All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

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There is sickness in the air:
a pollution of the spirit,
hanging over the cities,
hanging over the pastures where the herds graze,
hanging even over the temples where offerings are brought.
Do not mistake me for that other One;
Lambs are light, easy to carry,
for all they may kick and bleat
or shit down your shoulder.
Shepherds may revere me, but I am no shepherd;
The burden I carry is no lamb newborn
or shaggy ewe, udders swollen with Spring’s milk.
No, what I carry is the flock’s guardian
— not the shepherd, no beardless boy with bark-stripped staff —
but the flock’s true king,
crowned heavy with horns,
fire in his eyes at the merest whiff of wolf or bear;
fierce his shout and fierce the thundering beat of his heart,
fiercer still the courage he shows as he charges those
who would do the ewes or lambs harm.
This is why he makes the perfect sacrifice;
this is why I carry him, heavy and struggling,
across my shoulders, around the city walls,
high enough for all to see —
the shepherds in their fields
and the priests in the temples,
the children playing in the streets
and the merchants in the city square.
He is no mewling babe, easily controlled;
it takes determination to hold him,
and the certainty that bringing the blade to his throat
to spill his blood and then lower meat and fat and fur to the fire
will bring on the favor of those who sit so high above
and send that sweet smoke unto them.
After you have washed yourself with water
of sea salt and bay leaf smoke,
after I have borne the ram to the place of sacrifice,
after all the proper rites been conducted,
then — and only then — has that spirit-sickness lifted,
has the miasma been purged,
and then and only then will the herd rest safe once more.


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Emptied out of echoes.

Let my inner furnace burn.

Serpents of air in the branches;
stag leaping in the torchflame.

See with new eyes.
Breathe with new lungs.
Feel with new heart.

What if I choose to break for good?

The secret of fire, the sorrow of rain.
The way the light shreds in the west at dusk.

Black mare, red mare,
carry me through the battles,
bear me through my struggles;
under me, your strength
bears up my strength.
Teach me to be stronger still.
I feel your heart pounding beneath me;
it leaps, it runs,
and it carries me onward —
not to safety,
but to the next challenge.

My grandmother’s house was yellow.


Every wound a lesson;
we learn from what we endure.


My soul is a song sung in service to You;
my heart is a prayer of praise just for You.


Sometimes, fate.

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Last Call

The dark forests are calling;
they sing to my soul.
The draw is so strong;
it beckons me to come,
to step into its shadowy embrace
and to disappear.
To make my way,
or to make an end to things,
to let go of the pains of the flesh,
the pangs of the heart,
the pallid desires of mere mind,
and give over my earthly remains to the earth.
The song is so strong.
I can smell moss and leaf loam,
fungus and flowers, rain if I rest.
No more struggle, only sleep.
No more sorrow, only solitude.
No more loneliness, only love,
as the forest loves all things
it gathers into its embrace.
Love, as it loves deer and fox,
owl and snake, oak and fern, vine and thorn.

Shall I walk into those woods,
and make my last bed, and lie in it?

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Odin’s Words at Wellspring

You weren’t speaking to me —
or were You?
“I will never stop testing you.
Be strong or be broken.”
I wasn’t the one standing in front of the seidhkona,
but nonetheless, it felt like
the words were directed at me also.
And I understand.
I try to be strong, but since I have no courage,
I must at least be honest:
I am afraid,
And I have been broken for a long time now.
You can hardly claim no agency there;
One of the things You did
to claim me was to take away
one of the things that meant the most to me,
and in doing so, You shattered me:
shattered my joy,
shattered my peace,
shattered my hopes,
shattered my trust.
You broke me, and sometimes I think
You wanted me broken —
without hope,
without trust,
and without anyone but You.
This, I think, would be in keeping
with all I know of You —
You do not like to share,
although You will if You have no choice.

I am left with no choice,
and I suppose that this is how
You have arranged things.
And I have become accustomed to this;
But sometimes I wonder how
things might have been
if You had not decided
that I would become one of Your belongings,
leaving me with no choice
but to be strong
to be broken.

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Yggdrasil and the Well

There is a well at the foot of a tree.
The well is very old.
It is cold stone, dank, mottled with lichen,
scarred by the hands of time.
It has never felt the light of day.
It is not of human make;
its mouth is crudely chiseled,
not rimmed with brick or brass or wood.
The water within is cold, and black, and deep.
It tastes of salt.
It tastes of iron.
It tastes of blood.
Those that drink of its waters
find themselves irrevocably changed.

The well is old.
But the tree is older.
It claws ragged branches skyward,
piercing through nine worlds.
The bark is gnawed by squirrels;
the roots, by a serpent.
Ash the tree is, untouched by insects;
in the highest branches lives an eagle,
and among its roots coils a dragon.
The tree is the life of the worlds,
and all who dwell therein.
Without the tree, there is nothing–
no squirrel, no eagle, no serpent,
no dragon, no well, no water,
no worlds, no gods, no man,

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Song of Sekhmet

I rise as the sun rises:
I stretch out my arms to the horizon.
My thirst is as the world’s thirst–
scorching as the desert,
Deep as the most cavernous gorges.
Dry, dryer, dryest.
I call for my cup,
my cup of sweet blood;
Bring me my cup.
This cup of sweetness and intoxication;
I will let my senses swim.
Hot blood, sweet meat do I desire,
But bring me my cup,
and I will drown this thirst
as the sun goes down,
and then I will sleep.

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This hunger, this need, this growing seed:
this is life.
It claws, it bites, it fights,
and it will not be denied.
Call it fertility,
whether the urge drives grain or kine or man;
Call it creativity:
reap the harvest of song and dance and verse.
Call it what it is:
all things stretch out fingers, tendrils, root
toward that which is at once
source and goal.
Branches reach out and up toward the sun,
wooden talons piercing the sky.
Fox and vixen couple and spawn a clutch of kits,
pups that will grow, chase their prey, feed,
and go on to take mates of their own.
There is no life without growth, without change;
take those away, and though one might still breathe,
still feed, still sleep, still – even – dance,
what remains is nothing but death.
In that growth, that change, the energy that we are
becomes more;
passive potential becomes primal power,
the source and the shape becoming the sum
of all that we are, and what we might,
like the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis,
turn into, once all our struggles and strivings
change impossibility into infinity.