SEE: November Zoom Cyber Room…

May be an image of book
***

A Walk with Death…

Death is one of the most important things about our lives, and yet many people have remarkably shallow views on it, preferring to settle for religious folk tales rather than using our aliveness to explore its apparent opposite.

Certain authors, including our cover image writer, Terry Pratchett, have cleverly used humour to explore this question.

Philosophical history is full of excellent accounts of the journey of death, but how will we know which are useful and which fanciful?

The Vedic and Egyptian civilisations – to name but two – had detailed descriptions of what we should expect after death.

We will be asking for guest speakers to take a ten-minute slot to give us an overview of their interpretations.

Finally, we will ask whether a spiritual understanding of life can equip us better to encounter death… and take that walk with ‘the Reaper’!

In this first of the ‘dark months’ join us for seriousness and merriment as we throw ourselves into this challenging topic!

***

‘Diana began our discussion with a reading of her poem…
The Nadir of Light
As we move toward the depth of winter, the light fades,
Weakens, moves sideways.
Rising late, thin, attenuated like a ghost,
A wraith that moves silently in mists and cloudy twilight,
The light shivers in the clear chill of icicle mornings,
And wraps itself in fleecy pastel afternoons darkening
To evening.
Darkness falls, a black drapery muffling the change of scene,
And light appears again.
Within the wilderness a fire burns, a meal is prepared.
A window glows golden and welcoming to the traveler in the night.
Above the dark earth, the jewels of the sky gleam as diamond-bright
Sequins cast upon a velvet ground.
Death stops by for chats these days;
A familiar presence come to spend a bit of time with me
While I muse and sip my tea. We are old friends by now.
Death never says much; doesn’t have to —
The wheeze in my chest says it all,
Says I am vulnerable, says I am old,
Says my friend and I are growing closer by the day.
And the days are short, and cold in winter,
And sleep seems sweet and warm, deep, enfolding
Like soft arms, or great, dark wings ….
Death is a flirt, catching my eye suggestively
Only to look away again.
It is a game we play; we both know
Which of us succumbs.
This is an ancient wooing dance we do,
A courtship ritual played out at last
In a life lived long enough to understand the partner
And the steps.
The year glides into its turn. One hemisphere enjoying
Sun and summer warmth, the other bearing a cold face,
In winter‘s grip,
The earth orb pirouettes through space
In company with the corps, the coterie of the nearest star.
And each star in its own great cycle spins,
And moves in its great pilgrimage to ending and beginning
Never-ending. The aeons in a choreography process.
The long nights draw cold, sharp as a knife, across the lives
Of the sacrificed. All that has passed is holy, and all that is to come,
And this moment, most of all;
Now is holy. The turning point
Hidden in the moment – in every moment – the potential
Is here, present, perfect
In process.
The dark stain of blood upon the snow
Marks where a creature passed into the maw of history,
And another found sustenance.
Life feeds upon itself, in constant revolution of
Darkness and light.
The scythe has passed, the husks lie empty on the cold ground;
Freed of the flesh, the warm blood no longer coursing
With the pulsing of the chambered heart,
The essence flees from light to dark;
Womb-dark, earth-dark with the richness of loam
And decay
And there, the germ of life takes fire from heaven
Within; Growth begins.
At the turn of the year, as winter claims the sacrifice
The antipodal summer reaches apex, and the light
Begins its redirection.
The apex of humanity, the conscious eye, surveys itself,
What dies and what remains and grows, and feeds upon
That which has gone before, and changes,
Unfolding possibilities.
Another year, and old bones growing colder,
Brittle, like the dry sticks feeding the fire.
Ah — grind the cinnamon into the mug, just so —
And breathe the scent of sacrifice;
The tree’s life gives spice to warm the blood.
Soon enough my essence will be freed to dance
In the space between the stars, where neither cold nor heat
Are sensed, and all is the light-filled darkness.
But for this day, in time, as the year moves to its turning,
I hold the warm liquid still in its cup, and inspiration
Brings me content,
Absorbing substance of a subtle sort.
Here, at the portal is a glimpse of immortality:
Life and Death as one moving essentiality, the spirit

Traveling, timeless and eternal, in infinity.

D.G.B.Young

***
‘What senses allow us to know someone is alive (or dead)?’
– The everyday drama dissolves and the ‘song’ of the individual emerges.
– We have something remarkable that recognises life but that is difficult to define.
– The quality of the individual is gone.
– Death is here, in the physical, and where we go when we die is life. There is unity between the two, but the physical body stands in the way.
– Death could be considered an advisor.
Lorraine presented the Druid’s view of death although there is no particular collective belief system. We come from earth and we return to earth in the cycle of life and death that is present throughout the natural world.
There is no need to fear it because it is natural and normal. She suggested that the soul/spirit returns to another place and join the realm of the Ancestors to share knowledge and wisdom gained in life experiences.
Death is to be welcomed and, in fact, willing sacrifices gave honour and nobility to their tribes in ancient times.
She added that peace comes with the transformation/transition of death and that it is a happy and joyful experience for Druids because life is then happy and full. We must live fully in the physical though, experiencing life through the senses as compensation for not being in spirit; if not, we are doing a disservice to spirit.
Kevin commented that some are advised to prepare for death with a ‘Death Working’ and, according to the Rosicrucian, the psychic body, which is developed in life, accompanies us through death, while Buddhists rehearse dying.
Luba suggested that death is like divorce in that the physical and the spiritual separate and take two separate journeys.
Steve looked at, The Myth of Osiris, as an example of a death myth – however, is Osiris actually associated with death or with life (his green-ness implies life and regeneration).
Stuart asked us to consider this from a psychological perspective where the myth changes focus, perhaps… Seth as ego, Isis as soul/spirit…
Is this myth about death?
The God of the Underworld (consider the implications of the word ‘underworld’ as foundation, basis, upholding).
The myth is about life, not death!
The form dies, but not the material and, having been dissected, Osiris does not have a lower aspect, but he does have a higher one.
And all pharaohs displayed themselves as Osiris in death. The Imperishable Star = the higher self = humanity’s royalty.’ – Recorder
***

THE OSIRIAD

Myths of Ancient Egypt

Sue Vincent

In the Two Lands of Ancient Egypt, a mythical history has been preserved. It begins with the dawn of Creation itself and spans one of the greatest stories ever to capture the heart and imagination of humankind.

In this retelling, it is Isis, the Mistress of all Magic herself, who tells the story of the sacred family of Egypt. In forgotten ages, the gods lived and ruled amongst men. Many tales were told, across many times and cultures, following the themes common to all mankind. Stories were woven of love and loss, magic and mystery, life and death. One such story has survived from the most distant times.

In the Two Lands of Ancient Egypt a mythical history has been preserved across the centuries.

“We have borne many names and many faces, my family and I. All races have called us after their own fashion and we live their stories for them, bringing to life the Universal Laws and Man’s own innermost heart. We have laughed and loved, taught and suffered, sharing the emotions that give richness to life. But for now, I will share a chapter of my family’s story. One that has survived intact through the millennia, known and remembered still, across your world. Carved in stone, written on papyrus, I will tell you of a time when my name was Isis.”

 Available for Kindle and in Paperback via Amazon UK, US and worldwide

Unpacking the Lion’s Share…

Strength (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

‘It is the strongest of all powers,

the force of all forces.

It overcomes every subtle thing,

and penetrates every solid substance.’

Emerald Tablet

*

The glosses in the biblical text make it clear

that this tale has been ‘recommissioned’ for use in the canon.

*

It is also clear from the related marriage customs which set-up the riddle

that the Philistines were a matriarchal community.

A bride-price is demanded rather than a dowry offered.

*

Most weird of all, perhaps, is the riddling episode itself.

It is the only example of an overt riddling sequence in the Old Dispensation.

And it is ‘all wrong’…

The riddle question reads like an answer.

And the answer, which is only half an answer, anyway, reads like a question!

*

Ox’s not lions are traditionally renowned for strength.

Lions are more usually associated with ferocity.

Perhaps by attempting to answer the riddles

as they stand some light may be shed.

*

What is stronger than a lion?

The midday sun.

What is sweeter than honey?

The look of love.

*

As this is ostensibly a marriage tale which goes wrong

we might begin to see why what has been done to the tale has been done.

*

Samson has long been regarded as a type of ‘sun-god’…

Perhaps his wife, who is not even graced with a name,

was originally a ‘moon-goddess’.

‘Out of the eater, something to eat’

could certainly describe the waning-waxing moon.

Both visually and practically by dent of the growth cycles of plants

being linked to the waxing phase of the moon.

*

If the thirty wedding guests are the ‘days of a month’,

it means that the story originated in a culture

with a calendar similar to that of the Egyptians.

A three-hundred and sixty-day year with five intercalary days or ‘divinities;.

*

The bride-price as sacred and profane dress is also interesting,

and, again, is ultimately only half-met.

*

The great sun-hero storming off in anger at the close

is perhaps less a show of strength and more one of petulance.

Which may, or may not, be deemed fitting.

Portals…

*

“In the programme…”

said the man wearing a green-kilt,

*

*

“…the portal-stones lead to another time.”

*

*

“He’s referring to a television

programme,” said Wen, quietly.

*

*

“And what of the non televisual world?”

*

*

“There isn’t one.”

 

***

 

*

Lands of Exile:

KITH ‘N’ KIN

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.

Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…

As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…

 

Where do they go to?…

rs-224

*

…And the Wood-Stone started to glow,

White it was…

*

rs-225

*

And I felt an impetus to take flight,

but only as far as the end of the passage…

*

rs-226

*

Which is just as well, otherwise,

I would have missed the golden glow

now emanating from the chamber…

*

rs-227

*

And all the ‘statuary firing up blue’,

as whatever it was lighting the chamber,

slowly made its way along the passage…

*

rs-228

*

Passed through me…

*

rs-233

*

Or around me…

*

rs-239

*

And then out…

*

rs-240

*

A short time later, still in the chamber,

we found ourselves asking the question to which that had been the answer.

And if you are curious to know, how golden was the chamber?

*

rs-231

*

It was Liquid-Sun.

 

***

 

*

Lands of Exile

But ‘n’ Ben ~ Beck ‘n’ Call  ~ Kith ‘n’ Kin

While Ben, fast becoming a folk hero, languishes in Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.

From England to Scotland and Ireland, the officers of the Law follow the trail of the erratic couple.

But who is the shadowy figure, hovering beyond sight?

What is his interest in a small standing stone and just how many high-level strings can he pull…

and why?

***

Winged blade.
Everywhere. Nowhere.
Now here.

“Now slowly, gently, return to the Circle, carrying the vision of Light within. Return to your body… meld with it once more… Allow yourself to feel your chest, rising and falling as you breathe… your feet on the green earth.”
Warm, in Jaw-Dark’s hand, the crystal seed pulsed with life. “In the monstrous tyranny of process,” he said, “‘what is’ is next to ‘what was’, and ‘what is no longer’, while ‘what never was’ but ‘what could have been’ and, perhaps even, ‘what should have been’ is that much stronger…
“What seems complete,” said Kraas in the way of some sort of response, “may only be divisive, and ‘the half of it’ might in fact be whole.”
“Good,” said Weston. “Does anyone have anything else to add?”
“Ben’s out,” said Sams.
“Yes, I got that impression, too,” said Weston.
“I have one for Mark,” said Prufrock.
Jaw-Dark placed the crystal seed, still pulsing with life, flat to his heart centre.
“Long before the Pueblo Indians of Central Mexico learned to cultivate maize, they grew green kidney beans as a staple,” said Prufrock. ““Three beans magical,” said the witch doctor in the marketplace, circumspectly discarding those with a flawed casing. By sleight of hand he made many beans fall from those three.”
“It is going to rain heavily,” said Jaw-Dark, matter-of-factly.
“Looking at that black mass of cloud gathering over the horizon, I’d say you were right,” said Kraas.
“If it’s the storm from last night we wouldn’t want to be caught in an exposed location,” said Prufrock.
“There was a storm last night?” said Kraas.

“Not where we were,” said Prufrock…

***

***

Lands of Exile:

KITH ‘N’ KIN

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.

Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…

As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…

Available via Amazon UK, Amazon.com and worldwide.

Into the Hill…

rs-208*

Further vindication of our unscheduled return

was granted upon re-entering the chamber.

The free standing stone and the facing stone,

which were separated by space and shadow,

were both now holding the light.

The light that some say would not have been original to the monument.

*

rs-218

*

From behind, the standing stone still looks like wood…

*

rs-220

*

…Dark Wood.

*

rs-222

*

Still a little perplexed by the experience the previous day at the ‘Chant-Eater’

we ran through the nine-fold chant and this time got some good effects.

The middle three seemed to resonate most favourably which,

being the heart triad, would make a lot of sense here.

After which we re-made our dedication…

*

rs-243

*

Our timing was beginning to appear propitious…

*

rs-223

*

But then we noticed that the ground was turning red…

 

***

 

*

Lands of Exile

But ‘n’ Ben ~ Beck ‘n’ Call  ~ Kith ‘n’ Kin

While Ben, fast becoming a folk hero, languishes in Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.

From England to Scotland and Ireland, the officers of the Law follow the trail of the erratic couple.

But who is the shadowy figure, hovering beyond sight?

What is his interest in a small standing stone and just how many high-level strings can he pull…

and why?

***

Winged blade.
Everywhere. Nowhere.
Now here.

“Now slowly, gently, return to the Circle, carrying the vision of Light within. Return to your body… meld with it once more… Allow yourself to feel your chest, rising and falling as you breathe… your feet on the green earth.”
Warm, in Jaw-Dark’s hand, the crystal seed pulsed with life. “In the monstrous tyranny of process,” he said, “‘what is’ is next to ‘what was’, and ‘what is no longer’, while ‘what never was’ but ‘what could have been’ and, perhaps even, ‘what should have been’ is that much stronger…
“What seems complete,” said Kraas in the way of some sort of response, “may only be divisive, and ‘the half of it’ might in fact be whole.”
“Good,” said Weston. “Does anyone have anything else to add?”
“Ben’s out,” said Sams.
“Yes, I got that impression, too,” said Weston.
“I have one for Mark,” said Prufrock.
Jaw-Dark placed the crystal seed, still pulsing with life, flat to his heart centre.
“Long before the Pueblo Indians of Central Mexico learned to cultivate maize, they grew green kidney beans as a staple,” said Prufrock. ““Three beans magical,” said the witch doctor in the marketplace, circumspectly discarding those with a flawed casing. By sleight of hand he made many beans fall from those three.”
“It is going to rain heavily,” said Jaw-Dark, matter-of-factly.
“Looking at that black mass of cloud gathering over the horizon, I’d say you were right,” said Kraas.
“If it’s the storm from last night we wouldn’t want to be caught in an exposed location,” said Prufrock.
“There was a storm last night?” said Kraas.

“Not where we were,” said Prufrock…

***

***

Lands of Exile:

KITH ‘N’ KIN

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.

Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…

As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…

Available via Amazon UK, Amazon.com and worldwide.

Inner Sanctum…

 

rs-204

*

The thing is…

It is impossible to ‘do’ such sites in one visit.

In fact, it is not possible to ‘do’ such sites at all.

If anything, they ‘do’ you, if you allow them.

As we were about to learn…

*The stone I was interested to get a closer look at is a,

one would hope,  carefully positioned, replica.

The original, carved stone, is now in a local museum for safe-keeping.

The orientation of the ‘tomb’ is, according to the authorities,

towards the midsummer sunrise, so time-wise, at least, we were half a year away.

But I think it is clear that something is going on here with sun and stone,

especially as it becomes obvious that a second outlier

in an adjacent field also lines up with the stone and ‘passage-way’.

All things which would have been missed

had we not returned when we did,

but the best was yet to come…

*

rs-181*

We had known for some time, courtesy of Rupert Soskin,

that the resident stone of the inner chamber at Bryn Celli Ddu

is part of a petrified tree trunk.

*

rs-173*

And once we had our eye in it became apparent

that other ‘chunks’ of petrified wood

had been used in the construction of this ‘chambered tomb’.

*rs-176

*

At least two, and almost certainly more, of the ‘entrance’

or indeed ‘exit’ stones and the lintel of the passage itself

readily conformed to the strange specification.

*

rs-169

*

For us, this was very exciting, for while we may have been able

to extrapolate a workable symbolism behind the use of such material

for the stone of the inner chamber,

this symbolism was, perhaps, not so readily applicable

to the surrounds of the passage-way…

*

rs-170

*

And was also, possibly,

an indication of a more utilitarian function

for these stones.

*

rs-180

*

The mind

began

to boggle…

***

 

*

Lands of Exile

But ‘n’ Ben ~ Beck ‘n’ Call  ~ Kith ‘n’ Kin

While Ben, fast becoming a folk hero, languishes in Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.

From England to Scotland and Ireland, the officers of the Law follow the trail of the erratic couple.

But who is the shadowy figure, hovering beyond sight?

What is his interest in a small standing stone and just how many high-level strings can he pull…

and why?

***

Winged blade.
Everywhere. Nowhere.
Now here.

“Now slowly, gently, return to the Circle, carrying the vision of Light within. Return to your body… meld with it once more… Allow yourself to feel your chest, rising and falling as you breathe… your feet on the green earth.”
Warm, in Jaw-Dark’s hand, the crystal seed pulsed with life. “In the monstrous tyranny of process,” he said, “‘what is’ is next to ‘what was’, and ‘what is no longer’, while ‘what never was’ but ‘what could have been’ and, perhaps even, ‘what should have been’ is that much stronger…
“What seems complete,” said Kraas in the way of some sort of response, “may only be divisive, and ‘the half of it’ might in fact be whole.”
“Good,” said Weston. “Does anyone have anything else to add?”
“Ben’s out,” said Sams.
“Yes, I got that impression, too,” said Weston.
“I have one for Mark,” said Prufrock.
Jaw-Dark placed the crystal seed, still pulsing with life, flat to his heart centre.
“Long before the Pueblo Indians of Central Mexico learned to cultivate maize, they grew green kidney beans as a staple,” said Prufrock. ““Three beans magical,” said the witch doctor in the marketplace, circumspectly discarding those with a flawed casing. By sleight of hand he made many beans fall from those three.”
“It is going to rain heavily,” said Jaw-Dark, matter-of-factly.
“Looking at that black mass of cloud gathering over the horizon, I’d say you were right,” said Kraas.
“If it’s the storm from last night we wouldn’t want to be caught in an exposed location,” said Prufrock.
“There was a storm last night?” said Kraas.

“Not where we were,” said Prufrock…

***

***

Lands of Exile:

KITH ‘N’ KIN

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.

Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…

As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…

Available via Amazon UK, Amazon.com and worldwide.

The road home…

rs-182*

Wen and I are back on the road which leads past Bryn Celli Ddu…

We had to double-back to the hotel

because someone called down ‘Cloud City’ before we left.

“Don’t you mean, someone forget their wash-bag?”

“Anyway, it was good to finally get to the Hill in a Dark Grove.”

“Pretty literal with their names aren’t they?”

“There is one thing that puzzles me, though…”

“…There were no trees.”

“Nor is a mound a hill, exactly.”

And I didn’t get any shots of the stone at the back of the mound.”

“We’ll miss the museum completely if we go back.”

“We won’t be long and we’ll still make it to Beaumaris in time.”

*

rs-187

*

The first thing to remark, apart from the increased Avian Activity Quotient…

Was, the difference an hour makes.

Was it simply the movement of the sun?

The progress of the day…

Or had the site responded to our earlier visit?

Given our theories on the sensitivity of these sites…

It could well be either, or both.

One thing was certain.

We were seeing more.

And were about to see a lot more…

 

***

 

*

Lands of Exile

But ‘n’ Ben ~ Beck ‘n’ Call  ~ Kith ‘n’ Kin

While Ben, fast becoming a folk hero, languishes in Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.

From England to Scotland and Ireland, the officers of the Law follow the trail of the erratic couple.

But who is the shadowy figure, hovering beyond sight?

What is his interest in a small standing stone and just how many high-level strings can he pull…

and why?

***

Winged blade.
Everywhere. Nowhere.
Now here.

“Now slowly, gently, return to the Circle, carrying the vision of Light within. Return to your body… meld with it once more… Allow yourself to feel your chest, rising and falling as you breathe… your feet on the green earth.”
Warm, in Jaw-Dark’s hand, the crystal seed pulsed with life. “In the monstrous tyranny of process,” he said, “‘what is’ is next to ‘what was’, and ‘what is no longer’, while ‘what never was’ but ‘what could have been’ and, perhaps even, ‘what should have been’ is that much stronger…
“What seems complete,” said Kraas in the way of some sort of response, “may only be divisive, and ‘the half of it’ might in fact be whole.”
“Good,” said Weston. “Does anyone have anything else to add?”
“Ben’s out,” said Sams.
“Yes, I got that impression, too,” said Weston.
“I have one for Mark,” said Prufrock.
Jaw-Dark placed the crystal seed, still pulsing with life, flat to his heart centre.
“Long before the Pueblo Indians of Central Mexico learned to cultivate maize, they grew green kidney beans as a staple,” said Prufrock. ““Three beans magical,” said the witch doctor in the marketplace, circumspectly discarding those with a flawed casing. By sleight of hand he made many beans fall from those three.”
“It is going to rain heavily,” said Jaw-Dark, matter-of-factly.
“Looking at that black mass of cloud gathering over the horizon, I’d say you were right,” said Kraas.
“If it’s the storm from last night we wouldn’t want to be caught in an exposed location,” said Prufrock.
“There was a storm last night?” said Kraas.

“Not where we were,” said Prufrock…

***

***

Lands of Exile:

KITH ‘N’ KIN

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.

Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…

As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…

Available via Amazon UK, Amazon.com and worldwide.

La Chapelle Verte…

*

All stands hidden

Out-of-sight

At the heart of the cavernous world.

*

All lies sequestered

Black but comely

In the cavernous heart of man.

*

The unseen green within grey rock

Wielder of Psyche’s Axe

Looser of her emotional block.

*

Our animal soul crowns the summit

Inanimate intimacies call

‘Drink deep – Drink deep’…

*

Don’t merely dip a doltish finger-tip

Like felt for freely-gifted gold

or spawn of devil’s bloodied-blot.

*

Not sentiment nor sediment

Can satisfy

Such cavernous yawning.

*

Drink deep of night

And wake

To day’s dawning.

*

All lies hidden

Out-of-sight

At the heart of a cavernous world.

*

Green man cover finalfront

*

The Red, the White, the Green…

Some things have to be believed

Before they can be seen…

*

Available on Amazon worldwide

in Paperback and for Kindle.

Nice weather for ducks

Hellebore

It has been raining yet again. So much for getting anything done outside today. Walking the dog will be enough. The camera is getting used to it by now. Though not designed as waterproof, it has been out in all weathers, tucked under coats and shawls. It is seldom that I move without it. A road trip, where I know that all I will get to do is drive, still sees it tucked up on the back seat of the car, looking at me as hopefully as Ani when it is time for her walk. You just never know what you will find, or where you may be able to pull over.

magpie strutting

One recent, rainy day saw me drenched and with squelching feet, wandering around a west London park. My son was there on business, and I was there on taxi duty. While he was dealing with the sharp end, I wandered off for a while and was glad I did, in spite of the fact that the little lace slippers were rather less than appropriate. That too, seems to be something of a feature.

mallard

“Nice weather… for ducks!” grunted an elderly gentleman sheltering under a big old tree. The ducks may well have been appreciative. Other birds were less so, though the rain did not appear to have dampened the amorous ardour of at least one determined suitor. It is, after all, spring, and, in spite of the drenching they were getting, or perhaps because of it, the trees and flowers were making the most of the season.

pigeons

I think it is the contrast between freshly washed petals and rain-darkened bark and earth that does it. While sunshine shows the playful gaiety of spring, rain seems to highlight the details on every leaf and petal, throwing textures into relief and marking a sharp contrast in the colours. The sparkling drops add an extra dimension that links earth and sky in a very intimate manner.

blossom

Thinking about it, I realised that our instinct is still to think of the sky as being ‘up’… like the blue strip a child paints across the top of a picture. Yet the sky and the earth embrace, their meeting as close as it can be as every contour of the earth and sea, every grain of sand, every leaf and blade is touched by the sky, without any possible separation. As are we.

wet thrush

Yet we imagine a separateness; simply accepting that the sky is above us. The poets tell us so with their starry heavens… yet those heavens are here on earth too, all around us. How could I have missed that, all these years? What logic knows lacks a soul until understanding illuminates it. We are not children of earth, but creatures of earth and sky.

flowers bike 032

I remembered my younger son, drinking the water dripping from a rock face half way up Ben Nevis one day. He had asked where the water came from, so high up… “So, I am drinking clouds, then?” he had said. The child’s logic too was poetry to me and I realised that by extension of the same thought, I was myself poised between heaven and earth, breathing in the sky. I wondered about that; an analogy could be made there… how many other things do we live and breathe and know without Knowing?

magpie

Thinking about that as the rain fell changed the feeling of the day from simply soggy to glorious. The all-pervading damp was no longer a chill imposition but the kiss of the sky upon my brow. The little plumes of steam that rose from both me and the sheltering creatures more than just a drying out… it was a reaching up, an answering embrace, like a child stretching their arms to a father.

water bird with big feet

A little clumsily, still learning to find our feet in the world, unsure of quite who or what we are, we walk through life in unconscious wonder. We may focus our gaze upon the earth and its rewards, or we may look up to a distant sky and reach for diamond stars. Yet perhaps we do not need to strive so hard to reach the apparently unattainable; perhaps the beauty we seek was right here with us all along.

magnolia