Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lie Down In That Grass

Via e-mail, a couple of readers have responded with dismay to my post on calendar magic. "That's not magic; that's basic How to Function 101 with some allusions to the elements thrown in!" And, "Liminal spaces are magical spaces, not dead time at the end of the mundane year!"

Which reminds me of one of Hecate's famous Wiccan distinctions: Some people practice witchcraft. And some people are witches. Neither is any better than the other, but there is a difference.

IMHO, Wicca always was, and hopefully always will be, a religion of the people. And as Medusa recently noted to Thorn Coyle, many, if not most, people have a limited need in their lives for connection with the divine. So for many people, Wicca will always be about a tumble in the Spring clover on Beltane, the enjoyment of mead at Mabon, a moment to remember ancestors at Samhein, a spell for a new job or a new love, and the odd connection with "something else" felt almost by random at a full moon or on a beach at sunrise. A good time at a festival. An 8-times-a-year experience. And that's good. That's practicing witchcraft.

Other people have a much stronger need to spend as much of their time as possible living in connection with the Divine, inhabiting their Goddess-selves, walking around aware that it's all just god pouring god into god. My own shorthand for this is "living as a witch." And what I want to do, what I try to write about on this blog, is not so much practicing witchcraft (there are lots of good blogs about that), but living as a witch. I want to explore how to live as a witch every possible moment in this modern world. I don't, no matter how much some part of me may long for it, live in a Ren Faire forest or a Goddess temple or in a cave on an island. I live in a modern urban center, with congested traffic and Starbucks and homeless people on the streets next to the v rich and the v powerful. I work at a large law firm. I get mammograms and colonoscopies in major modern medical centers. I buy my groceries at Whole Foods. My circle does magic to influence political events in the modern world and I spend most of my day -- almost every single day -- on a computer. And I need to know how to live THAT life as a witch, how to dance THAT dance as fully aware as possible of my connection to everything that is, of the fact that I am a manifestation of the Goddess, of the fact that it's all real, it's all metaphor, there's always more.

And, sure, sometimes, I find liminal spaces by fasting, taking a ritual bath in a tub filled with rose petals picked on the dark moon from my own rose bushes, lighting incense in my ritual room, casting a circle deosil with a silver athame whose handle is sealed with a celtic knot made of gold, and traveling along the astral plane to a spot prepared for me both by my own ritual workings and by my Patroness, a serious-eyed Lady with three heads and a large black dog. I go there for a purpose, to change consciousness/reality/myself/the world at will, to work pre-planned magic in a place where all things are in flux and where change is not only possible, but likely. It's hard work, it's exhilarating, it's serious business.

But I don't do that kind of magic every day. Even if I didn't have to get up, put on a suit, and show up on time at work, I couldn't do that kind of working every day. But I still need to live every day as a witch. Sure, I know I'm a witch when I'm wearing ritual robes and burning incense on charged coals inside a circle of spring-green light. But I need to know how to live as a witch when I'm stuck in traffic on the Roosevelt Bridge, when I'm taking a client to lunch at the Palm, when I'd dropping off drycleaning, when I'm firing up my Apple computer to read blogs, when I'm mowing my lawn, when I'm on my iPhone with Son, when I'm calculating whether or not to refinance my home, when I'm trying to talk myself into just five more minutes on the treadmill.

And, thus, for me, the world, the world that we dare to call "mundane," is full of liminal spaces, many of them as yet undiscovered. It's full of serendipity. It's full of elementals and dryads and pixies and Goddesses and genii locii. It's full of metaphor. It's full of magic. Liminal spaces don't only exist upon the astral; adolescence is a liminal space, menopause is a liminal space, pregnancy is a liminal space, being out of a job is a liminal space, living in a country longing for an evil leader to go away and a new inspiring leader to assume his job is a liminal space, every corner that I turn all day, every intersection through which I drive my car is -- you guessed it -- a liminal space. Being aware of the liminality of each of those situations is a big part of what it means, for me, to live as a witch. And looking for ways to use such "mundane" liminality -- figuring out a magical way to use downtime at the end of the secular year -- is probably, IMHO, a more important part of living as a witch than the limited number of times each year when I dress up in ritual robes and do high magic. If I had, Goddess forfend, to give up one or the other, I'd trade my most ecstatic high ritual experiences for a lifetime of everyday magic. So I balance my checkbook with magical intent, I cook and freeze cabbage lentil soup with magical intent, and I organize my calendar with magical intent, and I call upon the elements for aid, and I ground before I pick up my pen.

Rumi said: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense. That's a liminal space and it doesn't matter where you find it: inside a circle inscribed with the names of seraphim and demons or beneath a full moon on a frosty field or at your desk with your new calendar before you. The important thing is to lie down in that grass.

~Art found here.

How Many Of The World's Goods Are Measured In Birds' Nests? How Many Should Be?

Talking to Carolyn Raffensperger, Derrick Jensen asks: Wouldn't the precautionary principle then destroy competitive advantage?

Raffensperger answers: I want to turn that sentence around and suggest that competitive advantage destroys. The idea that we can outcompete, that we can compete by lowering dollar costs destroys. The idea that we measure goods in dollars destroys. How many of the world's goods are measured in U.S. dollars and not, for example, in the number of bird's nests? If we measured all of our economy in the number of hatchlings of migratory birds, we would figure competitive advantage in an entirely different way. But competitive advantage drives lower and lower dollar costs on things, and increases the probability that we're going to externalize costs.

Janine Benyus has pointed out, nature favors cooperation over competition. And that sense of mutualism and reciprocity is undermined with competitive advantage.

The whole question of competitive advantage leads to some absurdities. There are some things that are just plain stupid to trade. Why are we moving water around the planet using fossil fuels? Why does France have a competitive advantage with Perrier over some other bottled water in the United States, or over drinking your tap water? That is not rational.

So to worry that the precautionary principle is going to destroy competitive advantage is to worry about precisely the wrong thing.

~Picture found here.

On Reading Garden Porn (aka All The Gardening Catalogs That Start Showing Up In Mailboxes Now)

Ode to a Woman Gardening

by Pablo Neruda

Yes, I knew that your hands were
a budding sprout, a lily
of silver:
you had something to do
with the soil,
with the flowering of the earth,
I saw you digging, digging,
pushing pebbles apart
and guiding roots
I knew at once,
my dear cultivator,
not only
your hands
but also your heart
were of earth,
and that there
you were
your things,
through which

So in this way
from one plant
to the other
planted one,
with your face
with a kiss
from the clay,
you went
and came back
you went
and from your hand
the stem
of the astromeria
raised its solitary elegance,
the jasmine
the mist on your brow
with stars of dew and fragrance.

grew from you
into the earth
and becoming
green light,
foliage and power
you communicated
your seeds to it,
my beloved,
red gardening woman:
your hand
on familiar terms
with the earth
and the bright growing
was instantaneous.
Love, thus also
your hand
of water,
your heart of earth,
and strength to my songs
you touch
my chest
while I sleep
and trees blossom
from my dreaming.
I wake up, open my eyes,
and you have
inside me
stars in the shadows
which will rise and shine
in my song.

That’s how it is, gardening woman:
our love
your mouth is a plant of light, a corolla,
my heart works among the roots.

~Picture found here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My New Name For A Blog

What Holly Said.

For that matter, if you really do believe that God has a plan and that it’s possible to stray away from it, I’m not sure why that’s automatically a bad thing either. We’re talking about God in capacity as Creator of the universe. In an infinitely lesser way, I am also in the business of creating universes and designing the way things work, as are many other artists, designers, and authors. Perhaps unlike an omnipotent creator, it is very easy for human beings to create things that grow to be larger than ourselves, to create the unpredictable. I know that for me personally, one of the chief joys of creation is in watching the creation get away from me — watching things happen that I didn’t predict.

This is especially probable when you are creating complex and unpredictable systems like games, and then letting players with their own agency run amok in them. It’s certainly true of many technological creations (hacking, modding, hybridizing) and it’s how many new creations emerge. But I’ve certainly heard authors talk about this phenomenon as well — the moment when characters come to life. If we are really made in God’s image, and this is such a moment of joy and wonder that’s part of the creative act, why should we think that God feels so differently? Do theists really believe that God is the kind of unimaginative, joyless Creator who frowns on anyone who doesn’t follow the Original Equipment Manufacturer instructions and guidelines?

That’s a pretty silly form of religion, if you ask me.

Go read the whole thing and then write Ratzi the Nazi a letter.

~Photo found here.

At The Crossroads Of The Year

This time of the year -- the space on the calendar from December 24th or so until January 2nd (and, this year, really, until January 5th) -- is special to me because it's always seemed to me to be almost the very definition of liminal time. And liminal times are when it's easiest for change to happen. That's what makes them scary to some people, but it's also what makes them special and, even, fun. They're the times when a small shove, be it magical and/or mundane, can make a big difference in ultimate outcomes.

Even when I was a good catholic girl who'd never heard of Wicca, or magic, or a Goddess of the Crossroads, I liked to inhabit and really use this time between semesters, between seasons, between years. It's the perfect time, especially when everyone else is in a food coma and slumped in front of the tv, to make changes, to, in fact, change consciousness at will. (Yes, it's natural to want to hibernate about now, and a reasonable amount of hibernation is a good thing. But it's interesting to me how often magical workers are those who are out and DOING (even if the out is in and the DOING is internal) during those times when everyone else is asleep. Night is the most obvious example; everyone knows that night is when the witches gather, the sorcerers work, the fairies dance. The dark Moon is another example. Too dark for most people to be out, but it's when serious magic can happen. And, wow, just your luck; there's a dark moon TONIGHT! Twilight, when most people put down their tools and head for home is a lovely liminal time.) For many of us this time of year is, at the least, a slow time at work, if not actual time off. The overcommitment of the holiday season, which hits women hardest of all as they bake, give parties, go to parties, shop, clean, etc., comes to a sudden stop and there's often some open time on our calendars. Open, liminal, waiting for us to work magic and move things in a new direction.

And calendars are part of what can make this liminal time so productive. IMHO, there are few magical tools as powerful as a calendar, be it the lovely new WeMoon calendar (I was gifted mine by my wonderful DiL), the calendar on your iPhone or Blackberry, or a plain old FiloFax. If it's got the phases of the Moon and plenty of room to write stuff, you can work magic with it (and starting today, you can usually find a lovely one on sale for half off). If magic is a way of being in control of your life, a calendar is possibly the most basic magical tool there is. (And don't just take my word for it. The Druids, the Mayan priests, the ancient Egyptians: they all understood that keeping track of time, knowing what's coming and when it's coming, being aware of precisely "when" you are, was magical.)

First, as with any magical working, you need to Ground. You need to get the basics of your life down onto the calendar. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays that matter to you. Dates when important financial things occur: car insurance due, taxes due, CDs need to be renewed. Important medical information; you can calendar monthly breast self-exams, write a note reminding you to call X number of months in advance to schedule your annual physical, your Pap smear, your dental check-ups. (Better yet, use some of this down time to actually schedule as many of those appointments as you can. Some doctors will let you schedule stuff like this up to six months in advance.) Stuff that needs to get done every year around your home: check batteries in smoke detectors, get the rain gutters cleaned, have the furnace and the air conditioning checked, etc. It's amazing how much grief you can avoid, not to mention how much control and power it gives you, just by taking a half an hour or so and getting all that stuff organized into your calendar.

Second, you need to do some Air work. Dream. Plan. Strategize. Have a conversation with your Higher Self, your ancestors, your Younger Self. Read tarot, cast runes, journal. What do you need to accomplish this year? What do you want to include in this year? Project yourself into the future, a year from now, looking back at 2009; what challenges would you feel really happy to see that you'd met? One year, I calendared one day a month to visit art museums. I calendar time every other month to get off into nature and spend at least half a day alone. You can calendar days to go to the gym, days to clean out closets, days to work on writing your dissertation, days to spend with people you love. You can write down the amount of debt that you will have paid off by the end of each month, the number of miles you will have jogged by the end of each week, the magical work that you will do each Moon.

Third, add some Fire to the mix. Get yourself excited about what you want to do. (Here's a hint: if you can't get excited about any of it, you need to go back to Air. What do you really WANT to get done this year?) Dance your year. Drum your goals. Chant your accomplishments as if they'd already (as indeed, somewhere on the Web, they already have) been achieved. Go for a walk and find a talisman to carry with you throughout the year: a rock, a feather, a scene captured on your cell phone camera. Charge it with your intent and wear it, put it on your altar, tuck it into your calendar. Draw yourself a year from now. Make a magical collage. Can you calendar some periodic Fire workings to help you to stay fired up about your goals as the year goes on? I lack Fire in my chart and this part of the process is often the most difficult for me. But I find that I can use some of my strong Earth tendencies to help. If I use this liminal week or so on the calendar to start actually doing the things that I've picked as goals, I develop a lot of enthusiasm for finishing, I convince myself that it's not really so difficult/scary/painful as I thought it might be. If I'm going to need supplies, I go get them. If I'm going to need to read information, I get it printed out, lined up, organized into folders or notebooks or bookshelves. If I'll need to be out late in order to accomplish a goal, I might make and freeze soups so that I'll have something good to defrost when I do get home. By the time the new year starts, I've already got a running start and a bit of momentum.

Fourth, add some Water. One of Water's most amazing qualities is its ability to cleanse. And you've got to wash away old stuff if you're going to start on an amazing new adventure. Use some of this liminal time to clean house, literally. Get rid of old stuff; give it to charity, give it to a friend, recycle it, throw it away. Clean out and organize your files, your ritual supplies, your checkbook, your purse. Actually take all those coins to the bank and deposit them. Clean all the old stuff out of your refrigerator and wipe the shelves down with white apple cider vinegar (charge it first, if you like!). Take a ritual bath or shower and chant the things you want to wash out of your life, your heart, your days. Start the year with every bit of laundry done, ironed, folded, mended, back from the dry cleaner, put away in an organized closet. Visualize water washing away the old year, falling like warm gentle rain on your calendar to grow your lovely new year, full of accomplishments and fun.

Finally, you want to add the Fifth Sacred Thing: Spirit. I can't tell anyone else how to do that. I can only remind you of the Charge of the Goddess: And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

(A final note. Nowadays, I go through this process in the days leading up to Samehein, as that's the beginning and end of my spiritual and magical year. Luckily, you can now buy a calendar for the next year anytime from about August on, especially if you go on line. That means that I've already got the Grounding and Air portions of this process pretty well completed by October 31st. That allows me to focus even more on the Fire, Water, and Spirit portions of this process during the liminal days at the end of the secular calendar. Either way works; it's just a question of what works best for you.)

Picture found here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Father Christmas' Home

G/Son and I have been reading The Father Christmas Letters by Tolkein and G/Son esp. likes the story about how the North Polar Bear tried to carry all the presents downstairs to load them into Father Christmas' sled. Father Christmas told him not to carry the presents on his head, but the silly north polar bear did it anyway. And then he fell and dropped all the presents on the stairs inside Father Christmas' wonderful home. He even smushed some. (Each time, G/Son assures me (himself) that Father Christmas won't bring US any smushed presents.)

I made him this replica of Father Christmas' home at the North Pole. He was just entranced.

For the first time ever, tonight, G/Son "read" me a story from one of his picture books. He's memorized enough of it to turn the pages and tell me the story. I love this kid.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Kind Of Blog Are You?

Turns out, I blog mostly from my Moon Sign, Taurus, and partly from my Rising Sing, Geminii.

Who knew?

Those fish, the ones who swim in the opposite directions, they must not show up here, too often.

Hat tip to my beloved friend, E.

Picture found here.

And So Do We

What She Said.

Festivus == A Holiday For The Rest Of Us

Festivus is not one of the Pagan holy days and, yet, how could I pass up a holiday that involves the scared Airing of the Grievances? And, thus, here we Air Hecate's Grievances:

1. Rick Warren. If Rick Warren were, indeed, a Man of a god, instead of, as is, in fact, the fact, a Huckster Extrodinaire, he would realize that, having given scandal to the Body of Christ in the World, he should withdraw from Obama's Inauguration and go do penance for his grave insult to many of a god's children, aka All Women and Gay People. I'd like to throw a shoe at him. Bite me, Warren.

2. Barack Obama. Thanks for turning what should have been the first Inauguration devoted to inclusion into a hate fest v women and gay people. Way to fuck it up, Dude. Bite me.

3. Michelle Obama. Don't send me an e-mail telling me to use the holiday season to donate to good causes. I don't need you to do that. Go talk to your husband about his upcoming festival of hate on the women and the gay people. I am capable of donating to good causes w/o your prompting, believe it or not. I think I'll donate to a group devoted to fighting Warren's Prop 8. Bite me.

4. Liberals. Kerry and Edwards were for the war in Iraq. That was ok. Obama's for the war in Afghanistan. That's ok. Biden is for every war. That's ok. But Hillary can't be president because "she was for the war in Iraq." Wake up. It's called unrecognized sexism and you've got a bad case of it. Turns out, it's ok for anyone to be for wars, as long as they have penii. And, oddly, all objections to Hillary's evil foreign policies disappear the minute we're looking at her for, duh, Secretary of State, a position previously held by women. You may think you're not a sexist. But, you are. Bite me.

5. Asshole male posters who think it's "funny" to cite "iconic" films to make the point that it's actually quite funny to kill (of course) ugly, old women and to mock feminist religions. They think it's still ok to use "witch" as a slur, although they'd never do the same with "Jew" or "Moslem". Ditto the same posters who label all Hillary supporters fat, dumb, southerners, who sit on their porches and read bibles. Bite me.

6. George Bush, Dick Cheney, every American who voted for them, Sandra Day O'Connor (who knew better), and the completely complicit American media. Hague, bitches. Bite me.

7. My wingnut neighbor who kept bothering the stone masons who worked in my yard this summer because they dared to play Spanish radio while they were working. Get over it, Dude, and, of course, bite me.

8. Comcast. You know. Bite me.

9. Robin Givhan. Quit writing. You're not good at it. And, you've nothing to say. And, you wouldn't know style if you, you know, bit it. Bite me.

10. The people who fosited blue-and-brown upon us as a color combination. And don't think that I don't see what you're trying to do with pink and brown. Brown's a lovely color. Leave it the fuck alone. Bite me.

11. Netflix. You fucked up this summer and never quite managed to get unfucked. Now I spend half my time trying to trick you into sending me what I really want. Bite me.

12. Bindweed. Sweet Mother, don't you know when you're not wanted? Also, ivy. Bite me.

13. The really ugly unsold McMansion up the street. Since no one wants to buy your piece of crap, smashed-together-amalgam-of-every-building-style-that-ever-sucked, could you please turn the spot lights off at night? Please? Someone's going to have to knock that piece of shit down sooner or later. I hope it's sooner. Bite me.

14. The v aged hipster who showed up at my hair salon today, shortly after I gave Hair Guy a nice bottle of wine, carrying a ginormous gift basket for her hair guy. And made a huge fucking deal about it. OK. We get it. You are in love w your hair guy. Shut up. You make him bleach your hair out until it's ugly. And the rest of us don't like you. Bite me.

15. The idiot woman who was ahead of me at the dentist earlier this week. Who apparently gets all the affirmation she needs as a human being from the fact that, every year, she brings fudge to the dentist. Spent 20 minutes listening to her describe to a dental assistant how she makes the damn fudge. Then had the misfortune to get behind her in the line to make appointments for next year. After she took for fucking ever to enter her appointment into what was, apparently, to her, a newly-discovered tool, the Blackberry, she had to turn around and tell me -- a total stranger who, here's a clue, does not fucking care -- "They always schedule me for December so I'll bring them fudge." Hecate: "That's nice. Are you done? I'm late for a meeting?" Bite me.

16. The people who sold me the French Thyme seeds. Approximately four of them sprouted. Bite me.

17. Co-workers who can't bother to inform the rest of the world of their schedule. You know who you are. Bite me.

18. Arlington County, Virginia for running out of biodegradable leaf bags. Bite me.

19. The Bush Administration, for refusing to make housing available for the Obama family so that the two little Obama girls could start school on Jan. 2nd at Sidwell. Petty. Crass. Low-class to the end. Bite me.

20. My 401(k). Bite me.

On the other hand, Jeff Skilling both woke up this morning and went to bed this evening in jail. So, there's that. I will not die a failure.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hey! What's Up?

Mine, Mine, Mine

My Short Skirt
(from The Vagina Monologues)

My short skirt
is not an invitation
a provocation
an indication
that I want it
or give it
or that I hook

My short skirt
is not begging for it
it does not want you
to rip it off me
or pull it down.

My short skirt
is not a legal reason
for raping me
although it has been before
it will not hold up
in the new court.

My short skirt, believe it or not
has nothing to do with you.

My short skirt
is about discovering
the power of my lower calves
about cool autumn air traveling
up my inner thighs
about allowing everything I see
or pass or feel to live inside.

My short skirt is not proof
that I am stupid
or undecided
or a malleable little girl.

My short skirt is my defiance
I will not let you make me afraid
My short skirt is not showing off
this is who I am
before you made me cover it
or tone it down.
Get used to it.

My short skirt is happiness
I can feel myself on the ground.
I am here. I am hot.

My short skirt is a liberation
flag in the women’s army
I declare these streets, any streets
my vagina’s country.

My short skirt
is turquoise water
with swimming colored fish
a summery festival
in the starry dark
a bird calling
a train arriving in a foreign town
my short skirt is a wild spin
a full breath
a tango dip
my short skirt is

But mainly my short skirt
and everything under it
is Mine.

—Eve Ensler, 2001

Short skirt found here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Light Returns

We woke to icy rain and slippery outdoor surfaces. By ten o'clock, the sun was breaking through the clouds after days and days of rain. This afternoon, as if in celebration of the returning light, the hellebore was looking lovely and the tiny tips of the daffodils were pushing even higher.

Sunday Trakl Blogging


In the spirit’s solitary hours
It is lovely to walk in the sun
Along the yellow walls of summer.
Quietly whisper the steps in the grass; yet the son of Pa;
always sleeps in the grey marble.

At eventide on the terrace we got drunk on brown wine.
The red peach glows under the foliage.
Tender sonata, joyous laughter.

Lovely is this silence of the night.
On the dark plains
We gather with shepherds and the white stars.

When autumn rises,
The grove is a sight of sober clarity.
Along the red walls we loiter at ease
And our round eyes follow the flight of birds.
In the evening, pale water gathers in the dregs of burial urns.

Heaven celebrates, sitting in bare branches.
In hallowed hands, the yeoman carries bread and wine.
And fruit ripens in the peace of a sunny chamber.

Oh how stern are the faces of the beloved who have taken their passage.
Yet the soul is comforted in righteous meditation.

Overwhelming is the desolated garden‘s secrecy,
As the young novice has wreathed his brow with brown leaves,
His breath inhales icy gold.

The hands touch the antiquity of blueish water
Or, in a cold night, the sister's white cheeks.

In quiet and harmony we walk along a suite of hospitable rooms
Into solitude and the rustling of maple trees,
Where, perhaps, the thrush still sings.

Beautiful is man and emerging from the dark.
He marvels as he moves his arms and legs,
And his eyes quietly roll in purple cavities.

At suppertime ,a stranger loses himself in November’s black destitution;
Under brittle branches, he follows a wall covered under leprosy.
Once the holy brother went here,
Engrossed in the tender music of his madness.

Oh how lonely settles the evening-wind.
Dying away, a man‘s head droops in the dark of the olive tree.

How shattering is the decline of a family.
This is the hour when the seer’s eyes are filled
With gold as he beholds the stars.

The evening’s descent has muffled the belfry‘s knell in silence;
Among black walls in the public place,
A dead soldier calls for a prayer.

Like a pale angel
The son enters his ancestor’s empty house.

The sisters have traveled far to the pale ancients.
At night, returned from their mournful pilgrimage,
He found them asleep under the columns of the hallway.

Oh hair stained with dung and worms
As his silver feet stepped on it
And on those who died in echoing rooms.

Oh you palms under midnight’s burning rain,
When the servants flogged those tender eyes with nettles,
The hollyhock’s early fruit
Beheld your empty grave in wonder.

Fading moons sail quietly
Over the sheets of the feverish lad,
Into the silence of winter.

At the bank of Kidron a great mind is lost in musing,
Under a tree, the tender cedar,
Stretched out under the father’s blue eyebrows,
Where a shepherd drives his flock to pastures at night.

Or there are screams which escape the sleep;
When an iron angel approaches man in the grove,
The holy man’s flesh melts over burning coals.

Purple wine climbs about the mud-cottage,
Sheaves of faded corn sing;
The buzz of bees; the crane’s flight.
In the evening the souls of the resurrected gather on rocky paths.

Lepers behold their image in dark water;
Or they lift the hemp of their dung soiled attire,
And weep to the soothing wind, as it drifts down from the rosy hill.

Slender maidens grope their way through the narrow lanes of night;
They hope for the gracious shepherd.
Tenderly, songs ring out from the huts on weekend.

Let the song pay homage to the boy,
To his madness to his white eyebrows and to his passage,
To the decaying corpse, who opened his blue eyes.
Oh how sad is this reunion.

The stairs of madness in black apartments –
The matriarch’s shadow emerged under the open door
When Helian’s soul beheld his image in a rosy mirror;
And from his brow bled snow and leprosy.

The walls extinguished the stars
And the white effigies of light.

From the carpet rise skeletons, escaping their graves,
Fallen crosses sit silent on the hill,
The night’s purple wind is sweet with frankincense.

Oh ye broken eyes over black gaping jaws,
When the grandson in the solitude
Of his tender madness muses over a darker ending,
The blue eyelids of the silent god sink upon him.