Antinous for Everybody

Archive for the category “Poetry”

POEM: The Eagle’s Star

Antinous rises tonight
Tonight he bestrides the constellations,
bridging Aquarius and Aquila
Heralded by Muses and poets,
he ascends the heavens
to claim the Boat of Millions of Years
The archons of the underworld are defeated
Their perversions no match for his terrible beauty
Fear and hatred, greed and lust
flee from the light of his countenance
Hail, Antinous! Star of beauty in the night sky!
Hail, Antinous! Navigator of the celestial Barque!
Hail, Antinous! You are the journey, you are the guide,
you yourself are the destination!
Hail, Antinous! The beautiful boy rises in the east!

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POEM: To Tolkien on his birthday

You wandered among the trees, pipe gripped
between your teeth, dreaming of elder days,
when you might have been a poet singing
in a firelit hall. Instead you wandered among
the trees and told your tales to friends in pubs
and wandered back to dreary students
grubbing at the ancient roots of language.
Every language a mythology, every mythology
a universe: Your languages, your mythology,
your universe endure, your memory enshrined
along with Homer, Virgil, Dante, Amergin
and Taliesin and the lost poets of the North,
Ent-namer, mythmaker, word-lover, Elf-friend.

Saturnalia: To the Mothers

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Mother is a place to rest, a warmth, a tuneless song.
Mother is a voice that cuts.
Mother is a lady in a blue veil, a blue robe.
Mother is a lady with a baby in her arms.
Mother is a grandmother fixing hot tea and cold cereal on a school morning
Mother is a grandmother putting my clothes near the radiator
Mother is a woman who sleeps late while I rise early
Mother is a woman who smokes and drinks coffee
Mother is a May Day procession dressed in white
Mother is an ivory statue of the Virgin and Child with a Gothic sway
Mother is a possibly heretical vierge ouvrante
Mother is the goddess Isis with baby Horus on her lap
Mother is an icon with stars on the Virgin’s brow and shoulders
Mother is a Middle Eastern woman wrapped in layers of veils and shawls
carrying her child away from danger, shielding it with her body
Mother is my mother’s mother’s mother, who died when I was one
Mother is my mother’s father’s mother, was her name Louisa?
Mother is my father’s mother Grace, his adoptive mother,
and his mother Clara, his birth mother, whose last name was Gunsales
Mother is the woman who bore my husband a child
who bore her second husband a child
Mother is my sister, who bore my niece
Mother is my niece, who has borne a son
Mother is a link in a chain, a cell in the umbilical cord
Mother is the land I walk on, the nourishing earth, the turning planet
Mother is the night sky, spangled with stars
the brightness of the stars
and the darkness between
the beginning
and the end

POEM: A hymn for the winter solstice

The longest night, the shortest day
Each year it comes and goes its way
The bleak midwinter blest with feasts
To joy the greatest and the least

The newborn light becomes a boy
His mother’s pride, the whole world’s joy
The gods immortal come to earth
In mortal flesh for mortal mirth

Here Jesus sleeps with ox and ass
As one by one the shepherds pass
To worship him the angels sang
On whom the coming centuries hang

Antinous puts on the crown
That Dionysus handed down
Of ivy, grape, and fragrant pine
And bids us to the feast with wine

While Hercules, the victor strong,
Cries, “Io, Io!” with the throng
And Angerona has the right
To keep us silent for a night

So let us keep our flames alight
Through shortest day and longest night
And hold each other, heart and hand,
Till spring spreads forth throughout the land.

Saturnalia II: Eponalia

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All in grey my love comes riding
Lady goddess, mare and queen
Bird and hound and hare and horses
In her sacred train are seen

Now a woman sadly weeping
Now a stamping heated mare
Life and death are in her keeping
Sack and keys are in her care

Grain she gives to those who hunger
Guidance gives to those who stray
Wise are those who fear her anger
Happy those who bid her stay

Ave, Epona Regina
Rigantona, Mari Llwyd,
Macha, Demeter Despoina,
May we all your wrath avoid

Saturnalia I

saturnaliaPOEM: To Saturn on Saturnalia
Old father, world father, crowned with rings,
time father, food father, father of kings,
fructifier of Ops, begetter of Jove,
grandfather who rules from beyond, not above,
Saturn, we hail thee as we exchange gifts,
whose name in this darkening season uplifts
for those who remember the peace of your reign:
May justice with kindness and peace come again
as we await the conquering Child
whose aeon, like yours, will be gentle and mild.
Ave, Saturne! Io, Saturnalia!

POEM: Boys with flowers

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From svartalvheim.tumblr.com

I would like to see fewer men with guns.
I would like to see more boys
with flowers in their hair.
I would like to see boys putting on aprons
and baking on cold winter mornings
while their mothers, sisters, girlfriends
sleep wrapped in colorful duvets.
I would like to see boys kissing
with flowers in their hair.
I would like to see wrestling matches
that end in congratulations with a kiss.
I would like to see men embracing
instead of a handshake at arm’s length
one pump that’s it let go.
I would like to see boys
who are not afraid to be boys
to be girls, to be men,
boys who are not afraid
to touch and be touched.
I would like to see boys
who laugh for joy and not shame.
I would like to see boys wearing flowers
who didn’t have to die
in a river, in a war, in a gang fight, in a bar brawl
whose lives, not deaths, can be celebrated
with wreaths of flowers, who wear flowers
in their hair, bells on their ankles,
beads on their wrists, hearts on their
sleeves, sugar on their mouths,
boys who can live. I want the boys
to live forever. Is that too much to ask?

POEM: To Bona Dea on her feast

O Bona Dea, good goddess,
your name and your secrets have been lost.
Men who were writers speculated,
but women, your worshippers, neither spoke nor wrote.
Were you a chaste virgin goddess
assaulted by reckless Faunus?
Or were you his drunken slut wife,
whipped to death for your vice?
Vestals and matrons, patricians
and slaves and freedwomen, all alike
gathered for your rites, closed the doors,
and said nothing afterward to their men.
Bona Dea, good goddess, I pray you
protect all women, married or unmarried,
rich or poor, lovers of men or women
or both or neither, ignorant or learned,
hale or ill, cis or trans, all women, all of us
alike belonging to you, welcome to you.

The Visit to the Colossoi of Memnon, Day 1

Disappointment

On this day the colossoi do not speak.
The voice does not resound.
We came to hear the gods,
and the gods were silent.
Only the river continues to run, as ever.
Sometimes the oracle does not answer,
the gods do not speak,
the wisdom of the past
has nothing to say to us.
Sometimes we wait for a sign
that does not come, a feeling
that is not felt, a moment
that never ripens. And yet,
the only solution is to try
again: To remain faithful
to the tradition, to wait
with patience for the answer,
to come again tomorrow
and hope the ancient statues
will sing.

Sacred Nights: Ananke Antinoou

POEM: Necessity

Just another day when the alarm
doesn’t go off and you can’t afford
to be late for work though you don’t
really care, so you shower and run
and grab something on the way,
not really food, just
caffeine-protein-carbs
and you just make the train,
or maybe you just miss it
it isn’t raining yet, but it might
work is a checklist of things
you have said and done and
heard and read and endured before
dinner is something you bought
because you were too tired
to cook, almost too tired to eat
it’s raining now and everything’s
falling apart so you go to bed
and dream of a boy drifting
on a boat across the broad slow
waters of an ancient river
not knowing or not caring
how strong the current is

boatboy

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