Showing posts from March, 2018

Satyr on Satire

Jo suggested I record another in the "Druid Ramblings" series on the theme of satire, partly as she had seen the reaction of comedian Jonathan Pie to a court case involving an attempt at humour involving a pug (I don't think many people laughed, so a bit hit-and-miss as comedy goes).
Anyway, cutting to the chase this is a ramble upon that subject to the usual standards of incoherence, flitting between Early Medieval Ireland and the 21st century pagansphere, whilst attempting to bake a Black Forest Gateau. At the end people arrived home early and I attempted to pause the recorder but ended up switching it off entirely (I am a tad shite when it comes to technology) and could not be bothered recording the whole thing all over again - so it just ends a bit suddenly. Pretend this is the last episode of The Sopranos. The way my body is going, I will end up looking like a Godfather soon anyway. Oh cake, why must you tempt me so?

Favourite poems

As promised in an earlier post, here are readings of some of my favourite poems (by people with a gift for bringing them to life)

First off the glorious Maggie Smith lending her cut glass tones along with the nasal rolls of the engaging Kenneth Williams reading a poem from the lovely John Betjemen. In interviews he always comes across as such a gentle, self-effacing, warmhearted man.

Also by the same poet, a toast to Oscar Wilde (read by Tom O'Bedlam).

Speaking of whom, the glorious Vincent Price reads the sumptuous The Harlot's House by Oscar Wilde. Fantastic arabesques indeed.

Stevie Smith reads one of her poems and talks about the inspiration for it.

I am including Robert Browning's murderous My Last Duchess more, I must admit, for the wonderful voice of the late James Mason than for the poem itself (though it is a great example of narrative, first person poetry).

In a similar vein, here is the equally late Richard Burton reciting John Donne's Go and Catch a Falling…

National Poetry Day 2018

That peculiar woman who sits in an office dreaming up National and International days has, apparently, appointed the 21st as the day for enjoying poetry. Below is one of my poems, inspired by the comedic myth of burly Thor and elfin Loki cross-dressing as a blushing bride and lady-in-waiting to attend a giant's wedding and retrieve the stolen Mjolnir. Brain cells permitting later tonight I'll upload a poem from a famous poet or two that I admire, and spread the love.

Dragging Thor Out

Eight leagues low, --- In lightless hole Was short-shaft’s tool shrouded. Thrymyr foolish, --- Freya fancied, On luckless Loki burden landed.
Bitches bound --- Bestow fire’s flash, Deal brokered and broken (Oafs earn no oaths --- Open wounds only). Homeward then, webs to weave!
Thor’s fury --- Freya’s thunder Asgard’s rafters rattle. To Horn-blower hie --- Hints dropped, Hiemdallr’s plan histrionics harvested.
Falcon feathers fall --- Fabrics festooned us, The Thunderer frocked, fabulous! Falsies but no falsett…

National Storytelling Day 2018

Someone sitting in a room somewhere decided today is National Storytelling Day (I guess it keeps them out of trouble), so here is a story - written, not told, because I'm just a rebel, me - which seems vaguely in keeping with the weather conditions. If anyone is interested, I am available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and nervous breakdowns.

The Harbinger
I am a creature of the winter. Sleet ran through my veins from the day I was born, ripping my mother from me even as she nurtured the ember of my life with her dwindling heat. The Others watched her die, cautious of approaching until they knew I was utterly alone in the world. That was when they marked me as their own, and I changed. I can never be fully one of them, but nor am I entirely what my mother bled to make. Hairs grow from the place where they touched me, thick and dark. Yet when the change comes on me the hairs not only grow denser but paler until they are the one white patch in a gun grey pelt. In their language they call…

Thoughts on Druidry

Finally trying to get my brain back into gear. Having done a few basic "what is paganism" videos, I'm having a go at at least one (maybe more in the future) recordings musing over ideas within druidry. I'm not aiming at an introductory overview, because there are loads of those already. Rather, these will be philosophical, ethical, possibly mystical meanders. If viewers would like more, please suggest topics. If you have had more than enough, well... endeavour to at least be polite about it.

Love Talker

A token gesture to mark St Patrick's Day, with a reading of 'The Love Talker' by Ethna Carbery, and Irish poet of the 19th century. The poem is about the ganconer or geann-cannah, a seductive male fairy who breaks the hearts of maidens he encounters in lonely spots by big impossibly handsome and charming. There's a short waffle before the poem, if you want to skip straight to the words of Carbery.

Leaping Hare 2018

Next Saturday is the Leaping Hare convention in Colchester, Essex. I'll be talking about dog mythology and also giving some Irish storytelling along with the rest of Clan Ogma. There is a great array of speakers and workshops - thoroughly recommended if you can get there. The profits are split between various local good causes.

The planned programme for 2018 is (subject to changes) as follows ~ 09.30am     Welcome by Barry Bartholomew, PF District Manager 09.45am     Richard Levy, "Narrative Magic"; 10.45am    Sam Marks, "Walking the Antlered Road"; 11.45am    Connecting with the Egyptian deities, workshop with Adrienne de Roy, Side Room;                   12.00pm Women of the Mabinogion workshop with Jo van der Hoeven, main hall; 12.30pm     Lunch break;                    12.45pmSuzie Edwards's drumming workshop, adjacent woods 13.45pm     Robin Herne, "The Year of the Dog"; 14.00pmGuided Cognitive Pathworking with Emma Bromley, Side Room;