Tag Archives: ritual


Your heat has raged and burnt the world with light
since you were born to rule Midwinter’s night;
you’ve warmed the earth, its bones and seeds alike,
to melt the snow and turn all new life ripe.

But lo! your flames now flicker and will cease;
this season’s reign of fire begins to wane.
Look, now your brother Winter breaks his peace
to take from you the throne of earth again.

Let darkness creep again into the world;
let summer sink in silent death-like sleep.
Let earth again succumb to Winter’s charms;
and in the shadows, wean the spark of light.

Slow down your constant spin of sunlit days,
and find in autumn’s pace great joy and peace.
The summer is not dead, it merely sleeps,
and waits through this cold season for release.

23 SEP 2011

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Hymn to Mithras

Praise for the sun born on this night
Praise for the coming of the light
On winter’s longest stretch of dark
We praise the tiny, faintest spark

Praise for the coming of the new
Praise for the frost, soon turned to dew
When spring’s fresh promise comes to all
We praise the fire that starts so small

Praise for the earth that slumbers deep
Praise for the world that finds, in sleep,
The dreams that feed brave summer’s deeds
We praise the hibernating seeds

Praise for the sun born on this night
Praise for the coming of the light
Into the dark and bitter cold
We praise the fire as it grows old

Praise for the present and the past
Praise for what fades and what may last
Beyond our sight, beyond our time
We praise the seen and the sublime

Praise for the future and today
Praise what remains, what fades away,
And all things living that will die
We praise the earth, the sea and sky

Praise for the sunlight come again
Praise friend and enemy, and then
For each day forward through the year
We praise the means that brought us here.

24 DEC 2006

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Hallows 2005

Tonight the veil between the worlds wears thin
and feels as sheer as gossamer. To touch
its fabric is to let the shadows in,
to find one’s means of light only a crutch

that guides us, just a mere footstep beyond
the circle we imagine with our eyes,
a stick with which we try to sound the pond
and find no bottom. There is no disguise

tonight to startle demons from the door,
nor simple ruse to mime behind in fear.
These clever gadgets, tools and such are poor
defense against the truths this night makes clear.

On Hallow’s Eve, we each get what we’ve asked.
For some, reward is only one more task.

30 OCT 2005

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Hallows 1997

a remembrance

The flames lick against the side of a rusted drum;
Something rustles behind the apple trees,
And a dog runs barking into the lowering dark,
Joyously fierce as its sound echoes against
The walnut stand along the creek.
I flick a cigarette ash into the diesel stained air
And suppress a shiver from the night –
Another frost settling down on this October twilight.

A lamp inside the storm plastic window by the door
Glows incandescent warm and inviting;
I can hear the soft murmur of the evening news
As it rises and falls against the whisper of the furnace.
In the windbreak of the shed I watch the fire
Flash and caress the falling blackness,
Feel its heat flicker against my face in patterns
Of Hallowe’en orange and ebony.

The whine of the all-night combines reaches out
Across the half-barren land, exciting the young puppies
With its strange roar and threshing; while the Harvest moon
Bathes the rooftops with its slowing rising amber.
What dreams have found their way across this silent sky
To slip unnoticed into the great horizon of grain?
My shadow, cast against the peeled and graying barn
Rocks back and forth in quiet contemplation.

I lost my childhood on this spot, this faded hill of green,
And buried it among the weeds that grow unchecked
While my endless struggle wanes and wretches,
Shouting pleas to ancient timbers; when it wakes
Will I remember, once or twice more, the grasping cold
Ground and fight, desperate, its bitter memory?
Or will I turn, again, away, and looking back, forget
My lonely cries of summer tossed against this wind?

19 OCT 1997

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Summer’s bent and turned to gray,
his heat begins to wend;
in these dog days of decline
his smolder finds its end.

Now the lad with darkened locks,
his heart born full of ice,
begins again to wax in strength
and plot the sacrifice

of the green and winsome king
whose fires consume and warm;
in the shadows, winter brews
its months of snow and storm.

From the fields, sun’s regent walks
among the first-born sheaves;
in their surrender lies his bounty.
Soon, the turning leaves

will announce his kingship ended,
and that fateful siege
when his lance will be unmended
and a new crowned liege

will ascend the season’s throne
to lull the world to sleep
through the gray and bitter months,
when the sun must creep

at a distance, as the world
lies fallow until spring,
and the Sun will claim once more
its green and leafy King.

Summer’s step is not so sure
past each year’s Lammas eve;
mere months mark the lifespan
of the king. But do not grieve:

in the womb of winter’s deep,
the cold new king will sow
the sunlight spark that will in time
defeat again the snow.

01 AUG 2005

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Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

The true ascetic does not ask for things
to compensate them for some perceived lack;
and yet, each vow of abstinence weaves strings
of favors that they fancy will attract

the warm benevolence of unseen might,
a glance from some divinity’s kind eye,
although the chance of answer may be slight.
Their reasoning for getting no reply

is that their hearts still crave and are not pure,
despite a lifetime’s sacrifice and pain,
and loneliness not many could endure.
Small wonder that they seem a bit insane;

it makes you wonder, what sort of a god,
when as a loving parent is beseeched
by needy children, fails to give. How odd
that it requires such effort just to reach

and in the darkness, hear that parent’s voice.
How many caring mothers could deny
indulgence of their baby’s whims? What choice
does any doting father have? To lie,

and say, “There’s not enough for you, my dear,”
despite possessing infinite supply,
so much that it will never disappear?
No human parent acts this way. So why

not ask for everything you think you need,
including things that you could live without?
The list won’t be so long the gods can’t read
it, or not have the brains to sort it out.

Ask, cajole, demand, beg, plead and whine;
use all the tools in a child’s repertoire,
A loving universe will think that’s fine,
and likely grant your wishes, and much more.

29 JUN 2005

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Midsummer’s Night

Again the axis ceases its slow spin,
and slides across the rachet to reverse;
the day and night become each other’s twin,
and spheres align across the universe.

In this time, when the veil between the worlds
is thin and day admits its fleeting hold
on time and space, the fabric is uncurled,
and often there are wonders to behold.

Midsummer’s Night — when faeries hold their court,
and light the sky in firefly delight,
when what seems unreal masquerades, for sport,
as hard and fast reality. You might

believe on other days the world is so
wrapped in logic, that its soul is dead;
but in this moonlight, if you dance, you’ll know
the world as it might be; and then, instead

of crying for the would and could have beens,
in vain lamenting your loss of control,
you might let go the world of only seems
and see, for once, the real, the true, the whole.

20 JUN 2005

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