October 1, 2017

She had not expected to see a river,
shining brightness or sweet song
perhaps, instead a serpentine sliver
of water wound its way along
a deep, cavernous ravine,
its looming craggy walls
crouching over the torpid stream,
dwarfing the sepulchral craft with its tall
sail gliding through the mist
towards the shoreline.
Powerless to resist,
she knew she must resign
herself to whatever Fate had in store.
Slipping a coin into the boatman’s hand
she stepped aboard, noticing more
people waiting patiently on the strand
apparently unaware of each other,
silently gazing as the barge
sailed further and further
across the river, the large
vertiginous cliffs closing in
as it slowly disappeared from view,
feeling a finger of unease begin
to spread through her being, a new
frisson of fear preceding a sense
of slow fragmentation
as her brain began to dispense
with memories, a dispersion
of self that continued
until she disembarked on the other side,
her previous life reviewed
and removed, she had died,
Charon, for that was the boatman’s name,
informed her, as his sail unfurled
ready to return, she was not the same,
she now belonged to the Underworld.

Doreen Hopwood

To Four Psychoanalysts

October 1, 2017

Richard Chessick, John Gedo, James Grotstein and Vamik Voltan

What darknesses have you lit up for me
What depths of infinite space plumbed
With your finely honed probes
What days of unending distress lightened
With your wisdom, skills and jouissance?
Conquistadores of the unconscious
For three decades how often have I come to you
And from your teachings gathered the manna
Of meaning eluding me alone in my northern eyrie?
Chance or God’s guidance – being a poet I chose the latter –
Brought me to dip my ankle like an amah’s blessing
Into the Holy Ganges of prelude and grosse fuge
Of ego and unconscious, wandering alone
In uncharted waters and faltering
Until I raised my hand and found it grasped
By your firm fingers pulling inexorably shoreward.

Did I know, how could I know, madness
Would descend on my family, first a sad grandfather
Who had wrought destruction on three generations
Including our children’s?

I locked with the horns of madness,
Trusted my learning, won from you at whose feet I sat
Alone and in spirit; yet not once did you let me down,
In ward rounds, staying on after the other visitors –
How few and lost – had gone, chatting to a charge nurse
While together we made our case
To the well meaning but unenlightened psychiatrist,
Chair of the department no less, grumbling good-naturedly
At our fumbling formulations of splitting as a diagnostic aid.

When Cyril’s nightmare vision of me in a white coat
Leading a posse of nurses chasing him round his flat
With a flotilla of ambulances on witches’ brooms
Bringing his psychotic core to the fore and
The departmental chairman finally signing the form.

Cyril discharged on Largactil survived two years
To die on a dual carriageway ‘high on morphine’
And I learned healing is caring as much as knowing,
The slow hard lesson of a lifetime, the concentration
Of a chess master, the footwork of a dancer,
The patience of a scholar and a saint’s humility,
While I have only a poet’s quickness, a journalist’s
Ability to speed-read and the clumsiness
Of a circus clown.

Barry Tebb


How beautiful your sandaled feet…
Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands.
Your navel/vulva is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine.
Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies.

Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon
by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose …
Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
Your hair is like royal tapestry;
the king is held captive by its tresses.
How beautiful you are and how pleasing,
my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm…

Marvin H. Pope (Translator)

Song of Songs 7: 1-7


Heart of Kali

You the one who Opens Hearts. You who defy this westerner’s preconceived ideas and bring me to the ground in surrender, time after time. Heart opening, tears flowing. You the dark one, Kali awesome power.

You who are the creator of worlds – whether through lovemaking with Shiva, or through menstruation – you the Cosmic Creatrix, Black Time, Mother of Worlds, Dark Mother, Dark Matter. From whom all is breathed out, and to whom all returns.

You who slay the demons of oppression, greed and war on the planet when no one else can, in consort with your sister warrior goddess Durga. You who lick up the blood of demons to stop them from multiplying. You who shake the worlds with your bloodlust dance until you recognize your lover Shiva laying on the ground, and invite him to play with you.

You who are the energy of worlds, that which expands and contracts, that which allows involution and evolution of consciousness. You who are Kundalini, coiled energy at the base of the spine. You who rise with your three red eyes and tongue up my spine to my 3rd eye and out my crown when I am altered, when I feel the energy, when I am meditating, when I am making love.

You with your matriarchal tribal origins – warrior goddess who loves when she wishes, who calls us to love our fierceness, to honor our bodies and sexuality, who loves menstrual blood on the altar – who calls us forth on the wild woman path, the path of witches and Sybils, yoginis and Tantrics before us.

You who are Tantric Wisdom Goddess, who comes to us as we chant your name, whose image brings the ecstatic, whose geometric yantra can induce trance, who takes possession of her teachers and even her devotees. Who teaches us to pay attention to the energy, to come back to our power, our selves. Who shows us that the whole universe is within us.

You inducer of altered states – who gave me the star pillow as I floated up through the ceiling to visit you in dream-time. Who caused me to wake in the middle of the night with my body vibrating and my tongue sticking out. Who raised the sensual energy again and again, making love to me in meditation, until I really got it – the link between sexuality and spirituality. Who saved me in dreams only when I called on you and Shiva at the same moment. You who came through me as electric current, blanking out my waking consciousness. Who allowed the dream-time Voudou Loa to channel through me.

You, with your necklace of skulls, challenging me to confront my fears, calling me to meditate in the cremation grounds, bringing me so many dream-time images of skulls. Until I was no longer scared, and welcomed them, welcomed you.

You sky dancing Dakini – who scared me with your dance on top of the twin towers, until I understood that you were absorbing all back into yourself, including the demons of greed and destruction, including the fear of those who died, so that all were free to fly, so that all could come to you. You who help us confront our fears, our mortality, our death.

You Kali Maa, who came to me through my anger and rage at patriarchal authority – at those who try to control, or bind the power of women here and now, in this time – and in all times. You who confronted me with my shadow, so I could flex my warrior muscles and absorb my shadow self! You call us to look the beauty and terror of creation in the face and recognize it is all you. And that we are ‘all that.’ You who slay my demons and blow my heart wide open. You who rise again and again in the fire of my emotional cremation ground – you who devour my density, you who allow release.

You the dark one, Kali.

Mari P Ziolkowski

The night belongs to women

October 1, 2017

Women should never fear the night. It is their domain. They are strongly linked to the moon, and during the night feminine energy flows strongest and the Goddess is in the air. The night belongs to women and moonlight is reflected from their souls…

Sunday Entertainment

October 1, 2017

Such a grey silent day. I’d like to be tied up in a wood far, far away…

Time can be so very misleading – all we ever have of it is NOW, and our lives are made up with billions and billions of these nows…

It’s not always a fuzzy Mills & Boon romance. Sometimes it’s about a stranger and a fist full of hair over a bowed back…

reveal and conceal

October 1, 2017


Painting vulvae, focusing on details of women’s bodies, even the parts that are ‘supposed’ to be hidden, does sometimes feel like a small act of resistance ― a way of saying that women don’t need to hide, that we deserve a place, not just in the art world, but in every sector.

It’s part of this strange dichotomy that culture has created for women: reveal and conceal. On one hand, we’re always supposed to reveal enough of ourselves to be sexually attractive, but simultaneously we’re expected to conceal our bodies, our opinions, and, ultimately, I believe, our power.

Jacqueline Secor
Huffington Post 21 February 2017


I have tried to forget you.

                          But it’s just too hard to forget when your cum wont wash off of my favourite sweater.



She liked the way his cum
Gave her shiny, webbed fingers.
She liked to hold them up to the light
And watch the way they glistened.
A translucent filth.
She identified with this.
She aspired to be this dirty thing
That could be had,
Without being seen.

Most people swallowed her up.
But she wanted to be spat out.

Circa 1994