Don’t worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn’t matter.
We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world’s harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.
So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.
This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.
Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!
They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we can’t see.
Stop the words now.
Open the window in the centre of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.

Selected Poems
Translation Coleman Barks with John Moyne

the Great Goddess

March 25, 2018


One of the most revered and most powerful Goddesses of all time is Kali. Her worship and unbroken Hindu lineage stretches back into antiquity. She is the Great Goddess in her destroyer aspect, balanced and counterpoint for the Goddess in her creator aspect, yet she is also the three in one. In her emanation as Anath, she ruled the Middle East back to Neolithic times. In Central America, she is the Lady of the Serpent Skirt, her skirt an apron of severed phalluses.

Aryll Argon
She’s Back
The Beltane Papers winter 2009/2010

The Meaning of Anam Cara

March 25, 2018

moon and trees

In the Celtic Tradition there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas here is the idea of soul-love; the old Gaelic term for this is anam cara. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and cara is the word for friend. So anam cara in the Celtic world was the “soul friend”. In the early Celtic church a person who acted as teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called an anam cara. It originally referred to someone to whom you confessed, revealing the hidden intimacies of your life. With the anam cara you could share your inner most self, your mind and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara your friendship cut across all convention, morality, and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the “friend of your soul”. There is no cage for the soul. The soul is a divine light that flows into you and into your other. This art of belonging awakened and fostered a deep and special companionship. In his Confessions, John Cassian (360 – 435 AD) says this bond between friends is indissoluble. “this, I say, is what is broken by no chances, what interval of time or space can sever or destroy, and what even death itself cannot separate.”

John O’Donahue
Mysticism from the Celtic World

the most poetic thing

March 25, 2018

a supernova remnant

Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics.

You are all stardust.

You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded. Because the elements, the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars. And the only way they could get into your body is if the stars were kind enough to explode.
So forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be here today.

Lawrence M Krauss
A Universe from Nothing

repress revolt

March 25, 2018

Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes; and since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being . . . the fear of God will therefore repress any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Second Sex

Your writing routine –

March 24, 2018


If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.


Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.


See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

Henry Miller
On Writing

machines using men

March 24, 2018

our future selves

There’s no use pretending that a standardised, time-table machine-culture has any point in common…with a culture involving human freedom, individualism and personality. So…all one can do…is to fight the future as best he can. Anybody who thinks that men live by reason, or that they are able to consciously mould the effect & influences of the devices they create, is behind the time psychologically. Men can use machines for a while, but after a while the psychology of machine-habituation & machine-dependence becomes such that machines will be using the men – modelling them to their essentially efficient & absolutely valueless precision of action and thought…perfect functioning, without reason or reward for functioning at all.

H.P. Lovecraft
Letter to James F. Morton, November 19, 1929

A madman or a master

March 24, 2018

Most poets are young simply because they have not been caught up. Show me an old poet and I’ll show you, more often than not, either a madman or a master . . . it’s when you begin to lie to yourself in a poem in order simply to make a poem, that you fail. That is why I do not rework poems.

Charles Bukowski
On Writing

becomes a burlesque

March 24, 2018

There are two ways the spirit of a culture may be shrivelled. In the first one – the Orwellian – becomes a prison. In the second – the Huxleyan – culture becomes a burlesque.

Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death

Food for Thought

March 23, 2018