Monthly Archives: November 2006
It is mightly silent here in these dusty halls, usually swept clean by the dashing about of creative minds. So, while I am stirring a pot of stew in the kitchen I will relate a little excercise that might enflame your spirit — our drive you to the Gypsy Camp, which is all right too.
Several years ago I was substitute teaching an Honors English class with no clear assignments left undone save that they were used to daily writing in some form. So I gave them a story/riddle on which to write a pargraph or two — and we spend two days discussing the results as it drove to the heart of their perceptions of being prepared to meet life’s challenges.
The trails were well kept though little used – strange; and the course considered easy or difficult in ceaseless debate amongst the travelers, methinks more dependent on selection of foot-gear than else. So, the size of our group ebbed and waned in size and personality; never less than three nor more than eight, and each of us the better for the variety. Thus it was that when we came to a mountain crossroad a decision had to be made with no practiced structure or confidence upon which to rely. A pair of newly special friendship turned back – intending to focus on more important things, I suppose – leaving but four hikers to brave the unknown trails. A vote could not be taken as no majority was allowed, there being three paths from which to choose. As we were all of stalwart ego dimension and experience, simple math will extend that the opinions of action exceeded 36 – as factors of mind, heart and spirit had to blend with path and imagined goal. As a storm was pending it seemed unwise to pursue any rational evaluation of all options in a ‘guns and butter’ tradeoff, nor did playing at ‘scissor, paper, rock’ meet with approval. Yet, by some instinct little understood we knew that splitting up was not an option – “all or none at all” echoed in my soul.
Of course, I am not there at all – you are! What would you propose?
My journey to Glastsonbury came as a surprise not only to myself but also to Gallahad and Angel. Not too long after leaving The Cave of the Enchantress a messenger caught up with us and handed me a scroll.
Intrigued, I opened it. I could not contain my joy as I read the words, ‘an invitation to claim a room at the Leumarian Abbey, Glatsonbury’. I smiled so much my mouth ached. Thanking the messenger, I turned to Gallahad and ordered gleefully, “a change of plans Gallahad, we’re going to Glatsonbury’!
“Glatsonbury”! What happenned to finding the Gypsy Camp”? Asked Gallahad. “We will still visit the Gypsy Camp but for now we go to Glatsonbury and I wish to hear no more about it”!
Gallahad is a donkey of distinction, dare I say a gentleman, who knows when to keep quiet so he decided to read my mind rather than ask any more questions. He also has an uncanny sense of direction and before I knew it we were on our way. “Not too long, not too long and you’re nearly home”, whispered Angel from my bag.
Morgaine rode quietly upon Gallahads back thinking, remembering. She had never been to the Abbey in Glatsonbury even though it was situated quite close to her beloved Avalon.
Avalon was like her second home, she had been moved there as a child to learn the ways of the Goddess and become the next teacher and keeper of those ways.
When the mists enveloped Avalon for the final time, Morgaine knew there was no return to ‘paradise’. Tears welled in her eyes as she remembered the happinness, sadness and the deceit that closed the mists of Avalon for all time. She, who was the pawn in the game, manipulated by others, felt like the mists had also closed around her heart forever. How could she ever trust again?
If all that was not enough Arthur had died and the Saxons invaded, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. Camelot, the once bustling, happy town was ruined. Morgaine escaped to the hills
and claimed an abandoned farm which she named Camelot, here, she could live in peace. A few villages and their families had followed her believing she could keep them safe, these she hired to work the farm.
The Saxons moved on and up to conquer, the villagers and Morgaine settled in to life and work on the farm, yet Morgaine was still restless. One of the villages told Morgaine about a journey called the Silk Road, she had also heard it from a travellor before the Saxons came, it was then Morgaine determined to take the Silk Road Journey, herself – it was what she needed.
Morgaine left her Camelot the next afternoon confident the villages would not let her down, after all, it was their home too. So here she is travelling to Glatsonbury, about as close as she’ll ever get to Avalon.
As children we were gifted with imagination,
instead of carefully entrenched dilutions
that smudged smears and grime
on the rosy panes of our lantern
of joy and innocence.
There was no question of what Light shone through and about,
and people marveled at our gleaming soulful eyes
that lit up lonely hearts
and brought each back unto creation
of love and enchantment.
Again and ever again we tried to fan the flame
as we gather fireflies and phosphorescent moss
that shed no awesome light,
but kindled some simple happiness
in shadowed hearts and minds.
Oh, what can I do by today my slumbering friends
to become a lantern for your search and all,
and ease your troubled soul
that wants to remember tomorrow
as a dream of yesterday?
By free choice and whimsy (be there such a thing),
or pleasant coincidence (be there such a thing),
I lay claim to a tiny niche
just off the Abbey kitchen (as if I own anything at all),
and often hear words of wisdom (a non-sequitor perhaps)
not meant for me at all,
but just stirrings of the soup (that secret spice)
One such phrase lingers still
as an aroma of simmering soul –
“The secret of good cooking
is to anticipate problems,
and through preparation
to blend gift and will into love.”
and the guests above will speak of perfection,
and give thanks to God for a splendid feast,
and not even know her name,
or that she dines alone.
This song is written in an 11th century split form that may not display well on WordPress,
but were I there with you at the Abbey portal at dawn’s kiss, I would would sing to friends old and new — who know of the pains of creation.
The songs are from the willows scarce heard before the dawn,
and n’er know a single voice, nor ancient earth bound thrum.
‘Tis the echo of my yearning, a quest for ever gentle –
eager hand to join with mine ‘round the Staff of Covenant.
Are you the one I’m needing to complete the Braid of Tears?
Will you brave the rift of scorn and tame the flailing seasons
that will shriek of icy souls burned in the Forge of Greed,
or load my pack with thorny rocks that rend my guileless flesh ?
Do not answer, lest you lie and shatter my velvet dreams
of children’s eyes of wonder at the prancing of the rain,
and whispers of the moonlight that ride the birthing waves
out – out to the beginning of this Path of Orthenbe.
I gird my loins with petals fresh from the nether bloomings
of the silent shuffle thistle that can scratch the itch of time,
for bitter arrows of fear cannot pierce the weave of trust
that dusts the glomming hush that caresses innocence.
I need no squire of renown nor muscled arm of boastful,
but seek a minstrel of Light that can pluck the fluted reeds,
and coax the notes of knowing from betwixt the space of be;
for the battle is ‘gainst lonely and the enemy ever me.
I attempt to never tell others what to do – preferring to use story and example of directions and paths than might benefit and enhance one’s life. But I will tell you all what NOT to do. A week ago Sunday I cut up a felled tree into 12 fence posts and hauled the debris to the street. After setting the posts I connected them with rails and woven ‘rick-rack. It wasn’t lunch time yet so I mixed three bags of concrete to patch a leak in the basement wall, painted a door, cut up an old gas line and installed a set of lights and switches and fixed the fountain pump – and wrote three poems. I was hurting quite a bit by then and decided (stupidly) to have a couple of drinks to relax. Later, in the hospital I learned that my body no longer metabolizes alcohol – even a single glass of wine will poison my system.
Being 62 isn’t as much fun as I thought it might be. Rats – I forgot to change the spark-plugs in the car. Take care, my friends. I guess I don’t know how! Creation is everything for me. Guess I am going to have to ask for help.
My friend when you are ill
I miss your words
your words of hope and heart and hand
May all go well for you
and for the lady Em who holds your heart. Fran, Cronelogical.
I love the many women in my lover’s life:
The mother ,who birthed and left him too early, for her gentle genes
The stepmother who loved another’s child as if he were her birthed one
All those merry young aunts who played with him and sang
sang for the child, cuddled him often for their sister’s sake
His grandmother who knew my songs, music hall ditties
naughty bits made for gentle laughter
the girl who loved and left him
and the wife he married who stayed the course
This man who came so late
expecting only the one thing I could give
my love, dear love and touched me