I Shall Be…

maenad…Busy, away, out of touch. For some time, because some things are immediate and require full concentration.

Enjoy Walpurgis Night or Beltane…or whatever in my absence.  I’m going to be playing “Night on Bald Mountain” even if only in my head.  For the foreseeable future…

Answering email is unlikely — just saying.

Poetry Month – Twenty Six (edit)

Was my morning cup stolen from Alice?

For I must be so small,

Sound woke me – overhead clatter,

Across the patio – hummingbirds magnified!

Peacocks strutting the roofline, majestic,

Majestic thieves!

Seed tray ravagers, hunger driven,

Hera’s pets this “king” and his three brides?


(Edit:  Later in the morning, the peafowl were doing mating dances on the Labyrinth.  They were shy, I caught the backside of the huge displaying male from inside the “hide” of my son’s vehicle.  Mooned by a peacock on a Tuesday morning.)


Prose: “There arose on the roof such a terrible clatter” No, I know, I said prose. And I know it isn’t the night before Christmas.  But I was sure I was dreaming when tremendous noise woke me this morning.  It died off, I thought I dreamt and dozed a bit longer.  Then, out the window, atop the Haven I saw them.  As if some wand had blown large the blue-green hummingbirds I feed.

We have always known pet peacocks gone wild lived on the hill behind us; years ago they came to eat cheap cat or dog food off our roof.  They stopped when some redneck took a shot at them from the road.  But this morning they are back and very hungry – the seed trays just sprouting beans and other things to transplant into the garden were devoured.

I wonder what has changed on the hill where they were once self-reliant?  I know my seed feeder for small birds is empty with great speed and I have hummingbird species I’ve never seen before coming and emptying syrup bottles.

We threw handfuls of dog food to them.  When last we looked they were walking in circles on the stones of the Labyrinth.

Poetry Month – Twenty Five

hawthornHawthorn harbinger,
Sweet scented thorn’d assassin,
Blood shed – danger past?


The prose:

I was weeding yesterday, in brief sparkling sunny bits between cold sleety rain fits.  I was pulling some dandelion relatives beneath the blissfully exploding hawthorn tree.  It is blooming early this year; I’ve known many a British pagan who time their celebration of the festival of Beltane by the hawthorn’s flowering.  Here, it more commonly doesn’t blossom till mid-May; while May 1st is the casually accepted date of Beltane.  We formerly celebrated by the blossoming of our apple tree, and then did the cross year Samhain by our apple harvest.  This year, my apple tree bloomed in the first week of April.

Do I shift my seasonal observances with the warming trend or go with a calendar? I have not decided.  But as I grew weary, I lost my balance and flung out a hand to catch myself. I caught myself alright — on a low branch on the hawthorn’s trunk — speared myself right and proper on the “thorns” the tree’s name encapsulates!  There is an old saying from somewhere, “Blood has been shed, the danger is past.”  Shall I hope this is true?


Poetry Month – Twenty Four – Other Mirrors

mirror,mirror,mirrorI see myself in the morning’s mirror,
Same hair, too wild unconfined,
Same hollows ‘neath boring blue eyes,
Same pale and thin lips
But there are other mirrors?

How do hummingbirds see me?
Lady of the Nectars warm,
With e’er changing plumage,
Save the head, they might say,
Constant in every season’s need?

In the eyes of children?
Do I stand firm in joy or trouble,
With feather beds against cold,
Hot bread and butter against hunger,
Storybooks against loneliness?

My husband says I am a beauty?
Though I do scoff at his eyesight,
Finding grace in my steady stride,
Seeing film star glamour in fall of hair,
He sees no broken dirty knuckles?

My few women friends look at what?
To see support, a port in storm,
Outrage upon a profane tongue,
Facing down bullies bigger than me,
A heroic romantic fool ideal?

Striding on the street before strangers?
Dressed a bit too showily,
No jeans and t-shirt here to see,
Proud boots for stepping, me…
Cockroaches to stomp?

I leave my mirror quickly,
I must ever be more than I see,
Because I am not the image alone,
All that I will ever be,
Is what I do, not what you see!

And Prose – Twenty Three

The moon is in the phase we celebrate as “full” tonight. We link household routines to the timing of the moon because it is easier to recall to do them.  So tonight, the kitchen’s butcher block counter tops will be cleared; any marring by heat or water will be gently sanded away and the entire counter given a penetrating coat of oil.  They will gleam brightly and tomorrow the kitchen will be restored in the early dawn hours and all day, we will look into the cherry deepness of the kitchen with smiles on our faces.

It is a bi-monthly ritual of restoration.  It is a sacrament of our humanistic pagan life.  The caring for the place where we nourish ourselves.  A cake will be baked for the full moon, and doused in an orange syrup to moisten and sweeten it.  Bread of a gold hue, imparted by pureed pumpkin, is baking now.  Mead is in the keg — product of earlier work.  Fresh organic butter has been softened and whipped with olive oil and poured into little glass containers to provide soft, spreadable-from-the-fridge butter for bread and toast all month.  Freshly made ghee is solidifying, while still scenting the house with a buttery richness — it will cook eggs, pancakes, and other things from now till next full moon.

A rich deep red sauce is cooling before being frozen in small containers.  It will embellish soups, coat pasta and pizza for several months to come; it has no tomato in it this “fauxmato” sauce because I am nightshade allergic.  It is a satisfying, and yes, “sacred” thing I do when I make it.  It makes nourishing myself without endangering my health easier and more likely.

My world is NOT dualistic.  There is here and now.  If there is a noumenal world aside from this phenomenal one?  I can only speculate idly about it.  I determine my life by the here and now and acknowledge the sacred nature of things that nourish and continue my life in this world.  I care for my bit of this world, I spent over four hours in my yard yesterday fostering soil production by weeding and feeding compost areas.  I’ve seeded my gardens.  The world is my gem of any possible creation; I don’t need a savior or a “heaven” — I make my own heaven here.  Bliss is fresh bread in my mouth instead of hunger.  Joy is health and strength in spite of age and injury.  Ecstasy can live in my bed, with no hint of guilt or recrimination — as it always has been for me.

We recently planted a failing young sequoia tree in what had been the family fire pit.  So there, I feel a loss of something primal and warm.  Our overhanging trees were getting so close we scarce dared light fires there any more.  Before the year is finished at Samhain this year, there will be a new place for fire.  For now, Beltane will come and go without fire — we will have a studied place of quiet in the dark for a season or two.  But the kitchen will be the hearth of smells and flavors, and the fire there never dies!