Choose Love

 

In times of turbulence choose love.

In times of serenity choose love.

When they say you are silly,  ridiculous, infatuated and immature, choose love.

They will call you naive.

Choose love anyway ūüôā

 

‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ ¬† LOVE and LET LOVE ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ ¬†¬†

‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ ¬†Orlando we stand with you ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ ¬†

 

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A Beltane Tale (Part One)

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On Beltane eve Marion goes to bed early. She places sprigs of heather and mint  beneath her pillow. Her room in the priory is sparse, with a lone straw bed and one window where the beloved moon shines its silver light.  Marion, an orphan, has been raised here by the good Prioress. She has been well  cared for. But she longs for more, she longs to be free of the confines of the walls, the trap she never asked for.

If Marion wakes in this night surely it will be the fairies come to take her away to their underground home. Each year she prays for this; each year it does not happen.

On Beltane morning she rises at dawn. She goes with the other girls to the gardens  where they collect hawthorne and wild flowers. They weave  garlands to wear on their heads.   They return to the village where the men have built a maypole. Large and mighty, the pole towers, decorated with ribbons, every color of the rainbow. At noontide the matrons serve a great feast; mutton, spring greens, porridge and violet cakes.

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There is a legend that on Beltane the Green Man comes to the forest to claim his lover, the May Queen.  She is wife of the Winter King, and he is lack to give her up. But the Green Man persists and eventually wins the lady. The Winter King is defeated until Samhain when all things of summer will die.  The mummers in the town square reenact the story and Marion watches as the lovely May Queen is taken by the Green Man.  He sweeps her in his strong arms, her long hair cascading against his bare chest. Marion is jealous. When will such a love come for her? Surely now she is of age, having reached her eighteenth name day.  The Green Man and his lady then retire to the forest, for nuptials of their own.

There is dancing. The revelers braid strands of the maypole together and step to the music. Lass, lad. Lass, lad.   Even the Sheriff and the Friar and Prioress join in.   Great fires are lit as the sun sets low. Those brave of heart and long of leg dare jump over the Beltane fires. Not Marion, for she has been raised to be cautious.

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After the maypole dancing, when the embers of the fire grow low, many a couple traverse to the wood. There, they too will bless the land in their own way, making it fertile for the summer.  Although Marion has no man to claim as her own, she follows.   Alan of Dale and his girl Eleanor hide in the bushes, as do Will Scarlet and Lucy Sprint.  Marion knows what they do and she dares not look. Instead, alone she walks deeper into the forest, her flickering rushlight guiding her way. Orion’s constellation twinkles above her.  It is then she comes upon the ring of mushrooms.

Oh, she knows the legend well.¬† Were she to stand in the middle of that circle for long enough — so goes the tale — the fae folk will come for her. ¬†And never will she see the mortal world again. ¬†She has been warned, all her life she has been warned of this. ¬†And yet, it is what she has longed for. ¬†But is this tale true?

Marion stands, still as rock till the sky swirls purple around her. And then, like a fall down a well, a sweep of wind and soft landing, she is there, in the underworld. ¬†¬†They surround her, these peculiar people, bent of ear and wide of eye. ¬†It is then Marion sees him, a man in green robes with a hood. He is handsome. Dark eyed¬† with thick hair that brushes his shoulders.¬† ‚ÄúMilady,‚ÄĚ he bows, ‚ÄúI am called Robin, and your escort I shall be.‚ÄĚ

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What follows is much merry making and drinking of elder flower wine.  The fairies play fiddles, music loud and jaunty. There is Dancing. Dancing in a circle, faster, much faster than ever at the maypole in the village.  And Robin. He takes Marion’s hand, spins her in a reel and she twirls beneath his arm.  Then he leads her away to a place of seclusion, a place in the meadow where the ground around is soft.  There, he removes her kirtle and skivvies  and she lies mother-naked before him.

He plays her body like a harp, plucking its strings and secret places, a thousand butterflies released as his seed spills inside her.  One time is not enough to satisfy either of them and they repeat the act, again and again until at last they fall to each other’s arms exhausted.

Oh, how she loves him! Truly and deeply. She loves him as she has loved  the moon and her dreams, for he is the forest itself. He is animal and outlaw, dangerous and forbidden. He is all of life and all she desires.

Finally the sky splinters pink daybreak and the sun peeks its gold rays.  She sleeps in Robin’s arms.

In the morning of May 2nd¬† she awakens in her priory bed. The sprigs of heather and mint still reside beneath her pillow. But there is more. A lone lock of hair, and a note stitched on a green cambric swatch. ‚ÄúTo my May Queen ,‚ÄĚ it reads. ‚ÄúFrom Robin, with love.‚ÄĚ

She sighs.

It will be a long wait until the next Beltane.

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Want to read more Marion?  Continued here: A Beltane Tale: Part Two

Poem of the Day: Howl by Allen Ginsberg

 

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness

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starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

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who passed through universities with radiant eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

 

with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

 incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping towards poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,

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 Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind. 

 

ABOUT GINSBERG and HOWL:¬† ¬†Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) ¬†was a Beat Generation icon who hung out with his pals Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and William Burroughs ‚Äď jazz grooving, social misfits who often went On The Road as they tried to ¬†piece life together in the shattered aftermath of ¬†WWII. ¬†They felt, in fact, ‚Äėbeat‚Äô.

Ginsberg’s poem Howl drew a lot of attention when, in 1957, US officials decided it was obscene, illegal, and could not be printed nor distributed in this country. (You saw that line about cock and endless balls, right?)

Keep in mind, the US was a very uptight place back then.¬† They basically tolerated nothing. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Drug abuse was unheard of, or at least unmentionable in the polite circles of 1950’s Americana. ¬†‚ÄėLeave it To Beaver‚Äô was ¬†considered the ideal of family life.¬† (Funny, eh?¬† Leave it to Beaver? ¬†Could have been a very empowering statement of female sexuality ūüôā But I digress.)

Ironically, Ginsberg himself was out of the country at the time his poem went under scrutiny.¬† He never suffered backlash for the obscenity charges, but Lawrence Ferlinghetti, owner of City Lights book store in San Francisco, was arrested and stood trial. ¬†Amazingly, Ferlinghetti won! ¬†¬†Viva la free press! ¬†¬† California Judge Clayton Horn decided that the poem was not obscene, and it was, in fact of ¬†“redeeming social importance”. ¬†Well now ūüôā

I am not including the entire poem because it goes on for like 30 pages.  Read the whole thing here: http://www.wussu.com/poems/agh.htm

I love the ending lines! ¬† Allegedly they are addressed to one Carl Solomon, a friend of Ginsberg’s whom he met while receiving electric shock treatment in a mental institution.

 

I’m with you in Rockland¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself ¬† imaginary walls collapse ¬† O skinny legions run outside ¬† O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here ¬† O victory forget your underwear we’re free

I’m with you in Rockland¬†

         in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night

 

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