The Haunted House on Hibernation Hill

I slumber on my sacred hill,
you tread on paths forbidden,
and so awakened by your thrill
reveal what long was hidden.

You rest your steps before my gate,
your mind moves on, inquiring;
I lure your soul, yet you must wait
in polar nights, perspiring.

Behold my signs of ancient rite
denying you safe passage.
What if all purpose of this site
is in your crypt my message?

The Haunted House on Hibernation Hill

Which secrets hidden under snow?
What dwells beneath my cellar door?
Are you not curious to know?
Is this not what you came here for?

Dear traveller, woe unto you!
You are condemned to haunt me.
I will not yield my essence; true –
my purpose ne’er to daunt thee.

I hibernate. Your time will come
to pass when you and I are one.

   ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Note: inspired by an old house which I often pass along my walks, with a reminiscence of the beginning of “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. I wonder if you can feel a glimpse of non-dual kafkaesqueness towards the end (or better yet, its resolution?), which I didn’t see coming until I wrote the last lines. Apparently the power of the unconscious serves a larger purpose than to capture the mystical ambiance. I hope it succeeds in both quests.

Winter Is Coming

Winter is coming –
long and cold:
lo! behold!

A hollow hedge – come close! This cave
shall grant your seasons shelter
from Cailleach freezing wind and wave:
in time your Spring will melt her.

Winter is coming –
cruel and kind:
fall not behind!

Her whitely veil doth mend my scars,
preserve our purest essence;
Hark! Ere your kin may conquer stars
these lands request your presence!

Winter is coming –
strong and still:
heed her will!

Cold branches clad in icy claws
guard entrance to her holding.
Will you bear witness, when she thaws,
to my rebirth unfolding?

   ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Note: Inspired by a walk through falling snow, where I saw a hedge with a hole that gave shelter to birds, and twigs with frozen ends covered in ice which resembled claws. Cailleach is known as a Winter Goddess in Celtic mythology, and her name is derived from the Old Irish language where “caillech” means “veiled one”.

The Extra Mile

Today I walked the extra mile.
I wondered: would it be worthwhile?

A hill that dreams of mountains high
while covered all in snow,
where branches breathe a solemn sigh
amidst the season’s flow.
Theirs will be time to grow,
but not today, nay, not these days;
yet change unfolds in different ways.
And even frozen leaves can dance
like stardust, to behold – perchance –
a passing wanderer’s searching soul,
return his gaze and speak: be whole!

I stopped.

I stood beneath a tree
with inexplicable delight
for what I could not hear (nor see)
until she neared in swift-paced flight.
Her song mingled with ancient words
that rose from over yonder –
among the twigs she jumped,
called her companion. Two birds:
my soul was filled with wonder,
my heart no longer numbed.
Unfurling tree-quakes high above,
snow to my face they shook;
my eyes with water filled and love,
for what they gave, I took.

Today I walked the extra mile.
Or two? Then both were most worthwhile.

   ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Note: I found the inspiration for this poem during a walk through the gently falling snow, over the hills and far away. I listened to “Australia” by Amanda Palmer, half sunken into deep thoughts, half admiring my surroundings. And then it happened. The tree. The birds. My initial version contained a reference to that song:

“Her song merged with electric words
of dishes and Down Under -“

… but the edited version feels more organic, more mystical, as did my experience.

The Meaning of Ithaca

We are all on journeys – the journey of life, and its many quests that lead to new worlds in space and time. Once again I am back home on the road. A friend of mine sent me this amazing poem:

Ithaca by Constantine Cavafy

When you set out on the voyage to Ithaca,
pray that your journey may be long,
full of adventures, full of knowledge.
Of the Laestrygones and the Cyclopes,
and of furious Poseidon, do not be afraid,
for such on your journey you shall never meet
if your thought remain lofty, if a select
emotion imbue your spirit and your body.
The Laestrygones and the Cyclopes
and furious Poseidon you will never meet
unless you drag them with you in your soul,
unless your soul raises them up before you.
Pray that your journey may be long,
that many may those summer mornings be
when with what pleasure, what untold delight
you enter harbors you’ve not seen before;
that you stop at Phoenician market places
to procure the goodly merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and voluptuous perfumes of every kind,
as lavish an amount of voluptuous perfumes as you can;
that you venture on to many Egyptian cities
to learn and yet again to learn from the sages.
But you must always keep Ithaca in mind.
The arrival there is your predestination.
Yet do not by any means hasten your voyage.
Let it best endure for many years,
until grown old at length you anchor at your island
rich with all you have acquired on the way.
You never hoped that Ithaca would give you riches.
Ithaca has given you the lovely voyage.
Without her you would not have ventured on the way.
She has nothing more to give you now.
Poor though you may find her, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Now that you have become so wise, so full of experience,
you will have understood the meaning of an Ithaca.

When I read this poem I felt inspired. Yet when I recited it to two friends on Sunday, I got completely overwhelmed, and my voice cracked numerous times, and I cried passionate tears of unknown origin in the middle of the restaurant in the heart of Berlin. Something is happening, shifting, finding its way to express itself through me, while Ithaca guides me on my path and inspires my every footstep, breath and heartbeat. May it inspire you as well!

Hold Fast Your Dreams!

I recently stumbled upon JewelFaerie‘s blog, where I discovered this amazing poem by American poet Louise Driscoll:

Hold Fast Your Dreams

Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot
Where dreams may go,
And sheltered so
May thrive and grow –
Where doubt and fear are not.
O, keep a place apart,
Within your heart,
For little dreams to go!

Think still of lovely things that are not true.
Let wish and magic work at will in you.
Be sometimes blind to sorrow. Make believe!
Forget the calm that lies
In disillusioned eyes.
Though we all know that we must die,
Yet you and I
May walk like gods and be
Even now at home in immortality.

We see so many ugly things –
Deceits and wrongs and quarrellings;
We know, alas! We know
How quickly fade
The colour in the west,
The bloom upon the flower,
The bloom upon the breast
And youth’s blind hour.
Yet keep within your heart
A place apart
Where little dreams may go,
May thrive and grow.
Hold fast – hold fast your dreams!

I’ll take these words to my heart. Will you? :-)

Homage to Boykie

The smallest living being can have an enormous impact on the fortunes of other living beings, and thus on the course of the world.

One such being was Boykie, a cat with black fur and soothing radiance. When Boykie passed away in the dignified age of 17 years, I felt compelled to compose a poem, thus paying well-deserved homage to him, as well as to those who loved him as a family member. I feel honoured to know him and the beneficial impact that his presence had among the family and living beings around him.

Black like a panther gleamed his fur,
of amber were his eyes:
a feline beauty, soft his purr –
an angel in disguise.

In graceful steps he strode along
and spread upon the throne,
to snooze and fill the air with song
while sun upon him shone.

With radiance comely and serene
he filled our hearts with peace,
caressed our souls with love and sheen,
set troubled minds at ease.

Our guardian, bequeath the flame –
your earthly quest is done;
A star has risen, bears your name:
you are compare to none.

Farewell! And may you ever shine
upon our night and day!
In loving memories through time
immortal you will stay.

Ancient Muses

When last did you revel in the kiss of a Muse?

At some stages of my life I have been graciously kissed by the Muses. Occasionally they come to me in the form of human beings, like five years ago, leading me to the composition of words like these:

“From a font the well springs, meanders through rough rock and smooth stone, grows into a small streamlet, gracefully flows downhill and swells from river to stream, until it fills the large valleys and unites all water into one vast and mighty sea. Never before have I felt such a delightful flow of things, nor any other delight, as now in your company and by virtue of your existence.”

I hope you enjoy this flowery style as much as I do; if it does not inspire you at all, bear with me! For I intend to share more of my prose and lyric in the times to come. I seek to nurture and develop my writing skills. Your feedback will always be warmly appreciated. :-)

(Thanks to Dusk for the inspiration!)