Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Broken Fortress…

HM15 1281*

PC 963 Kraas turned and walked head-long into the sea breeze.

Her hair flicked in the wind like rampant flames.

“You know, I can’t help feeling we’ve missed a trick with this one.”

“It’s mentioned in the book,” replied Jaw-Dark pensively, “and in any case it’s a pleasant enough spot.” He paused and bent down to look through a large eye-shaped ‘blow-hole’ in the promontory.

“What’s that?” said Kraas.

“Well, that depends…” said Jaw-Dark.

“That depends upon what?”

“…Upon your perspective,” finished Jaw-Dark.

“Nothing is ever straight forward with you is it?”

“The Irish name for this and other similar landscape features is Poll na Seantuinne.”

“Which means?”

“‘Hole of the Old Wave’.”

Just then the sea crashed beneath the promontory and the foaming waves, in the mouth of the sea cavern, a hundred feet below could be clearly seen through the ‘chasm-hole’.

“Seems an apt description,” said Kraas, “if a tad un-nerving.” Her gaze followed the slow drag of the tide and then lifted to the sky where wisps of grey cloud scudded on the wind, “in the beginning,” she said, “everything was chasm and chaos.”

“There is though another interpretation.”

“Which is?”

Poll na Sean Tiene means ‘Hole of the Old Fire’.”

“Okay, I can see where that might fit in with some of their concerns. Especially with all this baleful eye stuff.”

“Personally though I prefer the third alternative…”

“Ever the story teller,” smiled Kraas, “Well, I’m waiting!”

Poll na Seantuine,  is the ‘Hole of the Old Woman.”

Kraas’ smile turned to a grimace, “Well, I wouldn’t go shouting that particular preference from the cliff tops if I were you,” she said through the grimace, and then added more seriously, “so which one is it?”

“Unfortunately for us and also quite possibly for them too, it is more than likely that it is all three of them.”


Bridge #writephoto…


From the light place

To the dark place

A span… of I am.


Of maybe’s and supposes

Littered like the discarded debris

Of an I was

That the Shadow-Net failed to trawl.


And now trail as stepping stones

To provide a tentative toe-hold…


From the dark place

To the light place

Beyond the span

Of I am.





 … “Oh, that’s good!”

“Even though I don’t have a clue to what you’re referring.”

“Ah, well I expect that particular quotation may have more to do with spring than autumn anyway.”

“Or it may simply have something to do with butterflies,” smiled Don.

“‘Bent-Black’ is a reference to a withered stalk I take it?”

“It’s at least possible.”

“Which became personified through association with a particular day in much the same way that we now talk of Guy Fawkes Night.”

“In a vaguely similar way, perhaps, and that day is?”

“The first day of autumn.”

“Which was always a Sunday?”

“Well, it was always celebrated on a Sunday.”

“So in the current calendar it was always celebrated on the first Sunday of August. But what of the last day of summer?”

“Well, that would be the last Sunday in July, or at least that is the day on which it would be celebrated.”

“And it would be called?”


“Which is?”

“Yet another reference to the baleful red sun that blights and scorches. These dates seem very precise.”

“It’s possible that the weather was a little more stable and predictable back then.”

“That’s hard to credit.”

“There is record of a claim that it always rained the day after the crop had been fetched it.”


“That’s precision engineering.”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense for the last day of summer and the first day of autumn to be the same day?”

“Well, they may be but unless that actually fell on a Sunday you would still have a last and first Sunday…”

“Six years out of seven.”

“Give or take.”

“If I were responsible for organising the celebrations I’d make Bent-Black an Old Woman and Bent-Red an Old Man.”

“And then what?”

“I would marry them off and send them on their way.”

“It’s very difficult not to be entirely  in agreement.”




“There is one thing that still troubles me,” said Wen who really seemed to have the ‘Rapunzel’ thing stuck in her craw.

“Yaas,” said Don, in his most irritating drawl.

“Shouldn’t the seasons be sisters?”

“On what grounds?”

“Well, I’m presuming that Mother Nature is an Enchantress precisely because of things like her ability to transform the world through her seasons.”

“This is true, Little Grub,” said Don with the kind of tired air which suggested he would not be around for very much longer, “but the seasons are really contrived in so far as they are useful for sustaining our life through crops. Agriculture is a technology. A very ancient technology but a technology nonetheless. In that sense the seasons are man made.”

“And that’s why we can have the debate over whether or not there are really three or four seasons,” said Wen.

“Or even two. In the four season year there are really only two pivotal points and their inverse or reflection.

Wen considered this idea for a bit and then pressed on with her original line of thought, “so the brothers are really alchemists?”

“The first alchemists, adding their art to nature, I like that, Little Grub, can I go to sleep now?”

“Only if you give me something to ponder while you’re gone.”

“You seem to be doing rather well in your pondering without me.”

“But it’s not the same.”

“Why, oh why, my Little Grub, would the day of the king’s death be now known to us as Bent-Black-Sun-Day?”


A short time later Don re-entered the temple room somewhat bleary-eyed.

“Better?” asked Wen doing a poor job of camouflaging her excitement.

“You have been grubbing,” stated Don by way of an answer.

“The bent twig of darkness grows the petals of the morning and shows to them the birds singing just behind the dawning.”

“Ah, Little Grub, ’tis music to my ears.”


Keys to the House of Don III…


‘…Such a situation invites the approach of treating the various versions  as at least theoretically, the garbled remnants of an episodic whole. While such a method can never lead us to the definitive story but merely and at every turn to a series of closely parallel yet different approximations of the definitive story, some approximations will be seen to be better or nearer the definitive story than others… ‘

Crucible of the Sun

… “Well, first off I suppose I’d better decide which of our seasons to drop,” said Wen, looking somewhat bemusedly at the sky, “and after much deliberation, I’ve decided that I’m going to drop winter.”

“Why, oh pray tell us why, Little Grub?”

“Because, psychologically, winter is death and the seasons should be all about life.”

“An admirable piece of deduction!”

“We do have a problem though.”

“We do?”

“We need to know the length of the year?”

“Don’t worry about being too precise just go with a thirteen month year.”


“Because in one of the extant versions of the story the princess had twelve hand-maids, and take the summer as being five months long, because of the king’s five eye patches.”

“Which makes autumn and spring each four months in length.”

“Perfectly balanced, that is, Little Grub, perfectly balanced.”

“And summer is not?”

“No, the fifth month of summer is an imbalance, hence the king’s baleful eye signifying the late summer sun which will blight the crops if they are not gathered in.”

“Does that also work psychologically?”

“How do you mean Little Grub?”

“If the Ego is not transcended, for want of a better term, then the ‘fruits’ of the individual life turn rancid?”

“I think that is true. The Ego turns to Super Ego instead of turning to the Id, takes everything, especially itself, hyper-seriously and cannot tolerate anything without its own image.”

“So why did you go with nine hand maids for the princess?” said Wen.

“They linked with the children ‘lost’ beneath the sea and signified the nine months of gestation.”

“The ‘seals’, the sea being both a watery womb and the subconscious?”

“We’ll make a lunatic of you yet, Little Grub.”

“I’m not sure I want to be a lunatic,” said Wen and then went on, “so I would have a spring smith forging the year, a summer warrior defending the year, and an autumn wizard contemplating the year,” with scant regard for just how mad that made her sound.


Keys to the House of Don II…


…’Wen is still worried about the insanity of it all… but fairy stories only appear insane to us now because we have become so separated from truth…

As children we accepted their subconscious logic intuitively.

It both satisfied our sense of justice in the developing weirdness of the world around us and reassured us that all would eventually be well again… in fact… was still well… even though it did not necessarily appear that way…’

The Heart of Albion.

…”That’s both disingenuous and tautological, Donald Sams and you know it,” said Wen displaying her grasp of formal logical terms.

“It may though, simply be mischief with a serious point.”

Wen said nothing.

“We know the builders of the megaliths had developed pin-point astrological accuracy with their, still held by many to be rather crude, structures, which by definition are anything but.”


“So, why wouldn’t they load their mythologies with such information? Especially, if it looked like they were about to be wiped out for any reason.”

“They could do that but the stories would have to have been operating functionally in order to be properly seeded.”

“Well, who’s to say they weren’t? The combination of cosmological and psychological truth would make for a pretty harmonious culture.”

“The one constantly verifying the other and vice versa?”

“Pretty much.”

“So that would mean every character should have both a cosmological and a psychological explanation.”

“Pretty much.”

“I think I can probably work out the psychological attribution of the three brothers.”

“Oh, you can, can you?”

“They’re the centres aren’t they, and that’s why they built the king’s castle because in a sense they construct the Ego?”

“Yes, they’re the centres. The warrior is the heart… The wizard is the intellect… and the smith is movement.”

“But what about cosmologically?”

“I think it allows us to posit a three season year for the ancients.”

“So, why are the brothers seasons?”

“Because they live by the sea and could thus be described as ‘sons of the sea.'”


“Things are definitely beginning to look up but you can jolly well work out the seasonal correspondences for yourself.” …


Keys to the House of Don…


…”I do have my reputation as an I.M.O.M to consider.”

“An I.M.O.M?”

“An International Man of Mystery. And there, if you only knew it, is the first key.”

“Which is?”

Don reaches ‘blind’ behind his head and extracts from the mahogany bookcase a slim, yellow covered, paperback. He opens the book and starts to read…

‘The key to understanding these tales is to ask yourself questions. If you are alone do not be afraid to address thin air. If you ask your self enough questions your soul eventually answers and before long you will no longer be talking to air you will be walking on it…’

– The Initiate

“I take it no one answered the question?”

“You can take it that no one even realised they were expected to.”

“The magic halter?”

“Cosmologically, the magic halter is the…”

“One step at a time!”

“Cows don’t wear halters. This is the clue that tells us that the cow is not really a cow and that the halter is not really a halter.”

“Plus the fact that the cow is ‘wondrous’ and the halter is ‘magic’.”

“If the wondrous cow is the Moon and the magic halter governs the whereabouts of the Moon, then the question is, ‘what governs the daily position of the Moon’ ?”

“What force governs the daily position of the Moon?”

“Easy now, the force of gravity.”

“More specifically?”

“The force of gravity in relation to the Moon and the Earth.”

“They didn’t know about gravity in those days.”

“They knew though, by observation, that the Moon followed a regular course or pattern in the sky and that ‘something’ governed that.”

“Which was?”

“The Moon’s orbit around the Earth. The halter is an orbit.”

“That sounds like its the wrong way around, could they have thought that the Earth circuits the Moon?”

“Perhaps, but in the story the wondrous cow does make a daily circuit of the land.”

“And the land, is the Earth… okay.”

“Cosmologically, then, the magic halter is the Moon’s orbit. It is the Moon’s cycle perceived from the Earth. The Moon completes the same cycle each month that the Sun completes in a year, traversing each of the Zodiacal Houses, which means that psychologically speaking the Moon is the seed of the Sun.”

“You’re going too fast again, and anyway, they couldn’t have known all that, way back then.”

“But if they didn’t know that, then, how did it get into the story?”


Tryst #writephoto…


He had not intended to come here.

Without thinking his tired steps

had led…

to the shelter,

half-portico, half-shed,

and to brighter, lighter days…


Days of sun, and fun,

and firm flesh: a higgledy-heart

carved against the grain.

Just discernible

under several layers of paint.

Paint the colour of the deepening sky…


Why should we live together

yet learn to fly…



All One.


For Sheila


Thursday photo prompt – Tryst #writephoto

Reynard’s Return…


“Is that it?” says Wen, somewhat nonplussed.

“More or less.”

“Well, there should be more, surely?”

“Oh, but there is more, much more, but we are here only concerned with giving a skeletal outline of what was once the pre-eminent Myth of Albion, and covering the bases, and basis, of the Rapunzel story.”

“Pre-eminent, eh?”


“How much more?”

“Let’s see now, there is a prequel which relates how the three brothers built the King of Castle-Hill’s castle.”

“Okaay, I can just about see how that works.”

“There are a couple of topographical episodes relating the king’s sojourn with the wondrous cow and the Thorn-Children falling one by one from the coracle.”

“Place-name Dreamings?”

“Precisely, a lot of the resting places of the cow became sacred wells and springs.”

“That’s beautiful.”

“It is beautiful and I love it.”

“And the Thorn-Children?”

“Safe harbours.”

“Aww, I like seals.”

“I like seals too.”

“Any more?”

“There are even some quite lengthy versions of the warrior’s tryst with the princess, involving much jiggery-pokery.”

“Well, that certainly fits!”

“And then there’s the sequel which relates the death of the warrior at the hands of the king and the death of the king at the hands of his grandson, as foretold in the prophecy.”

“And my ‘grubbing’ gave you the key to all this?”

“I had singularly failed to realise that the hand-maids were months.”

“And do  you have anymore er ‘keys’ you’d like to toss in the direction of the dazed and confused while you’re at it?”

“Cosmologically, the king is the year’s Old Sun, his grandson is the New… Psychologically, the king is the Ego, his grandson is the Id.”

“Sounds a little like the story told by a certain dance troupe we are  mysteriously acquainted with.”

“Doesn’t it just.”

“We started with a question,” says Wen, “so we had better end with one.”

“Okay, if the wondrous cow is the Moon, what is the magic halter?”




Sweating hours.

Quiescence lies like a crime.


The crack of dry twigs underfoot…


A tumultuous green-flash

of thumping rampage.

Dog legs.

Baboon haunches.

A luminous ankh arrows away.

A way out to tree-stump.

To crook torso and tail.

And splay dripping

limbs akimbo.


A panting swastika

pulses suspended.


Mimicking leaf.

Balanced in bark.

Night  flecked.


Slowly stretching…

it twists

an ancient neck

to glare.


Eon empty eyes

Blink in

the sun.