Posted by: aediculaantinoi | July 1, 2013

Devotional Lemonade Poems: The Third Batch (and my 1300th post!)

Despite yesterday and earlier today’s delays, I am here with the twelve poems from my final day of poetic devotions, at least for the moment. There will certainly be more poems in the future, and often in groups for particular occasions, but this is the last of the “bulk” poems on a daily basis I’ll be doing for a while, most likely…

(I had an Omikuji yesterday at the Shrine, which was #39, “Bad Luck!” It had a variety of useful things to say–mostly along the lines of “don’t do that” to almost every issue of significance that could arise; but it also said “The one you are relying on for help will not help you.” This could be about any number of things, but the fact that the internet wasn’t working yesterday and for much of today might be a dimension of that…It also said beware of fire and thieves, and given that it is really hot here today, fire is a worry, but having the windows open also invites thieves, so I’ve been extra paranoid on that…And, its final summary advice was to have faith and devotion and my fortune would be turned toward the good soon. So, on with the devotion, I guess…!?!)

I’m also glad that such an occasion can be marked by my 1300th post on this blog! In just under three years of writing (in fact, my three year anniversary for this blog is in exactly one month!), to have 1300 posts is pretty good, I think. I’m glad this can be on occasion on which the post is one full of what I have largely tried to make this blog project an example of: devotion, and particularly devotion in the form of poetry that honors the gods, and that other people might find of use in their own devotional lives as well.

So, without further ado (though there may be small explanations accompanying some of the poems below), here’s the final batch of the Theological Lemons Into Devotional Lemonade Poetry Project of late June, 2013!

Leannán Sídhe

Leannán Sídhe*

Come, all who dwell in faerie mounds, and hearken to my tale,
I pray you’ll pay attention, and that my words won’t fail:
We mortals live quite simply, our fates are plain to see–
Except for those who fortune gifts with the love of a Leannán Sídhe.

It could be that a poet fair has words with all their power,
But lingers not in years on years, and dies with every hour–
Though, when you’d ask that poet fair, “Has fate deserted thee?”
And that poet, proud, with dying breath, speaks love for a Leannán Sídhe.

Or take the tradesman, out abroad, while walking in the wood,
Who comes upon a pretty maid, and thinks his fortune good,
And has an eve of sweetness, with trees as their canopy
Yet he’s dead on dawn’s arrival from the love of a Leannán Sídhe.

The champion soldier’s fighting arm may strike his foes to dust
But only in those causes when warfare is called just,
So lives are saved and graves are made from the champion’s battle spree–
Yet dead at battle’s end he lies, for the love of a Leannán Sídhe.

The great kings of old Ireland has lovers from the mound
And from their joyful couplings abundance would abound
But, foul or fair, a price does come with gaining sovereignty
When fame and death come visiting the love of a Leannán Sídhe.

It seems a fair wrought bargain, such gifts from love to gain
To shine so bright yet end the night in the grip of mortal pain,
Though love is sweet, its ways aren’t neat, and no gift comes for free
For so sweet a drop they cannot stop with the love of a Leannán Sídhe.

So, listen closely to my words, and take my meaning plain,
This mortal life with all its strife and all its toil and strain
may profit none when life is done and the wide world forgets me
Since I’ve had no help from the faerie mounds nor the love of a Leannán Sídhe.

[*: This is meant to be sung; I composed it with the tune of "The Lakes of Ponchatrain" or "The Lily of the West" in mind, but any traditional ballad air could potentially work with it.]

bragi young

Bragi’s Gift…

…’Tis not the mead of poetry
that showers from his lips
to give all verses symmetry
and fire on tongue-tips.

Nor is he fount of eloquence
though unsurpassed in skill,
for every gift of consequence
from godly halls does spill.

In truth, it is no blasphemy
to say of rune-strong sons
that, as these words now pass from me
to ears and trees and suns

that Bragi can lay claim to crown
of greatest human poet
and for this Odin did not frown
but gave reward to show it,

that words of honey and speech of mead
does not leave men in sods
but raises up their souls, then freed,
to stand amidst the gods.

To Cow-Eyed Hathor

The Eye of Re, more fierce than Horus’ eye,
is upon her forehead and within her heart,
blazing strength into each of her limbs;
but her own two eyes in her own head
stare upon her worshippers directly
in the temple’s pillars and on sistrum’s surface;
those eyes would destroy many a man
not with the solar fire of rage, but rather
with an inundation of tears equal to the Nile
at so beautiful a visage, so joyous a goddess
and the love she brings to all who look upon her.

Hestia

Hestia

Amongst the lot of gods from Hellas
there was no goddess, no titans,
no heroine, nor any nymph
who was a virgin and yet blazed hotter
than Helios in his zenith:

Hestia, queen of every hearth,
possessed of the fire Prometheus stole,
that Hephaistos uses to ply his trades,
which gives light to Hekate’s torches
and is dimly reflected in Zeus’ lightning.

Therefore, Hestia, pure unspoiled maiden
older than the eldest of gods,
birther of a million flames
each with a thousand tongues–
may our tongues praise you forever!

Athena

Today I sing the mistress of serpents,
bearer of the aegis with Medusa’s Gorgon gaze,
fosterer of Erichthonios the snake-visaged,
victrix from the ophidian favor of Kekrops,
daughter of Metis, the all-wise devoured:
you sprang from Zeus’ head like a viper from its nest
ready to strike whomever might oppose you,
and you showed Arachne the way to shed her skin
for that of the spinning spider upon her woven web.
Like a python, not with oracles, coil around us,
and like a cobra spread your hood over Athens and all of us…
Hail Athena, of snake-haired shield, of serpentine spear,
of the wisdom of when to shed skins and when to strike!

Erinyes

Megaira, Allekto, and Tisiphone, flying fears three,
I call you by your names, final daughters of Ouranos
born in blood shed in ignominy:
do not find fault in my actions, nor be sent by the gods
in retribution and curse by the wrath of Nemesis,
as I strive to be free of all blood guilts;
do not rage against me as the Furies
nor pursue me into the direst of fates–
instead, be the Eumenides in my life,
ensuring I always walk in virtue.

Jai Ma Kali

Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali
Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali
Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali
Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali

(Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma
Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma
)

Praise the Mother, great black Kali
Sing together, goddess wild
Liberator from attachment
Praise you, Mother, I’m your child

(Your child, Your child, Your child, Your child
Your child, Your child, Your child, Your child)

Dancing on the grounds of ashes
Crowned in skulls with lolling tongue
Trampling on the corpse of Shiva
Endless praises to you sung

(Praise sung, Praise sung, Praise sung, Praise sung
Praise sung, Praise sung, Praise sung, Praise sung)

Dance destruction, dance redemption
Dance the ages to their close
Dance forever in every form
Dance while your devotion grows

(Dance grows, Dance grows, Dance grows, Dance grows
Dance grows, Dance grows, Dance grows, Dance grows)

Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali
Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali
Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali
Jai Ma Kali, Jai Ma Kali

(Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma
Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma
)

Re

Hail to you, Re, in your barque
coursing the celestial currents
more surely than any sailor
on the invisible tracks of the sea.

Hail to you, Re, in the body of Nut,
hidden to the eyes of human and beast
victorious in your passage amidst fears
and great devouring serpents in dark.

Hail to you, Re, resplendent on your throne
over the great gods of the Two Lands,
giving the year its days and the Nile’s rise
when their times come in eternity’s course.

Hail to you, Re, in rising and in setting
as I open my eyes at the morning’s light
and as I lay down at the day’s completion:
Hail to you, Re, at every moment.

Sarutahiko-no-Okami

Prince of Monkey Plain
from heavens’ light purifies
in heat of Summer

On mountain’s rock side
his bearded visage is seen
in Spring’s greenest leaves

To earth from heaven
he lead like lightning the son
of celestial ones

White cold energy
flows like dancing ocean waves
through cedar shrine halls

Grey clouds of tsumi
are broken by his great spear
at turnings of year

*****

I realized I’ve never written a poem or prayer to the following goddess, despite her involvement in the parentage of the first two members of the Tetrad++ Group. And, I’m somewhat embarrassed to say, the thing which got me thinking of her was that I watched the fifth season of True Blood recently. The way she was portrayed, any polytheist might have had some thoughts arising from it…and, likely as not, quite a few non-polytheists also had some thoughts (or other things) arise from it as well. Nonetheless, I offer an image of the extremely beautiful Jessica Clark (the out lesbian model/actress who portrayed her) in her non-bloodied form to put you into whatever thoughts might be appropriate as you read the poem I’ve written…!?! ;)

jessica-clark-as-lilith

To Lilith

I have met you in shadows by night
as you have haunted trees and visited kings,
plagued with blood and howled in darkness;
you have stolen my breath in dreaming’s lands
and have drained the sweetness of my blood.
Your form is beautiful, though dangerous,
and your touch electric, thrilling, but deadly;
you are a fountain of novel forms in birth,
but not a one is unwelcome for me.
You walk with the outcast as a friend
and call the pariah a table-mate freely;
your tears are shed for the unjustly shunned
and your terrors are wreaked in vengeance for them.
With snake’s tongue and owl’s wings,
with hair unruly, but no strand placed without purpose,
may you lick every contour of my skin’s surface,
may your wing shield and enfold me, and give me flight,
may your power flow over me and my own,
may we come to know you as our loving mother
in your grasp of choking or of embrace.

Twenty Verses to Hanuman

Hail to you, great Hanuman
Hail to you, great Hanuman
Hail to you, great Hanuman
Hail to you, great Hanuman

Pure Guru, bless me with the dust of your feet,
cleanse my inability to see,
teach me devotion in body, mind, and heart,
and set my soul’s fetters free;

Maruti, son of Anjani,
messenger of Vishnu’s avatar–Jai Shri Ram!–
place me on your shoulders, child of Kesari,
from your graces do not keep me far!

Hail to you, great Hanuman
Hail to you, great Hanuman
Hail to you, great Hanuman
Hail to you, great Hanuman

Victory to Hanuman, Shiva’s Rudra
Hail, lord of meditation, master of mudra

Guardian of forests, soldier without reprieve
Friend of the exiles, Rama and Sugriv

Pavanputra, child of the divine wind
Helper of downtrodden, he who has never not grinned

Champion, protector of Sita Mata
Brother to Lakshman, Shatrughna and Bharata

River of virtue, nectar of devotion
Fountain of courage and wisdom’s endless ocean

Every inch of you is rippling with thunder
Lanka’s city you burned and tore asunder

Praise to you is sounded on all earth
And each gave you blessings at your birth

Shri Ram’s heart is the place of your dwelling
And his deeds you never tire in telling

Student of Narad, Narayana’s devotee
From you ignorance and evil in fear flee

Your tail is endless like Shiva’s phallus
As you demonstrated in Ravan’s golden palace

Courage and diligence are properties of your mace
Peace and prosperity come from seeing your face

When Lakshman was struck with Meghnad’s toxic arrow
Sanjivani’s herb you brought with Drona’s harrow

Ahiravan kidnapped Ram and Lakshman to Patalpuri
And you pursued him and saved them in holy fury

Makardhwaj you crowned king in that city
Your own son whom you defeated with pity

Surya’s tutelage you sought in your young days
And kept Rahu from blocking the sun’s rays

With Valmiki you contended in Ram’s praise
But relented to his poem’s turn of phrase

Jai Jai Jai Hanuman, greatest devotee
In the service of Ram and his votary

Poets praise you and the gods sing your mantras
Your five-faced form is the secret of tantras

Not sufficient are these twenty humble verses
Though your favors ignorance thus disperses

Virius Lupus, devotee of Antinous
Learned from Hanuman devotion continuous

Auspicious lord, destroyer of strife
Bestower of blessing and boon
Grant us knowledge and prosperity in life
And we will praise you again soon–

We pray this to Ram and Sita and to great Hanuman

Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram

Sita Ram Sita Ram Sita Ram Sita Ram
Sita Ram Sita Ram Sita Ram Sita Ram

Antinous’ Life

Much he saw before the Nile’s drown
brought an end to his spear’s strong hunt
and took him into realms of gods;
he was fortunate to know love
when lying, great cascading hair,
on Emperor’s chest, his young face…

Though unblemished was his fair face
his burdens ended, sorrows drown
when for the fragrance of his hair
he was brought on Hadrian’s hunt
and quarry of Emperor’s love
he won by the grace of the gods.

He was favored of many gods
as was evident from his face
that stoked the flames of sweetest love
which do not die nor dim nor drown
no matter how the length of the hunt
throws dust and dirt into one’s hair.

A goddess’ envy was his hair
and his body the prize of gods
or heroes in their mythic hunt;
a crown of glory was his face
in which all mortal cares can drown
for red garlands made out of love.

A flower fine was the boy’s love
with curling petals like his hair
in which a lover’s breath could drown
in depths more subtle than the gods
might come to know or care to face
than sun and moon’s eternal hunt.

No beast on earth could flee his hunt
nor human heart evade his love
like downward gaze of moon’s clear face
and night’s dark coils like his hair
inescapable like the gods
who in death’s sleep all mortals drown.

Take up the hunt, twine in his hair,
kindle the love that fires the gods
and in his face may we all drown.


Responses

  1. These have been quite wonderful to read, and felicitations on your 1300th post.

    • Thank you! Glad you’ve enjoyed them! I enjoyed writing them as well!

  2. Congratulations on 1300!

    The poems are lovely. I especially like the acknowledgement of Bragi’s possibly human origins as ascended Bragi Boddison. In my prayers, I like to hail both Odin and Boddi as His father…no law says they can’t be both!

    • That’s exactly it, as it seems to me…

      It’s sort of a similar situation with Antinous (though, of course, we know for sure he started out as human!), but he’s called “son of the Argeiphontes,” that is, “Argus-Slayer,” i.e. Hermes. It’s pretty certain his father wasn’t called Hermes, but we don’t know what his father’s name was (though I’ve often gone with “Hermogenes,” because that might be interesting!). And, if you’re one to go with Interpretatio Romana or various Indo-European comparisons, then that sort of means that if Antinous had been Germanic, Odin might have been his father, too! ;)

  3. These are beautiful, utterly beautiful. Thank you.

    • Thanks very much for reading! I appreciate it! :)

  4. Wow, I LOVE your poem for the Erinyes, although that picture….. *slowly shakes head* I’ve seen it before – makes me wish I was a visual artist so I could draw pictures of how I see them.

    • Thank you! I wasn’t sure how that one would come out, and I’m pretty happy with it.

      I have to say, in this particular post, the “interesting naked ladies” theme seemed to be rather more prominent than I had intended, for good or ill, in more cases than not. *shrugs* I do wish I had better artistic skills, and more time to do art, as I would see all of the deities mentioned here in much different ways. Sometimes, when I do image searches, I find something and go “Yes, that’s along the lines I was hoping for,” and sometimes I go “Well, this one is the least offensive option among many,” and sometimes–as was the case with that one there, I go “There’s something I like about this, despite not liking it either.” Perhaps in the case of the Erinyes, that sort of ambivalence makes a bit more sense, since they’re divine beings one doesn’t exactly want to have as a constant presence in one’s life. Hmm…

  5. It has been a great pleasure to read your poems during this project. You’ve created something truly beautiful there. Thank you for sharing it!

  6. Lovely. Perhaps there will be a poetry collection in your future…? :>

    • That would have to be “another poetry collection,” since I’ve already had one (back in ’08).

      I have been planning the “sequel” to it, though, since ’10; I don’t have nearly enough of the desired poems done yet, but I probably have a pretty good jump on it at this point. Perhaps we’ll see where we’re at by the end of the year…

  7. […] Sensei really liked my poem on Sarutahiko-no-Okami from last week, though he wanted to change the first line from “Prince of Monkey Plain” […]

  8. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. May I handwrite a copy of your poem to Leanan to keep with her things when her shrine items ship to my new house?

    • Please do, with my blessings! :)

      • *song to Leanan

        Thank you!


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