Here is a thread. I will hand it to you.
Do not get lost. Do not lose hold of it.
Here is a thread. You must hang by it.
Follow me through. You will hang from it.
Here is a thread, drawn from my belly.
Here is a trail, left by my blood.
Follow me through. Do not get lost.
There is one way in. There is no way out.
I danced in the moonlight. I danced in the dark.
I danced with my brother. I danced with the god.
I danced with my father. I danced for my mother.
I danced for the goddess. I will dance for you.
Watch me dance over the end of the world,
the breaking of the bridges, the falling of the towers.
Hear me laugh when all the lights go out
and poor lost Theseus hears breathing in the dark.
I am Melinoe. I am Ariadne.
Daughter of Death. Giver of Life.
Ariadne Melinoe, Melinoe Ariadne,
holy and terrible, stars and bones.
I can tear the world down
and help you rebuild it,
if you heed my commandment:
Build no more walls.
Walls make a labyrinth,
walls hide the monster,
walls divide loved ones.
Let me be your monster,
Melinoe Ariadne, slayer and savior,
goddess and demon of the new age.
POEM: A day in the life, or, John Lennon, Antinous, and me
I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky boy who made the grade
He went from nobody to the Imperial Court
Wound up in Hadrian’s bed
Nobody was sure if he belonged in the Imperial Court
One day he went out on the Nile
Just a boy in a boat, boating on the Nile
The reeds waving, the lotus fragrant
The crocodile and the hippo watched him go
But where he went only the long river knows
I read a book today, oh boy;
A Greek boy from the provinces
Had turned the Emperor’s head
And then he wound up dead
Nobody was really sure what was going on
Their affair might have gone on too long
They say he turned into a god
Woke up, fell out of bed
Got underneath the shower head
And listened to the song
That swiftly ran along inside my head
Any day now, you know, you could be dead
That voice inside my head
Walk into traffic and you could be dead
Because you crossed the street
Now wouldn’t that be neat
Ah I read the news today, oh boy
The rich are stealing from the poor again
Somebody wants a war, somebody closed a door
Somebody shot a man who raised his empty hands
But he was black and they were cops
He was a thug and they were not
Maybe he turned into a god
They say he turned into a god
POEM: Rise Up
You can put your heel on the serpent’s head,
But the serpent will rise up.
You can put your chain on the slave’s neck,
But the serpent in the slave will rise up.
You can put your child in a woman’s womb,
But the serpent in her spine will rise up.
You can lay your asphalt on the grass’s roots,
But the serpent in the grass will rise up.
You can go on forever trying to level out the world,
To make your own head the only thing in the world
That stands up, but the serpent at the heart of the world
Will always resist you. The serpent will always rise up.
The king will die, the warrior will die,
The rich man will die, the priest will die,
Their wives and their slaves, their children and their cattle,
The tree and its fruit, the green grass springing,
But the serpent will always rise up.
The slave will break his chains, the wife will seek a lover,
The oracle will prophesy, the hurricane will strike,
And out of the roots and vines that break down
Your mighty buildings, the serpent will rise up.
Rise up, rise up, serpent of fire!
Rise up, rise up, snake of the deep!
Rise up, rise up, whirling serpent!
Rise up, rise up, rise up in us!
The time to rise up is now!
POEM: The Dark Sister
I do not stand in Her shadow: I am Her Shadow.
She is the throne and I am the house.
She is the giver of life and I am the welcomer of the dead
She is the grieving madonna and I am the hysterical whore
She is piteous and I am maudlin
She is white and gold and rose and blue
I am red and black and red and red and red
Behind Isis, Nephthys. Behind Tara, Vajrayogini.
Behind Mary of Nazareth, Mary of Magdala.
I am red and red and red and red and red.
I am black. I am empty. I am ashes.
I am the cast-off mother of the unacknowledged child
Who will never inherit the throne or call the house his own.
He can only come and go, obedient as a hound,
At his brother’s will. She can only throw off her veil
And dance in the broad daylight, beneath a searing sun,
Because no one dares look at her. I am the dark mother
Of the unremembered daughter, Nebt-Het, Melinoe,
Sara la Kali, red and black and bloody and beautiful.
Honor me, or you have not honored all the goddesses.
Honor me, or the Beautiful Boy is without his bride.
The Sacred Nights have a soundtrack for me, just as much as Christmas did and does, or Holy Week in the Church. In past years I’ve shared songs from the movie Hedwig & the Angry Inch, music written to accompany the traveling exhibition of Tutankhamen’s grave treasures, and songs by Irish musician (and possible youthful god) Hozier. This year Dead Can Dance’s first album has been digitally remastered, and it’s available on Amazon Prime. So tonight I offer you The Serpent’s Egg.