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Tiny Knots

To Know

Charles Bukowski

Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be.

The Valkyries Prayer

(Sayings of the Victory Bringer)

Hail the day and hail the sons of day,
Hail the night and all her sisters,
Look upon us here with friendly eyes,
And give us victory over the small things,
Our worries and fears.

To Live

by John Steinbeck

To be alive at all is
to have scars

Short Knots

Ancient Tongues

Jay Livingstone, 2022

Under tree lined canopy she waits for travellers to pause.
Water sensuously brushing her body, he anoints the bones of the land.

Deafening the ear, and ensnaring the senses he laps at her dress.
And there she rests, as she has done for generation upon generation; awaiting seekers to sit.

And as dusk falls a trillion stars pay homages to her beauty, which she captures in her moss quilted hair.
And for those with open ear, watchful eye and exposed heart she sings of unimaginable wonders and of the wisdom of a hundred, billion years through mystical songs sung in tongues yet to be deciphered.

Will you sit she whispers ...

A Raven Watcheth

Jay Livingstone, 2022

Crying she lay in the long grass around that well, her tears flowing into the Earth. Composing, gathering, steeling herself - upstanding she moved silently through the world; face wet with a million stories, a million heartaches.

Salty diamonds did that day flow, lost to the Earth forever. Watching, Raven did swoop, gathering the sacred dew in his beak. offering it to Urd; who cherishing each and every drop watered the most sacred of Trees.

The Valkyries Prayer (Old Norse)


Heill dagr,
heilir dags synir,
heil nótt ok nipt;
óreiðum augum
lítið okkr þinig
ok gefið sitjöndum sigr

Heilir æsir,
heilar ásynjur,
heil sjá in fjölnýta fold,
mál ok mannvit
gefið okkr mærum tveim
ok læknishendr, meðan lifum

Lengthy Knots

The Two Trees

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

BELOVED, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Loves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the wingèd sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile,
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For all things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass

She Lyeth Silent

Jay Livingstone, 2022

In midnight grey she stands,
Silently yearning for her long-departed children,
But none come to speak magic to her today,
Silence falls like snow,
weaving its strands into her dress
And all is quiet.

This sacred place long now disremembered,
A landscape of a thousand mythologies,
This place now grows cold in their memory,
And all is quiet.

Naked, exposed, and vulnerable,
Her bones laid bare,
Nut’s star lit canopy envelopes her,
Unheard tears flow like honeyed rivers,
And this holy land is drenched.

Munnin and Huginn visit her daily,
In strange tongues they speak, of ancient magic,
Beholding her glory they tell mythic stories,
Sweet stories of comfort,
But her ears hear only her deafening grief.

And the wind blows softly through her empty rooms,
It speaks sweet words to those empty spaces,
It bates in her tears, letting he know she is witnessed.

Her carbon grey dress embroidered with flowers,
Each blossom a story unto itself,
Everyday life imprinted into the fabric of her dress,
These tales, now passed into epic time,
All is now past and forgotten.
This desolate place,
This grey place,
This forgotten place grieves for her tribe.

Her fledglings have flown to far flung places,
Their sweet voices absent from this place,
Aged through neglect,
Veiled she morns the loss of her tribe,
Dream-like tales of ancestry occupy their bone-memory,
This sacred place is fleetingly remembered.

Younger nor elder’s foot fall upon her land,
Sweet voices whisper to her softly no more,
Home is empty and silent,
No magic is uttered here today,
all is quiet in the bosom of the mother.

Sister Sun and Brother Moon call upon her every day
A thousand, billion stars pay homage by lighting her face,
But none lift her veil, and none shall see her age,
For the tribe have all turned away.

Looking to the sky for a year and a day,
Under shimmering silver moonlight she wonders,
Thinking of her distant children,
Crying, crying, sparkling dewletts of grief are cast,
Each falling into the well of remembrance.

But the wind enfolds her, asking her to lean into him.
Comfortingly he whispering of far off things,
Relating to her, her children’s joys and sorrows,
And telling her of their small victories
Gently he wipes her tears from her face.

Creaking gate and slamming door,
These shan’t be heard here anymore,
Shouts of anger and cries of sorrow,
yelps of panic and guffaws of laughter,
Running foot, wheezing lung,
Creaking wheel and clipping cane,
All now but memories in her mythic time,

Chimney and stove, hearth and bed sorrowfully
Each room empty, awaiting for their folk to return,
This once observer of Yule,
This spectator of festival,
This beholder of life in its rawness,
This place witness’s humanity no more,
And for this she weeps sorrowful rivers.

And gently elementals now dance around her skirts,
Small creatures weave in and out of her gowns,
Tree, stag and beetle alike now call this home,
Resting in her warm embrace she shelters each of them,
Calling them child as she did a long time ago,
For her two-legs have now long gone,
The have abandoned this place of community and tribe.

But the wind brings distant, forgotten sounds
She brings news of these children on her breath,
And as the exhales, her news fills street and hallway alike,
And long forgotten magic is remembered.

And the wind brings hope and news of life to come,
Hearth and bed will be nourish,
And fireplace now cold feels a little warmth.

And the wind talks to each and every being
Those with ears to hear are spellbound by this deep magic,
Of love and hope that once enlivened this desolate place,

This grey place,
this forgotten,
This place of long ago.

And for a moment her tears stop.
And for a moment she dances.
And for a moment there is calm.

She Lyeth Silent, without a word,
but the wind remembers all.

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