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.
POEM: The Green Man
I am Osiris. I am the Green Man.
I was the first Green Man, Asar, Au Sar, Wesir.
Green like the papyrus growing by the Nile.
Green like the barley growing in the fields.
Green like the leaves that support the sweet lotus.
Sometimes I am black like the soil,
The rich fertile flooded soil of Kemet, eponymous soil.
I am the Green Man of the Black Land.
The first to die becomes the god of the dead.
That is I. First to know death, first to go west,
Killed by my brother, sought by my sisters,
Resurrected by my wife. She fashioned the part
That was missing. I am moonlight and moondark,
Black earth and green plant, a missing phallus
And an upright wand. Come to me, Antinous,
Child of Bithynia, beloved of Pharaoh,
And I will teach you how to be a god.
O Antinous Dionysus!
Your votaries call out to you, for we are tired.
We are weary. We are thirsty. Our limbs are heavy.
Our hearts are heavier. Our spirits sink.
We labor and we struggle, we sleep
and wake unrefreshed to labor and struggle more.
O Antinous Dionysus, Antinous Epiphanes,
Come to us now! Come to us, Antinous Bakkheios!
We are parched and in need of refreshment.
Come and bring us the wine of your joy,
The joy of living, the zest for life!
Come and loosen our limbs for the dance,
Straighten our backs that have been bent in our labors,
Widen our shoulders that have hunched over computers,
Free our hips and our asses that our minds may follow.
Come and dance with us, bring us the blessing
Of fellowship, the mood of the party,
The lubrication of intoxication. Join hands with us
That we may join hands with one another
And celebrate all that is good, all beauty
And pleasure, tastes and scents, the body
And the earth, that which grows and dies
And lives again, the tenacious vine and
The sleek, ravenous animal in ourselves
And in the world, all of your blessings,
Antinous, Antinous Dionysus, Antinous Bakkheios!
(Written for the Bakkheion in honor of Antinous at Many Gods West 2017, at the request of Jay Logan.)
I am Antinous. I am Osiris. I am Antinous the Justified.
I am the one who was lost and found himself.
I am the one who was drowned and breathed again.
I am the one whom Hapi took and Isis gave back again.
Where the red lotus bloomed, I have died,
And now I live again for ever.
I have not done the things which ought not to be done.
My heart has been weighed in the hall of Ma’at and pronounced pure.
Anubis has justified me. The forty-two judges have justified me.
Osiris has justified me and given me his crook and flail.
I have passed by the white cypress tree and the spring that flows beneath it.
Child of earth and heaven, I have drunk from the water of Memory,
And I know my true name, which is
ASKION KATASKION LIX TETRAX
DAMNAMENEUS AISIA ENDASION.
I have the favor of Persephone, the dread queen,
And with Hades’ blessing I walk in the groves of Elysium.
With the wings and the staff of Hermes,
The Messenger, the Guide of the Dead,
I come and go as I please.
Like a kid I have fallen into milk.
Like grapes I have been crushed and fermented and poured into wine.
Like a goat I have been torn apart and devoured
And discovered and assembled anew.
I have found myself and lost myself in the dance.
I bear the thyrsus of Dionysus and wear his ivy crown and leopard pelt.
I have ascended on high from the deepest depth.
I have vanquished the archons and mounted the heights
In the Boat of Millions of Years.
I have adorned Aquarius and the stars of the Eagle.
I have shone my light in healing and prophecy like Apollon.
He has given me his lyre that I may play for the Muses.
With Orion and his hounds I have hunted the heavens,
The earth, and the underworld. I am welcome in every place.
I have passed the seven gates of Ereshkigal
And returned to shine with the dawn.
I was in the tomb of Jesus and at the banquet of his consummation.
I have entered the domain of Hel and brought forth my bride Melinoe.
There is no place where I have not been welcomed
And no place where my star cannot guide.
I am Antinous Osiris the Justified, Antinous Hermes
The Guide, Antinous Dionysus and Antinous Apollon,
Child of earth and starry heaven,
Beautiful, just, benevolent.
(This was written for the rites held for Antinous at Many Gods West 2017, at the request of Jay Logan.)
Heigh-ho, your humble blogger here! It’s October and not nearly cool enough for my taste. I don’t do the Pumpkin Spice thing; however, I am enjoying a chai latte at my favorite coffee shop as I write these words.
It’s been a long summer, mostly barren of words. After loudly announcing (and insisting) that I would no longer be posting here, I decided to say fuckit and keep this blog going for specifically religious/devotional/magical topics, with my devotion to Antinous at the forefront. So expect to see more ritual and devotional poetry here in the coming days.
My new blog has gotten a new look and a new name: A Nest Made of Words. If it please you, follow that blog for, well, general blogging and links to stuff I’ve written at various locations on the web.
Speaking of which, a piece of fiction that debuted here became a Thing You Can Buy over the summer: A Distinguished Visitor from the North, how Hel visited Hades while Persephone was away and what came of that. It features splendid cover art by Li Oesterberg, commissioned for the story. How amazing is this book cover? (And thanks to my friend Sarah Loch for her editing.)
So please buy my back at Amazon and read it and review and keep following this blog and follow A Nest Made of Words, too.
In other news, the end of October brings the Sacred Nights of Antinous, an ending of one year in sacred time and the beginning of another. In early November, I’ll be taking the longest airline flight of my life to meet some of my fellow Magistrates and Mystagogues of the Naos Antinoou in Washington. I am looking forward to this a lot, although I’m also a bit anxious about flying. (Just because the number of times I’ve been on an airplane can be counted on the fingers of one hand.)
I continue to work slowly but doggedly on the sequel to “A distinguished visitor” and will be posting chapters, as I complete them, on my Patreon, which gives you a reason to subscribe. (When I think of more reasons, I’ll let you know.) Lately it feels that my entire life is slow and dogged, with many delays and setbacks, increasing obstacles to doing the writing that I feel is my Work in this world, and increasing necessity for me to do that Work, in the face of fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, queer phobia, white supremacy, climate change, and everything else, including my own depression and anxiety. I have never had any real doubt that writing is my Work, and it is with that conviction that I continue to blog, dear readers. May my Work be of benefit to you and of service to my gods.
Regular readers of this blog might notice that not much has been going on here since the winter holy days and the end of last year. 2016 was difficult for me as for a lot of people, on so many levels, most of which I would much prefer not to discuss in a public venue.
However, very discerning readers, or at least those who populate Facebook and Tumblr, might have noticed that my writing has been appearing elsewhere. Yes, I started a new blog–again.
Jesus, Antinous, Julian of Norwich, Medicine Buddha, Captain America, and Me, a Writer is, as the name implies, a blog to house and to promote all of my writing, whether fiction, poetry, or essays, whether the topic is Christian or pagan or Buddhist, original fiction or fan fiction, politics (not very often) or culture (pop and otherwise), or birds (and their cuteness).
This blog, for now, will remain live and accessible but not be updated. My goal is that eventually most or all of its content will be migrated elsewhere. I hope that all of the lovely people who have been following my writing here will continue to follow me at the new blog and consider bestowing a bit of financial support for my work.
Life is a work in progress. The last four years have been very good ones for me as a writer. The work goes forward. Please join me.
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!
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.