,

I hold still and listen a long time.

My world turns and goes back to the place

Where, a thousand forgotten years ago,

The bird and the blowing wind

Were like me, and were my brothers.

My soul turns into a tree,

And an animal, and a cloud bank.

Then changed and odd it comes home

And asks me questions. What should I reply?

—-

The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

( N. Scott Momaday)

I am a feather on the bright sky

I am the blue horse that runs in the plain

I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water

I am the shadow that follows a child

I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows

I am an eagle playing with the wind

I am a cluster of bright beads

I am the farthest star

I am the cold of dawn

I am the roaring of the rain

I am the glitter on the crust of the snow

I am the long track of the moon in a lake

I am a flame of four colors

I am a deer standing away in the dusk

I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche

I am an angle of geese in the winter sky

I am the hunger of a young wolf

I am the whole dream of these things

You see, I am alive, I am alive

I stand in good relation to the earth

I stand in good relation to the gods

I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful

I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte

You see, I am alive, I am alive

_______

(Gordon & Gwyllm on Saturday…)

A Sunny Saturday

On The Music Box: Shabazz

Beautiful Day In Portland…

Gordon K. came through for a short visit. Talked Kids, Music, Absinthe. A very pleasant visit indeed. Pics tomorrow?

Looks like a great day for gardening though a mite chilling still. Be kind to yourself, get outside and walk away from the computer, now! (I need to follow my own advice!)

Pax,

Gwyllm

On The Menu For Saturday…

The Links

The Article: Rumsfeld Zeros in on the Internet

The Poetry: Guillaume Apollinaire

The Art: Klimt

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The Links:

Australian Art…

Cuddly Tiki Plush…

Play pushed underground: My Name Is Rachel Corrie

Squid study reveals personality plus

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Rumsfeld Zeros in on the Internet

by Mike Whitney

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was warmly greeted at the recent meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR is the hand-picked assemblage of western elites from big-energy, corporate media, high-finance and the weapons industry. These are the 4,000 or so members of the American ruling class who determine the shape of policy and ensure that the management of the global economic system remains in the hands of U.S. bluebloods.

As the Pentagon’s chief-coordinator, Rumsfeld enjoys a prominent place among American mandarins. He is the caretaker of their most prized possession; the high-tech, taxpayer-funded, laser-guided war machine. The US Military is the crown-jewel of the American empire; a fully-operational security apparatus for the protection of pilfered resources and the ongoing subjugation of the developing world.

Rumsfeld’s speech alerted his audience to the threats facing America in the new century.

He opined: “We meet today in the 6th year in what promises to be a long struggle against an enemy that in many ways is unlike any our country has ever faced. And, in this war, some of the most critical battles may not be in the mountains in Afghanistan or in the streets of Iraq, but in newsrooms—in places like New York, London, Cairo, and elsewhere.”

“New York”?

“Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today’s media age, but for the most part our country has not”.

Huh? Does Rummy mean those grainy, poorly-produced videos of Bin Laden and co.?

“Consider that the violent extremists have established ‘media relations committees’—and have proven to be highly-successful at manipulating opinion-elites. They plan to design their headline-grabbing attacks using every means of communications to intimidate and break the collective will of free people”.

What gibberish.

It’s foolish to mention “intimidating and breaking the collective will of free people” without entering Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo and Falluja into the discussion. Rumsfeld is just griping about the disgrace he’s heaped on America’s reputation by his refusal to conform to even minimal standards of decency. Instead, he insists that America’s declining stature in the world is the result of a hostile media and “skillful enemies”; in other words, anyone with a computer keyboard and a rudimentary sense of moral judgment.

(Our enemies) “know that communications transcend borders…and that a single news story , handled skillfully, can be as damaging to our cause and as helpful to theirs, as any other method of military attack”.

If the Pentagon is really so worried about “bad press coverage” why not close down the torture-chambers and withdrawal from Iraq? Instead, Rumsfeld is making the case for a preemptive-assault on free speech.

“The growing number of media outlets in many parts of the world….too often serve to inflame and distort, rather than explain and inform. And while Al Qaida and extremist movements have utilized this forum for many years, and have successfully poisoned the Muslim public’s view of the West, we have barely even begun to compete in reaching their audiences.”

“Inflame and distort”?

What distortion? Do cameras distort the photos of abused prisoners, desperate people, or decimated cities?

Rumsfeld’s analysis borders on the delusional. Al Qaida doesn’t have a well-oiled propaganda mechanism that provides a steady stream of fabrications to whip the public into a frenzy. That’s the American media’s assignment. And, they haven’t “poisoned Muslim public opinion” against us. That has been entirely the doing of the Pentagon warlords and their White House compatriots.

“The standard US government public affairs operation was designed primarily …to be reactive rather than proactive…Government, however, is beginning to adapt”

“Proactive news”? In other words, propaganda.

Rumsfeld confirms his dedication to propaganda by defending the bogus stories that were printed in Iraqi newspapers by Pentagon contractors. (We) “sought non-traditional means to provide accurate information to the Iraqi people in the face of an aggressive campaign of disinformation….This has been deemed inappropriate—for examples the allegations of ‘buying news’”.

A brazen defense of intentionally planted lies; how low can we sink?

This has had a “chilling effect for those who are asked to serve in the military public affairs field.”

Is it really that difficult to print the truth?

Rumsfeld boasts of the vast changes in “communications planning” taking place at the Pentagon.

A “public affairs” strategy is at the heart of the new paradigm, replete with “rapid response” teams to address the nagging issues of bombed-out wedding parties, starving prisoners, and devastated cities. No problem is so great that it can’t be papered-over by a public relations team trained in the black-art of deception, obfuscation, and slight-of-hand. Trickery now tops the list of military priorities.

“US Central Command has launched an online communications effort that includes electronic news updates and a links campaign that has resulted in several hundred blogs receiving and publishing CENTCOM content.”

The military plans to develop the “institutional capability” to respond to critical news coverage within the same news cycle and to develop a comprehensive scheme for infiltrating the internet.

The Pentagon’s strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information has already been chronicled in a recently declassified report, “The Information Operations Roadmap”; is a window into the minds of those who see free speech as dangerous as an “enemy weapons-system”.

The Pentagon is aiming for “full spectrum dominance” of the Internet. Their objective is to manipulate public perceptions, quash competing points of view, and perpetuate a narrative of American generosity and good-will.

Rumsfeld’s comments are intended to awaken his constituents to the massive information war that is being waged to transform the Internet into the progeny of the MSM; a reliable partner for the dissemination of establishment-friendly news.

The Associated Press reported recently that the US government conducted a massive simulated attack on the Internet called “Cyber-Storm”. The wargame was designed, among other things, to “respond to misinformation campaigns and activist calls by internet bloggers, online diarists whose ‘Web logs” include political rantings and musings about current events”.

Before Bush took office, “political rantings and musings about current events” were protected under the 1st amendment.

No more.

The War Department is planning to insert itself into every area of the Internet from blogs to chat rooms, from leftist web sites to editorial commentary. Their rapid response team will be on hair-trigger alert to dispute any tidbit of information that challenges the official storyline.

We can expect to encounter, as the BBC notes, “psychological operations (that) try to manipulate the thoughts and the beliefs of the enemy (as well as) computer network specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks.”

The enemy, of course, is anyone who refuses to accept their servile role in the new world order or who disrupts the smooth-operation of the Bush police-state.

The resolve to foreclose on free speech has never been greater.

As for Rumsfeld’s devotees at the CFR, the problem of savaging civil liberties is never seriously raised. After all, these are the primary beneficiaries of Washington’s global resource-war; should it matter that other people’s freedom is sacrificed to perpetuate the fundamental institutions of class and privilege?

Rumsfeld is right. The only way to prevail on the information-battlefield is to “take no prisoners”; police the Internet, uproot the troublemakers and activists who provide the truth, and “catapult the propaganda” (Bush) from every bullhorn and web site across the virtual-universe. Free speech is a luxury we cannot afford if it threatens to undermine the basic platforms of western white rule.

As Rumsfeld said, “We are fighting a battle where the survival of our free way of life is at stake.”

Indeed, it is.

(Mike lives in Washington State with his charming wife Joan and two spoiled and overfed dogs, Cocoa and Pat-Fergie.)

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Now for some delightful Poetry! One of my favourites. Enjoy

Poetry: Guillaume Apollinaire

The Ninth Secret Poem

I worship your fleece which is the perfect triangle

Of the Goddess

I am the lumberjack of the only virgin forest

O my Eldorado

I am the only fish in your voluptuous ocean

You my lovely Siren

I am the climber on your snowy mountains

O my whitest Alp

I am the heavenly archer at your beautiful mouth

O my darling quiver

I am the hauler of your midnight hair

O lovely ship on the canal of my kisses

And the lilies of your arms are beckoning me

O my summer garden

The fruits of your breast are ripening their honey for me

O my sweet-smelling orchard

And I am raising you O Madeleine O my beauty above the earth

Like the torch of all light

—-

Autumn Crocuses

The meadow is poisonous but pretty in the autumn

The cows that graze there are slowly poisoned

Meadow-saffron the colour of lilac and of shadows

Under the eyes grows there your eyes are like those flowers

Mauve as their shadows and mauve as this autumn

And for your eyes’ sake my life is slowly poisoned

Children from school come with their commotion

Dressed in smocks and playing the mouth-organ

Picking autumn crocuses which are like their mothers

Daughters of their daughters and the colour of your eyelids

Which flutter like flowers in the mad breeze blown

The cowherd sings softly to himself all alone

While slow moving lowing the cows leave behind them

Forever this great meadow ill flowered by autumn

—-

Hunting Horns

Our past is as noble and as tragic

As the mask of a tyrant

No tale of danger or of magic

Nothing so insignificant

Describes the pathos of our love

And Thomas de Quincy drinking his

Sweet and chaste and poisoned glass

Dreaming went to see his Ann

Let us since all passes pass

I shall look back only too often

Memories are hunting horns

Whose sound dies among the wind

—-

Mirabeau Bridge

Under Mirabeau Bridge runs the Seine

And our loves

Must I remember them

Joy came always after pain

Let arriving night explain

Days fade I remain

Arm in arm let us stay face to face

While below

The bridge at our hands passes

With eternal regards the wave so slow

Let arriving night explain

Days fade I remain

Love goes like this water flows

Love goes

Like life is slow

And like hope is violent

Let arriving night explain

Days fade I remain

The days passed and the weeks spent

Not times past

Nor loves sent return again

Under Mirabeau bridge runs the Seine

________

Guillaume Albert Wladimir Alexandre Apollinaire was born in Rome in 1880 of an Italian father and a Polish mother. He grew up and received his education in France and, apart from a year in Germany in 1901-2, spent most of his adult life trying to make a living for himself as a writer in Paris. He was among the first to properly appreciate artists such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Derain who, in the early years of the twentieth century, were innovating in modern painting. He became their enthusiastic champion and his essay Picasso, peintre appeared as early as 1905. In 1914, at the outbreak of war, he enlisted, serving first in the artillery and later in the infantry. In May 1916 he received a head injury during combat for which he had to be trepanned. When he returned to Paris in 1917 he arranged the first performance of his `surrealist drama’ – Les Mamelles de Tirésias. In November 1918, only a few months after his marriage to Jacqueline Kolb, he died of Spanish influenza.

__________

Have a beautiful weekend!

A Celebration: 50 Years of HOWL!

I am looking for some Allen Ginsberg Audio… for Earth Rites Radio. I hope you will join in on this celebration of 50 years of HOWL… maybe the most important poem of Americas’ passing through the 20th century.

I first read it when I was a teenager. I admit, I didn’t understand it all, but what I did, I loved. I find coming back to it over the years gives me great joy. Sometimes I wonder if Ginsberg was Blake reincarnated…. Sunflower Sutra and all that.

Well, City Lights is tracking and helping to promote readings of HOWL around the world this year. Anyone want to joint me this summer in a reading?

Pax,

Gwyllm

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The Links:

Howl Turns 50

London, 1965

HOPPY’S MEDIA ARCHIVES

The absolute bottom of the barrel…

______________

Howl

I

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats

floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene- ment roofs

illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the

scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burn- ing their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror

through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, al- cohol and cock and endless balls,

incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of Canada &

Paterson, illuminating all the mo- tionless world of Time between,

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront

boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks

of Brook- lyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of

wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of

brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer after noon in desolate

Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brook- lyn Bridge,

lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State

out of the moon,

yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of

hospitals and jails and wars,

whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on

the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,

suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind- ings and migraines of China under junk-with- drawal in

Newark’s bleak furnished room,

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no

broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grand- father night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telep- athy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos in- stinctively

vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking vis- ionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Okla- homa on the impulse of winter midnight street light smalltown

rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard

to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and

ash of poetry scattered in fire place Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their

dark skin passing out incom- prehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,

who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos

wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,

who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild

cooking pederasty and intoxication,

who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manu- scripts,

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,

who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose gardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering

their semen freely to whomever come who may,

who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond

& naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,

who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed

shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual

golden threads of the craftsman’s loom,

who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a can- dle and fell off

the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt

and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared

to sweeten the snatch of the sun rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,

who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and

Adonis of Denver-joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’

rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely pet- ticoat upliftings &

especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,

who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up

out of basements hung over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemploy-

ment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open

to a room full of steamheat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of

the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,

who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates

of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of

gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their

heads every day for the next decade,

who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccess- fully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where

they thought they were growing old and cried,

who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up

clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of

sinis- ter intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,

who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually hap- pened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the

ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,

who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Pas- saic, leaped on

negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic

European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears

and the blast of colossal steam whistles,

who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or

Birmingham jazz incarnation,

who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find

out Eternity,

who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver

& brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul

illuminated its hair for a second,

who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in

their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,

who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific

to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp notism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung

jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of

the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding in- stantaneous lobotomy,

and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psycho- therapy

occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,

returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible mad man doom of the

wards of the madtowns of the East,

Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rock- ing and rolling in

the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a night- mare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the

moon,

with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at

4. A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last fur- nished room emptied down to the last

piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing

but a hopeful little bit of hallucination

ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of time

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the

catalog the meter & the vibrat- ing plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the

soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together

jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intel- ligent and shaking

with shame, rejected yet con- fessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come

after death,

and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of

America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to

the last radio

with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.

II

What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagi- nation?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unob tainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys

sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose

buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stun- ned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies!

Moloch whose breast is a canni- bal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless

Jehovahs! Moloch whose fac- tories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the

cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the

specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and

manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me

out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral

nations! invincible mad houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pave- ments, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which

exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!

Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! De- spairs! Ten years’

animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!

Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the

roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!

III

Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland where you’re madder than I am

I’m with you in Rockland where you must feel very strange

I’m with you in Rockland where you imitate the shade of my mother

I’m with you in Rockland where you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries

I’m with you in Rockland where you laugh at this invisible humor

I’m with you in Rockland where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter

I’m with you in Rockland where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio

I’m with you in Rockland where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses

I’m with you in Rockland where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica

I’m with you in Rockland where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx

I’m with you in Rockland where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re losing the game of the actual pingpong of

the abyss

I’m with you in Rockland where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die

ungodly in an armed madhouse

I’m with you in Rockland where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a

cross in the void

I’m with you in Rockland where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against

the fascist national Golgotha

I’m with you in Rockland where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from

the superhuman tomb

I’m with you in Rockland where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com- rades all together singing the final stanzas

of the Internationale

I’m with you in Rockland where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs

all night and won’t let us sleep

I’m with you in Rockland where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the

roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls col- lapse O skinny legions run

outside O starry spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here O victory forget your underwear we’re free

I’m with you in Rockland in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea- journey on the highway across America in tears

to the door of my cottage in the Western night

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Allen Ginsberg is probably one of the best known contemporary poets in recent history. He was born in 1926 in Newark, NJ and recieved his B.A. from Columbia University in 1948.

Like many other artists, Ginsberg held a variety of odd jobs before becoming an established writer. His employment history includes work on various cargo ships, a spot welder, a dishwasher and he also worked as a night porter in Denver. He has partcipated in numerous poetry readings, including the famous Six Gallery event that occured in San Francisco.

In 1954, San Francisco painter Robert LaVigne introduced his model and companion, Peter Orlovsky to Ginsberg. Soon after this first meeting, Orlovsky and Ginsberg became lovers and moved in together, defining their relationship as a marriage. Despite periods of separation, this arrangement remained intact until Ginsberg’s death in April 1997.

Ginsberg was the recipient of numerous honors and awards during his lifetime including: the Woodbury Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, the National Book Award for Poetry, NEA grants and a Lifetime Ahievement Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

In addition to the almost epic poem Howl, Ginsberg has authored numerous books, too voluminous to mention here. Many of his writings were interpreted as contrevertial and even obscene. The reading of Howl resulted in the arrest of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the owner of City Lights Books, on obscenity charges. The authorities objected to Ginsberg’s openess concerning his homosexuality as well as the graphic sexual language. Many of his other writings deal with subjects such as narcotics and the experiences on has while under their influence.

However, many other prominent writers, including Jack Keroauc, William Carlos Williams and Kenneth Rexroth, realized Ginsbergs importance. Ginsberg was greatly influenced by Keroauc’s spontaneous and carefree style and often worked in a “stream of consciousness” manner until he completed a work. Ginsberg also once, influenced by Williams, arranged some of his poems “according to how you’d break it up if you actually to talk it out” and the latter was greatly impressed by the feat.

Like many of the writers of his period, Ginsberg had a desire to attain the mystical. The metaphysical poets of the nineteenth century, including William Blake, were perhaps his greatest influence. It was the desire to expand the mind and reach the spiritual that inspired Ginsberg to experment with substances such as marijuana and Benzedrine. He claimed that many of his writings, including Howl were written while he was under the influence of drugs.

Ginsberg’s theme of politics was once described by Rexroth as “an almost perfect fulfillment of the long, Whitman, Populist, social revolutionary tradition in American poetry”. Many of his writings contain a war motiff: subjects such as the Nazi gas chambers and Viet Nam are the topic of many of his poems.

Ginsberg is perhaps one of the most respected and revered Beat writer’s. His work is definitely worth a glance even if the writers of this period are of little interest to certain readers. After his recent death, City Lights had a celebration of his work which included the playing of some of his taped readings.

Ginsberg’s writing has been compared to Thoreau, Emerson and Whitman and has been said to contain “that old gnostic tradition”

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New Stanzas for Amazing Grace

I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place

Where I was lost alone

Folk looked right through me into space

And passed with eyes of stone

O homeless hand on many a street

Accept this change from me

A friendly smile or word is sweet

As fearless charity

Woe workingman who hears the cry

And cannot spare a dime

Nor look into a homeless eye

Afraid to give the time

So rich or poor no gold to talk

A smile on your face

The homeless ones where you may walk

Receive amazing grace

I dreamed I dewelled in a homeless place

Where I was lost alone

Folk looked right through me into space

And passed with eyes of stone

————-

Dream Time Express…

On The Radio: Bicycle Day Celebration/Ozric Tentacles..

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Hope the day is full of beauty for ya…

Pax,

G

On The Menu:

The Links…

The Quotes… (are back!)

The Articles: Neolithic boat replica to be launched in Scotland

& We Are The Torturers…

The Poetry: Robert Graves

The Art: Mati Klarwien

Thank You Mati!

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The Links:

Russian Researchers Claim to Have Solved Mystery of Crop Circles

Biologist Claims To Have World’s Largest Shrimp

Man killed in cigarette accident

Hen turns into a Cockerel

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The Quotes:

“The incompetent with nothing to do can still make a mess of it.”

“New York now leads the world’s great cities in the number of people around whom you shouldn’t make a sudden move.”

“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.”

“How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.”

“If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.”

“We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.”

“When you’re through changing, you’re through.”

“If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars.”

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

“The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.”

“Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish.”

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Neolithic boat replica to be launched in Scotland

A prehistory park in Scotland hope to launch a replica stone age boat to test whether theories on ancient design hold water. A 20ft craft, similar to those used by Neolithic people to arrive and settle in the area and sail on lochs, is taking shape at the Archaeolink Prehistory Park, near Oyne. The big test for the boat-building crew will come in July when the vessel faces sea trials at the Portsoy Boat Festival in Aberdeenshire.

Archaeolink’s deputy interpretations manager, Mark Keighley, predicted the craft would make a big splash at the festival. He said: “We will be taking it out of the harbour, powering it with simple pole oars. We may add on shoulder-bones from cattle to provide a blade and better propulsion. There would have been no cloth for sails, so it will all be based on what was available in prehistoric times.”

The boat-builders have no precise archaeological evidence to use in the reconstruction. Their design is a larger and simpler version of the traditional coracle. Once the willow frame is finished, five cow hides will be sewn over it. Birch tar will then provide a completely waterproof coating and seal the stitching. The result will be a robust craft that will take about three-quarters of a tonne of ballast and a crew of about a dozen. Expert coracle-maker Peter Faulkner, from Shropshire, is supervising the project.

Another replica – this time of a building – is also under construction at the park. Work has started on a Mesolithic hut, based on 8,000-year-old remains excavated from sites across the UK, including Moray. The wigwam-shaped structure is being created from logs and support timbers, roofed with turf and heated by a central open fire. Archaeolink will be hosting a series of events, from combat displays to hands-on ancient cookery and pottery, over the coming months. The centre is just off the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road, north of Inverurie. It is open from 10am-5pm daily.

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We are the Torturers: The Global Erosion of Human Rights

The absolute ban on torture, a cornerstone of the international human rights edifice, is under attack. The principle we once believed to be unassailable – the inherent right to physical integrity and dignity of the person – is becoming a casualty of the so-called war on terror.

So warned Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Meanwhile, photographs, news reports and official investigations into abuses at Abu Ghraib, Bagram Air Base and Guantanamo Bay suggest a policy of systematic torture on the part of the US government that extends all the way up the chain of command.

The 1984 Torture Convention prohibits “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.” The Bush administration favors its own standard, whereby the pain caused “must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily functions or even death.” Under this definition, many methods of what is generally understood as “torture” would be allowed, including “waterboarding” – where a person is made to believe they will drown.

Senator John McCain, who was subjected to waterboarding in North Vietnam, describes it as “torture, very exquisite torture.” Last autumn, McCain sponsored draft legislation that stipulated “No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.” The bill was opposed by Vice President Dick Cheney, who, by invoking the threat of a presidential veto, negotiated important loopholes. As adopted, the legislation fails to prohibit torture contracted out to other countries. It also provides legal immunity for those committing acts of torture that were “officially authorized and determined to be lawful at the time that they were conducted.”

Moreover, when Bush signed McCain’s bill into law, he declared it would be interpreted within the context of the president’s powers to protect national security – in other words, that any interrogation method could still be used, if the White House deemed it necessary. This outright rejection of Congressional intent is breathtaking. As Sidney Blumenthal observed, it reflects “a basic ideology of absolute power.”

At the same time, the CIA has engaged in a practice called “extraordinary rendition” whereby suspects are transferred in violation of the Torture Convention either to the intelligence services of countries notorious for torture or to clandestine prisons located outside the United States. The secret prisons have obvious parallels – the Soviet Gulag and the Latin American “disappearances” – and they contravene the prohibition on arbitrary detention in international human rights law.

Some countries, including Britain and Canada, have obtained assurances of good treatment from the United States before handing over suspects. This practice has been criticized by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture on the basis that such “assurances are unreliable and ineffective” – not least because they “are sought usually from states where the practice of torture is systematic.”

The same two countries have supported the Bush administration’s illegal behavior in other ways. Both Britain and Canada have allowed CIA aircraft to use their airports and airspace on numerous occasions, including – it would seem – for rendition purposes. British agents have also allegedly conducted interrogations under threat of torture, while using information obtained by other governments through torture. Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, has posted classified documents on his website that show British officials deciding that they can use information obtained through torture for intelligence purposes. The documents are all the more troubling because Uzbekistan is notorious for using especially horrific methods of torture, such as dipping detainees in boiling water.

A basic tenant of criminal law – reaffirmed in the Torture Convention – holds that those who aid or abet a crime are criminals themselves. Our behavior also has a negative impact on the way we are perceived, and how we perceive ourselves. In an important sense, if our democratic governments have been complicit in torture, we – as citizens and voters – are torturers too.

Michael Byers is the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia.

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Poetry: Robert Graves

IN THE WILDERNESS

He, of his gentleness,

Thirsting and hungering

Walked in the Wilderness;

Soft words of grace he spoke

Unto lost desert-folk

That listned wondering.

He heard the bittern call

From ruined palace-wall,

Answered him brotherly;

He held communion

With the she-pelican

Of lonely piety.

Basilisk, cockatrice,

Flocked to his homilies,

With mail of dread device,

With monstrous barbed stings,

With eager dragon-eyes;

Great bats on leathern wings

And old, blind, broken things

Mean in their miseries.

Then ever with him went,

Of all his wanderings

Comrade, with ragged coat,

Gaunt ribs — poor innocent –

Bleeding foot, burning throat,

The guileless young scapegoat;

For forty nights and days

Followed in Jesus’ ways,

Sure guard behind him kept,

Tears like a lover wept.

——-

PURE DEATH

We looked, we loved, and therewith instantly

Death became terrible to you and me.

By love we disenthralled our natural terror

From every comfortable philosopher

Or tall, grey doctor of divinity:

Death stood at last in his true rank and order.

It happened soon, so wild of heart were we,

Exchange of gifts grew to a malady:

Their worth rose always higher on each side

Till there seemed nothing but ungivable pride

That yet remained ungiven, and this degree

Called a conclusion not to be dnied.

Then we at last bethought ourselves, made shift

And simultaneously this final gift

Gave: each with shaking hands unlocks

The sinister, long, brass-bound coffin-box,

Unwraps pure death, with such bewildernment

As greeted our love’s first accomplishment.

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(Published on Turfing before, but hey, its good!)

Return of the Goddess

Under your Milky Way

And slow-revolving Bear

Frogs from the alder thicket pray

In terror of your judgement day,

Loud with repentance there.

The log they crowned as king

Grew sodden, lurched and sank;

An owl floats by on silent wing

Dark water bubbles from the spring;

They invoke you from each bank.

At dawn you shall appear,

A gaunt red-legged crane,

You whom they know too well for fear,

Lunging your beak down like a spear

To fetch them home again.

Sufficiunt

Tecum,

Caryatis,

Domnia

Quina.

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Magikal Realism

Happy Bicycle Day!

Dear Albert,

It is 63 years since your Wild Bicycle Ride. You helped change the world for a far better place. Your wonderous invention will touch lives and change consciousness for generations yet to come.

You helped bring the ecstatic poetry of opening consciousness back into our Beings.

Thanks Albert!

Gwyllm

———

On The Music Box: Shabazz

On The Menu:

The Links: Print and Video

The Article: Culture and the Individual -Aldous Huxley

Poetry: Julia Esquivel (Guatemalan Poetess and Theologian)

Art: Mati Klarwein

We will be going through Mati’s work for a few days. It is impossible to stop after just a day, he has so much to offer, and it has such depths. I first became aware of his work in 1967 with an edition of “Morning of the Magicians”. His painting graced the from cover. I was in love, an instant convert. I have remained so for 39 years. My interest was recently renewed viewing Robert Venosa’s work, and remembering that they worked together off and on over the years.

Mati’s work is spiritual, but not in an over the top way. His is the path of Magikal Realism.

His cohorts or fellow traveller using film as there medium would be Kenneth Anger, Luis Buñuel

and Jean Cocteau… He was perhaps one of the brightest flowers of Surrealism. Thank you Mati!

—–

Off to a day of fun, it is sunny out, Rowan is feeling better and is off to school (new pics soon) and spring is bursting out everywhere!

Talked to my sister Rebecca and my niece Deva down in Sacramento, they are doing well and off on new adventures.

Hope this finds you all walking in beauty!

Pax,

G

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Print Links:

A big thanks to Morgan for bringing this to my attention!

Daughter of The Beast?

Changing of the Guard…?

New Card Game…

The Video Links:

A big thanks to my Sister Suzanne for this one…

CAMPARI “THE SECRET”

Tenacious D – Tribute

An Inconvenient Truth – Trailer

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The Article: Culture and the Individual

Aldous Huxley

©1963 Aldous Huxley, originally appeared in Playboy magazine.

BETWEEN CULTURE and the individual the relationship is, and always has been, strangely ambivalent. We are at once the beneficiaries of our culture and its victims. Without culture, and without that precondition of all culture, language, man would be no more than another species of baboon. It is to language and culture that we owe our humanity. And “What a piece of work is a man!” says Hamlet: “How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! … in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god!” But, alas, in the intervals of being noble, rational and potentially infinite,

man, proud man,

Dressed in a little brief authority,

Most ignorant of what he is most assured,

His glassy essence, like an angry ape,

Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven

As make the angels weep.

Genius and angry ape, player of fantastic tricks and godlike reasoner—in all these roles individuals are the products of a language and a culture. Working on the twelve or thirteen billion neurons of a human brain, language and culture have given us law, science, ethics, philosophy; have made possible all the achievements of talent and of sanctity. They have also given us fanaticism, superstition and dogmatic bumptiousness; nationalistic idolatry and mass murder in the name of God; rabble-rousing propaganda and organized Iying. And, along with the salt of the earth, they have given us, generation after generation, countless millions of hypnotized conformists, the predestined victims of power-hungry rulers who are themselves the victims of all that is most senseless and inhuman in their cultural tradition.

Thanks to language and culture, human behavior can be incomparably more intelligent, more original, creative and flexible than the behavior of animals, whose brains are too small to accommodate the number of neurons necessary for the invention of language and the transmission of accumulated knowledge. But, thanks again to language and culture, human beings often behave with a stupidity, a lack of realism, a total inappropriateness, of which animals are incapable.

Trobriand Islander or Bostonian, Sicilian Catholic or Japanese Buddhist, each of us is born into some culture and passes his life within its confines. Between every human consciousness and the rest of the world stands an invisible fence, a network of traditional thinking-and-feeling patterns, of secondhand notions that have turned into axioms, of ancient slogans revered as divine revelations. What we see through the meshes of this net is never, of course, the unknowable “thing in itself.” It is not even, in most cases, the thing as it impinges upon our senses and as our organism spontaneously reacts to it. What we ordinarily take in and respond to is a curious mixture of immediate experience with culturally conditioned symbol, of sense impressions with preconceived ideas about the nature of things. And by most people the symbolic elements in this cocktail of awareness are felt to be more important than the elements contributed by immediate experience. Inevitably so, for, to those who accept their culture totally and uncritically, words in the familiar language do not stand (however inadequately) for things. On the contrary, things stand for familiar words. Each unique event of their ongoing life is instantly and automatically classified as yet another concrete illustration of one of the verbalized, culture-hallowed abstractions drummed into their heads by childhood conditioning.

It goes without saying that many of the ideas handed down to us by the transmitters of culture are eminently sensible and realistic. (If they were not, the human species would now be extinct.) But, along with these useful concepts, every culture hands down a stock of unrealistic notions, some of which never made any sense, while others may once have possessed survival value, but have now, in the changed and changing circumstances of ongoing history, become completely irrelevant. Since human beings respond to symbols as promptly and unequivocally as they respond to the stimuli of unmediated experience, and since most of them naively believe that culture-hallowed words about things are as real as, or even realer than their perceptions of the things themselves, these outdated or intrinsically nonsensical notions do enormous harm. Thanks to the realistic ideas handed down by culture, mankind has survived and, in certain fields, progresses. But thanks to the pernicious nonsense drummed into every individual in the course of his acculturation, mankind, though surviving and progressing, has always been in trouble. History is the record, among other things, of the fantastic and generally fiendish tricks played upon itself by culture-maddened humanity. And the hideous game goes on.

What can, and what should, the individual do to improve his ironically equivocal relationship with the culture in which he finds himself embedded? How can he continue to enjoy the benefits of culture without, at the same time, being stupefied or frenziedly intoxicated by its poisons? How can he become discriminatingly acculturated, rejecting what is silly or downright evil in his conditioning, and holding fast to that which makes for humane and intelligent behavior?

A culture cannot be discriminatingly accepted, much less be modified, except by persons who have seen through it—by persons who have cut holes in the confining stockade of verbalized symbols and so are able to look at the world and, by reflection, at themselves in a new and relatively unprejudiced way. Such persons are not merely born; they must also be made. But how?

In the field of formal education, what the would-be hole cutter needs is knowledge. Knowledge of the past and present history of cultures in all their fantastic variety, and knowledge about the nature and limitations, the uses and abuses, of language. A man who knows that there have been many cultures, and that each culture claims to be the best and truest of all, will find it hard to take too seriously the boastings and dogmatizings of his own tradition. Similarly, a man who knows how symbols are related to experience, and who practices the kind of linguistic self-control taught by the exponents of General Semantics, is unlikely to take too seriously the absurd or dangerous nonsense that, within every culture, passes for philosophy, practical wisdom and political argument. As a preparation for hole cutting, this kind of intellectual education is certainly valuable, but no less certainly insufficient. Training on the verbal level needs to be supplemented by training in wordless experiencing. We must learn how to be mentally silent, must cultivate the art of pure receptivity.

To be silently receptive—how childishly simple that seems! But in fact, as we very soon discover, how difficult! The universe in which men pass their lives is the creation of what Indian philosophy calls Nama-Rupa, Name and Form. Reality is a continuum, a fathomlessly mysterious and infinite Something, whose outward aspect is what we call Matter and whose inwardness is what we call Mind. Language is a device for taking the mystery out of Reality and making it amenable to human comprehension and manipulation. Acculturated man breaks up the continuum, attaches labels to a few of the fragments, projects the labels into the outside world and thus creates for himself an all-too-human universe of separate objects, each of which is merely the embodiment of a name, a particular illustration of some traditional abstraction. What we perceive takes on the pattern of the conceptual lattice through which it has been filtered. Pure receptivity is difficult because man’s normal waking consciousness is always culturally conditioned. But normal waking consciousness, as William James pointed out many years ago, “is but one type of consciousness, while all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness, definite types of mentality which probably somewhere have their field of application and adaptation. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these forms of consciousness disregarded.”

Like the culture by which it is conditioned, normal waking consciousness is at once our best friend and a most dangerous enemy. It helps us to survive and make progress; but at the same time it prevents us from actualizing some of our most valuable potentialities and, on occasion, gets us into all kinds of trouble. To become fully human, man, proud man, the player of fantastic tricks, must learn to get out of his own way: only then will his infinite faculties and angelic apprehension get a chance of coming to the surface. In Blake’s words, we must “cleanse the doors of perception”; for when the doors of perception are cleansed, “everything appears to man as it is—infinite.” To normal waking consciousness things are the strictly finite and insulated embodiments of verbal labels. How can we break the habit of automatically imposing our prejudices and the memory of culture-hallowed words upon immediate experience? Answer: by the practice of pure receptivity and mental silence. These will cleanse the doors of perception and, in the process, make possible the emergence of other than normal forms of consciousness—aesthetic consciousness, visionary consciousness, mystical consciousness. Thanks to culture we are the heirs to vast accumulations of knowledge, to a priceless treasure of logical and scientific method, to thousands upon thousands of useful pieces of technological and organizational know-how. But the human mind-body possesses other sources of information, makes use of other types of reasoning, is gifted with an intrinsic wisdom that is independent of cultural conditioning.

Wordsworth writes that “our meddling intellect [that part of the mind which uses language to take the mystery out of Reality] mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things: we murder to dissect.” Needless to say, we cannot get along without our meddling intellect. Verbalized conceptual thinking is indispensable. But even when they are used well, verbalized concepts mis-shape “the beauteous forms of things.” And when (as happens so often) they are used badly, they mis-shape our lives by rationalizing ancient stupidities, by instigating mass murder, persecution and the playing of all the other fantastically ugly tricks that make the angels weep. Wise nonverbal passiveness is an antidote to unwise verbal activity and a necessary corrective to wise verbal activity. Verbalized concepts about experience need to be supplemented by direct, unmediated acquaintance with events as they present themselves to us.

It is the old story of the letter and the spirit. The letter is necessary, but must never be taken too seriously, for, divorced from the spirit, it cramps and finally kills. As for the spirit, it “bloweth where it listeth” and, if we fail to consult the best cultural charts, we may be blown off our course and suffer shipwreck. At present most of us make the worst of both worlds. Ignoring the freely blowing winds of the spirit and relying on cultural maps which may be centuries out-of-date, we rush full speed ahead under the high-pressure steam of our own overweening self-confidence. The tickets we have sold ourselves assure us that our destination is some port in the Islands of the Blest. In fact it turns out, more often than not, to be Devil’s Island.

Self-education on the nonverbal level is as old as civilization. “Be still and know that I am God”—for the visionaries and mystics of every time and every place, this has been the first and greatest of the commandments. Poets listen to their Muse and in the same way the visionary and the mystic wait upon inspiration in a state of wise passiveness, of dynamic vacuity. In the Western tradition this state is called “the prayer of simple regard.” At the other end of the world it is described in terms that are psychological rather than theistic. In mental silence we “look into our own Self-Nature,” we “hold fast to the Not-Thought which lies in thought.” we “become that which essentially we have always been.” By wise activity we can acquire useful analytical knowledge about the world, knowledge that can be communicated by means of verbal symbols. In the state of wise passiveness we make possible the emergence of forms of consciousness other than the utilitarian consciousness of normal waking life. Useful analytical knowledge about the world is replaced by some kind of biologically inessential but spiritually enlightening acquaintance with the world. For example, there can be direct aesthetic acquaintance with the world as beauty. Or there can be direct acquaintance with the intrinsic strangeness of existence, its wild implausibility. And finally there can be direct acquaintance with the world’s unity. This immediate mystical experience of being at one with the fundamental Oneness that manifests itself in the infinite diversity of things and minds, can never be adequately expressed in words. Like visionary experience, the experience of the mystic can be talked about only from the outside. Verbal symbols can never convey its inwardness.

It is through mental silence and the practice of wise passiveness that artists, visionaries and mystics have made themselves ready for the immediate experience of the world as beauty, as mystery and as unity. But silence and wise passiveness are not the only roads leading out of the all-too-human universe created by normal, culture-conditioned consciousness. In Expostulation and Reply, Wordsworth’s bookish friend, Matthew, reproaches the poet because

You look round on your Mother Earth,

As if she for no purpose bore you;

As if you were her first-born birth,

And none have lived before you!

From the point of view of normal waking consciousness, this is sheer intellectual delinquency. But it is what the artist, the visionary and the mystic must do and, in fact, have always done. “Look at a person, a landscape, any common object, as though you were seeing it for the first time.” This is one of the exercises in immediate, unverbalized awareness prescribed in the ancient texts of Tantric Buddhism. Artists visionaries and mystics refuse to be enslaved to the culture-conditioned habits of feeling, thought and action which their society regards as right and natural. Whenever this seems desirable, they deliberately refrain from projecting upon reality those hallowed word patterns with which all human minds are so copiously stocked. They know as well as anyone else that culture and the language in which any given culture is rooted, are absolutely necessary and that, without them, the individual would not be human. But more vividly than the rest of mankind they also know that, to be fully human, the individual must learn to decondition himself, must be able to cut holes in the fence of verbalized symbols that hems him in.

In the exploration of the vast and mysterious world of human potentialities the great artists, visionaries and mystics have been trailblazing pioneers. But where they have been, others can follow. Potentially, all of us are “infinite in faculties and like gods in apprehension.” Modes of consciousness different from normal waking consciousness are within the reach of anyone who knows how to apply the necessary stimuli. The universe in which a human being lives can be transfigured into a new creation. We have only to cut a hole in the fence and look around us with what the philosopher, Plotinus, describes as “that other kind of seeing, which everyone has but few make use of.”

Within our current systems of education, training on the nonverbal level is meager in quantity and poor in quality. Moreover, its purpose, which is simply to help its recipients to be more “like gods in apprehension” is neither clearly stated nor consistently pursued. We could and, most emphatically, we should do better in this very important field than we are doing now. The practical wisdom of earlier civilizations and the findings of adventurous spirits within our own tradition and in our own time are freely available. With their aid a curriculum and a methodology of nonverbal training could be worked out without much difficulty. Unhappily most persons in authority have a vested interest in the maintenance of cultural fences. They frown upon hole cutting as subversive and dismiss Plotinus’ “other kind of seeing” as a symptom of mental derangement. If an effective system of nonverbal education could be worked out, would the authorities allow it to be widely applied? It is an open question.

From the nonverbal world of culturally uncontaminated consciousness we pass to the subverbal world of physiology and biochemistry. A human being is a temperament and a product of cultural conditioning; he is also, and primarily, an extremely complex and delicate biochemical system, whose inwardness, as the system changes from one state of equilibrium to another, is changing consciousness. It is because each one of us is a biochemical system that (according to Housman)

Malt does more than Milton can

To justify God’s ways to man.

Beer achieves its theological triumphs because, in William James’ words, “Drunkenness is the great exciter of the Yes function in man.” And he adds that “It is part of the deeper mystery and tragedy of life that whiffs and gleams of something that we immediately recognize as excellent should be vouchsafed to so many of us only in the fleeting earlier phases of what, in its totality, is so degrading a poisoning.” The tree is known by its fruits, and the fruits of too much reliance upon ethyl alcohol as an exciter of the Yes function are bitter indeed. No less bitter are the fruits of reliance upon such habit-forming sedatives, hallucinogens and mood elevators as opium and its derivatives, as cocaine (once so blithely recommended to his friends and patients by Dr. Freud), as the barbiturates and amphetamine. But in recent years the pharmacologists have extracted or synthesized several compounds that powerfully affect the mind without doing any harm to the body, either at the time of ingestion or, through addiction, later on. Through these new psychedelics, the subject’s normal waking consciousness may be modified in many different ways. It is as though, for each individual, his deeper self decides which kind of experience will be most advantageous. Having decided, it makes use of the drug’s mind-changing powers to give the person what he needs. Thus, if it would be good for him to have deeply buried memories uncovered, deeply buried memories will duly be uncovered. In cases where this is of no great importance, something else will happen. Normal waking consciousness may be replaced by aesthetic consciousness, and the world will be perceived in all its unimaginable beauty, all the blazing intensity of its “thereness.” And aesthetic consciousness may modulate into visionary consciousness. Thanks to yet another kind of seeing, the world will now reveal itself as not only unimaginably beautiful, but also fathomlessly mysterious—as a multitudinous abyss of possibility forever actualizing itself into unprecedented forms. New insights into a new, transfigured world of givenness, new combinations of thought and fantasy—the stream of novelty pours through the world in a torrent, whose every drop is charged with meaning. There are the symbols whose meaning lies outside themselves in the given facts of visionary experience, and there are these given facts which signify only themselves. But “only themselves” is also “no less than the divine ground of all being.” “Nothing but this” is at the same time “the Suchness of all.” And now the aesthetic and the visionary consciousness deepen into mystical consciousness. The world is now seen as an infinite diversity that is yet a unity, and the beholder experiences himself as being at one with the infinite Oneness that manifests itself, totally present, at every point of space, at every instant in the flux of perpetual perishing and perpetual renewal. Our normal word-conditioned consciousness creates a universe of sharp distinctions, black and white, this and that, me and you and it. In the mystical consciousness of being at one with infinite Oneness, there is a reconciliation of opposites, a perception of the Not-Particular in particulars, a transcending of our ingrained subject4bject relationships with things and persons; there is an immediate experience of our solidarity with all being and a kind of organic conviction that in spite of the inscrutabilities of fate, in spite of our own dark stupidities and deliberate malevolence, yes, in spite of all that is so manifestly wrong with the world, it is yet, in some profound, paradoxical and entirely inexpressible way, All Right. For normal waking consciousness, the phrase, “God is Love,” is no more than a piece of wishful positive thinking. For the mystical consciousness, it is a self-evident truth.

Unprecedentedly rapid technological and demographic changes are steadily increasing the dangers by which we are surrounded, and at the same time are steadily diminishing the relevance of the traditional feeling-and-behavior-patterns imposed upon all individuals, rulers and ruled alike, by their culture. Always desirable, widespread training in the art of cutting holes in cultural fences is now the most urgent of necessities. Can such a training be speeded up and made more effective by a judicious use of the physically harmless psychedelics now available? On the basis of personal experience and the published evidence, I believe that it can. In my utopian fantasy, Island, I speculated in fictional terms about the ways in which a substance akin to psilocybin could be used to potentiate the nonverbal education of adolescents and to remind adults that the real world is very different from the misshapen universe they have created for themselves by means of their culture-conditioned prejudices. “Having Fun with Fungi”—that was how one waggish reviewer dismissed the matter. But which is better: to have Fun with Fungi or to have Idiocy with Ideology, to have Wars because of Words, to have Tomorrow’s Misdeeds out of Yesterday’s Miscreeds?

How should the psychedelics be administered? Under what circumstances, with what kind of preparation and follow-up? These are questions that must be answered empirically, by large-scale experiment. Man’s collective mind has a high degree of viscosity and flows from one position to another with the reluctant deliberation of an ebbing tide of sludge. But in a world of explosive population increase, of headlong technological advance and of militant nationalism, the time at our disposal is strictly limited. We must discover, and discover very soon, new energy sources for overcoming our society’s psychological inertia, better solvents for liquefyingthe sludgy stickiness of an anachronistic state of mind. On the verbal level an education in the nature and limitations, the uses and abuses of language; on the wordless level an education in mental silence and pure receptivity; and finally, through the use of harmless psychedelics, a course of chemically triggered conversion experiences or ecstasies—these, I believe, will provide all the sources of mental energy, all the solvents of conceptual sludge, that an individual requires. With their aid, he should be able to adapt himself selectively to his culture, rejecting its evils, stupidities and irrelevances, gratefully accepting all its treasures of accumulated knowledge, of rationality, human-heartedness and practical wisdom. If the number of such individuals is sufficiently great, if their quality is sufficiently high, they may be able to pass from discriminating acceptance of their culture to discriminating change and reform. Is this a hopefully utopian dream? Experiment can give us the answer, for the dream is pragmatic; the utopian hypotheses can be tested empirically. And in these oppressive times a little hope is surely no unwelcome visitant.

__________

Poetry: Julia Esquivel (Guatemalan Poetess & Theologian Living in Exile)

Sowing

Because you can’t

kill death with death,

Sow life

And kill death with life,

But you can only harvest the infinite, complete, and perennial,

through your own death,

by loving as much as you can

For you can only

sow life with life

since life, as love,

is stronger than death.

REVELATION

The words of the poor

are knives

that bury themselves in our flesh

and cut,

and hurt,

and draw out

infection.

The cry of the poor

is clear water

that rinses off our makeup;

we can let the mask fall.

The eyes of the poor

are two mirrors,

we need not be afraid

to see ourselves there.

That nearness of the poor

reveals Jesus,

excellent Counselor,

God with us,

Prince of Peace,

Fire that burns away

all chaff

and purifies gold!

—-

WAITING

Life is painful

because of the ones who have died.

Joy is painful

because of the ones who are crying.

Love is painful

because of the ones who hate.

And while I am loving, laughing and crying,

I am waiting for you, my Lord

The Tales of Tuan…

On The Music Box: Pink Floyd/Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

(Jim Fitzpatrick- Fathach)

__________

A short one… Taxes!

Oh, I loathe this type of stuff.

Have a good Tuesday,

Gwyllm

____

on The Menu:

The Links

The Articles: 2 Versions of the Tale of Tuan

Poetry: Zone/The Golden Rain

& Ancient Cornish Poetry

All Paintings: Jim Fitzpatrick

__________

The Links:

MEA CULPA

David Sylvian – Orpheus

Poor Man’s Air Force

_____

One of the Founding Stories of Irish Myth… The Tale of Tuan: Two Versions…

(Dolmen – Jim Fitzpatrick)

Tuan Mac Carill was one of 2 elders who knew the History of Ireland. He had come to Ireland under the leader, Partholon. All in this party were taken ill.

Tuan alone survived.

When the elders met at Tara to write a history of the land, it was up to Tuan to tell them of their past and elder Trefuilngid Tre-Eochair to verify his story…

I am Tuan

I am legend

I am memory turned myth.

I am the story teller. Warriors and young boys creep away from the hearths of wine halls to hear me. Greedy for tales of honor and history they watch my lips with bright eyes, for I give them what is more precious than gold; treasure unlocked from my heart.

My words burn like flame in the darkness. I speak and hearts beat high, swords warm to the hand; under my spell boys become men.

But I know both the pain as well as the brightness of fire. I am the story teller who cannot find rest. The peace of death will never be mine. I am condemned to watch and to speak; my hand reaches in vain for the warrior’s sword.

Once I, Tuan, was a man, the chieftain of a great race, the Cesair. My warriors sat on wolf skins; they raised golden goblets to me brimming with wine. Neither evil nor harm dared cross the threshold where I sat, my throne studded with jewels, inlaid with ivory.

But the gods envy the happiness of men; flood and sword combined to destroy my people. Now the wine hall stood empty, ruined; doorway and roof gaped wide to receive the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air. It was ordained that I alone should be saved to bear witness to my peoples fate. I watched helpless while the fair land of Èireann was ravaged by the scavengers and foes. The golden cities I once loved lay fathoms deep beneath gray seas.

For many years I wandered as a man seeking shelter in caves and the depths of the forest; but when at last the noble race of Nemed came to reclaim their homeland I was barred from greeting them as either chieftain or warrior. Another fate was mine; to watch unseen, keeping the secrets of time close in heart and brain. The gods had singled me out for a strange fate, unfamiliar pains and pleasures, for as the years passed, they bound me within the bodies of beast and bird so that I might watch and keep the history of Èireann unnoticed by men.

The first transformation came upon me unaware. I had grown old as a man. The years had left my body naked and weak; my joints ached and my hair fell gray and matted over my bowed shoulders. One day a great weariness came upon me. I sought shelter in my cave certain that death had claimed me. For many days and nights I slept. Then at last I awoke to the sun. My limbs felt strong and free. My heart leapt up within me for I had been reborn as Tuan, the great-horned stag, King of the deer-herds of Èireann. The green hills were mine, the valleys and the streams.

As I ran free across the heather covered plains, the children of Nemed were driven from their homeland. Only I remained, grown old as a stag, their story locked in my heart. Then the great heaviness of change again weighed me down; again I sought shelter in my cave. Wolves eager for my blood and sinewy flesh howled to the moon. But I slept, floating loose in dream-time. Through the heaviness of sleep I felt myself grow young again. When the low rays of sunrise touched me I awoke.

The wolves still sniffed about the entrance to my cave. But now I was young and strong; fit to face them. I, Tuan, with joyful heart, thrust my sharp tusks out of my lair and the wolves fled yelping like frightened dogs. I was fresh, lusty with life; I had been born again, a black boar bristling with power, thirsty for blood. Now I was a king of herds; my back was sharp with dark bristles; my teeth and tusks were ready to cut and kill. All creatures feared me.

But while I had lain locked in dreams a new race of men had come to disturb the silence of mountain and valley. The were the Fir Bolg and they belonged to the family of Nemed. These I did not chase and when they chased me I fled, for their blood was mine also. The Fir Bolg divided the island into five provinces and proclaimed the title Ard-RÌ, that is High King, for the first time in Èireann.

As I roamed the purple hills I would often leave my herd and gaze across to the High King’s hall and remember with sadness the time when I also had sat in council, with warriors at my feet, and felt the bright eyes of women gaze upon me.

Once again the ache of change drove me back to my lonely cave in Ulster. After three days fasting, another death floated me beyond dream-time. Nights circled from summer into winter until one morning I woke and soared high into the clear sky.

I was reborn

I was lord of the heavens

I was Tuan the great sea-eagle.

I, who had been king among the heather and scented woodlands, became lord of the heavens. From the highest mountain I could see the field-mouse gathering wheat husks, nothing escaped my sharp eye.

Motionless, feathering the air, riding the wind, I watched the children of Nemed return to Èireann. Now know as the Tuatha DÈ Danann they sailed down over the mountains in a magic fleet of sky riding ships until they came to rest among the Red Hills of Rein led by Nuada, their king.

Rather than fight their own flesh and blood the Tuatha DÈ offered to share the island with the tribes of the Fir Bolg but on the advice of his elders Eochai, their High King, refused and the battle lines were drawn up.

I, Tuan the eagle, watched that fratricidal struggle; that terrible slaughter of kinsmen known as the First Battle of Moy Tura. I saw the same green plain across which I had, as a stag and boar, led my herd, drenched in blood. There I saw for the last time the Fir Bolg in their fullness and their pride, in their beauty and their youth, ranged against the glittering armies of the Tuatha DÈ Danann. The battle was fierce and ebbed and flowed like waves on a sea of fortune and price.

The circles of my eyes were rimmed with bitter tears as I watched that dreadful carnage of kinsmen, for all who fought were bound by a common bond, the blood of Nemed the Great. The battle raged for many days; death cut down the flower of the youth on both sides.

At last the Tuatha DÈ Danann took the sovereignty of Èireann from the Fir Bolg and their allies. But in that First Battle of Moy Tura, Nuada, King of the DÈ Dananns, had his arm struck off and from that loss there came sorrow and trouble to his people, for it was a law with the Tuatha DÈ Danann that no man imperfect in form could be king. So it happened that Nuada who had led his people to victory had to abdicate his throne and hand the royal crown over to the elders of his race.

I, Tuan, the sea-eagle, wept secretly with Nuada over the loss of his crown, for he was a noble king and a just ruler who had won back the land of Èireann for his people. His mutilation and his loss were the result of his bravery in battle. For he was a great warrior, skilled and courageous and as one with his god, the Sun.

When the noise of battle and the wailing of women had faded into silence, when the earth had soaked up the blood, when the plain of Moy Tura had become a sad spirit-haunted place marked by pillars and cairns, I, Tuan, still sailed high above it. I knew that that same force of history that governed the fortunes of men had made me the winged bearer of myth. I knew that the pattern of change is never completed until the world’s end. Still I would have to bear the burden of man’s triumph and grief.

I am Tuan

I am Legend

I am memory turned myth.

I have lived through the ages

In the shape of man, beast and bird

Mute witness to great events,

Guardian of past deeds.

—-

The Story of Tuan mac Carill

1. After Finnen of Moville had come with the Gospel to Ireland, into the territory of the men of Ulster, he went to a wealthy warrior there, who would not let them come to him into the stronghold, but left them fasting there over Sunday. The warrior’s faith was not good. Said Finnen to his followers: ‘There will come to you a good man, who will comfort you, and who will tell you the history of Ireland from the time that it was first colonised until to-day.’

2. Then on the morrow early in the morning there came to them a venerable cleric, who bade them welcome. ‘Come with me to my hermitage,’ said he, ‘that is meeter for you.’ They went with him, and they perform the duties of the Lord’s day, both with psalms and preaching and offering. Thereupon Finnen asked him to tell his name. Said he to them: ‘Of the men of Ulster am I. Tuan, son of Cairell, son of Muredach Red-neck, am I. I have taken this hermitage, in which thou art, upon the hereditary land of my father. Tuan, son of Starn, son of Sera, son of Partholon’s brother, that was my name of yore at first.’

3. Then Finnen asked him about the events of Ireland, to wit, what had happened in it from the time of Partholon, son of Sera. And Finnen said they would not eat with him until he had told them the stories of Ireland. Said Tuan to Finnen: ‘It is hard for us not to meditate upon the Word of God which thou hast just told to us.’ But Finnen said: ‘Permission is granted thee to tell thy own adventures and the story of Ireland to us now.

4. ‘Five times, verily,’ said he, ‘Ireland was taken after the Flood, and it was not taken after the Flood until 312 years had gone. Then Partholon, son of Sera, took it. He had gone upon a voyage with twenty-four couples. The cunning of each of them against the other was not great. They settled in Ireland until there were 5000 of their race. Between two Sundays a mortality came upon them, so that all died, save one man only. For a slaughter is not usual without some one to come out of it to tell the tale. That man am I,’ said he.

5. ‘Then I was from hill to hill, and from cliff to cliff, guarding myself from wolves, for twenty-two years, during which Ireland was empty. At last old age came upon me, and I was on cliffs and in wastes, and was unable to move about, and I had special eaves for myself. Then Nemed, son of Agnoman, my father’s brother, invaded Ireland, and I saw them from the cliffs and kept avoiding them, and I hairy, clawed, withered, grey, naked, wretched, miserable. Then, as I was asleep one night, I saw myself passing into the shape of a stag. In that shape I was, and I young and glad of heart. It was then I spoke these words:

Strengthless to-day’ is Senba’s son,

From vigour he has been parted,

Not under fair fame with new strength,

Senba’s son is an old .

These men that come from the east

With their spears that achieve valour,

I have no strength in foot or hand

To go to avoid them.

Starin, fierce is the man,

I dread Scemel of the white shield,

Andind will not save me, though good and fair,

If it were Beoin, …

Though Beothach would leave me alive,

Cacher’s rough fight is rough,

Britan achieves valour with his spears,

There is a fit of fury on Fergus.

They are coming towards me, 0 gentle Lord,

The offspring of Nemed, Agnoman’s son,

Stoutly they are lying in wait for my blood,

To compass my first wounding.

Then there grew upon my head

Two antlers with three score points,

So that I am rough and grey in shape

After my age has changed from feebleness.

7. ‘After this, from the time that I was in the shape of a stag, I was the leader of the herds of Ireland, and wherever I went there was a large herd of stags about me. In that way I spent my life during the time of Nemed and his offspring. When Nemed came with his fleet to Ireland, their number was thirty-four barques, thirty in each barque, and the sea cast them astray for the time of a year and a half on the Caspian Sea, and they were drowned and died of hunger and thirst, except four couples only together with Nemed. Thereafter his race increased and had issue until there were 4030 couples. However, these all died.

8. ‘Then at last old age came upon me, and I fled from men and wolves. Once as I was in front of my cave — I still remember it – I knew that I was passing from one shape into another. Then I passed into the shape of a wild boar. ‘Tis then I said:

A boar am I to-day among herds,

A mighty lord I am with great triumphs,

He has put me in wonderful grief,

The King of all, in many shapes.

In the morning when I was at Dun Bré,

Fighting against old seniors

Fair was my troop across the pooi,

A beautiful host was following us.

My troop, they were swift

Among hosts in revenge,

They would throw my spears alternately

On the warriors of Fál on every side.

When we were in our gathering

Deciding the judgments of Partholon,

Sweet to all was what I said,

Those were the words of true approach.

Sweet was my brilliant judgment

Among the women with beauty,

Stately was my fair chariot,

Sweet was my song across a dark road.

Swift was my step without straying

In battles at the onset,

Fair was my face, there was a day,

Though to-day I am a boar.

9. ‘In that shape, he said, I was then truly, and I young and glad of mind. And I was king of the boar-herds of Ireland, and I still went the round of my abode when I used to come into this land of Ulster at the time of my old age and wretchedness; for in the same place I changed into all these shapes. Therefore I always visited that place to await the renewal.

10. ‘Thereupon Semion, the son of Stariath, seized this island. From them are the Fir Dornnann, and the Fir Bolg, and the Galiuin; and these inhabited this island for the time that they dwelt in Ireland. Then old age came upon me, and my mind was sad, and I was unable to do all that I used to do before, but was alone in dark caves and in hidden cliffs.

11. ‘Then I went to my own dwelling always. I remembered every shape in which I had been before. I fasted my three days as I had always done. I had no strength left. Thereupon I went into the shape of a large hawk. Then my mind was again happy. I was able to do anything. I was eager and lusty. I would fly across Ireland; I would find out everything. ‘Tis then I said:

A hawk to-day, a boar yesterday,

Wonderful . . . inconstancy!

Dearer to me every day

God, the friend who has shapen me.

Many are the offspring of Nemed

Without obedience . . . to the certain King,

Few to-day are the race of Sera;

I know not what caused it.

Among herds of boars I was,

Though to-day I am among bird-flocks;

I know what will come of it:

I shall still be in another shape.

Wonderfully has dear God disposed

Me and the children of Nemed;

They at the will of the demon of God,

While, for me, God is my help.

12. ‘Beothach, the son of Iarbonel the prophet, seized this island from the races that dwelt in it. From them are the Tuatha Dé and Andé, whose origin the learned do not know, but that it seems likely to them that they came from heaven, on account of their intelligence and for the excellence of their knowledge.

13. ‘Then I was for a long time in the shape of that hawk, so that I outlived all those races who had invaded Ireland. However, the sons of Mu took this island by force from the Tuatha Dé Danann. Then I was in the shape of that hawk in which I had been, and was in the hollow of a tree on a river.

14. ‘There I fasted for three days and three nights, when sleep fell upon me, and I passed into the shape of a river-salmon there and then. Then God put me into the river so that I was in it. Once more I felt happy and was vigorous and well-fed, and my swimming was good, and I used to escape from every danger and from every snare — to wit, from the hands of fishermen, and from the claws of hawks, and from fishing spears — so that the scars which each one of them left are still on me.

15. ‘Once, however, when God, my help, deemed it time, and when the beasts were pursuing me, and every fisherman in every pool knew me, the fisherman of Cairell, the king of that land, caught me and took me with him to Cairell’s wife, who had a desire for fish. Indeed I remember it; the man put me on a gridiron and roasted me. And the queen desired me and ate me by herself, so that I was in her womb. Again, I remember the time that I was in her womb, and what each one said to her in the house, and what was done in Ireland during that time. I also remember when speech came to me, as it comes to any man, and I knew all that was being done in Ireland, and I was a seer; and a name was given to me — to wit, Tuan, son of Cairell. Thereupon Patrick came with the faith to Ireland. Then I was of great age; and I was baptized, and alone believed in the King of all things with his elements.’

16. Thereupon they celebrate mass and go into their refectory, Finnen with his followers and Tuan, after he had told them these stories. And there they stay a week conversing together. Every history and every pedigree that is in Ireland, ‘tis from Tuan, son of Cairell, the origin of that history is. He had conversed with Patrick before them, and had told him; and he had conversed with Colum Cille, and had prophesied to him in the presence of the people of the land. And Finnen offered him that he should stay with him, but he could not obtain it from him. ‘Thy house will be famous till doom,’ said Tuan.

____________

Golden Rain by Zone

Stop! Stop This Instant.

Falling like a magnet,

Shedding each colour one by one.

Tilting my head forward with the grace that allows The Golden rain to

saturate this cleansed and transparent body,

Gradually synchronising with the lines of such a delicate and intricate pattern.

i have no being,

This Beautiful Machine Is All Being.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

Look! Look This Instant.

As time repeats every second,

So concrete are these structures that stand before my eyes,

Interwoven with the very fabric of my flesh.

Oh Mother, Oh Father, how I have mistaken Your intentions,

And what energy i have wasted.

But nothing is ever wasted,

For the appropriate action at each moment is known by encompassing the

experience of the past as One is moved, by Your Love,

to embrace the knowledge for the future.

i have no vision,

This Beautiful Machine Is All Vision.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

Listen! Listen This Instant.

Eternally humming The Tune that i know so well,

These immutable Laws that bind me to Freedom.

Freedom from all wastage,

Freedom to recognise Your Face at every moment, and in every location.

With such sensitivity these veils whisper their purpose,

And with mathematical precision i suddenly remember that I am a wheel turning

within a Giant Labyrinth of infinitely fine detail,

All for the purpose of echoing Your Tune.

i have no words,

This Beautiful Machine Speaks The Only Word.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

And in scarecrow fields of thunder,

Watch the face of God pass by on the wind,

A herd of horses galloping,

Swirling in the clouds of a summer storm,

Their shimmering beauty caught

On rainbow shafts of light

______________

Ancient Cornish Poems (2)

The Pool of Pilate

Guel yv thy’mmo vy may fe

mos the wolhy ow dule

a Thesempes

me a vyn omma yn dour

may fons y guyn ha glan lour

a vestethes

*

Ellas pan fema gynys

ancow sur yw dynythys

Scon thy’mmo vy

ny’m bus bywe ma fella

an dour re wruk thy’m henna

yn pur deffry.

The Pool of Pilate

It is best to me that it be so

Go to wash my hands

Immediately

I will, here in the water,

That they may be white, and clean enough

From dirt.

[He washes his hands in the water and dies

immediately.]

Alas that I was born!

Death surely is come

Soon to me.

Life is no longer for me,

The water has done that to me

Very clearly.

—-

Merlin the Diviner

Merlin! Merlin! where art thou going

So early in the day, with thy black dog?

Oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi!

Oi! oi! oi! ioi! oi!

I have come here to search the way,

To find the red egg;

The red egg of the marine serpent,

By the sea-side in the hollow of the stone.

I am going to seek in the valley

The green water-cress, and the golden grass,

And the top branch of the oak,

In the wood by the side of the fountain.

Merlin! Merlin! retrace your steps;

Leave the branch on the oak,

And the green water-cress in the valley,

As well as the golden grass;

And leave the red egg of the marine serpent,

In the foam by the hollow of the stone.

Merlin! Merlin! retrace thy steps,

There is no diviner but God.

__________

Dancing in the Rain

__________

Hey! How is stuff? Nice weekend, still struggling with Taxes. Never ending…

I turned Rowan on to V for Vendetta in the original printed cartoon book (The original came out in bi-weekly comics) He kinda just flew through it. If you haven’t seen the film, well do. Recommended…

Had some good feedback for DJ Kykeon and our friend Mauricios’ new music (The Obscure Project) featured on the Sunday Show. It is still in rotation if you want to give it a listen!

Todays entry turned out completely different than it started… stripped it down and restarted on Sunday night… I had crafted the original since Friday… and it didn’t work. It just goes that way at times…

Still at work on the top secret project, which still seems like it is a distance away, but it is moving by increments…

Todays Blog revolves around in part with Kahlil Gibran. Either my Mother or my friend Fat Harry, “the Buddha” introduced me to him. Kinda of a mainstay for the Metaphysical Circus of those times back when. I read his stuff though preparing for this entry, and think it is worth sharing and going over again. Really, he was a genius. Even if his paintings have a heavy Blakeian influence, they still sing. His poetry is right up there as well.

So I dedicate this Entry to my Mother, whose birthday it would have been in a couple of days, (April 20th). She loved Gibran. Mom, this one is for you!

Gwyllm

On The Menu:

Show Announcement for Mauricio and his band, The Obscure Project

The Links…

The Article: Coke Is Death

The Poetry: Kahlil Gibran

The Art: Kahlil Gibran, except for the last one and please don’t ask me who did it… (I suspect Goodward, but don’t hold me to it!)

____________

Show Announcement For Portland

Thursday, 04/20/2006 08:00 PM (Doors Open 6:00 pm)

Loveland Downstairs: 320 SE 3rd Ave. $7 for 5 bands:

The OBSCURE PROJECT LIVE (Listen: TheObscureProject.com)

Lander (Listen: http://www.myspace.com/rhetorictuesday)

Atomic Midnight

Black September

Throw the Starfish Back (Listen: Throw The Starfish Back)

Each ticket purchased in person through “The Obscure Project” will receive an Obscure Project demo CD with our tracks “Gritty” and “Turn on the Light”.

Tickets (with CD) will be available for pickup at MediaFreq Printing Solutions (http://www.MediaFreq.com) from Noon till 7:00 pm until day of show. Cash only please.

[MediaFreq is located @ 2839 SE Milwaukie Ave Portland, OR 97202 – its a non-descript office w/o sign, so please lookup on mapquest before coming… its about a block and a half north of the Alladin theatre on Milwaukie].

I you have any questions or need to purchase after hours: please contact me @ mauricio@chaosexistence.com

Thanks for your support!

Aside from anything else i can say about my project, Rachel’s voice is angelic and you must see her LIVE! ;-)

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The Links:

‘Speak softly, don’t argue and slow down’

President Bush listens to THE ARCHIES

Half-People: Too Many Visions

Proposed Nigerian Law Would Criminalize Gay Rights Groups, Screenings of Brokeback Mountain

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Coke Is Death

The softdrink giant’s abysmal human rights record is finally catching up with it.

The ballroom at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware, is the picture of opulence. Paintings of Greek gods and goddesses peer down from the walls, lit by two crystal chandeliers the size of Mini Coopers. It’s here in April that the Coca-Cola Company will hold its stockholders’ meeting, an annual exercise designed to boost the confidence of investors. If the meeting is anything like last year’s, however, it may do the opposite.

As stockholders filed into the room in April 2005, news hadn’t been good for Coke, which has steadily lost market share to rivals. Investors were eager for reassurance from CEO Neville Isdell, a patrician Irishman who had recently assumed the top job. Few in the room, however, were prepared for what happened next. As Isdell stood at the podium, two long lines formed at the microphones. When he opened the floor, the first to speak was Ray Rogers, a veteran union organizer and head of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke. “I want to know what [Coke is] going to do to regain the trust and credibility in order to stop the growing movement worldwide…banning Coke products,” boomed the 62-year-old.

That was just the beginning of a ninety-minute slugfest that the Financial Times later said “felt more like a student protest rally” than a stockholders’ meeting. One after another, students, labor activists and environmentalists blasted Coke’s international human rights record. Many focused on Colombia, where Coke has been accused of conspiring with paramilitary death squads to torture and kill union activists. Others highlighted India, where Coke has allegedly polluted and depleted water supplies. Still others called the company to task for causing obesity through aggressive marketing to children.

In the past two years the Coke campaign has grown into the largest anticorporate movement since the campaign against Nike for sweatshop abuses. Around the world, dozens of unions and more than twenty universities have banned Coke from their facilities, while activists have dogged the company from World Cup events in London to the Winter Olympics in Torino. More than just the re-emergence of the corporate boycott, however, the fight against Coke is a leap forward in international cooperation. Coke, with its red-and-white swoosh recognizable everywhere from Beijing to Baghdad, is perhaps the quintessential symbol of the US-dominated global economy. The fight to hold it accountable has, in turn, broadly connected issues across continents to become a truly globalized grassroots movement.

Coke shrugs off the protests as coming from a “small segment of the student population,” says Ed Potter, the company’s director of global labor relations. “What I see are largely well-meaning attempts to put a spotlight on some reprehensible things—but which are unrelated to our workplaces.” Nevertheless, Coke has fought back with ads on TV and in student newspapers, part of a mammoth advertising budget that has increased 30 percent in the past two years, to a staggering $2.4 billion. However, as evidence against the company mounts ahead of this year’s annual stockholders’ meeting, so does the pressure for Coke to address its growing international image of exploitation and brutality.

On the morning of December 5, 1996, union leader Isidro Segundo Gil was standing at the gate of the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Carepa, Colombia, when two paramilitaries drove up on a motorcycle and shot him dead. A week later, unionists say, paramilitaries lined up all the workers inside the plant and forced them to sign a letter resigning from the beverage union SINALTRAINAL, spelling the end of the union at the plant.

Violence against union members is a fact of life in Colombia, where nearly 4,000 have been killed by paramilitaries in the past two decades. But Gil’s murder was different, say his union brothers; two months earlier, they observed the plant manager meeting with a paramilitary commander in the company cafeteria. And just a week before he was killed Gil had been negotiating with the company over a new contract. Workers see these events as an example of the collusion of bottling executives with the paramilitaries. “From the beginning, Coca-Cola took a stand to not only eliminate the union but to destroy its workers,” said SINALTRAINAL president Javier Correa in a recent speaking appearance in the United States.

Nor was Gil’s murder a unique occurrence, says Correa. In all, eight union members and a friendly plant manager were killed between 1989 and 2002. Even today, union leaders routinely receive death threats and attempts on their lives. In 2003 paramilitaries kidnapped and tortured the 15-year-old son of one union leader and killed the brother-in-law of SINALTRAINAL’s vice president. This past January, says Correa, managers at the Coca-Cola plant in Bogota attempted to get workers to sign a statement saying Coke did not violate human rights; a week later the leader of the union received a death threat against himself and his family.

“Coke has a long history of being a virulently antiunion company,” says Lesley Gill, an anthropology professor at American University who has twice been to Colombia to document the violence. “It has been calculated and targeted, and it usually takes place during periods of contract negotiations.” A 2004 investigation directed by New York City Councilman Hiram Monserrate documented 179 “major human rights violations” against Coke workers, along with numerous allegations that “paramilitary violence against workers was done with the knowledge of and likely under the direction of company managers.” The violence has taken a toll on the union. In the past decade, SINALTRAINAL’s Coke membership has fallen from about 1,400 to less than 400.

Coca-Cola representatives deny involvement of the company or its bottling partners, contending that the murders are a byproduct of the country’s civil war. In response, the company touts the security measures it offers union leaders, including loans for home security systems and reassignment for those in danger. Furthermore, Coke points out that it has been exonerated in several cases in Colombian courts. However, charging those courts as ineffective—only five paramilitaries have been found guilty of murder, despite 4,000 killings—SINALTRAINAL reached out in 2001 to the International Labor Rights Fund, a Washington-based solidarity organization. Using a US law called the Alien Tort Claims Act, the ILRF and the United Steelworkers filed suit against Coke and its bottlers in Miami later that year. In 2003 a judge ruled that Coca-Cola couldn’t be held responsible for the actions of its bottlers and dropped it from the case, even while allowing the case against the bottlers to go forward. ILRF lawyer Terry Collingsworth finds that decision preposterous, noting that Coke has ownership shares in its Colombian bottlers and highly detailed bottling agreements. “I’m 100 percent sure that if Coca-Cola in Atlanta ordered them to change their uniform color from red to blue, they would do it,” says Collingsworth. “They could stop these activities in a minute.”

While the ILRF has appealed the decision, procedural rules require it to wait until the case against the bottlers is over before the case against Coke can be taken up again—a process that could take years. “We needed to figure out a way that Coke sees delay as bad,” says Collingsworth. In 2003 SINALTRAINAL put out a call for an international boycott of Coke products. At the same time, the ILRF contacted Ray Rogers, head of Corporate Campaign, Inc., an organization that consults with unions to win contracts through unorthodox methods. Over the past three decades, Rogers has forced concessions from a dozen companies—including American Airlines, Campbell’s Soup and New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority—not through strikes or negotiations but through an aggressive strategy of publicly embarrassing anyone associated with his targets.

Rogers immediately saw Coke’s weakness: its brand. “They are right at the top of the worst companies in the world, and yet they’ve created an image like they are American pie,” he says. “When people think of Coca-Cola, they should think about great hardship and despair for people and communities around the world.” From the beginning, Rogers appropriated Coke’s trademark red script to make the Killer Coke logo, and tweaked its advertising campaign with slogans like “The Drink That Represses” and “Murder—It’s the Real Thing.” He made a dramatic first appearance at a Coke annual meeting two years ago, when police wrestled Rogers away from the mike and forcibly dragged him out of the hall.

Early on, Rogers rejected SINALTRAINAL’s call for a consumer boycott of Coke products, fearing it would be ineffective and might alienate unions working with Coke. He focused on “cutting out markets” by going after larger institutional ties. He convinced several unions, including the American Postal Workers, several large locals of the Service Employees International, and UNISON, the largest union in Britain, to ban Coke from their facilities and functions, and he induced pension-fund managers, including the City of New York, to pass resolutions threatening to withdraw hundreds of millions in Coke stock investments unless Coke investigated the Colombia abuses. He persuaded not only the SEIU but the largest US union of Coke’s own employees, the Teamsters, to pass a resolution in support of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and to speak out at last year’s annual meeting (the Teamsters stopped short of banning Coke from their own facilities). “It’s horrendous what we’re hearing,” says David Laughton, secretary-treasurer of the union’s beverage division. “The company’s lack of action is having a ripple effect all over the country in school and college, and that means reductions in jobs for us. It’s time for them to wake up and admit their errors.”

The campaign’s greatest success has come at colleges and universities. Rogers set up a website with a step-by-step guide for students looking to convince their institutions to cut multimillion-dollar Coke contracts, and he’s traveled to schools to hold rallies and advise students. One by one, more than a dozen schools in the United States, as well as a handful more in Ireland, Italy and Canada, have decided to cut lucrative beverage contracts or otherwise ban Coke from campuses. The effort accelerated after it was joined by United Students Against Sweatshops—one of the main groups behind the Nike boycott of the 1990s—which helped organize its own chapters. Anti-Coke campaigns are now active at some 130 campuses worldwide. “This campaign against Coke has politicized a new generation of students,” says Camilo Romero, a national organizer with USAS. “It’s something that students feel personally connected to, because it’s something they can hold in their hand,” says Aviva Chomsky, a professor at Salem State College in Massachusetts, which severed ties two years ago. “It’s too easy to say, ‘There are so many bad things in the world, I’m just going to concentrate on my own life.’ It’s the concreteness of this that’s appealing.”

While student campaigns have mostly focused on the abuses in Colombia, some have included demands from other countries as well. Few companies have the kind of global reach of Coca-Cola, which has set up a network of bottling partners around the world that allows it to maximize profits by keeping distribution costs down and exploiting lax environmental and labor laws abroad. The first rumblings came from India, where villagers near several Coke bottling plants reported that their wells were dropping, sometimes more than fifty feet; meanwhile, the water they were able to get was tainted by foul-smelling chemicals. Starting in 2002 villagers near Plachimada, in the southern state of Kerala, began a permanent vigil outside the local plant. They finally won an indefinite closure in March 2004, although the case remains an issue in the Kerala High Court.

Villagers started another vigil, at Mehdiganj in central India, this past March. Escalating protests there and at a third plant, in the desert state of Rajasthan, have ended in police attacks on villagers employing Gandhian tactics of nonviolence, which Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center (IRC) lays at Coke’s feet. “We know the company has the power to stop the police from resorting to violence,” he says, “but it has let this go on without saying a word.”

The IRC has been joined in its mission by Corporate Accountability International (CAI), which has attacked Coke on its aggressive push to sell bottled water. “If water becomes a branded product, it’s clearly going to undermine the demand and support for publicly managed water systems,” says CAI executive director Kathryn Mulvey. “The people who lose out are those who don’t have the means to pay top dollar for their water.” As a veteran anticorporate campaigner, Mulvey sees the Coke campaign as a new model. “People are taking these abuses that are happening all over the world and bringing them to Coke’s headquarters,” she says. “Transnational corporations are really surpassing the nation-state as the dominant economic and political institutions. Social change movements need to find ways to come together across borders and strategize.”

The broad attack against the company has been a strength for the campaign, allowing diverse groups to share information and recruit greater numbers at protests, as well as making a more difficult target for counterattacks. “The company can’t control it,” says Rogers. “They realize they can’t get rid of one person or group and hope the thing will die.” At the same time, the sheer number of charges against Coke raises the question of how and when the campaign can declare victory. On that score, the different groups are clear about their specific goals. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, for example, has adopted seven demands by SINALTRAINAL, which include a human rights policy for bottling companies and compensation for families of slain workers. The campaign in India calls for closure of certain plants, cleanup of others and compensation for affected villagers.

Many student campaigns have made their top demand an independent investigation into the Colombia abuses. At last year’s annual meeting, Coke tried to mollify critics by releasing the results of a company-funded study, which was rejected by students as woefully biased. Still facing the prospect of boycotts at several universities—among them Rutgers, NYU and Michigan—Coke put together a commission of students, school administrators and labor leaders to come up with a protocol for an independent inquiry. “I was honestly hopeful, perhaps naively,” says USAS’s Romero. “It seemed like they were putting this new investment into making things work.” From the beginning, however, the company insisted it had a right to be on the commission; even after Coke was booted by the students, it kept putting strictures on the investigation, such as a moratorium on investigating past abuses. The final straw was Coke’s insistence that anything uncovered be inadmissible in the court case in Miami, which Collingsworth says is against legal ethics. “We cannot prejudice our clients by agreeing to bury evidence that would support their claims,” he wrote in an angry letter to Coke’s Ed Potter.

At around the same time, new evidence of Coke’s antilabor tactics emerged in Indonesia, where, according to USAS, workers were intimidated when they attempted to unionize; and in Turkey, where more than 100 union members were fired and then clubbed and tear-gassed by police during a protest. This past November the ILRF filed another lawsuit against Coca-Cola, based on the claims of the Turkish workers. By that point, students had had enough; all but one left the commission.

With the failure of the investigation commission, administrators at some schools ran out of excuses to keep the Coke contracts. Both NYU and Michigan suspended contracts in December. NYU’s status as the country’s largest private university earned the campaign national and international press. “We knew if we were to ban Coca-Cola, our statement would resound around the world,” says Crystal Yakacki, a recent NYU graduate who helped lead the campaign while she was a student.

As this year’s annual meeting nears, Coke has gone on the offensive, announcing a plan to draft a new set of workplace standards. At the same time, the company has asked the UN’s International Labor Organization to perform a workplace evaluation of the Colombia bottling plants. Rogers and Collingsworth have already cried foul, pointing out that Potter has been the US employer representative to the ILO for the past fifteen years. “Either they know something we don’t know,” says Collingsworth, “or they believe the ILO moves so slowly and bureaucratically that they can delay.” In response, Potter claims the organization is so large that no one person can influence it. Regardless, the gambit is having some effect: In April Michigan, citing “the reputation and track record of ILO,” rescinded its ban.

At the Hotel du Pont on April 19, organizers hope to stage a repeat of last year’s grilling, with an even larger contingent of activists in attendance. Schools debating Coke contracts this spring include Michigan State, UCLA, the University of Illinois, DePaul and several campuses of the City University of New York. In Britain, the campaign lost a close vote in April to convince the National Union of Students—which represents 750 campuses—to cut a multimillion-pound contract. Many British universities, however, are continuing individual boycotts, as are campuses in Italy, Ireland, Germany and Canada. “This is a moment in history that is very rare, where students have the power to change one of the largest corporations in the world,” says Romero. After recent campus victories, momentum seems to be on the side of the campaign. “Coke has a contracting market; we have an expanding market,” says Rogers. “I want Coke to come to the realization that there is a lot more for them to lose by continuing to do what they do. They have to be made to do the right thing for the wrong reason.”

Until they do, say activists, the violence against Coke’s workers will continue. “It’s very difficult for me to convince my family that they have to live with the worries, and that they will one day maybe have to receive bad news,” says SINALTRAINAL’s Correa. “My kids say that walking with Dad is like walking with a time bomb. But I can’t leave this struggle seeing these violations happening all around me. The reality of the situation is that it’s better being with a union than without one.”

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Poetry: Kahlil Gibran

Beauty

And a poet said, ‘Speak to us of Beauty.’

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, ‘Beauty is kind and gentle.

Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us.’

And the passionate say, ‘Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.

Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us.’

The tired and the weary say, ‘beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.

Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.’

But the restless say, ‘We have heard her shouting among the mountains,

And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.’

At night the watchmen of the city say, ‘Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east.’

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, ‘we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.’

In winter say the snow-bound, ‘She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.’

And in the summer heat the reapers say, ‘We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.’

All these things have you said of beauty.

Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,

But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,

But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

—-

Marriage

Then Almitra spoke again and said, ‘And what of Marriage, master?’

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

—–

Pleasure

Then a hermit, who visited the city once a year, came forth and said, ‘Speak to us of Pleasure.’

And he answered, saying:

Pleasure is a freedom song,

But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,

But it is not their fruit.

It is a depth calling unto a height,

But it is not the deep nor the high.

It is the caged taking wing,

But it is not space encompassed.

Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.

And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.

Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged and rebuked.

I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek.

For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone:

Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than pleasure.

Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots and found a treasure?

And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness.

But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement.

They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of a summer.

Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.

And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old to remember;

And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.

But even in their foregoing is their pleasure.

And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering hands.

But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?

Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars?

And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?

Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?

Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being.

Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?

Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived.

And your body is the harp of your soul,

And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.

And now you ask in your heart, ‘How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?’

Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,

But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.

For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,

And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,

And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

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Gibran At 13 years old…

Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931

Poet, philosopher, and artist, was born in Lebanon, a land that has produced many prophets.

The millions of Arabic-speaking peoples familiar with his writings in that language consider him the genius of his age.

But he was a man whose fame and influence spread far beyond the Near East. His poetry has been translated into more than twenty languages.

His drawings and paintings have been exhibited in the great capitals of the world and compared by Auguste Rodin to the work of William Blake.

In the United States, which he made his home during the last twenty years of his life, he began to write in English.

The Prophet and his other books of poetry, illustrated with his mystical drawings, are known and loved by innumerable Americans who find in them an expression of the deepest impulses of man’s heart and mind.

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