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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in poetry

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I am here to tell the tales
b2ap3_thumbnail_42929604_2192483650963845_6076038633914105856_o.jpgof eerie lights
and thinning veils,
of trickling streams
and singing trails,
of seeking hearts
and thrilling wails.
I’ve gathered sounds of
shadows deep,
of stones that weep
and trees that sleep,
where legends steep
and secrets keep.
Gather round
on bended knee,
with webs to weave
and paths to see,
the Samhain Muse
has tales for thee. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

How can you write with  b2ap3_thumbnail_94262205_2630042767207929_6051266018465021952_o.jpg
flowered praise
of shining skies and magic days?
Don’t you know
there are bones in the grass
and fear in the air
and things that lurk on every stem
to suck your blood?
Snakes are eating baby birds
and a bobcat is even now
crushing through the skulls
of a nest of soft baby rabbits.
How dare you claim there
is beauty, that the world
is woven from love?
I claim it
because I see it.
Yes, I’ve dripped blood
on stones as thorns drag
across tender flesh,
uncovered worn femurs and ragged hip bones in fallen leaves,
scratched my own ankles bloody
after being fed upon as I walk.
I have faced unnamed skulls on mossy beds,
small jaws cracked in two,
a pelvis resting nearby
catching the rays of the setting sun.
I’ve wept over shattered eggs
and the blue jay’s screaming.
I have also borne witness to
endless
joy.
The mother deer nestling
twin fawns by her side,
the riotous blooms
blanketing the thorns,
the courtship dance of red-shouldered hawks
as they spin across the sky,
vultures skating gracefully
on thin air,
violets blooming in
the center of stones,
blue butterflies and singing bees
across the plum blossoms.
I know there are phoebes who return
year after year
to the nest they’ve built
sheltered under our eaves,
and hummingbirds that traverse endless miles
to alight on our windchimes
and to live in the mulberry trees
all summer,
our feeders their ancestral lands.
I have spotted rich mushrooms nestled impossibly
in curving roots of elm and ash,
I’ve plunged my arms into
ancient water
fresh born from between
the earth’s bones.
I’ve come eye to eye
with crows, black eyes alert,
wings shining,
with a coyote,
both of our heads lifting
to sniff the air.
I’ve eaten redbud flowers
straight from the branch
and watched the swift and patient passage of time
across the faces of those I love.
If there is one thing I know
to be true,
it is that great currents of
love and beauty
co-exist right beside great
stripes of pain,
and I still choose to celebrate this now:
the flowers in the trees,
the bones in the grass,
the blood on my knuckles,
the curving leaves,
the sweet berries,
the joy that bubbles up
right where I am.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Halloween, Samhain -- or Straif?

The surrealist artist Ithell Colquhoun may not be a name on everyone's lips. Though less well known than their mail counterparts, painters like Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Leonor Fini have been getting their due much more lately. That will probably change after Amy Hale's book comes out in January 2020, but for the mean time she remains outside popular consciousness despite her long connection to occult and magic circles from the Golden Dawn to the O.T.O and the Society for Inner Light.

Colquhoun developed a completely unique and abstract vision of tarot that was inspired by colour. You can buy the book of her paintings from Fulgur Press.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Writing a Poem Heathen Style

Composing poetry in the style of ancient heathen literature follows a few basic rules which are unlike the rules of composing modern rhymed poetry or free verse. One does not have to compose in the ancient style to use poetry in a heathen context, of course. One could write galdr (spells) and poems for sumbel (toasts) and other uses of poetry in any style one wishes and have them be just as good and just as effective. But if you want to write in modern English in the manner of the ancient heathens, here are the basic rules.

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Composing a Song for Magic

A song or poetry for a spell doesn't have to be great poetry or a great tune. The photo here is of a little song spell I made up one day. It goes "Wind, wind, wind, blow away my troubles. Make life smooth, without any nubbles." It's not objectively a great poem, and probably only fiber artists like me even have a sensory reference for what a nubble is. (It's the individual thing that, in a group, makes a fabric nubbly.) I wouldn't send it to a poetry anthology for publication, because it's just not very good as art. But it's as functional as any of the good poems I've written. I wrote it down mainly because I enjoy writing in my personal calligraphy font and at the time I had an art project to fill a blank book with such writing.

The song was something I created improvisationally. The strong desert wind suggested the idea, since it does tend to actually blow things away, including things it previously blew in, such as clouds and leaves. If I was composing poetry for people to read as art, I would have taken the time to find a better rhyme, and make it longer. If I was composing for ritual, I might keep it short if I was going to teach it to other people as a chant, but I'd certainly find a better rhyme if I could. If I couldn't find a better rhyme for troubles I'd change troubles for some other word. Not because that would make better magic but because it would make a nicer experience for the participants and observers. But as a song for magic, just for my personal use, it's fine the way it is.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

There is nothing tidy here
life is too broad and billowingb2ap3_thumbnail_67121748_2382169271995281_35922234585382912_o.jpg
to be contained,
restrained,
confined,
constrained
by lists and wishes
and well-laid plans,
or even by thin and bloodless prayers.
There is nothing tidy here,
expect wild winds and sharp teeth
amid the violets and sunrises.
There is nothing tidy here,
the world a great jumble
of twining grapevine,
sprawling brambles,
winding roots,
and beating hearts.
There is nothing to do
with such an untidy world,
but whirl with the wonder of it all,
keeping your hand outstretched
to touch everything,
even if your feet bleed
and your skin is streaked
with sorrow and joy. 

Last weekend, I was thinking about how to conclude the book I am writing, how to finish it, how to know it is done, how to wrap it up tidily, with some kind of moral or lesson for living, some kind of final conclusion of "figuring it all out." In the quiet moments as I questioned, walking around in circles on my back deck, I received a reply that then became a poem: there is nothing tidy here.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Title: The Shaman Speaks

Publisher: Middle Creek Publishing

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