On Kingship

- by Linn Barnes


The wheel of the year is always spinning, and, while

there are no fixed points between ‘then’ and ‘when’

but we do hypothesize a  ‘now’,  in spite of the grammatical

and philosophical  challenges.  Try and think of a ‘now’ before when it was

a ‘then’; or, a ‘now’ on ‘it’s’ way to ‘when-dom’.  ‘Nows’ are tough to pin down.

However, today, ‘now’, kind of, the dawn of the winter solstice, 

the moment when the earth begins to tilt toward the longer and finally warmer days

until the summer solstice, when it tilts back toward the dark, all of this

has enormous mytho-historical significance.


The old, very old, legends suggest that there were 

two gods  responsible for ‘managing’ the year.

First, the god of the waning year, from June 21 

until the second god,  his twin or ‘tanist’, of the waxing year, took  over 

on December 21, the winter solstice, until he once again was replaced by the

god of the waning year, and so forth.


These two figures were seen as a necessary pair 

of twins, rising and dying over and over again, insuring 

the continuity of the tribe and the endurance of tradition. 

This is the stuff some modern religions are built on,

however that may express itself.


These two king-gods were known to the ancients as 

‘sacred-kings’, really only one, but thought of as two, which,

of course, rings plenty of bells in our religious calendar.


The interesting thing here is that these two iterations of 

the same spirit were ‘obliged’ to die, no exceptions; one died, 

the other took over, when it died and the other was re-born.

Over and over and over, the year spun, each reigning ‘king-god’

managing things in accordance with custom, in compliance with tradition.


it would have been inconceivable that one of these figures

act out of the ‘ordinary’, or, ‘selfishly’, or, in any interest other

that the benefit of the tribe to which he was bound.


Any behavior remotely resembling anything which would

threaten the continued existence of the tribe by one of these twins

was unthinkable.  However, since there were ‘elected’ representations 

of these spiritual entities, and, since humans are never anything like the gods, 

it is conceivable that mischief was possible. 

 

The point is inescapable:  the transgressor would be replaced or the

tribe would suffer and vanish. 


There were no exceptions and there was no merci. 

The tribe would collectively demand that the 

king must die, even out of season to atone for his misdeeds.

There was no middle ground. 

You rode the ‘king’s highway’, 

you fulfilled your part of the ‘deal’. 

If not, you were replaced, with extreme prejudice.

Quaint, right?


Now

- by Linn Barnes

Now,

a few days before Christmas,
now,
when there is no snow upon the ground,
now,
when the temperatures are rising
and rain is expected,
now,
when the lights are all sparkling
and merry tinsel is tweaking the trees,
now,
when we dream of a radiant past,
now,
when we hope for deliverance in time
of this time when the pure light of joy is shrouded,
mostly eclipsed beneath clouds of intrigue and lies,
when
the clear light of truth
struggles for a breath of clean air,
when now is the time
for the stalwart soldiers of the open way
to speak and to be unafraid
to flash their ribbons of honor
for the whole world the see
and be brought glistening
into the valor of a brilliant new year.


A Winter Prayer

- by Linn Barnes

A Winter Prayer

-Linn Barnes

On a cold morning in late December,

windows frosted, breath freezing before my eyes,

tears streaming down my burning cheek, 

I slipped into the shadow of a sliver of the elusive  past,

looking everywhere for the glamor that 

once seemed to grace me,

which I finally found shining brightly

in the new and glittering snow,

which careened me into the now, 

the now of this Christmastide,

celebrating the sweet charm, 

the enduring grace of warmth and fellowship,

simmered now to a fine and potent stew,

which may not be burned  or damaged by 

the sad travails of a troubled world.

The light of hope, at this time, call it holy, if you will,

shines for all who shine from within,  for all the world 

to be illuminated and finally bathed in the purest 

and most powerful fire of hope and redemption.


The Leader

- by Linn Barnes

The Leader 

-Linn Barnes

About our large and yellow leader,

One thing’s plain and sloppy:

He’s as drumpled as he’s trumpled,

Lost in a whirligig of sputtering rages.


And when it comes to being a man,

Of nature sweet and kind,

He’s as clouty and galooty,

The worst of the demon’s seed, 

Grim and sans souci, bletched,

Bedraggled and de-noosed,

Carnavoréd and repulséd.


And, as we squirm and watch what we must see, 

We are shuddered with the saddest flow of tears, 

Forced to hear his savage and repulsive jokes and jeers

That fall upon the eyes and ears of his despairing victims,

Whose beloved have been untimely blasted from the earth,

The undisputed clear result of his manic and demonic chatter.


This must not endure. 


Lords of the Woods

- by Linn Barnes

Listen!

There is crashing and breaking slightly off to our left, upwind,

coming with a fierce will toward us through the fog and dark,

antlers hanging up on low hanging branches, as he burrows his scent

deep in the wood, scraping clean the bark to the wet wood, his signature raw, 

clear and powerful, coming to claim his hard won prize, the doe in season

he senses, but cannot yet scent. But, he must pass us first, and he will,

since we never take the large trophy bucks in spite of their great beauty.

The truth for us is simple and self serving: The finest venison is from the younger, 

smaller creatures, male or female. We have always hunted for the wild and perfect

meat which we cherish, leaving the mature antlered bucks to their rightful domain, 

and never taking the alpha breeding males, upon which the life and myth of the herd depends. 

We witness and are cowed by their great beauty, ferocity and elegance as they rule 

their antique kingdom, this perfect and holy forest once made sacred 

for all time in an ancient and now mostly lost world. 

These eternal creatures are the true, rightful and anointed 

Lords of the Woods.

Deer Season First Day

- by Linn Barnes

This morning, very early, and way too warm we went to our stands for the first time this year. We jumped five deer going in, four does and a large buck. They stood on full alert while we, as quietly as possible, unloaded the crossbows and began our carefully watched trek up the hill to the stands. They held for a surprisingly long time, finally, tails flashing high white flags , vanishing into the deep cover of the woods, not to be seen again. The trick is to get there first, obviously, but it's never a sure bet. They won this round, but the show was well worth it. We had plenty of fog over very high grass at the edges, since the farmer can't make hay in the wet, and wet it has been. It all had a mysterious and primitive quality, the deer appearing and vanishing without a sound to break the ethereal silence of this much too warm morning. After two hours of being entertained by a horde of mosquitos and gnats, we called it a morning. A final salute from a gaggle of Canada geese flying overhead, on a mission between the ponds, as they piped us back to the car. Win or lose, it's never dull. We'll be out again tonight at another spot where we will have the south wind in our favor. This is crepuscular work, the bulk of the day is slow and silent. Although, when the weather is right with a temperature in the 40s or low 50s you can bring lunch, take a nap and stay all day...

The Autumnal Horn

- by Linn Barnes

After all we've seen and heard these past days, 

tomorrow we will sound the autumnal horn, 

we will flee to the sanctuary of the deep woods, 

where only the here and now rings true and clear,  

where the light is sharp, where the wind cuts clean, 

straight to the 'deep heart's core',  

where hope takes a long happy breath, 

flooding life to the wounded soul.


Pure Evil

- by Linn Barnes

Pure Evil

-Linn Barnes

Pure, radiant, seething, glowering, demonic, 

autocratic, narcissistic, ruthless Evil

has gained another foothold in the land. 

Another chip has been hacked from 

the torn fabric of justice and reason.


Listen to the rant: ‘The Mob’, he screams,

‘the mob is upon the land, beware, save your 

sons, husbands and fathers from the marauding 

lying women and rabid democrat anarchists 

disguised as innocent protestors!’


An ancient trick, well worn and slicked up,

hoping to stop what’s coming in November,

meat to the vicious right wing goons, clumsy, 

lumbering, laughing cadres of sycophants,

in step, proud and victorious, gleefully

celebrating their insane wish for the end of the 

holy experiment that was once called


America. 


After Kavanaugh

- by Linn Barnes

What are the possible solutions in light of what has transpired? I'm beginning to think it is going to require something akin to well conceived long term operations against the 'problem', activity that is inclusive of the many like minded, somehow organized for effectiveness... Am I describing a fully functional political party? i think so. The 'knack' for focused and dedicated political operations against what has become a malignancy in the country (we should stop using 'our': it's such a sop) is imperative and will require the collective strong will of a large percentage of individuals with fire in their guts. November could be a birthing. I have a sense that by then the outrage will have flourished and found direction and will. Of course, this is what the right has been up to for a very long and effective time. Learn from them, and turn on them the fury of the righteous! The Kavanaugh debacle is fully beyond the pale and should be met with power and determination.

Atonement

- by Linn Barnes

I was raised Catholic, and although I am no longer actively part of the church, the basic dogma has never left me. People joke about 'Catholic Guilt' and rightly so, but it is real. What it means, or, implies, is not complicated or esoteric. When you are raised 'Catholic', as in most of the world's great religions, you are instilled with a 'working moral compass', a ground-in set of do's and don't's that stays with you for life. At least that's the idea. Of course, the Church (God) provides sanctions and housing for the most egregious of sinners in someplace called 'hell', but also relief for repentant sinners and a means to seek forgiveness called 'confession', which, if you really mean it, can get you back on the straight and narrow with a clean slate. Sins are categorized from 'venial'. everyday smaller transgressions, to the much more serious 'mortal' sins, like rape, murder, etc.. With all this in mind, Brett Kavanaugh is a conundrum. How could he have led the life he describes and still maintain his profound devotion? All I can assume is that he must have kept the confessional seat plenty warm for a very long time. And, in particular, 'thou shalt not lie', and if you do, you must confess and redeem yourself, or, you will suffer dire 'consequences.' He lied openly and repeatedly in front of the entire known universe. He has made no attempt to atone for what we all witnessed. The assault on Dr Ford in their teen years is, in spite of her eloquent testimony, unfortunately, more difficult to 'prove'. I choose to believe her, but I cannot prove it. Whether I need to prove it is another question altogether. The other accusations are equally difficult, so I suppose only his Father Confessor will know, maybe, since there is every reason to believe he is a 'selective confessor'. I met Chief Justice Roberts, a devout Catholic, after a concert Allison and I gave some years ago. While our politics may differ, he is a calm and brilliant man. He has demonstrated this all of his life. Brett Kavanaugh is not this man. His path is in every way suspect. That should be enough to disqualify him, but, apparently for the Republican majority he gets a pass. Where are the sins at this point? I think they are certainly heaped in spades on Kavanaugh, but they also must be counted among the cynicism and hypocrisy of the ruling majority. Can sins be collective? Yes, I think we can say there have been historical instances of 'collective sinning' by certain nation states for instance. However, I think the culpability, in this case, rests with the individuals who must choose to endorse Kavanaugh's appointment or reject it, the supposedly responsible members of our Congress. Where shall they go to atone for this appointment and upon whose ears shall their confessions fall, if at all...

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