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21st Mount Haemus Lecture: The Well and the Chapel: Confluence

“RoMa Johnson, a Druid scholar, sets out to build bridges between Druidism and Christianity, describing these different approaches as hailing from the Well and the Chapel. Her radical exposition of communion between the two addresses the intimacy and the visceral nature and fierce and tender love that is ever present...

EPHA

As the sea-gnarled boatman guides his small craft in to shore, she sees a mottled crowd gathered on the strand: a few men come down from their chores, a few strong-armed women, their skirts sheltering peeking children.  Her welcome party.  She sees in their faces the eagerness of orphans...

Plague Diary I

The Mirage

Last week it all seemed like a mirage, really, I mean we knew, of course, but it wasn’t real if you know what I mean. The map of the world turned red, country by country and I found myself thinking, well, we’re all one color now...

Plague Diary II

Day 24 4/7/2020

Gregg sends me poetry by Shelley:

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain...

Plague Diary III

Day 48 5/1/2020 Beltane

I write to Philip: In your Tea you noted that although it is Beltane we are having a Samhain experience. True here in Princeton where although the earth is in full, glorious bloom, the grief emanating from NY and NJ is palpable...

Plague Diary IV

Day 79 6/1/2020

How do you write about the un-writeable? How do you speak about the unspeakable? How do we open our mouth if all that comes out is a shriek of lament? I believe, no I BELIEVE that what we are seeing is the filth of our underlying racism...

Plague Diary V

Day 108                    6/28/2020

OK, so here’s the question:  I sat in the Univ garden this morning, amid flowers and birdsong.  Peace everywhere.  And I drew a diagram of a circle in my notebook with a yogi-meditator (me) in the middle, legs crossed, hands in prayer position.  Om Shanti Peace...

Plague Diary VI

Day 140 8/1/2020

Entering Lammastide. The beginning of the descent into winter. Hard to imagine winter in Jersey in August, except as a promise as delicious as an icicle dipped in chocolate.

I would like to open this section with a celebration of good news, but...

Plague Diary VII

Day 181 9/10/2020

One day

people will touch and talk perhaps easily,

and loving be natural as breathing,

and warm as sunlight;

and people will untie themselves,

as string is unknotted,

unfold and yawn and stretch and spread

their fingers;

unfurl, uncurl, like seaweed returned to

the sea. . . 

Alien Rest Stops

I have come to believe that aliens are among us,

But that doesn’t mean they belong.

They might walk-in to our disused bodies,

But it would have to be—to them—

Like one of us putting on sealskin trousers,

Then swimming out to sea.

Inhuman inside a human...

Arctic Wings

South of Iceland I look down and see her

Cresting the fetch in her tiny craft,

Riding down the long green wave.

Brave she sits inside the skin

Carrying only one small dirk,

One dram of water.

All around her the seabirds soar

Blinding white as seraphim,

White winged

Long necked...

Longing

There was a way she walked that reminded them

of someone…

a flickering memory… a hand reaching for a hem.

Sometimes little bits of light escaped

from the folds and seams of her clothes

ephemeral as fireflies, not catchable, not caught, but

sticky in a way, as if

if you touched one...

Wild Geese over Ronaldsay

Flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap

Clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack

Whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh

What is the wind (around us) made of?

Not hard.

The breath of sun.

The sweat of moon...

Sisters

What if they were to meet

in the cloistered garden, there on Iona,

What would they say to one another?

+    I am the Bride of Christ.

•     I am the bride of no man.

+    I clothe myself in humility and walk in silence...

In the Garden

What if

Jesus and Merlin were to meet

At twilight 

In the garden, in the grove,

One looking forward to the Skull of Golgatha,

One looking back on the Sacred Head of Bran?


What would they say to one another,

These men, these gods,

Who live in time beyond their lives...

Theology of Fish

There was a fish

who lived in the sea.

S/he never thought of the sea

or dreamed of the sea;

it never occurred to herm.

S/he never wondered if the sea loved herm,

or where the sea ended (or began).


The sea, well, s/he had no concept of the sea.

Peregrini

I am the map you strive so hard to read.

I am the staff conveniently found

near the dangerous crossing.

I am your boots and

the dust on your boots.

I am the high breeze bringing

ice air from the mountain.

I am the castle keep of your destination...

Cailleach Bheur

A single stream of rain pours from a damaged gutter,

blows slantwise in the heavy gusts,

a straggling thread from the long grey gown of

Cailleach Bheur, Hag Queen of Winter,

bringer of storms.

Some say she is one-eyed,

old,

with bad teeth and

matted hair...

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