Demeter, Kore, Ariadne
(by three authors)
Behind the days,
are windows of time,
you tell me, and I wonder
into what they open.
Sit, I tell you, on the steps,
feel the breezes, and hear the night, the World,
belongs not beyond our door, but within.
Let the crickets murmur you
and cicada's song hear, the sweet sursurras,
and let it be hot or cool, and the fan and window blow it in.
Ours is not the waking sleep of sheep,
the deathly doze of slaves, not you with
the artisan's fine hands strong, sensitive.
Porches, verandas, and dark nights,
which no current can lift, and leave world
to darkness and to Mystery- let it heal.
Not long will World withstand
the intrusions, soon, She will again
bury Her green breast beneath Night's dark cloak.
And we go back in- the streetlight off your fair hair
from windows and streets out near,
"someday," you say, "we will live nearer to nature, after.."
You have made me think of all the afters,
but my love, life is not lived in the afters after our
conditions are met, are we situated- no!
It is now only that the window of Time opens
to our view
and if we but see it, the vision will let us renew.
Yes, perhaps we are trite, but want, as all do,
the cabin in the woods, and stars for theatre,
under Northern Lights. Yes, work to get there, we must,
but for the present moment live, also;
for living is in the margins and between
the lines, lines of duty,
and the margins of time.
Now sip the tea that we have brewed,
from herbs that we have grown,
rough hands on cups we crafted
from the smooth patient earth.
Hear the cicadas, feel the sultry breeze, and be healed.
They programmed you, night after night,
ritual obeisance to the magical colored lights,
that your fair kind must find the "tall, dark" man.
They showed my comic strip heroes
with exotic women, too,
and you bought it for a while, whom you were told to want-
that we might breed out of being.
So, what, now that you're conscious?
Women are so much more herdable, you tell me.
and you may be correct, but, you say, "There are too many years and lovers between us and were, even since first we met."
And I can't know how one decides such things, "It is,"
you say, "but a partnership of theatres, beds, and
chores to be done." yes, together, and that is all, an alliance
against time- that is how our age defines us.
At our age, romance is but a memory of an illusion,
believed with fervor at the time,
later disproven. Do they parade over my shoulder, the shades
of lovers past the sweet whispers of intimacies breathed by open windows,
beneath soft sheets or mellow wines?
I wonder aloud, as my path is struggle, the age a shell upon the back,
warrior, diplomat, scientist, secret agent, struggling to right itself through
the few, who know the palladin's passion, to make a mark upon the whole
of it, to rend the fabric of time, and you are not taken
with the lesser passion, that I would have voiced your thoughts,
or you mine, merely to mark it upon a personal calendar
the meaning, which like a hedgehog, is a private thing,
that knots itself into a ball, and lives in margins of those fields of
doings, diaries, notes, half-hung sentences in surprising calls
meant only for the special one- no- I have not known it-
only imagined, what faded-rose self-importance,
and how Hollywood and other illusion weavers
were quick to make it the mark of our parent's day, the easier
to turn their eyes from conspiracies woven in stock exchanges,
and bombs in endless tumble of ruin on the nursery of civilization.
Perhaps companioning, itself, is taught
in image, and there is no fear,
in wrinkling and stiffening alone.
Or maybe we are hard-wired
for another warm sleeper,
a rub, a touch, a smile, a known
voice in the morning.
Oh, this is madness, Demeter,
if my sideburns are gray, it is
that I am complete.
I do not need you, though the sound
of cicadas would less be sweet,
were you not here.
Oh, I have given, Kore, yes I have
of time, concern, and warmth, that
your perfect shape, your lovely face, at once
Alpine and Nordic, your sea-green eyes
would be fixed in some stellar place about me.
Hair that gave off brown of earth, red to Sun, and
the touch of Viking gold, illuminated your blouse,
as easily as a toga, folds falling about your form, I drank in,
but of the inner essence, comes the hour, mind's buffer,
holds no more, and is born to page, connection.
Her large, strong, regular hands, grasp me,
the face both Alpine and Nordic - at once warrior and queen.
Hands of an artisan, the tall lithe form-
you are of the earth, yet of the air and
you were always with me.
Why travel together? Man alone, ever youthful,
stepping about the threshold to reinvent himself now and then,
by grace of the Fates, so mote it be,
amber drops of time once fallen like the
perfect tear, from a perfect face, now less so
yet careworn, wraps the chrysalis of soul,
odd play of time worn and time-less
this journey home to wholeness.
Did I re-become in a field of fire far away,
or distant dusty journeys alone and the murky glass of cheap lodgings?
Was it the Quest made me young or reinvented itself as
Cause and Faith?
Or did the same energy, the motive force, lift and drive
always to the novel, yet-to-be-known?
One fears becoming the trim old man, fabric worn thin by the life
of shabby loves,
loving only Novelty, taking nothing of Within,
learning one's own inner universe, only inferenced
as the Other.
The cat stirs in my lap, the child in the bed.
I have thought and written again too long- he makes no sense of it,
comes dawn soon and take to sword on dew-soaked grass,
to trace ancestral patterns in cool air,
but in the fire of rune and star, it stirs, the dance of lives.
Acceptance of the passions,
what they do stir in the sacred fire
and there is sense enough- there is connection,
in that place that's Still, where All is known.
Well yet the dance commence with passion, lively glide,
but still, remain, reflect the while; detach, although in motion,
the Aryan mind always onto many realities,
the mind, the heart- look always to the end of things, the start, motive
force, while within great cycles of time.
There is no wisdom to open
the window of time, if a secret,
it is only This,
that I am complete,
need no near body to fulfill.
Ariadne, one prays without kneeling, proudly rail at Orion's belt,
after long years alone, send her the work, and one from prior times
a soulmate, know all requests ascend on slender beams of light. ..
I assure you they do, you add, like rays, some thin, some broad-
in Asgard, all are heard.
I know her now, though set within a life, and with dark child,
know who she is, must leave until another wave of time,
but I can nod across the expanse, though each too far apart
to catch the glimpse, but wave, to write, to know.
At our age, you say, life has no secrets left,
and all we know is that there is much that we would not do.
You are wise -there is much we have learned of what
cannot be explored- the world shrinks so in five decades,
accept limits without buying them at all,
shrugging to accept a smaller scope of things.
Are there secrets, I ask you, and we have stopped
having to know?
Night holds Her magic, and the earth Her own,
as do you
in the dark, wet feminine thought
that wraps my own blond flesh
Your hands are those of artisans and
philosophers, long, strong, and delicate
for fine tasks or glyphs and I
somehow would feel strange were they
to grip me; I am a tool
of the Gods in a wobbly age,
pure act- no one to grasp
At our age, you say, it is silly to love,
and I agree,
or is it preposterous at any age?
but Nature's stage-trick managed
to couple out new forms that
the dance might last another
card or two?
No, you interject, old loves
are no more strange than new-
you set a frame about;
into it walks the portait-
What when you carry your frame always
not caring to be portrayed?
You ask, and I know it
aggravates; I am always packed
to leave and believe only what is
before me now, the Fates decreed,
in other ways than love be remarkable,
or not, yet even this is no ultimate meaning.
The Pole Star beckons
I must pray
Life is all necessity and moments of
response to needful things.
Yet even in every busy moment
one can be mindful, mindful,
and hear the humming of patterns,
in the busy loom of the Fates.
Sip the tea of roots, of bark,
of leaves that we have dried in the April sun,
and of those I dug, you washed, we roasted brown/
pleasing, is it not? And you are here-
Well, I can imagine if you came my way. . .
Thor has ceased with his rumbling
He is asleep beside Sif, and with clear conscience, snoring
I must speak with my brother
We are hushed voices by the firelight
Brother, I say, expel all manner of cruelty from your heart
What need have you to revel in the blackness which rots men's souls?
You are but a brave, stout hearted warrior
You are the mighty, steel gloved hand of Thor
Feel your grip
Bring down the hammer, swift and hard in angry defense of the folk
Then hop in the goatmobile and haul ass
We meet in Valhalla
You and I
Seize Loki and cast him from your midst
Hold no loyalty except to the folk
You are pained with doubts concerning your beloved
Let me put a reassuring arm around you
We shall soon be sharing secret smiles once again
He offers love magic
Why do you scoff?
My heart is stone, I reply...
Then recall Melinda's glow
Candy's tremulous laugh
Kirsten's ballet steps
Gather up your treasures and go home to your sons
And let your heart rest a bit
I rush into the arms of my mother Frigg
My love has deserted me, I sob
Something is not quite right
My mother shines her white light upon me
I am healed
I touch the blue crystal around my neck, charged with her protective energy
Pure of heart and swift of sword
Defender of the innocent
Come, warrior maiden, you are feverish
Rest your weary head against my strong shoulder
Look up, gaze into my eyes- blue, and shining full of tenderness
And know all peace
You were never restful,
and you were seldom there-
Siegfried, or so I thought you.
Knighthood- worthless when you would not
worship at the perfect altar of my form,
contempt you shewn
for all things feminine.
I would have we danced, and the weight of your
square shoulders above me, but no,
instead it was, teach me to war- a mannish thing as that.
Or was it I grew up rough and you'd no time for me- love-
why always in disappointment- no, not hurt-
You were far too precise, too careful, to hurt-
yours a head for science, the warrior's body,
but what did I want of the heart?
Well, it was chained to a cause-
mine too, I guess, but you, you live it
like obsession- that's not fair?
Or it's mystical, like the night in Texas-
you woke up swearing in High German
(so the owner said- he was one), but don't speak it?
Well what was I to think?
It's all so spooky being with you,
then you pack me off-
sure, I use men for things
- fix a car, bum money-
how could you judge that?
You whispered after dinner- I snickered-
thought you made chase after shadows-
men do act to impress- but there he was in the parking lot,
and you never said why:
you dealt with it- my stomach sank-
consort for whom- who are you?
Just a bit of attention- a smile at day's end-
be there as you tuck the son to bed, but no,
it's rock climbs and learning and reading,
like I'm some project, and I just want you
to worship at my temple, but you offer there instead.
Every one else sees that I'm beautiful
but you say, "What's 'pretty'? Anyways it don't last,"
and I feel dismissed.
Grand schemes, grand efforts, and ever the scent of
a burning fuse about you- where could I fit in?
Just ride,you said, it's all I can do.
[Demeter wd not do with the curtesy of her reply.]
Seasons of the Soul
by Mark A. Wren
Why am I downcast, despondent, sad,
when I'd rather be joyous, vibrant, glad?
Why is the heart of unfathomable weight,
as I try to escape this soul-saddened state?
I ask myself often, "what makes life this way?"
Why is the song silenced in a heart that was gay?
And with Odin's help it all becomes clear,
The soul has its seasons just the same as the year.
I, too, must pass though life's Autumn of dying,
a desolate period, hurt and crying.
Followed by Winter in whose frosty hand,
the heart is chilled like snow-bitten land.
Yes, man too must pass through the seasons,
content in the knowledge that everything ends.
And what comfort to know that there are seasons,
and to know that our souls must, too,
be bounteous or barren as Nature will do.
Times to rejoice and times to be downcast-
pain or pleasure- neither will last.
But meeting the seasons of dark desolation
with strength born of anticipation-
that comes from knowing that Autumnal sadness
is soon swept away by a springtime of gladness.