An Unexpected Guest

There might come a late winter night, when the air is cold and biting, that you find yourself answering your door to the sound of a strange god’s pounding heart.

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You cautiously crack the rough-hewn wood just a sliver,

just to see,

And there he is, lumbering there, on your stoop, all wild-eyed and feral grin. You notice the cosmos stirring within his fur, and you’re a little fearful of letting him in.

Before you have a chance to speak to him, though, He barges his way through the door, brushes your worries off his stone arch shoulders, like brushing the sand from your feet after a stroll along the beach.

He clambers toward your favorite chair, and invites himself into it, his hulking form making your only comfortable space screech in protest. But there is purpose in his posture, in his swaying scarred head, and you suppose what the hell, he’s welcome to sit–

for just a spell.

And then you think, it must be a spell, to be so disrupted this late in the night, by a wild god stitched up in moonlight.

He grins his savage song again, and you see him beckon you to feel comfortable in your own home beside the fire, so you accept his crooked finger like a fish to a lure, and sit at his feet as his eyes ponder over your biology.

You feel pulled to ask about the snakes in his belly, the raven claws in his arms, the budding stars exploding to life within his rib cage. But you don’t want to ruin the silence with the danger of pragmatic spoken language.

So you sit with him and listen, to the rhythms in his breathing. And you find a melody in it. It sounds like the haunted chords of your embryonic certitude. You find comfort in that, so you again try for a prayer, a whispered word,

a verse of starlight–

Anything! that you might hear this sparking creature speak.

You will find you want his voice so badly, that you address the solemnity in his dark charm and tell him of your day. You try to avoid your need to bleed and scream and dance in revelry of all that stands before the time when it was sorrow that you wore.

Because at some point, you became scared of your own speech so you began to hide it under the crunch of oak leaves. But this feral god, this dream before you, he sees, and he reaches out and takes your callused hands and examines. He reads the well worn lines and fretful designs, and again his eyes play flame over that wicked grin… Knowing you deeper than you know yourself.

He lets you go and for a moment you don’t know how you could possibly ever go on. The pain in his eyes and those spaces within you make you want to weep. But then he reaches over and pulls from the fire a single seed, a tiny thing–aglow amid the shadows that are beginning to take shape as soulful forms climbing up the living room walls.

He watches your face, probably trying to gauge how resolute your insides are, before he places it in the palm of your outstretched hand. Tears find their way to the corners of your eyes, and they stream down your face at the eternity of his small gesture, and you realize you don’t know how long you’ve been sitting there with him. So you look down to find the time but somehow you are rooted to the floor, moss and clover spreading up your lower limbs, tickling your skin.

And then the seed you hold begins to warm, so you eat it. You swallow it down with the glass of bourbon this wild being has passed to your hand. His laugh is a belly rumble like thunder in the distance, and your head swims under his influence as you praise that single sound.

He asks: why did you leave me behind?

And you don’t know how to answer because you know in your heart the illusions you were once fed had won. It seems so very long ago.

I had to conform, I had to survive.

That wild eyed shine returns to his face, a face you found revolting at his arrival, a face you’re probably growing accustomed to now. And you open your throat to speak, but moths flutter out in place of the voice that used to be yours.

You see that the strange god sitting in your chair weeps with you, and nods his great dark head. He touches your very blood with the clamoring of his own shaded thoughts.

And the shadows that were nothing much just moments before, are now dancing in harmony with the breath solidifying in the air. His breath that winds its way inside your mind and the tunnels within your heart. His eyes shine in tune to the strings of your own wanton music and you will most likely fall drunk on the gravity of that forgotten language.

Then roots form in your belly, pulling your bone and tendon along a web of fates. The blood in your veins turns to silt and soil and your mouth invites the stages of life to sing from your lungs.  You look to find the time again but your house is no longer there.

Your wild god has brought a skin drum and is beginning to pound your birth.

Spirits of bird and bone swirl about your head, unaware that you probably don’t want them anywhere near. But your god keeps drumming, keeps the pulse waves of your dreams. He calls all the beasts and birds and worms

And you hear the earth’s shouts of defiance echo in the air. You watch in secret pleasure as your spirit joins the flight. Again you seek after the voice of the shadowed being that found his way to your door. He’s there, no longer a separate taste of freedom in your gut, but a wakened thing, a dancing step.

And you find yourself alive with the agony of it all.

And then in a moment’s flash, you’re blinking, tears fogging your liberated eyes. You wake upon a misty dawn, an empty glass at your fingertips, your changed spirit sprawled atop the hearth rug. You’ll most likely laugh in wonder of finding yourself in such disarray, as the sun heralds the dawning day.

There may come a late winter night, when the air is cold and biting, you will find yourself answering your door to a strange God’s pounding heart. So you cautiously crack the rough-hewn wood just a sliver,

just to see,

If he’d like to come in for a drink.

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the Sea Goddess

She felt the rise in her belly, the swell of excitement that could only be found within crashing waves.

She let herself be pulled, a calling with more depth and more intensity than mere curiosity.

He took her hand in his and led her to where the sea meets the earth, asking her to dive down deep under those dark waves. He looked back to her face, fearing to see trepidation in her eyes.

But he gazed into the grey of her eyes, grey that matched the rising surf, and he saw wonder.

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She let him lead her down to the shore, down to let the rolling foam greet their toes.

She smiled to him, a shy crook of the mouth that set his heart to racing.

He knew then, in that moment, that he would make her his queen. He would let her choose, though, and let her roam freely between sea and stone.

He moved her onward into the rising tide, never letting go of her slender hand. And every time he turned to look after her, she pushed him ever onward with the shine in her eyes and the curve of her lips.

Together they entered the sea, down down down into the murky depths of his watery domain. Down to the realm of selkies and sirens, down to the gates of his hall in the heart of the ocean.

She breathed the deep blue of salt water into her lungs, and was transformed.

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Seals and rays greeted her in welcome, dolphins swam playfully around in large pods, their smiling faces belying their pleasure at her coming.

She rejoiced in her newfound freedom, her newly acquired underwater flight.

She had come home.

 

 

 

~Líadan Rán

Pandora’s Birth

I remember waking in the stale air of a cave– a womb inside a desolate earth, but not my earth.
This place was foreign and savage, filled with hate and pain and vast seas of red blooded rage.
There were molten moons rising all around, skeletal greys, pale greens and sickly ambers.
They rose over the horizon of this ethereal alien world to taunt my darkened senses.
I wasn’t relenting, and I refused to grow into those long grooves and veins that encapsulated the faces of Saturn’s lovers. Those straining epitaphs of exploding red suns beating as a broken heart deep down at the bottom of his bottomless ocean.
My skin rebelled against the atmosphere of this crater, crawling with nebulous tides of encroaching ice floes. Thirsty poisonous smog growing thicker with my breathing.
I was stranded. My limbs sank into a giving ghost land, striving to understand this meaningless motion.
Saturn floating under my belly, I tried to take my eyes from the burning red orbs calling forth great tidal waves of an unnameable ocean.
Monstrous moons warped time, warping size, warped a boundary that was totally contrived.
I gave in and observed the monstrous growth of the giant suns, the breathing pulse of their fires, the eternal explosion of life. Now death.
But Life again.
The waves of this changing tide burned red in reflections, calling me out to seek the blue.
The green, the Earth in between.
I gave in and
I made you.

 

 

~Líadan Rán
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[Featured image Pandora’s Cluster, courtesy of HubbleSite.org]

Creation

It came of Frost and Flame, borne of the Abyss
Child of Chaos and strife,
solidity and cold determination.
It rose, pale and dark, against the blood red depths
of the Ironclad Earth
Ice and Fire and breath of dust…
…and rain, never-ending rain
Acid, poison, at first killing the weak.
Then the Ocean cleansed the Sky and birthed the Waves
Those that engulfed the Land
Tides of the Moon and Currents kissed by Wind
and Man, mortal Man, lumbers as the Land’s great host
Mountains will rise, and mountains will fall,
and it will be our story that the world will tell
The women, borne of the goddesses of Old, come to birth
the lines of succession

And we will rise, and rise again

 

~Líadan Rán

 

 

 

 

[Featured Image: Star-Forming Region LH95 in the Large Magellanic Cloud courtesy of HubbleSite Photos]

The Oracle

It’s there, just budding over the horizon, stealing the southern sky. Ares lends his fiery hands to the creation of the occult. Cronos plays his cold eye over the form of Skorpios’s pincers, watching, waiting, to see if the scorpion will strike.

Its heart brightens, myth and hymn of Antares. The notes mingle into form, and she can feel the mix of auric flow, a cosmic shift in the subtle ripples of being. A vibrational change along the strands of the Web.

Her staff thumps in time to the earth; primal drums beckoning her pilgrimage. She calls to spirit, bird, and bone, waking ancient blood within the veins of time.

She burns in fire beneath the silken planes of her flesh. Seething flame licking nerves and spinal distraction. A cold determined glare fixes its stained facade over passionate soul, and she tips her head back, opening her throat in otherworldly incantation. Her vision is twenty-twenty, here among the Others.

The sting of the Scorpion reminds her that she is still living among the Earth. She comes back down, she lowers her calculating gaze toward the blood of Stone.

Emotions roil and rage under the surface, Ares’s charge to battle. But the fire within is covered in dirt, cold soil of the fatherly control of a Titan.

Still she sees and understands, that to smother the flames of this aggression is to meet cold death. Control is necessary at times, but the rising sign of the Scorpion to the south, the god of her name day, they cannot be ignored.

Cronos will convert passion to reason, intuition to logic. And where will she be led to then? When magic is nonsense and the Earth is dying? Who will fight then, if not her?

She thumps her staff in rhythm to the drums once again, calling on her darkened senses. She hears tell of a coming of rage and grief and acceptance. A bloodline not entirely lost, but never found.

She will journey into Hades, a crow for comfort, the bones for company. She will journey until she finds that which she seeks, and ever after be the wiser for knowing it.

-Líadan Rán

 

 

[Featured image courtesy of earthsky.org]