I have a poem over at Gods & Radicals. Check it out.
The wound of the border.
I have a poem over at Gods & Radicals. Check it out.
The wound of the border.
These are times for satires. Here’s mine. Some of you might perceive an echo of a famous prophetic poem here, among other things. In Celtic lore, satires really do have venom.
Towers: A Satire
it rose obscenely pink
like a plucked turkey neck,
then it rose more,
slathered and viscous, not from
primeval slime but
from a polluted swamp.
it rose, its towers flung
upward into the heaven of circuitry
into money’s pure domain, where it was
sly at manipulating the currents.
forgetful of its place of emergence,
wiped clean of all traces of roots,
leaves, humus in a sterilizing chamber,
simultaneously calcified and virtualized it was.
it turned itself into sign
in the eddies of the monetary,
yet, its towers slipped having
lost their foundation, the muck and mire
from which they had emerged,
the fecund perennial glut and rut
of hordes of teeming soil, oblivious
it was to the seismic twisting of restless serpents,
slipping their fetters far beneath,
the lands and waters
growing ever more active.
rapturous with its penetration
of heaven, the phallic thing
now orange and lurid, smirked,
unaware of the scythed ones,
the raven-clawed ones, and
the red-mouthed ones rising in
fury, their cries echoed
by the shadows of the dead—shrieks
shivering the forgotten foundations
of the network of fruiting bodies
now turned putrid, purple flecked,
and blackening with rot.
the millennium tilted as
they threw down
sheets of blood, and
cursed with mists of confusion,
their cups of blood emptied.
the scythed ones
with a flick of wrists unseen
slice the lurid orange things.
the hitherto weightless circuits
drift down in ashy precipitate,
mad mangled metal work
and tarantellas of glass.
against the tower
a fortress wall of storm
strong as white steel glowers
over this spectacle.
the unleashed torrents lash
a bare fortress now,
crumbling, naked, defenses failing—
the high places that cannot endure
before the packs of wolves, the terrible storm birds,
the outlaws of the woods, the
reivers, the revenants, the enchanters.
a ghastly scene lit by
artillery of lightning reveals
corpses bobbing in the wash.
as floodtide washes away the wreck
a rainbow breaks and I see
an old lady with a basket of mushrooms grinning,
making her way through the salvage.
It’s been quiet around here (it seems with the gloom of the US political situation, prepping for a new job, and my mom being hospitalized my ability to write has been stopped up), but before the newness of the year is gone I want to spill out a few words here. The old year sputtered out with an occasional remaining fit of coughing and spewing. A new one has come in with the energy of a careening freight train, will the rails hold, or if not what might be down there at the end of the line? Some will say years are arbitrary but they are astronomical realities. Sure, it’s a cultural thing where they’re said to start and to end and begin again but we are symbolic animals and psyche is as real as soma.
For many in the northern hemisphere it’s winter, but here in the tropics day and night are the antinomies, but the nights have at least cooled off. At the end of the year I had the opportunity to journey up to a high summit (just under 14,000 feet) where winter is reigning. Plenty of snow on the amazing mountain of Maunakea. The effects of high altitude, of low oxygen can easily induce light trance-like states, and the otherworld can more easily communicate with this one at these heights, I have found. Whether via literal heights or those we can reach in our imagination, in “interesting times” it is important to get above the clouds from time to time, above the light pollution of the media (including social media). Of course, one can go underneath too, but that is a different journey.
I do have a few announcements to make:
I will be at PantheaCon in San Jose in February and presenting a class on filidecht practice on Feb. 17th, “Cauldron Work: The Cauldron of Poesy” (9PM). Here’s from the program:
The Three Cauldrons are discussed in the medieval Irish text: “The Cauldron of Poesy”, attributed to the mythical vision poet (fili) Amergin. We will talk about the nature of the whirlpool-like cauldrons and their turning in this wisdom tradition, the importance of our emotions in this tradition (which can turn the cauldrons), and techniques to scan for personal knowledge. To turn the cauldron of wisdom upright, even if momentarily, brings mystical insight. We will discuss the key technique of incubation as well; poetry, art, song, knowledge, wisdom are fruit of this work.
The devotional book The Dark Ones, published late last year by Neosalexandria has my poem for the Cailleach, along with a lot of familiar voices. Ordering info here:
The new issue of A Beautiful Resistance is available for pre-order and will be out next month. I have an essay there about the left-hand sacred, an important understanding of the sacred earlier developed by Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss and Georges Bataille and very relevant for 21st century pagans/polytheists. https://godsandradicals.org/2017/01/01/left-sacred-presale/
Here’s a lovely meme with a quote from the essay made by Rhyd Wildermuth:
Finally, a quote from an inspiring essay by William Hawes:
“Each of us must find the strength to light their own flame, find their own inner strength and sacred fire, and use their passion and creativity to change the world. By using our collective brilliance, a new space could be opened up for a new kind of Earth. Reviving our communities one-by-one gives us our only chance to confront and defeat the many tentacle monster of international capitalism and US imperialism. There is an alternative: but you won’t find it by watching your TV, or playing on your smartphone.”
Imbolc is coming! May Brigid’s flame inspire us.
As the US roils with turmoil, a rising tide of hate crimes and a promise from the Strongman the Electoral College put into office that the US will pull out of the Paris Accords, I take stock of my religious communities. This has been a divisive year in many ways, in so many layers. Many things have changed. One of the bright constellations in this depressing year has been the growth of Gods & Radicals, and its publications, including the magazine A Beautiful Resistance. A re-membering of the radical nature of being pagan in a capitalist-dominated world, something many had forgotten in the mainstreaming, especially in the US, of paganism/polytheism, is called forth. The roots of paganism have sent up new shoots. The ensuing year further revealed that publisher Rhyd Wildermuth’s exposes were real and of great import: that in our pagan/polytheist communities the alt-right had put their envenomed tentacles down. There was much hew and cry about how dare such accusations be made, but then we saw how many revealed themselves as White Supremacists, along with those who would give them passage and cheer, and who knew no integrity in their campaigns against those that they felt threatened by. A year ago, I thought the alt-right were but a tempest in a teapot. I was wrong: now a major voice of this new revised version of fascism has been given a top job in Drumpf’s White House, the head of the horrifying Breitbart alt-right ‘news’ website. A year or so ago I was told a Storm was coming; it has arrived, taken the capital and frightens the planet. An informative background on the alternative right: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/alternative-right
G&R offers a wide variety of writers and perspectives (although its detractors claim otherwise) from Alley Valkyrie to Christopher Scott Thompson, the Hunter S. Thompson-esque hell-raising of Dr. Bones to the beautiful poetry of Lorna Smithers, the eco-wisdom of Sean Donahue, the spirited politics of T. Thorn Coyle, Yvonne Aburrow, Wildermuth and so many more compassionate, intelligent voices. Such voices are needed more than ever in these times of descent into neo-fascism. Please contribute to their fundraiser! It runs till the end of the year.
There are plenty of cool perks too!
Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and Roman Polytheism
Exploring Myself and the Northern Shaman Path
poetry, Celtia, mythology
The Blog of Lorna Smithers
The official website of The Koinon
Diasporic Chinese Polytheism
Children of Brighid
A Poet's Life in Italy
Spirit-Work & Devotional Polytheism
Provocative Pagan Philosophy