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Posts Tagged ‘spirits’

A Specious Species ( fragment from ‘Book of Voices’)

Nothing sacred now but our innane, profane cataloging of elements.
Delighting amongst minute, defined aberrations of despair.
Tearing wings off angels, pinning demons, peeled, perused and wriggling.
A reduction to the economic, to the social pressure, to the self-deceived confection
Of low-fat, sugared reason.
Too smart to see the mirror’s edge,
Too self-congratulatory with resonant parsimony, (our rounded, generic, philistine voice),
To notice the hysteric, farting ghosts gesturing in the shadows,
(Who hold all the prompts, pimp and pump the lines).
All the angry poets implode with bluster, become politicians of meagre degree,
Smutty with oiled conviviality, lugubrious with reasonable desecrations.
This world, too sharp, too uncoloured, subtle and muddied,
Requiring battened-down, serial numbered, thirteen-digit barcoded, sixteenth- level encryption, a designed decorum, ready-mealed, chill-packeted
For whenever the sudden, certain hungers disturb the entertainments
Of the bland and chained perceptions.
Blake and his roaring spirits plummet burning from a pest-controlled heaven,
Nicely neurotoxined, polypropylened, thin smiled and NVQ’d.
History scrubbed and redactable, requisitioned, gilded, sold off.
Each empire and squalid colony vacuum-packed,
Date-stamped, forgotten in elusive, intellectual deep freeze…..

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FRAGMENT (from Book Of Voices)

These tides, these stratigraphies,
These meridians,
Slightly, gently shifting
(boats on a small tide, moored lightly,
Testing their freedom, anchored
In hierarchies, in distance, from
Sane land).

A certain dance of veils,
A somewhat dramatic covering
And uncovering of chance meetings.
Automatic script (as if any thought
Were planned in any way),
Knee jerk eruptions of things
To put language to, a cauldron
Bubbling up – eye of, gizzard of,
Toe of, brain of…

Always one step away
From dream,
A small distraction
And the doors open wide.
These demons, these angels
Made from our shadows
(Following us humming,
Like bees to each
Nectared crevice)…

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Here are the next few sections of what has been written so far…..

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Spera mercurii, mercurius

Quick as murder,
Bursting breeches, this lad
Gobby, too smart
Full of street tricks,
Alley cat, sly and sleek.
He will flicker in the shadows,
Stealing pennies, stealing favours,
Stealing wisdom from the faded.
An eye for the back door, pimp of lawyers
And all knot makers. A shiny solution,
A quicksilver poison.

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Spera veneris, venus

Mother of all beauty
(Some will say all sin)
Herself herself washed ashore.
What can we say?
She is the summit of air,
The hills of love,
The valleys of lust,
The sign before day
And the star before darkness.
Her form is whatever you desire.
Her desire is to be encompassed.
All fruit she offers, never ceasing.
As the sea’s waves
She laps and drowns,
Roars and lulls.
We are swept sway
On honey breath,
A five-fold star,
A pulse.

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STONE LORDS

Our tall hats, sky scraping, cloud stirring,
Raking, forming, our tall hats.

Our black hats, cliff-crag dark,
Storm dark, night full.
Our black hats.

Given by the lords of years,
These moving towers, rocking.
These watchtowers,
These habitations of watchers.
Given us.

Watchers, sky-full of silence.
Hawk-bright shaded eyes,
Biding behind dark brows,
We bide,
Dark browed.

We need not hands to raise against.
Need not fingers to point.
Nor voice to accuse,
Nor clever, subtle speech,
No invective.

Poise, presence,
Inscrutibility fledged beneath
The stern circle of dark rim.
Tall hats, dark hats, bestowing gravity,
Beacons of authority.

Rock dreaming,
Injected, a bolus of catastrophe.
We, the chorus,
Mocking your wriggled evacuations.
We shall never, as you will, now
Pass distraught, hand-wringing,
Rote excuse for skin.

We shall never squirm nor flutter,
Racing thither on dismal errand,
Bending brightness to aggrandise vapour,
Bending sense, roping goodness,
Making slave-chains to chafe the free.
Oh, we see clear.
We see your oily wishes,
Your sly agreements.
How you stain the day.
How you stain.

Our tall hats
Shall follow your ways.
Watch us on the heights.
Watch us circle dark valleys.
Unencumbered vigilence,
Patient for judgement,
Implacable,
Undeceived.

May your tiny,
Malevolent souls,
Naked and revealed,
Shrivel.
May your rights
Recycle to the innocent.
May the wheeling carrion birds
Revolve and clamour
Til you no more sully
This earth, this sky.
May you relinquish your folly
Before it plagues and howls,
Extirpating your breathing memory.

—-

Born from a recounted dream of handless beings guarding the clifftops from the perennial parastic politicians who wore tall black top hats. Reminded me of the crags of the Preseli hills, the watchers of Easter Island, the tall astronomically accurate solid gold hats of the Neolithic,
Of the cairns and tombstones of the quiet places, of the attentive wariness of those without voice…….

the image is from an Iron Age Celtic coin that seems to show a storm or mountain deity

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VISION SPIRIT DANCERS

1
Turning towards birdsong,
Letting cold dawn filter
Fevered loves from traversed darkness,
Edges mapped, the contours of velvet lands,
Moonless, drenched in ocean tongues.
A rain of whispers, pattered leaves,
Gulped breathless,
Slight, shadowed.

2
They rise in moonless mist
Sway in cauldron of suns.
Mirrored on bright waters,
Vulgar, unsullied,
Possessed and possessing,
Mapping the lines of light,
Stirring the small white seed:
The fog of becoming futures,
Hungry for eyes and rhythm,
An enclosure of centres.

3
Through, rising upon, resting upon,
Dancing the mists of dawn,
Continuing on paths –
Trails whispered along moonless nights.
Silver mirrored glint,
Soft, percussive gold.
Day and night their rhythm
Adopting the breath of stone,
The gesture of forest.

4
Entrance motions into air
A new cascade, wave rounded, keeled
A fishing cast out, hauling silver gold
Mind numbed movers, serving sinuousity,
Snake-winded, breath-warmed,
Yeast of need.

5
Spinning internal spaces
(That certainty of axis upon sound).
Finding the betweens,
A devotion to subtle orbits.

6
Every thought a dancer.
Spin away centre to centre
Tight-whorled, fine thread
Tied time to time
Place to place.
Confirmation of possession
(A test of understanding).
Dressed ghosts on pathways familiar.
Clap and footfall, the song of breath.
Building up rhythms
The birds of dawn.
Rolling back on itself
The river clothed in light.
Doors to others eddy open and close
The eyes of ancestors,
Their tongues along lines.

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A4bhairavi11

CONSTELLATION (SMEARED)

Two hours before dawn, (woken by cats hungry for philosophy),
Frost by moonlight, yet so many stars, swung round, hefted northerly.
There, the smudge of Pleiades, bright above the upper field,
Tempting to be counted, (we are never happy if not counting, naming,).
Oh ye city folk, still numb and dreaming, adolescent nonchalence
Washed drab and starless in neon pools, who look up as far as street names only,
Who care not for the whence and whereto of any thing, parcelled time, demarcated space,
The here, vaguely mapped sufficiently, the now, a dusty film, a slick of petrochemical colour.

They were souls once,
they were spirits –
these roving, cold bright stars,
these companions.
We have economised, rationalised, downsized, both thought and language.
Hawked, shrugged, scratched, sauntered away (arrogant swagger, studied indifference).
Where once were many, a constellation of souls, a menagerie, a family, a clan, now none.
An empty mansion, windowless, faint smell of urine, ash, stale food, skitter of mouse.
Perhaps one ghost is allowed, never seen, never fed, an ancient inconvenience, a nostalgia.

Before, before ( that word, a sound that roars like a sea, grey wave rolling in, rolling out),
We were ensouled, enspirited,
A soul for the mechanics of earth,
Another spirit unsullied,
Untouched by gravitation.
And before that, even, each hidden mover, each part, each vital air,
Was known and named, assigned its proper home, ensured a place of continuance,
In earth, in rock, in tree, in sky, in sun, in star.
Belonged to,
here and there,
scattered like seed,
lost but ready to rise in forms and ways,
Calculated and considered, maintained, sung to, taken out, remembered, polished, fed.

Only the here,
Concrete, certain.
We believed in atoms indivisible,
Forces mathematical.
Things to pin down,
Things to plot.
No crystalline spheres to peer through,
No slow revolving, no ascent, no soul required.
But then, (never learning to let things be), we poked and pushed ’til form dissolved.
This unsplittable opened to component parts,
(named, weighed, approved, assigned purpose).
And those too, found to have a before, a smaller cause, beginning of beginning.

Determined to find what is
(The counting of stars, the sift, the song)
The certain dissolves, though stalwart Reason, optimistic, remains.

An indeterminate number of souls.
That is the dance
Within each one of us,
Numberless avenues
Of frost-bright mornings,
Drunk and burning
In cold air
still with moonlit silence.
A revolving, constellated brightness,
A sky river, a flock, a formation, a migration,
A seasonal coming and going.
We are not held steady nor monochromatic by this fluff of autocratic science,
The redactions wear thin, threadbare, barely enough to cover false modesty.
Bluster conclusions abound, bombast, a dislike of stories.

But it is still dark, still dark
The ghosts of dawn flicker and stir.
I would be dust, shining, scattered, returned home,
A cave inhabited with warm echo,
Voices of the familiar, watching embers, watching embers.

—-

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If you look at the white pattern above, the peltas can be seen at six, ten and two o-clock, they resemble cross-sections of mushrooms.

1
TORC TALK (PELTA MOTIF)

Well, it was a long time ago that I covered Celtic Art in Art History, and I was never particularly happy with the name labels often given to Celtic motifs, so I suppose confusing a pelta with a trumpet spiral is to be a little expected (particularly when one can be made up of elements of the other). Nonetheless ,that error was mine. As I was playing with the comma-like form of the magatama it morphed into the cresent-like, arced, spiral-ended, mushroom cross-section known as a ‘pelta’.

This name, ‘pelta’ comes from a type of light shield used by the Greeks and Romans, deriving from an original used in Thrace. This itself tells us more about the natural territory and training of Classicalocentric art historians than about the direct connections between a Classical object and a Celtic motif. Look at the prevalent lines in any Early Celtic design and there is a predominance of curvilinear and vegetal forms. Add to that a predeliction for mirroring, reflection and interaction between foreground and background patterns and it is easy to see ‘pelta-like’ forms sprouting up in abundance. The logic of associating the ‘pelta’ motif with a meaning of ‘shield’ is stretched when it can so so much more easily be read as ‘tree’, ‘leaf’, ‘simplified palmette’, ‘reflected crescent moons’ or ‘horns’. In some Classically rendered and stylised imagery, this shape may indeed refer to a martial attribute. But to carry that meaning over onto a similar looking, purely Celtic motif may be far too simplistic, or just simply, inaccurate.

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What drew me in the first place to look again at the pelta motif was the realisation that it, or its negative shape, closely echoes the shape of the neck collar or ‘torc’, a connection that I am not sure has been noticed before. Looking at a lot of Celtic art, and especially redrawing the imagery, one comes to understand the importance of what is not there – negative space, void, background….

2
TORC TALK- (FIRST THEN)

First then
There is no object,
No thing that does not trawl
A train of intent and opinion,
That does not feel,
Draw with it more of itself
From the invisible.
Nothing that does not speak.
(if you hear nothing but silence, go within it, find its shape and you shall here the words come in and out, for nothing, no thing is voiceless)

Nothing
That has not been born
From a before.
Everything
Has been born
From something else.
Nothing not jealous of its edges. Nothing that will not melt and merge one day into becoming somewhere else. Nothing, in essence, that does not hunger to remain, that does not hunger and feed.

Where to start? It makes no matter where you start. Simply begin. The road is twist and dip but leads to the same shining place…

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3
FOR THE GODS ALONE

Beauty is for the gods alone.
This gold – no use for plough or warrior,
No use, no use on Earth.
Beauty belongs to the gods,
And to those who talk to them,
To those who speak to them,
To those who belong to them.

A torc, an open ring of twisted wire, often gold, with terminals, cast and decorated finials. Worn as a neck ring. Wires, strings, ropes, woven light, woven and woven, golden rope to tie the soul, to show adherence, obedience, obeisance,obligation to the spirits….

A circle not a circle, an arc, a passage of time, a record of space.
A perforation, the head pushed through
To the airs of heaven,
Upper world,
A division of head from body,
No longer just human:
Owned, illuminated,
Ardour, radiant.
The weight of it:
Not easy to ignore,
It is meaning, a glow..

If the pelta symbol is the negative space of the torc- its contained space – then the pelta occupies the same space as the head. Pelta is head. Head is home of spirit. Pelta is spirit. In some coins of the tribes of Brittany the horse rider’s heads have transmuted into pelta shapes.

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4
HORIZON’S EDGE

I am the passage of the sun
From dawn to dusk
A woven line of light
To the top of heaven,
To the horizon’s edge.

I am the river of night,
Golden river underground
From dusk to dawn,
A gold thread
Through ancestors’ bones.

Torc is map, halo, sun glow.
A mirror moon, empty,
Crescent, full, crescent,
Empty. Woven around
Each other, silver, gold,
Day, night, copulated,
Seeded…

5
ENSOULED

Seed of the sun
Spilt at sunset
Mated with earth,
Gathered up, gathered up,
Cold made hot once more,
Melted, breathed upon,
Revived, ensouled,
Sung to, given song,
Given name, given sinew,
Given nerve, wound about.
Gold, giver of glory,
Animated, it whispers,
All the time, it whispers.

Should you know its spells
You will prosper,
Should you know its songs
You will be victorious,
Should you know its name,
You shall be returned home
Golden and ever-young.
For it has no end
And its wearer shall remain.
Its giver shall be blessed,
And blessed the receiver.

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So how should one receive a torc? Many images show the torc being held in the hand. It is held at the centre, midway between the terminals. Displayed, it is held with open ends upwards toward heaven, like a cup to receive the blessings from above. It is shown offered in the same way, with open end towards the recipient. Is it taken possession of by the two hands grasping the finials? Does the giver carefully hold the ring so that the receiver can echo the hold on the opposite side, both joined in obligation for a moment,and then forever, by that golden link, like the passing of a goblet? Is the name whispered? The promise named? The duty proclaimed? In that moment one and one become roped, twisted, bound together, charged with divine power…

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And as to the making: that wire beaten, stretched, thin and thinner. Taken with others, woven, wound, round, wrapped, mated, united. What spells added, what songs, what promises, what life, what given birth to. ( There are images of swords with dragon spirit beings attached -their sharp souls, snake fast, embedded, the metal a home for other life, given honour, given flesh food). Do the finials give face and eyes to the embedded spirit? Are they of one kind? Are they many? Are they moulded each to each, to be hunted out like fast hounds scent their masters, bound by similarity of spirit?

Here shall be a list,
A reckoning,
A call of names,
A summoning of spirits:

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MAGATAMA SAYS

Magatama says this is what you are, a wriggle in time, a wriggle in space. An eye that is hollow, a mind that is hollow, a space where, a vessel where, sentience pools and flows through. Embryo spinning round sun yolk. A distinction, a seam, a pebble, an accumulation of used data, a debris, a morraine, a momentum of moments lost, not quite forgotten.
A tube, sealed at either end with only hope. It will not suffer to remain. It too will distort amd become formed, reformed. The spin of horizons never long denied. A new in and a new out. A new edge, a new world, given names from somewhere else. The hollow eye, for the hollow eye does not see except what it has seen before. Somewhere there was a beginning, but it was not here, not here. Each key becomes a door, each door a wall, each wall a cell, each cell a wondering of me and mine, a selfish small delight, a harbouring of dream. Now the tide slips, the shattered, polished brilliance fades. We are left high, drying, the long keening of gulls, sandflies and bladderwrack. No more words. Day becomes day.
Scatter, scatter,
Ye stars!
Scatter,
Ye manifold living beings!
However so far
This home
Shall never become lost,
(though misremembered,
Though mistook),
So wrapped, so folded,
So entangled it is
Within your sheer fibre,
Your fluid, your feeling.
Flee as far as
Beyond the named,
Further than edge,
Farther than form.
Digging foundations for what walls exist, reconstructing our noble and grave histories, mirrors and clouds, equations, flocks of reasons seeking a roost, a reputation. The sun has hidden herself in a cave. Where is the sly shaman will entice her out with curiosity? Shiny things, laughter of others. Wrapped up in, wrapped around and upon ourselves. In becoming out, out in, the curve of edge, empty but for its own density.

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The scratching, sketching reveals magatama is also an ear, an orifice that listens, that absorbs…..and so too, turns doodling into that ubiquitous Celtic mysterious icon, the ‘trumpet spiral’, or for the more botanically minded, the mushroom divided, or for those who watch the way waters weave, the rippled surface vortex……but the doodle as doodle, as gesture, as delight of wrist, it is an outward sweep, a slow arc, an inward sweep, conch consciousness, two shapes from one line, an ineffability, a mystery, a going out and a return, the shape of a soul. Spirit language. It is always tricky, always says more than it says. Clouds conversing with hills………

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DarkMatterDarkMother1

The white noise of the next universe,
the white noise of the last,
muttered thoughts,
scratched messages,
attempts to sustain the unsustainable:
the instant of now,
pinned to a dead language,
thought too big for itself, hot air,
black hole,
white noise,
verse reverse obverse,
the other side where new DNA coagulates
upon the small gravities of emotive,
speculative,
evolving sound.

New chapters,
Same old plot:
Re
Ink
Are
Nation.

Reeling
Our
Nature
In.

Searching,
Now,
For dark matter,
Dark mother,
Black madonna,
Our ground,
Encaved source,
Engraved
Engrossed
Entwined
Dust doth wish,
Washed white
Bright as suns,
Daughters
Of dear death.

Return to
Sender.
Raven,
Dove,
Alighted,
Alight upon
Cerebral tree.

( a mirroring of thoughts by retconpoet, Nicholas Gagnier)

DarkMatterDarkMother2

These are a few images from a new art project based around words and ideas sparked by the Mahavidyas. I was just going to put a few up by themselves, but then came across these words I wrote recently in response to a blog post. Of course add to this the new search for dark matter in a lab one mile beneath the Italian Alps and there is a constellation of Alchemical midwifery going on….mutter,matter,mother,matrix.

DarkMatterDarkMother3

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This is the first time I’ve put in a link to one of my music projects. This one was specifically for some upcoming teaching sessions in Tokyo. They are not finished pieces, more like sketches, but if you give them a listen I hope you like something about them. Musical senryu perhaps…..

https://wodewose.bandcamp.com/album/21-japanese-trees

I spent a while looking through old photos from previous trips to Japan. Here are some of the images:

Jindai is not far from where we stay on the edge of Tokyo. We love the place full of beautiful vistas, shrines, temples and, shops and restaurants…

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