as if evil crept in

October 20, 2017

When he was dead I raised myself to my feet and I looked about me. Everything was still. A loneliness had come upon my soul.

There was darkness everywhere now but in the forest. And even here there were wisps of grey, as if evil crept in.

I lifted my head to the sky and I shook my fist. “Oh, I reject you. I reject your Heaven and I reject your Hell. Do as you wish with me, but know that your desires are petty and your ambitions have no meaning!”

I addressed no one. I addressed the universe. I addressed a void.

Michael Moorcock
The War Hound and the World’s Pain

demand blood sacrifice

October 20, 2017

“Oh honey, that’s just how old houses are. They settle. They sometimes creak or groan, or quietly weep, or demand blood sacrifice in voices that sounds like the fluttering wings of a thousand moths. It’s just the house settling. For whatever it can get. Go back to sleep…”

Monique M

The spirits fly about in great clouds, up and down the face of the world like the starlings, and come back to the scenes of their earthly transgressions. No soul of them is without the clouds of earth, dimming the brightness of the works of earth. In bad nights, the Sluagh shelter themselves behind little russet docken stems and little yellow ragwort stalks. They fight battles in the air as men do on the earth.

A Carmichael
Carmina Gadelica (1928)

Planetarium

October 11, 2017

 

Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750—1848)
astronomer, sister of William; and others.

 

A woman in the shape of a monster   

a monster in the shape of a woman   

the skies are full of them

a woman      ‘in the snow

among the Clocks and instruments   

or measuring the ground with poles’

in her 98 years to discover   

8 comets

she whom the moon ruled   

like us

levitating into the night sky   

riding the polished lenses

Galaxies of women, there

doing penance for impetuousness   

ribs chilled   

in those spaces    of the mind

An eye,

          ‘virile, precise and absolutely certain’

          from the mad webs of Uranusborg

                                                            encountering the NOVA   

every impulse of light exploding

from the core

as life flies out of us

             Tycho whispering at last

             ‘Let me not seem to have lived in vain’

What we see, we see   

and seeing is changing

the light that shrivels a mountain   

and leaves a man alive

Heartbeat of the pulsar

heart sweating through my body

The radio impulse   

pouring in from Taurus

         I am bombarded yet         I stand

I have been standing all my life in the   

direct path of a battery of signals

the most accurately transmitted most   

untranslatable language in the universe

I am a galactic cloud so deep      so invo-

luted that a light wave could take 15   

years to travel through me       And has   

taken      I am an instrument in the shape   

of a woman trying to translate pulsations   

into images    for the relief of the body   

and the reconstruction of the mind.

Adrienne Rich

 

where they work much evil

October 10, 2017

…all the Irish, believe that the fairies are the fallen angels who were cast down by the Lord God out of heaven for their sinful pride. And some fell into the sea, and some on the dry land, and some fell deep down into hell, and the devil gives to these knowledge and power, and sends them on earth where they work much evil. But the fairies of the earth and the sea are mostly gentle and beautiful creatures, who will do no harm if they are let alone, and allowed to dance on the fairy raths in the moonlight to their own sweet music, undisturbed by the presence of mortals…

Lady Wilde
Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland

wood

A strange adventure befell the late Mr. Hugh Sheridan in the first week of February, 1953, and Mr. Willie Monks has kindly sent me this summary of his friend’s statement: ‘I was going home as usual across the fields from where I work at Messrs. J. McColloch & Sons, Gerrardstown, to my home at Bettyville. Both these places are in Ballyboughal, and the distance between them is about a half-mile. I was alone. It was duskish – about 6.30 p.m. – and when nearing the corner of one of the fields I heard a tittering noise ‘like the titter of someone going to play a joke on you’. At first I thought it was some of the other men who had gone on before me and who might be intending to play some prank. However, I noticed immediately afterwards what looked like a large, greenish tarpaulin on the ground, with ‘thousands of fairies’ on it. I then found there were a lot more around me. They were of two sizes, some about four feet high, and others about eighteen or twenty inches high. Except for size, both kinds were exactly alike. They wore dark, bluish-grey coats, tight at the waist and flared at the hips, with a sort of shoulder-cape. As all the fairies kept facing me I could not be sure if the cape went around them, but the ends stuck out over the shoulders. The covering of their legs was tight, rather like puttees, and they appeared to be wearing shoes. I started on the path towards home, and the fairies went with me in front and all around. The larger fairies kept the nearest to me. The ones in front kept skipping backwards as they went, and their feet appeared to be touching the ground. They seemed to be wearing hats rather like a raised beret in shape, with a jutting-out top edge. There were males and females, all seemingly in their early twenties. They had very pleasant faces, with plumper cheeks than those of humans, and the men’s faces were devoid of hair or whiskers. I did not specially notice their hands. As I moved along the path, one tall fairy kept before me all the time. This was a girl, and a man kept near her. They seemed to have partly fair, wavy or curly hair. None of the fairies had wings. They tried to get me off the path towards a gateway leading from the field, but just before I reached it I realized they were trying to take me away, so I resisted and turned towards the path again. At about 40 yards from the gateway I was going along by the ditch when I fell or got into it, but I do not know very clearly how this happened. While I was in it the fairies remained around, and I could see others coming out of the bushes and briars. I got out of the ditch and continued towards the path until I reached it again. I moved on towards home with the fairies around me, and they kept up the tittering noise all the time. In the end I got to a plank leading across a ditch from one field to another, and suddenly all the fairies went away. They seemed to go back, with the noise gradually fading. At one time I had reached out my arms to try to catch them, but I cannot be sure whether they skipped back just out of reach, or whether my hands passed through them without feeling anything. They were smiling and pleasant all the time, and I could see their eyes watching me. When I got home I found I was about three-quarters of an hour late, but I thought I had been delayed only a few minutes. While the fairies were with me I had a rather exciting feeling ‘like being on a great height’, but I was in no way afraid. I would very much like to meet them again.

Marjorie T. Johnson
Seeing Fairies: From the lost archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, authentic reports of Fairies in modern times

The moon is always female

October 8, 2017

The moon is always female and so
am I although often in this vale
of razorblades I have wished I could
put on and take off my sex like a dress
and why not? Do men always wear their sex
always? The priest, the doctor, the teacher
all tell us they come to their professions
neuter as clams and the truth is
when I work I am pure as an angel
tiger and clear is my eye and hot
my brain and silent all the whining
grunting piglets of the appetites.
For we were priests to the goddesses
to whom were fashioned the first altars
of clumsy stone on stone and leaping animal
in the wombdark caves, long before men
put on skirts and masks to scare babies.
For we were healers with herbs and poultices
with our milk and careful fingers
long before they began learning to cut up
the living by making jokes at corpses.
For we were making sounds from our throats
and lips to warn and encourage the helpless
young long before schools were built
to teach boys to obey and be bored and kill.

I wake in a strange slack empty bed
of a motel, shaking like dry leaves
the wind rips loose, and in my head
is bound a girl of twelve whose female
organs all but the numb womb are being
cut from her with a knife. Clitoridectomy,
whatever Latin name you call it, in a quarter
of the world’s girl children are so maimed
and I think of her and I cannot stop.
And I think of her and I cannot stop.

If you are a woman you feel the knife in the words.
If you are a man, then at age four or else
at twelve you are seized and held down
and your penis is cut off. You are left
your testicles but they are sewed to your
crotch. When your spouse buys you, you
are torn or cut open so that your precious
semen can be siphoned out, but of course
you feel nothing. But pain. But pain.

For the uses of men we have been butchered
and crippled and shut up and carved open
under the moon that swells and shines
and shrinks again into nothingness, pregnant
and then waning toward its little monthly
death. The moon is always female but the sun
is female only in lands where females
are let into the sun to run and climb.

A woman is screaming and I hear her.
A woman is bleeding and I see her
bleeding from the mouth, the womb, the breasts
in a fountain of dark blood of dismal
daily tedious sorrow quite palatable
to the taste of the mighty and taken for granted
that the bread of domesticity be baked
of our flesh, that the hearth be built
of our bones of animals kept for meat and milk,
that we open and lie under and weep.
I want to say over the names of my mothers
like the stones of a path I am climbing
rock by slippery rock into the mists.
Never even at knife point have I wanted
or been willing to be or become a man.
I want only to be myself and free.

I am waiting for the moon to rise. Here
I squat, the whole country with its steel
mills and its coal mines and its prisons
at my back and the continent tilting
up into mountains and torn by shining lakes
all behind me on this scythe of straw,
a sand bar cast on the ocean waves, and I
wait for the moon to rise red and heavy
in my eyes. Chilled, cranky, fearful
in the dark I wait and I am all the time
climbing slippery rocks in a mist while
far below the waves crash in the sea caves;
I am descending a stairway under the groaning
sea while the black waters buffet me
like rockweed to and fro.

I have swum the upper waters leaping
in dolphin’s skin for joy equally into the nec-
cessary air and the tumult of the powerful wave.
I am entering the chambers I have visited.
I have floated through them sleeping and sleep-
walking and waking, drowning in passion
festooned with green bladderwrack of misery.
I have wandered these chambers in the rock
where the moon freezes the air and all hair
is black or silver. Now I will tell you
what I have learned lying under the moon
naked as women do: now I will tell you
the changes of the high and lower moon.
Out of necessity’s hard stones we suck
what water we can and so we have survived,
women born of women. There is knowing
with the teeth as well as knowing with
the tongue and knowing with the fingertips
as well as knowing with words and with all
the fine flickering hungers of the brain.

Marge Piercy

Burton Silverman

(for D)
Here, touch here, just beneath the ribs you kissed when you were nearly twenty-three and I was a girl knee-deep in meadow, fescue, timothy, mustard, the wild ginger I had just learned from my grandmother a few weeks before we met. Dancing in that bar, that night, I wanted to tell you how to spot wild ginger, how Carolina, where we both grew, banned spreading cornflower seeds, and I most wanted to tell that you smelled of sweet clover, and sun. In my silence, I named you shining one. Later, while you slept, I whispered secrets into your hair – how black snake root would keep you strong, rue and thistle protect you, how the plant I named as spikenard – lavender – would lead you in my direction, when our time came. In the morning, I left rosemary behind, that you might, just might, remember. Because as false at times as desire may seem, it isn’t. Nor is the humid wish for love, steaming, sweating, our second skins, those made of glass, the ones we fear the most, will shatter.

Mary Carroll-Hackett

Bryan Silva

It’s that time of year again. The shadows grow longer, the days colder. We light fires and candles, close our doors against the night and tell tales to terrify ourselves. Why when the darkness presses against the windows and the winds howl do we concentrate on our fears? The terror of the unknown, the closeness of death and decay?

For the rest of the year we keep these thoughts at bay. It is only when we feel most vulnerable to the in-definable, to the spirits that we don’t really believe in, to the afterlife we hope exists, but of which we can find no evidence, that we indulge in an orgy of spine chilling stories.

Misha Herwin
Ghost Stories

Faery2

The “tween times” between day and night are often the best times to see fairies so try looking for them at dawn (between night and day) and dusk (between day and night). Other good times to see them are at midnight (between one day and the next), any solstice or equinox day and May 1. Susan and I have discovered that we can see and hear them really well on October 31st when the veil between our worlds is very thin so you might want to try that too. Don’t look for them in bright light – they are much easier to see in low light situations, especially for beginners.

Natalie Lynn
Learning to see Fairies