Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Small Bird

There is not really very much to say about this one. It’s inspiration was my visit to a website or a blog, I forget which one and this poem is the truth as it is. What I would add, the stories I know are true as well. If this life is all there is then this is what it is. But once I was a mage, the man of the northern wall, liege to a queen who was murdered through my fault, my failed protection. Once I was in an argument with God, so powerful that I was granted permission for this life. These two are as surely me as the man I am now unadorned. There are more stories of me, but I do not know them. These two I know.

This posting is for the 24th of December, a day that is the eve of a Christian holiday. I am not much for holidays but do my best to get along. I like better the nearness of this holiday to the winter solstice. It is said that the Dec. 25 date was the old Roman solstice marked because it is the first day that is an obvious increase in light. There have been other arguments that link the date with Mithra and Sol Invictus, but that seems now doubtful. The Saturnalia ended on Dec. 23. So the day seems to be returned to Christ as the ninth month marker beyond the Feast of the Anunciation on March 25, the traditional day of Christ’s conception. The earliest recorded celebration of the birth of Christ on Dec. 25 is 243 AD.

I personally favor scholarship that points to Jeshua’s actual birth as a spring event, Christ as Aries or Taurus. Christ as Sagittarius or especially Capricorn seems odd to me.

A Small Bird

This is what my life
is like without the stories
I must tell myself
in order to live.
This is what my life is like.
It is a small room
with open windows
and a small bird flies through it,
in one window, out
the other.

March 10, 2009 2:06 PM


  1. such a beautiful lifestory... its unadorned-ness a blessing and a beauty all its own...

    also a nice reflection on the connections across christian, pagan and astral

  2. I just wrote, not a minute ago, that I will now be out of sorts as the days grow longer. I find great comfort in the shortening of days, as though I were climbing inside of a belly with a blanket in tow. That is fine by me, eternal child. But now the day will lengthen and I will be called to rouse. It throws me, a little.

    Is it even possible to live life without story? Naw. Even that quick flight of bird. It is a story with a reason. And as to the queen. She is flight now, as well.

    much love and celebration to both the day and the night. xo

  3. Erin, to live without the story - to me that is the goal of Zen Buddhism. To stop the mind in a radical way, to notice that there is something left, two small birds, to hold right there, to witness the passage of the two birds.

    Actually I think the source material of this poetic vision was something very close to Zen. From the viewpoint of Zen, to keep hold of anything more is to value the illusion over the truth.

    When I write that I am the story I claim substance and value resides in the illusion. I know this. That is, I know that the truth Zen speaks of is the truth for me too. I know that I cling to illusion, that it is my destiny at this stage of my overarching passage through worlds upon worlds to lean into the journey and accept this fact of clinging to illusion.

    It is my faith statement that I follow, that the journey is itself important, that while nothing of the locations will actually last, my history through them creates what I call the story, that the story of my passage through illusion is important, that what we call ego is in fact in some storytelling way actually important in the end, that all this storytelling will indeed last. This flies in the face of Eastern wisdom. It comes from the western story of soul and resurection. That western story comes as well from the shamanic sources of our spiritual nature, where power is as important as truth.

    I am conscious of the paradox, that my position is radically inconsistent. I don't care. I think this is the nature of living beyond the limits, that I should be forced into paradox.

    I am a western man who loves eastern wisdom but also loves shamanic power and western soul. I believe I cannot live in this day and age without all the pieces I have gathered. without my western view of eros and love and my eastern view of compassion. Poor me. All tangled up. I straddle the crack in the world breathing the psychic aroma that rises, calling for the dancing to resume.

  4. Beautiful poem! I can see it as well as feel it.

  5. Thanks for leaving the windows open so we birds don't smack the glass, breaking our little necks.

    Oh, and Merry Christmas. ;-)

  6. Christopher,

    I like this one so much. (Of course, I feel that way about all your poems!) But that small bird flying through -- so much truth in that.

    Wishing you the warmest of the Holiday Season. Sending you love for the new year to come.

    Thank you for all the gifts you have given and all the kindness you have shown me. This past year's burdens were made much more bearable knowing you were always there -- just words away...



  7. Ah, so we have both been of the birds lately. Merry Christmas Christoper.

  8. Nancy, welcome to my blog. I am glad you liked the two birds. You may have noticed the 5-7-5 structure within my poems, it is my voice, chosen over a year ago but usually three or more groups. I started with an old form I saw somewhere, 5-7-5 7-7 5-7-5, but I gradually got sloppy and also started telling longer stories.

  9. Robin, Thank you for getting me started. All I know about blogging I learned from you and Walt.


  10. Liz, thank you for your good wishes. In a fair world, travel between the homes of friends would be easier. I miss you in that way though I have never met you.

  11. Annie, we are well met, then. Yes. Merry Christmas.

  12. Tweet tweet :)

    Merry Christmas beautiful man....


  13. You say, I accept this fact of clinging to illusion.

    Me, too.

    It is inside of the story, these stories, that we are allowed. The linear is important only so that we might appear for our brief moments. But without our brief moments, where would we be? It's kind of like when you suggested being perfection in angelhood the other day and I resisted and said, no no let me be fallible human. Always, i would rather fail inside of a story and then quick, on wind, flight as bird, to the next. And again, real tangible heavy human heart living one moment and the next, one story and another, all compiled as My story.

    We are lucky, aren't we, to be muddled so?

  14. Erin, my very good friend, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I say yes to all your thoughts. I would add this to it. The story is a telling of time, takes place within time. There is a beginning, middle, end. Perhaps there is another story. At some point, maybe not. To hold to the story is to hold to the finite nature of things.

    The rightness of the story cannot be for more than the time of the story. What lasts of the story transcends it, a kernel, a seed. When I say "the illusion of the story" I mean that stories take place in context. The context is itself something within the wider grasp of the infinite.

    Here is one of my stories, how I am here by agreement, living out my story as I must, as I agreed to do. That agreement is the context of my story and itself is illusory. My faith is alchemical in that way, that in living the story I distill a kernal of truth. This is the kernal, the "proof" I will lay at the feet of God, or in His lap, reaching in that act beyond the illusion even of the agreement.

    Thus it cannot be just any story. It is a story with a way out. What is left behind is everything but the small seed. The sacrifice of the entire I have the stones to endure it? Can I tell the whole story and then vacate it as the illusion it is? It was never mine at all. There is no "mine".


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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