Sep 092016
 

tumblr_mlwfxn0qss1riek1to1_400“Sometimes a breath floats by me,
An odor from Dreamland sent,
Which makes the ghost seem nigh me
Of a something that came and went,
Of a life lived somewhere, I know not
In what diviner sphere.
Of mem’ries that come not and go not;
Like music once heard by an ear
That cannot forget or reclaim it;
A something so shy, it would shame it
To make it a show.
A something too vague, could I name it.
For others to know:
As though I had lived it and dreamed it,
As though I had acted and schemed it
Long ago.

1682373-bigthumbnailAnd yet, could I live it over,
This Life which stirs in my brain;
Could I be both maiden and lover,
Moon and tide, bee and clover,
As I seem to have been, once again.
Could I but speak and show it.
This pleasure more sharp than pain.
Which baffles and lures me so!
The world would not lack a poet,
Such as it had
In the ages glad,
Long Ago.”

 

Lowell, The Twilight

Dec 072014
 

21When you hear the lovers’ words, think them not a mistake
You don’t recognize these words, the error must be your take.
The here and hereafter cannot tame my spirit and soul
Praise God for all the intrigue in my mind that is at stake.
I know not who resides within my heart
Though I am silent, he must shake and quake.
My heart went through the veil, play a song
Hark, my fate, this music I must make.
I paid no heed, worldly affairs I forsake
It is for your beauty, beauty of the world I partake.
My heart is on fire, I am restless and awake
To the tavern to cure my hundred day headache.
My bleeding heart has left its mark in the temple
You have every right to wash my body in a wine lake.
In the abode of the Magi, I am welcome because
The fire that never dies, in my heart is awake.
What was the song the minstrel played?
My life is gone, but breathing, I still fake!
Within me last night, the voice of your love did break
Hafiz’s breast still quivers and shakes for your sake.

Hafiz

Jul 072014
 

sylvie    An anguish’d heart whose loss hath been so great?
Where are the hours that fled so swiftly by?

In vain the fairest thou didst gain from fate;
Sad is the soul, confused the enterprise;

The glorious world, how on the sense it dies!

In million tones entwined for evermore,

Music with angel-pinions hovers there,
To pierce man’s being to its inmost core,

Eternal beauty has its fruit to bear;
The eye grows moist, in yearnings blest reveres
The godlike worth of music as of tears.

And so the lighten’d heart soon learns to see

That it still lives, and beats, and ought to beat,
Off’ring itself with joy and willingly,

In grateful payment for a gift so sweet.
And then was felt, oh may it constant prove!
The twofold bliss of music and of love.

Goethe, Atonement

Apr 112013
 

hermesWhen his love he doth espy, let her shine as gloriously as the Venus of the sky ~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

It wasn’t the flickering light in the upper storey window that drew the Watcher’s attention, for many lights vied for his attention that evening. It was a melody drifting upwards through the gradually darkening sky.

A rose-gold sun set the western horizon alight and resplendent Venus shone like a beacon above the rooftops, flanked by blood-red Mars and the glowing yellow circle of Jupiter. The lone figure, invisible to the naked eye, made slow, wide circles in the radiant atmosphere.

Drawn by her irresistible presence below, the Watcher descended to hover before the house where she dwelt. The flame of a candle within licked gently at the surrounding air and a heady scent was carried to him with the rising music. He inspired silently, considering the one inside. She was stretched like a cat upon the bed, with an open book face-down beside her on the pillow. Intently he watched her, his eye now fixed.

One golden glance of what should be.

A powerful gust of wind blew the window open and she jumped out of her skin, shaken from her hazy reverie by the sudden noise and rush of cool air. Moving like quicksilver, he silently slipped inside.

Staring at the breached window she searched the indigo space he left behind him. A magnificent aura permeated the room, sparkling with countless flecks of shimmering golden atoms that alighted on her skin like a veil of the Holy Shekinah.

Arising thoughtfully, she took a cautious step towards the opening. He watched again while she turned her head north and then south, seeking what or whomsoever had disturbed the rose-scented ether.

Finding nothing but the dying throes of day she fastened shut the window and lay down again, book in hand, not quite unaware of the almost unexpected arrival of the thrice-descended master. The Led display of her mobile phone revealed that it was 22.22.

With avid concentration she listened to the voice that came into her room via the radio. A drama was set to unfold, of that she could be sure. Doubtless there was a kind of magic taking place right there and then, with her at the centre of its endlessly opening and closing circle. She also knew she was no longer alone, for a profound change had occurred in the electrified atmosphere.

Luscious chords swelled like a rising ocean, sweeping over her body and soul with a sensuous rhythm. The lost history of time unfolded in his fathomless mind.

She was wearing gold-coloured sandals – shoes that were a gift from her father – and a midnight blue dress. Around her wrist was a bracelet full of charms and with his bright, ancient eyes, he saw that the necklace at her throat was made from the stuff of magic, a gift from her mystery-loving mother.

He had once again challenged the doors of time to reach her and the wait had seemed an eternity. 2,628 years had passed since she had last been this close to him. On that occasion the moon had been perfectly halved by the shadow of the Earth. Jupiter, then, was at the same point in its orbit as it would be in precisely three and a half minutes that self-same night.

He looked over his shoulder at the gigantic sphere, which slowly turned through the fragile cosmos with an intricately complex, haunting melody. A ray of its light fell upon her in that moment and the fearless diamond of her soul began to dissolve in mercury.

One shaft of light that showed the way

cupid and psycheA sense of fervent devotion rose up inside her like the flames of a secret fire as he stretched out his hands to touch her outspread hair.

This flame that burns inside of me is here in secret harmonies

She had had dreams; he could see every colour of every scene.

One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal

With a silent whisper he reminded her of the truth:

No mortal man can win this day.

He drew a flickering image of paradise into the infinite space between them and exhaled into her parted lips.

There can be only one….

The radio crackled and grew fainter, framing the esoteric silence like a braid of wheat, magnetising all background interference until the air grew taut as a lens, magnifying live reactions as if they were in a scene from a lyric master’s play.

Still you will always be with me, your name constantly on my lips, never forgotten.*

*Hymn of Orpheus

With thanks to Freddie Mercury

Nov 202011
 

Standing on the outskirt of the forest, Hermes whispered a message to his light‐headed, wine‐brining friend: “Zeus’s twice‐born son, your time shall surely come. You bear the living vine; on you the sun shall shine”.

The wolf by Apollo’s side pricked up its ears and whined. “And what of me, Father, bringer of the cosmic light, voice of all reason and destroyer of dark night?”

Zeus raised an eyebrow. “How soon, I wonder, my great golden child, ’til you think yourself greater, even, than I?”

It was then that his deer‐daughter put a restraining hand on her brother’s shoulder and entreated him in an urgent voice. “Bait him not, beloved brother; the chariot of the sun shall be struck down by lightening and the silver moon shall die of grief! Then you would see that our licentious youth shall sober in a second and sit upon thy gilded chariot!”

“Ay, sister of the moon, with his hairy hand upon my priceless goblet, while his sluts strum tuneless ditties upon my incomparable turtleshell lyre!”

Dionysus raised his cup to them in a toast: “You have my blessing brother, I think not to steer the chariot of the sun, nor to take your hallowed place in heaven…I’d rather have a bit of fun! You’ll have to watch the lyre, though, methinks the sound of music shall do much to make our mystery.”

Sep 152011
 

Imagining Orpheus is a different matter. Most people can recall two things about him: that he was a musician, and that he went down to the Underworld to fetch his wife Eurydice. His story is the archetypal myth of the power of music.

With the lyre that was the gift from Apollo, Orpheus could move everything in creation, from stones, trees, and beasts, through humans, to daimonic and even divine beings (whom we might call angels and gods).

Armed only with his songs, he charmed the denizens of Hades and persuaded Pluto and Persephone to let him take Eurydice back.

Orpheus was a prince of Thrace, the land to the north of Greece. His mother was Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry. Some say his father was Apollo, and certainly Orpheus stands under the patronage of that god. Apollo also had northern connections, either coming from Hyperborea (the land beyond the north wind), or else visiting that far northern land after his birth on the island of Delos.

Where was Hyperborea? As it was said to contain a circular temple to the sun, some have identified it with Britain, and its temple with Stonehenge, a monument far older than any in Greece.

Stonehenge, and the people who constructed it, were Apollonian in the sense of being dedicated to the sun, to astronomy, mathematics and music. A number of modern researchers have penetrated beyond the limitations of academic prehistory to reveal, through intuition, the bases of this ancient science.

John Mitchell, the pioneer in this regard, has reconstructed the diagrams and dimensions that seem to lie at the basis of megalithic design. Jean Richar has shown that there is an imaginary zodiac whose twelvefold symbolism links mythology with the geography of the Aegean area. Paul Broadhurst and Hamish Miller have traced a plethora of Apollonian sites in geometrical alignment, all the way from Ireland to Palestine.

Mitchell, in addition, has traced the myth of ‘perpetual choirs’ maintained at ancient sanctuaries for the purpose of what he calls ‘enchanting the landscape’. If one is attentive to such findings, it is clear that there was a high and orderly civilisation well established by the third millennium BC, of which the archaeologists know almost nothing.

This enchantment of the landscape is exactly what Orpehus is reputed to have done with his music, casting a benign spell over nature and bringing peace among men. As part of his mission, he reformed the cult of Dionysus and tried to persuade his followers to give up their blood sacrifices. In place of Dionysian orgies, Orpheus founded the first Mysteries of Greece. The purpose of these, as far as we can tell, was to transmit some kind of direct knowledge that was helpful in facing the prospect of death.

Orpheus’s journey to the Underworld to fetch Eurydice should be understood in the context of the Mysteries. In the earliest versions of the myth, he did succeed in restoring her to life.

Joscelyn Godwin, The Golden Thread, The Orphic Mysteries

Apr 232011
 

‘Speaks he well and so the ancient
One is mindful now to listen,
‘As the moving words of wisdom
Sow on Earth the Kalki Vishnu.

‘‘Please continue’, thought he mildly,
‘I should know which other Earthling
Might make use of what is given,
Use the soul quite well, be risen.’

‘Hermes needs no more persuasion
Than mere thought from this, the Star-King,
Thus the great magician whispered
More of love, love everlasting.

‘“There’s a soul which doth, your Highness,
Overlay the sound of silence,
One who swayed the final juries
Yet was torn apart by Furies.

‘“One who plucks the deepest heart-string –
Thracian bard of noble standing –
He, who can’t forget his first kiss;
Let him rule the deep, Eleusis?

‘“Mayketh he the sweetest music –
Tames he winds, makes fire of ice –
He should rule with rhyme, not reason,
Seeking, ever, Eurydice.

Apr 232011
 

‘“So I bid thee, Prince, repeat it,
Lest you’re tempted first to see her,
Then to cross the Styx with Charon.
In this case, she’d die forever….”

‘Now does Hermes turn. Archaic
Is his smile. Osiris sees this,
Sees within it Thoth the Ancient
Science Master, Time Atomic.

‘Looks he, now – the one – at Hermes,
Thinks into his mind the verdict,
Weighs the words, the vital message.
Mount Olympus quaked to hear it.

‘‘I shall not deny the Certain
Things, these things shall be conceded –
Such as sharing life-eternal –
This, I think, by law, is needed.

‘‘Through the gift of sacred music,
Orphic guides shall spring forever
In the minds and hearts of humans;
Ever flowing love around them.

Feb 282011
 

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it

Ecclesiastes 12.1 – 6 (KJV)