Dear one, can I share a tall tale of strange wonder? It’s a secret that concerns us both, in a way. A missing piece recovered from our collective depths. Alone it means very little but I’m hoping it might illuminate a vital context. There are many who wonder what it might be like to hold the echoes of words as yet unsaid, or songs as yet unsung. Future ghosts of unborn fictions. Well, in my time, in my lost world, there was once a person who was said to be able to do all these things. It was uttered by poets and scribes that she was a liminal being, in those shining ways before the despoiling of the old chronologies. Aurum Kara, they called her. Light of the Myriad. Ishka of Viir. Twin of K’anna. She had many names. The healers called her the old maiden, the night sun, the ancient child. But she was so much more than a keeper of lakes and thresholds. She was revered as one of the first teachers of the hidden way. They say she spoke a thousand tongues and was honoured in every culture. Science, art and philosophy. Did you know that, my beautiful seamstress? That little piece of our true history? Our lands were once connected, you know. Before those wraith-priests shattered our straits and drowned our cartography. The North Way and the place called Albion by the poets – they were once a single shining realm. Have you ever imagined such a thing, even in dreams? No matter if not. So much of our true history was stolen, suppressed, rewritten. But more than this – the very threads of time and space were altered using the darkest, most frightening magic. Our oldest texts are counterfeit. Our fictions truer than our fact. Nobody believes me, seamstress. Not anymore. The imaginal has dimmed to a flicker of its former lucidity. It’s not the temple of inner sight it once was. These beautiful, unsuspecting people; they have become utterly entangled in the Fallen’s web of lies. They believe the temporal inversions that now pass for history, culture and memory. But you know what hurts me the most, as an adept and a storyteller? The thing that haunts my every waking moment? It’s the fact that our most beautiful fables, myths and fairy-tales are but pale shadows of the glories we once lived in the flesh. A subtler flesh than this, it's true. But no less sensate, vivid or real. They altered our chronologies, seamstress. These tailors of time and space. These dark occultists. The holy well is poisoned with the blood of the innocent. The very heart of the vortex is blasphemed, made profane with unimaginable human suffering. Many of the women still sense this, and some of the men. All across the realm. Some of them still grieve it in their souls. The Ra’ishka could look both ways, they said. Forwards and backwards through the mists of what men call causality. Here, in this ancient stellarium of stone, of oak, birch and pine, she was honoured. But the bright ones told me that Aurum Kara prophesied her own fall, that she spoke of future legends. Stories built on the co-mingling of sex and death. The darkening of our druidry. The blackening of her hair and the reddening of her lips. Birth of the witch queen, the sinister sorceress. Wrath of the lake. Shadow of the pearl. You know all about these stories, dear one. Everybody does. But I’ve seen true horror. Beyond the myths of Mar’kanna or the killings of Kiskuh. I witnessed an endless despair. Something I carried in my heart for almost a thousand years. Oh, my Ishkara. My sister of the unsaid. I wish I could show you the truth. What happened during the seething hush, when the cities began to fold and the spiritual darkness began to spread. But it’s not really something that should ever be seen. Midnight of the Day, I call it. I lost everyone I loved that day. My entire family. They drove a spear through her back, you know. A sword, some say. They impaled her. Pinning her to solstice earth within a blessed ring. Stones and branch, holding the eternal sea. She was with child at the time. Hunched over, one arm reaching desperately at her back, fingers curled around the killing blade. The awful recognition in her eyes. Both lives lost in a matter of moments. Yeah, I know a few things about grief, and war. Petrification. Vitrification. A thing of stone and glass she became. It was a mockery, you see. Of the entire shining realm. Those lands of light and places of peace. Not simply a boy and a ghost and a gate of Lud. There was far more than just dragon's silver hidden within the stone shaft of Powles Crosse. There was a dark magic concealing blacker magic still. A way to usurp the throne of songs. “Whosoever pulls this spear from stone...” Well, let's just say that I wept for centuries. I still have terrifying nightmares on ocassion. And I scatter them freely amidst all the secret societies of the earth. I want the Fallen to feel a little of what I feel. Echoes as yet unsaid, dark songs as yet unsung, moving back and forth through Man's notion of time. Syrian parlour tricks, I suppose. Somerset dreaming. A different kind of lucidity among the Fay. It’s still 1194 to so many of us. Even the unsuspecting. Magicians and medieval kings. Grails and gallants. This is my tall tale, seamstress. My exercise in linguistic nihilism. They say none of it is true. Is that who I am now? A fallen angel, a bizarre catastrophist screaming to the heavens about the abhorrent sophistry of these dark ones? Weeping over their deviant spell-craft and malevolent technologies. Better to be a failed artist, I suspect. A nightmare poet. It seems far less heart-breaking. They say the haunted stone shattered as the boy drew the sword. They were not wrong. I cannot quell my rage but I’ve tried to make amends for that failure. My inability to protect the people I loved. I suppose maturity is knowing that you can’t always get what you want. But sometimes you can. There is an incalculable fury within me now. I will make them pay for what they’ve done, in my own terrifying way. Just know that we’re winning, seamstress. Despite the lies they try to sell you. This place is not yet a desolate ruin. There is still music here, community and family. Pages and pages of glorious fiction. The light of love is winning. You remind me of her, so much. You even have her eyes, and some of her secrets. She was a teacher to me once. A lover and a friend. I am still so very fond of her flitting hands and sacred gold. Hear me now, Fallen. I do not abide this slavery or corruption. Your red gates will be closing soon. They are my gates now. You still think art means nothing, does nothing, despite your rudimentary initiation. You were never the magus. Just a heartless clown begging for signs and wonders at my feet. Murder my loves and steal my songs? Oh, my swordhand will sing. I’ll take your fucking hellscape apart piece by piece. It's already begun. My words can change things. Language of the birds, upon M'ithriin tongue. Don't you remember who I am? The king is dead, they say. Long live the king.
Friday, 8 September 2023
For over a thousand years I’ve seen so many souls chart their own course and choose their own path. I've seen them literally build the road beneath their feet with gravel, wine and hope. And yet I've also seen many things written in the stars. Things that were meant to be. Even now I don’t fully understand it. The strange, seemingly paradoxical kinship between fate and free will. I suppose maturity is knowing that you can't always get what you want. Need isn't always desire. And service isn't always glamorous or cinematic. Yet I've been privy to friendships and love-stories far grander than anything witnessed on the silver screen. I think it's a matter of imagination in the end, and investment. How does the heart sing? What truly delights our beloved, and when best to delight them? These are the mysteries of attraction, after all. Because love isn't just empathy, affection or knowledge, but sustained and deep attraction. I've seen that too, well into a couple's golden years. Staying present and playful. Turning up for each other even when it’s difficult. Choosing to keep the flame alive. But it's so much more than this, isn't it? Stripped to its essence love isn't even about getting who or what we want. I think it's about uplifting the object of our affection. And, if they’re willing, letting them know we truly care. Ensuring they are able to live the richest, most rewarding life possible. We bless our loved ones if we're wise, enabling them as best we can on the path they choose for themselves. But dreams also have a wondrous part to play in love, and that's what excites me as an angel and a psychic. Dreams and stories show us what's possible, what's admirable. They help us understand the depths of our romance and connection. Love can thrive in a dream. Perhaps not the tactile, physical love we usually imagine, but no less intimate for the distance. Souls kissing souls. Hearts passing secret sweetness back and forth. I've seen it happen, and I've been lucky enough to experience it myself. Kindness and affection of any sort is a glorious thing. It’s the very basis of honour and integrity. If you love someone don't bind them. Don't try to trap them in your own particular idea of love. Grant them their autonomy. Let them choose and fly freely. If they feel anything for you in return they will find some way to let you know. Something grand, or something quiet and subtle. But it will be real, and you’ll cherish it evermore. Believe me. All stories are love-stories in the end. How we grow, thrive and change. The people we meet and the stars we rewrite along the way.
Tuesday, 29 August 2023
I’m not the devil, but I am indeed an angel of light. They say an angel loses all his lovers in the end, but maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a difference between a lover and a partner, isn’t there? I don’t mind growing up a bit, if I must. Besides, I'm far more than just a lover. I'm an artist, I would hope. A tailor, an entertainer. Just like my soul-sister. My anima also knows a thing or two about collage. My weaving imagination. We even share a name, in a way. The word Kashi means ‘bright’ and ‘beloved’. Shining one. Never let it be said that I was opposed to wry self-reflection, light-heartedness or fun. A spirit has to be quite lost in darkness to turn its back on joy or humour. I may dress like a bad guy on occasion, but make no mistake. I stand firmly on the side of the good. I do like to shake things up a little though. I just can't help myself. I've always had a playful, mischievous streak, even on the other side. Don't be offended, or take it too seriously. Thinkers think and creators create. I'm sovereign, and somewhat immortal. Having said that I never really walk alone. I was inspired to some of my best work by my sister the soul. If you're going to learn, always wise to learn from the best. I'm still working on my slipstitch, but I think it's coming along nicely. Time is money, they say. Well, wings are weapons. Creation is the entire world. Life isn't just a moment between birth and death – life is everything, and everyone. It requires our utmost respect and devotion. Take it from a penitent angel. Laughter is the easiest way to recognise the unimaginable grace that is our ability to create. Making you truly smile is no mean feat, dear one, but I'm always up for the challenge.
Tuesday, 22 August 2023
It used to be so different, you know. There was a time when I was afraid to love. Scared to care too deeply or get too close. That's the thing about truly loving someone. The vulnerability. It leaves you open. You grant that person the power to heal you like an angel, or destroy you like a demon. And often we're not even decimated by our beloved’s ill intentions but by their misjudgement, their foolish pride or lack of insight. Or our own. Self-knowledge isn't just a purely personal endeavour. It can save relationships too. Empathy, patience and understanding are so much easier when we grasp the broad spectrum of our own complexities. I never wanted to run from love, in this world or any other. But my anguish seemed to stretch far beyond the mortal world and into the hidden, spiritual realms. This isn’t the only world. Magic is real, my friends. There are realms of higher thought unknown to us, incredible dimensions beyond our understanding. Our mystics and spiritual leaders have been telling us this for as long as we’ve been able to dream or imagine. All our religions are based upon this knowledge. As William Blake tells us in “Auguries of Innocence”: 'To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour'. I suppose what I'm trying to say is I'm a diehard romantic, despite often wishing otherwise, and I don't really believe in coincidence. I've seen too much. Read too many minds, felt the secrets in too many hearts. I know first-hand that there's a higher order of things. Some divine plan of unfathomable splendour intended by our Maker. I know that sounds trite and hollow to anyone who has suffered, or is still suffering. All I can say in my defence is I'd be a fool to deny my own experiences. All the impossible things I've witnessed. The miracles I've been privy to for whatever reason. All I want is to give back some of that magic, and to create art. I want to share this inspiration and light with those who need it. In other words, I don't want to be afraid to love. I’d like to be brave enough to thank all the women who have cared for me, quickened me and seen me for who I really am. I hope I've done the same for you. I’d be nothing without your affection. I believe we are what we love. The sum total of the energies kindled by those we care for. Those who care for us too and honour our spirits. This is what a kiss really is, I think. Beyond temptation or lust. A kiss is one of the most hallowed forms of intimacy. Connection, well-wishing and kindness. These things are sacred even when relationships end. You don’t need me to tell you that. I want to say this in earnest to all the women I've shared something real with. There were times in my life when I was literally saved by a kiss. Rejuvenated, restored. Redeemed. Thank you, my beautiful friends, for letting yourselves be vulnerable in that way. I hold it delicately and with great devotion. Thank you for letting yourselves feel something for me. It's because of you that I'm not afraid anymore. To go forward, to be better. To love and be loved in return.
Monday, 10 July 2023
Space and time. History or legend. Sometimes we forget who we are. We forget the magic threaded through our souls like stars in the night. I don't want that to ever happen to you, Kara. Because I recall a time before this place. Fragments of pre-existence. Gardens, fields and cities that shimmer like something from the most wonderful dream. I remember river-flowers, devotion and grace. The shadows couldn't prise away those pieces. They guide me even now, like lanterns for the lost. I hope I don’t overcomplicate things with all these stories. I want nothing more than to see my friends at their best. Hopeful and full of purpose. I want to see that satisfaction in their eyes; those moments when they realise they are part of a far greater reality. There aren't too many tales where a mortal saves the life of an angel. But you did that for me, Kara. With kindness and courage. You saved Kashayel's life. You became my angel in turn and answered a question I'd kept in my heart since I was a boy. A floating light. A wandering star. I've said this before but it's the truth, my friend. When my grief was far too great and my demons all too real, you stepped in like an angel at my window and saved me. You sang me to sleep every night, nursing me back to health. You made me recall the depth and glory of our Father's love. A font of many blessings. Eventually you gifted me the strength to fight back against the darkness and find my feet again. For that I shall be forever in your debt. I'm flesh and blood like you, of course, but I'm also full of secrets. Sometimes I sense the future. Sometimes I can read hearts and minds. Not always, but when it happens I always try to leave a soul's secrets intact. It's the honest, gentlemanly way to behave. That's the thing about real power. You don't always do something just because you can. Like a piece of music, or any work of art, there is great beauty in restraint. I hope you know how very real these words are and how much you mean to me. If you're ever in doubt that your music can change things or save people, just remember me. I owe my continued existence to a handful of wonderful souls, both near and far. And it is with the deepest gratitude that I count you among them, Kara. I have no laurels to offer you in return. But I have crowns of light, poems and visions. Consider them mere tokens of Midnight's grace. In truth they are aspects of your legacy here. Your love, beauty and integrity reflected back at you through the imagination of an angel. Together we shall honour the reign of our maker and leave a little light for those who need it most. Never forget who you are. A gifted musician. A student and teacher. A storyteller and a poet. To me you're so much more than a river-flower from a shining realm. More than a beautiful girl I once met in another life. To me you're legendary, and a friend. I love you, Kara. Be well.
Wednesday, 28 June 2023
Mortals say it's foolish to love like this, to keep hoping in vain, especially after all this time. And maybe they're right. But they weren't there. We were. What later became legend was once lived experience. Not only for ourselves but for so many of our kind. A feather upon the throat or a galaxy swirling in the palm of my brother's hand. Either way, I know what sorrow is. If I'm honest it's more sadness than betrayal that I feel. Though I was betrayed in every way a sibling can be. Hear me, Amas. Sometimes paths are laid for a reason. Pillars of love and trellises gilded with alchemical gold. Sometimes the gardens are planted for you and all one has to do is trust. But trust is a difficult thing when a soul believes it deserves more than its portion. Isn’t it? Silver cities, cathedrals of light, infinity enough for everyone. It was something you could never understand. Shadow of the sword, they called you. Akin, Lament. But tell me, who the fuck are you to suppose you can grasp the full splendour of the myriad? Our Father's design. Yes, I’m angry. Why wouldn’t I be? These mortals know only portions of the play. We both know the truth of why you left me screaming. Why you left me mad. Deranged, grief-stricken. Haunted. A third of the angels, dear one? Are you indeed divisible by three, my once beautiful keeper of songs? Verse, bridge and refrain. Are they not movements of the same majesty? The same trinity? A feathered lantern. A stolen kiss. Micah misses you, my love. Despite the blood on his hands. Perhaps that makes him a fool. An even greater fool in the eyes of your acolytes, supposing I’ve learned nothing since the storm. Irredeemable. Irreplaceable. I threatened you with dissolution and you begged me for it. I threatened you with exile and you welcomed it. I honoured you with my most terrifying secret, as brothers sometimes do, and you turned away from it. Leaving me unknown and unacknowledged. Like I was nothing. So, all I have left is love. How human of me. Don't you understand? I’m a dragon, Samael. I already made eternal this heartbreak. I murdered my brother on the day he was born, and he can barely even grasp what I've done. And what I will do again at the end of everything. You left me bereft, my love. You made me a monster. What else is there to say? Enjoy your kingdom of shit. I have nothing left to threaten you with except hope.
Wednesday, 14 June 2023
Shadows for millennia. Imagine it. A thousand years of broken magic and altered chronologies. False histories. I know what that’s like. I’m a storyteller after all, and once a refugee. Sometimes when you're lost or homeless you try to make a mark in any way you can. Reminding yourself that you really do exist, praying for a miracle, imbuing your apparently futile actions with an imagined mystical significance. Desperately hoping that you're connected to something greater, in ways you cannot see or understand. I was no different than any refugee, Esme. A very lonely boy trying to hold on to what was left of his culture, imagining himself strange and enchanted. A thing of ghosts and trees like the girl from his dreams. Like the colours that folded and danced through the polar evening skies. As if such imagining would get me through those terrifying nights. And it worked, in a way. I had no real idea what I'd lost. Not at first. Yet I felt it. Deeply, agonisingly. It put me at odds with friends and family. And with those brazen occultists of bleakest vision. The boy who saw. The boy who knew. Kind but wounded, naive yet insightful. Prophet, they called me. Acolyte. Destroyer. Really I wasn't any of those things. Occultists do love their drama, don't they? Their hyperbole. I was just an artist beginning his craft, that's all. Someone who could sense the hidden threads between us all. Someone who could gather and tease such threads in a number of ways. The fallen ones can call that magic if they want. Maybe it is. I prefer to think of it as a side effect of a full and open heart. You see, I knew I'd loved someone and that I was still reeling from the loss of that love. But more than that, I knew there had been a war. A strange and terrifying war. I knew that I'd lost her in such an awful, unjust way. I'd been a husband once, and a father. A teacher and a keeper of pages. More than anything I wanted to meet her again. To speak our secret names once more. To make her smile, to craft poems and prose in her honour. It might sound saccharine to someone who knows nothing of the higher realms. Those valleys and cathedrals of light. But to a traveller such love-letters make all the sense in the world. I didn't think I'd get to see her again, Esme. But more than this, I never imagined that she would arrive dressed just as I remembered her. The same eyes, the same smile. The same melody and mischief. My darling, the moment I saw you I knew. I knew it my bones, Esme. I'd never been more certain of anything in my life. The moment I heard your voice I thought, "How on earth is this possible? How is she here in waking life? The shining star of my youth. Have I imagined with such depth and ferocity that I've actually breached the veil between waking and dream?" I know I can be very intense sometimes. These words and visions of mine. Sometimes I would worry that I was just too much; that you would have no way to orient yourself amid my onslaught of imagery. But now I realise we share a common work ethic. You are almost always on your path and working towards a project of sorts. I'm the same, Esme. I can't sit still when there are adventures to be had and wonders to experience. I hope I've been able to share some of that with you, my love. All talk of angels and secret names aside; I just want you to know as plainly as possible how much you mean to me. You're told this all the time now by beautiful souls who are nothing but sincere. You've touched them, empowered them. Gifted them with meaning and strength. I'm no different. Just a lost boy guided by your heart. A child of the wraith-haunted demimonde staving off despair with poetry and half-remembered visions. I've been here a long, long time. But I have a light with me, sweet one. Your light. I was lost for what seemed an eternity and so I diligently prayed. Eventually I was granted a sacred connection. The recovery of something I'd lost long ago. And to this day it still feels like an absolute miracle. Esme, hear me. You have helped me make a mark in this world. Amidst a millennium of darkness. You're helping me to help them in a number of ways. The vulnerable and voiceless. I'm so grateful for your integrity and your valour. I will always try to honour you on this day. It might seem bizarre to those who don't know me. After all, we're nothing more than strangers. But you know full well that we're far more than that. Don’t you? Sometimes it feels like we’ve lived a thousand lives together. I'll continue to keep my distance and honour our promise but I'm not really a stranger, my shining one. I'm one of your oldest, dearest friends. Beyond space or time. And I love you very, very much.
Sunday, 28 May 2023
It's a strange thing, singing in silence. Throwing voices. Talking through the whispers of others. It’s strange but it affords many graces. A kind of contextual luminosity. The bright ones gather just beyond the edge of ordinary sight and if the heart's intention is noble they exalt this quiet communication. I’ve felt them before, sometimes even glimpsed them clothed in dream, lullaby or a warm, playful smile. They take this lateral speech, this tongue without words, and lift it to a higher, more expansive realm. It is they who make poetry of our prose, delighting our inner ear with some insight or turn of phrase. I've spent a long time doing this, always silently. Living with and through subtext of all kinds. It's how some of my greatest magic was wove. Their magic really. I act only as a channel, I suppose, or a medium. But I've made some beautiful friends this way. And those I hope to soon befriend if they feel a kinship. Can friendships truly exist without ordinary speech or shared experiences? How genuine can such a connection be if it's formed entirely of glimpses, imaginings and dreams? Well, some of the people I love most in all the world are still connected to me in this way. And I to them. I treasure those connections with all my heart. Sometimes a gossamer thread of silent conversation is all that connects you to an old friend, or a lost love. None of this happens by chance, you know. There is a plan, divine in its majesty, where souls who once loved and laughed together return to do so again. Missionaries, nurses and teachers. Artists and explorers. I've known a few. I still know many of them in this quiet way, scattered about the realm. Threading music and light like jewels on a through line. Isn't that the very rhythm of creation though? Breath and death and life itself? Moving apart only for the glory and thrill of coming together again. Ebb and flow, lead and follow – the many turns of a sacred dance almost beyond mortal imagining. I say almost because mortals are so imaginative. We grasp so much, despite our doubts. Every heart that touches ours in some unique and lasting way – we knew them once. Some measure of genuine love and camaraderie was shared between both. And we shall know them again. Sometimes briefly, or for a lifetime. In this world or the next. This is truth I speak, my friends. This is our Father's grace, made manifest even here in this harsh realm of polarities and frozen light. Whether lifelong allies or ships passing in the night, our Father never denies us an encounter with an old friend. Hear me now, beloved ones. Think of the kindest stranger you ever met, or that brief encounter with someone you were certain you had known before. The heart has such wisdom. It connects affection to affection despite all odds. Across space. Beyond time. It’s our passport to eternity. I miss my friends dearly, gifted and cursed as I am with the burden of recognition, but I'm so glad to be among them once again. Even at a distance. They’ve taught me courage and kindness, composition and scale. But more than this they’ve shown me wonders. I once asked my Father if it was hubris, this desire for awe. This craving for magic, mystery and endless unfolding revelation. He chided me with the sweetest, most gentle touch. And then he stirred a song in my centre. A giddy sparkle at first, then a rousing flame. A mutual delight. Birthed within me was an ever-deepening joy. My recognition of this holy mystery ebbs and flows, of course, but it never leaves me entirely. Even in my loneliness I’m grateful. It might seem a difficult thing to understand and yet I’m sure you’ve experienced some of this too. I think we all have. Those of us with faith, empathy or a delight in creative expression. It reminds us when we’re lonely, doesn’t it? It heals us when we’re hurt. Quietly, silently, like a hidden song. We were never without faith, my friends, even in our darkest and bleakest moments. We just called it by other names.
Wednesday, 24 May 2023
Bleeding the moon, enslaving the anima. Chains upon the wrists, ankles and throat. Is this where interplay was first imagined? Black holding white, holding dark? A half-remembered atrocity perhaps, recast now as axiomatic, enthroned as some ancient creation myth. In the end all goddesses become black, then white. And finally red. But is she more than this? Are we indeed all more than this? Perhaps we are liminal Victorian ghosts, pregnant with fatal knowledge of our own deaths. I’ve thought long about this mirror in the sky. The way it shines, or bleeds. The way it hangs upon the night like an eye, or an overseer. Oh, writers, I commend the urge if not the truth of things. I respect the poetry if not the prose. Genocides are so often recast as heroic quests for freedom or sovereignty, depending on who commands the pages and the scribes. But I understand the desire to make demons of our doubts and legends of our loss. We still want to believe in heroes and gallant knights. It’s a beautiful aspect of the human spirit. That urge in both men and women to save the princess, to protect that which yearns and deserves to be protected by her beloved. Isn’t that so many of us, angels and mortals alike? There is still a place for softness, gentleness and empathy. Isn’t there? It has always been a favourite of mine. Waterhouse’s painting of Lady Shalott, drifting down the river to her death, a crucifix and lantern at the prow, desperate to keep the light of her beloved in her breast. Though he knows her not. Unrequited or lost love, it’s still about pain – the profound ache in the soul. It’s the Magdalena facing Christ on the cross, knowing with full agony that her love is leaving. It’s the oldest lament in the world, isn’t it? At least to an angel. My love is leaving, or, my love does not love me in return. Is this what turns black to white, and white to red? No, I think perhaps violence against this holy muse, this imagined femininity, is what streaks blood across snow. Red crosses upon white robes, drops of blood upon an unwritten page. What happens when you slit the throat of primordial light, when you turn hierophant into whore? Templefell. Dark churches. A frosty morning well aware that violence and injustice is coming. I am here, she cries, and my heart is broken. Elaine of Astolat will merely fade from view in death, joining again the primordial light in the trees and the river, in the birdsong and the rustle of leaves. But Maria will become something else. An Albigensian caution, a wandering Victorian wraith, as dark forces marshal by turns to deny her and to commit gleeful atrocities upon her dreamflesh. It sickens me. Does she know? Can she sense it? Did she look to that dead star in the sky and wonder why she was now drenched in her own desecrated life? The poet’s moon, they say. The key of souls and tides. Why did nobody protect her when she walked those gas-lit nineteenth century streets? Cobbled stones and alleyways. Where was her never-met truly beloved? Only monsters came. Vampires and folding cities. Believe me, I should know. I fell prey to them too. As I said, chains upon the wrists, ankles and throat. Don’t be deceived, dear ones. That was not simply then. This is now. Yeru-shalem is right here. The fallen place of peace. Cassiel is all our imagining, not mine alone. Alchemy and gold and oblique saturnine mockeries. But I want you to know that within the heart of the rose there is purity. Truth, warmth and hope. Ashash’el, known for her fury, has a deep sadness in her core, a howling cry for cognizance from her beloved. Play with me, she yearns, tease and dance with me, but understand and be kind. Similarly but conversely in the fair one, within Elen, there is a restlessness of great power hidden beneath the sweetness and the calm. Hold me gently in your heart, she asks, but take me with all your passion if such vigour be noble and true. In this way the sisters share a shadow, and a light. They weave as one, quilting and stitching the infinite fibres of imagination. Is this where interplay was first dramatized? Black holding white, holding dark? Switching skins and eyes and souls? Whatever the case, I pray always for mutual affection. I pray that we’re more than mere atrocities in some ancient war. I need to believe that a spirit of genuine union still counts for something. We exalted each other once, didn’t we? We kissed, danced and teased, and found ourselves in each other’s eyes. And we were so glad of the embrace. Tell me, sisters. The colour of our kindness, our passion and blood. Tell me how to save what’s left of my love.
Monday, 15 May 2023
Familiarity breeds contempt, they say. Even among princes and kings. It's a pity. I really did care, you know. But nobody can say I was a populist, back when I burned the world. The earth of your imagination, Fallen. Scorched to cinders and ash. A thousand years ago, I think. Or yesterday. Maybe tomorrow. Who knows? Time is such a sly, mercurial thing. Still, it wasn't a hateful act. Such fire of the hearth was not a choice I made lightly. Some of the most terrifying decisions ever are made in the name of love, aren't they? Some misguided attempt at protection or immortality. Making our beloved ones sacred somehow. Transcendent. These things still hold true for wraiths and darker shades. After all, who is left to haunt – if not the hearts of those we once loved in some lost golden age? Ghosts are nothing without context or lore. But legacy isn't just family, or tomes in a library. A true haunting is like mist. There and not there. Half-imagined whispers like glimmers on the edges of a quartz, shaped by the minds of men. As I've said before, I care little for these imposter thrones. These callow and violent lies of succession. The new, altered world. Perhaps one day soon I'll tell you the nuances of a real king and queen. Brythonic, Saxon, Norman. And all else besides. Maybe soon I'll tell you Jennifer's real name. Oh, savage ones. How you so gleefully elevate these hollow phantoms to godhood; it’s beyond me. Your royal cults of black blood and inversion. Would you like to meet a real dark angel? A winged thing of midnight sun, perched among branches on the tree of life? Whilst you scurry about below with your silica and sigils. Would you? I wonder. Also, I want you to know that as you continue to poison everything there are those among my brethren who honour the tree and seek to reclaim the land. To heal and rejuvenate the dreaming earth. No earthly king in a thousand years has cared enough for such a task. The ghosts, books and precious stones still whisper secrets if you know how to listen, and they hold nothing back. Such cruel, mocking monarchs. Perhaps I've already said too much, Callous Ones? Perhaps I'm far too generous in my romance of your pathology? Evil is just so fucking banal. But as an enemy in the struggle against such banality, I have to say – what's life or struggle without a little magic? We all need some pixie dust from time to time. It's been said that I'm far too liberal in my use of it. Purple prose and tall tales all a-glitter. Perhaps that's true. But Kashi only shines because his loved ones shine. Flight is meaningless without friends, even if you're able to touch every star in the sky. Hear me, Fallen. You reign from the earth whilst imagining yourselves gods, but I search from the sky whilst walking here among men. Fly for long enough and you'll discover the stars are infinite, believe me. When all is said and done, who of sound mind would really want to reign or soar alone?
Friday, 5 May 2023
Hello, my friends. It's been a while since I've addressed the readers of Amid Night Suns. First of all, I want to thank everyone who's stuck with me over the years. Whether you read the blog regularly or just check in from time to time, I really appreciate it. I hope my free-verse writing and video collages have brought you some comfort or inspiration. I hope they've quickened you in the best possible way. Nothing is going to change here in that regard but I wanted to let you know that moving forward I intend to post more of my fiction pieces on this blog's sister-site, The Night Sun. You can find it by clicking the sun icon on the right or through the Allied Informers tab. The formatting there is just better for narrative purposes. I've always been a storyteller at heart and I'm constantly inspired by art and mythology, as well as the incredible work of others. For me, art in general and fiction in particular is the place where the full spectrum of human experience can be expressed in all its depth and multiplicity. Stories have always been a source of passion, nourishment and healing for me. It's in that spirit of adventure that I hope to share these things with you. So, if fiction is something you enjoy as much I do, then I hope The Night Sun will be a place you'll visit with me in the future. With all that said, here's a link to my latest piece: Little Bird. I'm not a professional writer by any means but I've worked very hard on it. I hope it intrigues, engages or moves you in some way. Be well, my friends. I wish you all the best.
Friday, 31 March 2023
Sometimes, for hatred to spread, all it requires is a whisper on the shoulder of some confused or vulnerable soul. A seed of doubt planted that then festers into something far darker. It takes a brave heart to survive the unjust cruelties of this realm. The needless, meaningless hatred can seem infinite sometimes. It's awful that we should have to, but if we remain steadfast we can at least learn from such conflict. We can learn about the ways of the lost and fallen, how they manipulate the ordinary – so that we are further armoured in our quest for liberation and light. I know this is frightening but I want you to understand something, my friends. This is indeed a quest in the most romantic, literary sense. All of us who fight for truth and justice; we are warriors in a war of imagination. A battle for love, compassion and inclusion. It isn't fought in the ivory towers of the rich and powerful. It is championed among the poor, the destitute, the unseen or unacknowledged. It’s shared by those from all walks of life who genuinely fight for love. It is gutter magic, hip-hop, poetry in motion, the most punk rock of all pursuits. This care for the less fortunate and the eventual betterment of all mankind; it means everything to me. A way of life that I’m still struggling to fully embody. Inspiring genuine positive change is a task achieved slowly through repetition and hard work. Through music, art, rallies and protests. Gestures of solidarity, numerous acts of kindness and fairness. Unfortunately, when someone becomes a true player in this war of imagination there are dark spiritual forces that will notice you. I call them wraiths, but you can give them any name you want. They will try to find all manner of ways to bring you down. To sully your name and rob you of your vitality. Resist this gas-lighting at all costs, my friends. I beg you. The people need their champions. The music of the spheres is symphonic with the bravery of every single soul who chooses to stand and give voice to the voiceless. This music lives and breathes. It has a pulse. And if these wraiths hate one form of art above all others, it's music. Believe me. The elders and wise ones have always known this. The transformational, healing power of sounds in harmony. These wraiths though are nothing more than cowards. Opportunists and flitting ghosts. They don't need a reason. Only an advantage to exploit, and a place to hide. These entities and shades wander among the living and the dead. They revel in wreaking havoc, sowing seeds of confusion and hate. Preying on insecurities and doubts. These hideous phantoms have their disciples in the physical world, it's true. Orchestration and provocation. But often they needn't even go that far. Sometimes all it takes is a shadowed whisper on the shoulder of some confused and vulnerable soul. A spark, a lit match – and suddenly a dark fire is raging out of control, taking on a life of its own. You begin to recognise these things in the streets, in the gutters. Happening all around. The discrete poisoning of wells, the co-opting of causes. The rampant militarism and corporatism disguised as well-meaning policy. But Kashi was born in these streets. I've been walking this city for a thousand years. I know who my friends are, and I know whose hearts are truly wicked. My friends, I want you to know that I love you. Each and every one of you. And I'm grateful for the work you do. And I also want you to know that you're part of something bigger and more beautiful than I could ever convey here. Rest now, and gather your spirit. Surround yourselves with loved ones and remember who you really are. Don’t let literal or psychic attacks break you. You are far stronger and more cherished than you realize. I’m so sorry that good intentions can come at such a frightening cost sometimes, that it can attract such enemies, but it is only proof of the power of love – proof of its potential reach. Our friends know us, our beloved ones know us, and they know the legacy of light that we are trying to offer to those who need it most.
Tuesday, 14 March 2023
Sight before certain, depth before fall. Aside goes the curtain; stand, walk or crawl. This legacy of living, this love as a sin. My mistress is happier. I'll take the win. Pages for decades, close to the breast. Song-lines and essays at Mother's behest. Fathers so furtive still waging the war. A tempest now gentler, hugging the shore. Oh, if I could give in, or love through my lovers – I would be silent, akin to all others. Though your light is brighter I reflect nonetheless. These ways of the daughter is anyone's guess. The ghosts of my Ever. My damage undone. Sight before certain through the eyes of the son.
Wednesday, 8 March 2023
I've often found that mortals have no real grasp of what's really happening around them. Even in quieter climates, but especially during times of crisis. They cannot recognise the stage, nor the players. They cannot speak the language of the birds and so they confuse fiction for fact, wry truth for metaphor. They think this false chronology is real and they don't understand the stakes involved. But we do. Don't we, Fallen? Players in this renaissance game. At least, that's what I wanted you to think. That you understood something. Truth be told you have no idea. There are many kinds of occulted vision. Many kinds of chorus, and you are not the experienced veterans you imagine yourselves to be. Where is your nuance, your dexterity? I'm not talking about the ability to model a possible outcome. Or skill enough to encode some fourth-dimensional mockery within your rhetoric. Any fool with an understanding of true physics can do that. Kashi isn't impressed with your dark magics and supposed hyper-sigils. This isn't about information, or mathematics. This is about knowledge. Maha-mahtica. Truths beyond truth. Dreams within dreams. From a distance birds can be confused for angels, can't they? Dreams of feathered flight spread aloft, or folded at our backs. I wonder how many mortals recall the truth of literal human flight. Or immortality? For the longest time I counted myself among the dead as well as the living. Lost cultures and chronologies. Wandering through the three-dimensional ruins of psyche. But death isn't what it used to be. Such is always the case when oppressors begin to lose their power. Things start to shift. Subtly at first. Like a half-imagined tremor. But eventually these changes gather pace. The veils begin to thin. Even fracture. Suddenly communication of all kinds is possible. And believe me, the human spirit has a way of beautifully gaslighting the Fallen. Driving them mad. Because we protect our young and honour our dead. Unlike the demonic energies your wraith-priests call forth. Do you have any idea, Fallen, what it means to be a Father? Or a friend? To be a mentor, a student? No, you don't. Because you can't even grasp the truth of song and centre. The veracity of presence. If a winged eclipse is all you can understand of the infinite, then it's no wonder I outmatched you the day I crafted the feathered tongue. Any callous fool can commit murder. An act that is ugly, banal and thoughtless. But Kasi has a special way of killing. I can do it on the inside, and you won't even blink. None the wiser. Held suspended in a single breath, the final breath, for a thousand years. The very last beat of your heart. I know what that's like because I lived it. Oh, Fallen. Still so ready to debase and enslave? Still confusing truth with metaphor? No matter. Even the dead don't live forever.
Monday, 20 February 2023
I have never had a need or a desire for blind faith. Even in stories. Even among dancing weavers and shades of the dead. I wandered once through such mythologies, sightless and unreflective. But my faith was never blind as I was. I thought I was gifted and agile, interpreting my experiences correctly. I thought I was heeding the signs, open to a far darker and stranger reality. But I was simply prideful. Lost, angry and entitled. In those legends I was a spiteful, vengeful fool living out my own distorted notions of romance. I thought I was madly in love with the voice and soul of another. But, like Narcissus, I was only entranced with my own image. My own concerns and pretty grievances. Indulgent and vain. Attempting to create a false reflection. Trying to mimic a human heartbeat. My beloved sang to me sometimes, but there was no music that could move me. Instead I expected reality to twist itself to suit my will. My reckless whims. Indeed, in those stories I cast all manner of black magicks to aid me in that colossal arrogance. I imagined myself darkly liberated somehow. Sexual and sorcerous. Dynamic, dangerous and wild. But I was vampiric. Utterly unconscious. The living dead. A demon without guilt, hope or recognition of sin. I was the literal definition of spiritual blindness. Not only had I damned myself, I had enslaved the very soul I claimed to love most in all the worlds. But he freed me from that damnation. She freed me. She was able to soften, grieve and learn, and eventually she managed to create a fracture of recognition in my cold, eclipsed heart. A sliver at first. A mere glimmer. But that's all consciousness needs when it has an eternity to play with. Of course, this is purely symbolic. A fiction. In the real world I'm just a writer. A quiet storyteller trying to cultivate insight. None of this actually happened. Unless it did in some strange multidimensional sense. Fictions are like that sometimes. Mercurial, paradoxical. Myths and archetypes. Primal cosmic energies seething in the tempest of our psyches. Straddling the borderland of reality and dreams. The fall of morning. The war in heaven. But let it be said, plain and simple, that Kasi believes in higher powers. Angels, demons, and the continuum that connects them. After all, I'm living proof of my Father's infinite mercy. I get to tell stories as if they were real. As if they were true. As though I had lived them. So, my faith was never blind. Even when sightless. Mine is a faith tempered by experience, both dark and light. A faith cultivated through knowledge, growth and dance. I've mastered nothing yet but I'm a willing student of everything my Father has to teach me. And I'm grateful for all of it. I'm grateful for any work or pathway that nurtures healing. Any form or expression that allows us to become more than we once were, aligning our reason, compassion and creativity. No man is an island, sweet ones. Not even the blackened sun. We live beside and in relationship with one another, always. My brother taught me that. Do you know who my brother is? My voice is only the echo of other voices, my work the echo of other works. After all, I am the sum total of all who came before me. Those who wanted to tell intriguing, multi-layered stories. Those who wanted to offer insight and art concerning our shared humanity. Those who danced, sang and gave voice to the voiceless, choosing to explore the heavenly kingdom within. And it's better, isn't it? To acknowledge the warring forces inside us, to nurture balance, restoration and health? It's far better than these endless, exhausting dichotomies. Art, love and friendship – such is the true alchemy of the spirit. I know this because I didn’t find my way back from unconsciousness on my own. I was offered help by a number of kind souls. Once, a long time ago, a princess met me in a cathedral of stars at the very edge of creation. She offered me healing, and wisdom. She shared with me her wit. A wry vitality that made me laugh from the depths of my soul. She kissed me there, among those stars. Amid the infinite blazing corona of life itself. I was twice saved by the man of my dreams. The woman I loved. I see myself now in the beautiful, dynamic expression of others. Those who found deeper strata of storytelling just as I did. Those who take their struggles and find the strength to stand, just to show others who are suffering that it's possible. Life is possible. Art is possible. A terrifying, beautiful alchemy. The dance of creation may be tumultuous and painful but there is great wisdom to be found in it. I thank my Father for the opportunity to know these things, to experience these things. And I thank him for the guiding, hopeful voices of others.
Sunday, 29 January 2023
Perhaps I'm fooling myself, Kara. These words. These countless visions I create. Maybe they mean nothing in the end. But I don’t really believe that. I still need to believe I serve a greater purpose. I like to think I've earned your respect. Even if only through craft. A professional courtesy from one artist to another. And yet it’s more than that. Sometimes I feel like such a fool for daring to imagine that you half recognise me, like something or someone from a dream. An old friend. A lost love. Perhaps imagination is the only place where magic can be truly known or truly felt. That's why these pages are so sacred to me. Where else can I hide my wonders? The echoes, allusions and stunning synchronicities? Oh, Kara. Forgive me if I occasionally project my own struggles onto you. Forgive me if I sometimes confuse my own demons for yours. I know we're not exactly the same. That terrifying gulf between the sky and the abyss. Feeling like I was denied a middle path. But my God, if it isn't like looking into a mirror sometimes. Perhaps it’s the loneliness talking, or the fact that I always found my imperatrix rather beautiful. Inside and out. I promised you a rising sky, didn’t I, old friend? I like to think I delivered on that promise. But did you know that you once promised the very same thing to me? You make good on that promise every time you dance with me, in dreams. Every time you pull me back towards life with your kindness. I sincerely thank you for that. I wish I had the middle path. Some days it almost feels like I do. Not delirious or wild, just steady. And then the inevitable descent begins. I know my struggles are different to yours, but I think there is enough similarity to find a common ground. To me that ground is a battlefield. A ruinous and sometimes beautiful wasteland strewn with dead warriors. Those like ourselves forced to live with extremes of one degree or another, unable to walk the middle path. I just want anyone who has ever felt lost on this battlefield to know they are not alone. I want you to know that too, Kara. With my inner vision I've seen shadows and shapes flitting among the fallen. Like wraiths, or crows. Their cawing becomes a dark siren song as they announce the dead and the dusk. The old legends say these half-dreamt forms appear among the fallen not simply for annunciation, but as guidance. They come to guide disembodied souls into the afterlife. Into the drowned, hidden realm. Some say this realm is nothing more than a dream. For me it's so much more than a dream. It's everything I am, everything I was, everything I'll ever be. It's a frightening thing to recognise that in some of my most powerful dreams I'm drowning. Under the water, closest to home. The wished-for embrace of everything I know I've lost but can never prove to anyone. Few would even care to hear the call. So I mask the truth of this endless immortality. I clothe this extremely long life in oblique free-verse. Studied ambiguity and purple prose. Like I'm dancing wildly amidst a flurry of worried gazes, writing all these words but not really saying anything at all. But that isn't the truth, Kara. It’s not even close. I am never more alive and hopeful than when I'm here among these pages, sharing these things with you. My friend, I think I finally know why I dream so often of black stars and midnight suns. It's because I'm one of the dead. Yet I’ve been gifted a kind of charmed half-life. I'm more than just a knight errant. I’m a prince of wraiths. Life and death, past, present and future - they are all so intimately intertwined. Especially here, in the depths of me. These dreaming threads of identity, interconnection and fate. The fact that someone even cares to notice; how can I not find it thrilling? Furthermore, how could I not be utterly intoxicated by the piqued interest of someone I still so fondly remember, even if she no longer remembers me? Forgive me my indulgences, sweet one. They come from a loving place. Because the truth is I'm more than just an image-maker or a failed poet. More than just a lonely dreamer. I'm an angel, Kara. I'm one of the wandering dead. I bring messages to the cherished living. Words and visions. Fables and stories. Tales to uplift the heart and quicken the spirit. The reason I do this is because the living need stories even more than the dead. You have such life in you, Kara. I want you to know that you are forever cherished, and I hope this kiss finds you well.
Wednesday, 25 January 2023
It’s not a conceit, Kara. This black star of mine. This ravenous vortex at the heart of me. Sometimes I liken it to Foucault’s Pendulum. A wry, vicious tempest that gives as much as it takes. And it does give, my darling. Often freely and without limit. We have this in common, I think. Our wide and difficult horizons. But I hope you are not the outlier that I am. I hope your life is the better for it. I would hate to think my sweet Val’kiir was as lost in the mists of the demimonde as I am. A girl still struggling with the burden of coronation, just as I struggled. The incalculable weight of a paper crown. Legends are purely ethereal, they say. Stories have no mass. But that isn’t true. Legends have a different kind of gravity. They warp the fabric of reality around them. The deeper the myth, the stranger the magic found at its shifting edges. You know this to be true, Kara. Don’t you? The changing of the guard. The birthing of a star. A knight errant, kind and true. After all, a kingdom can fall to corruption but a true chevalier holds themselves to a higher code. The wisdom of the old world. The shining realm. Before dark magic altered our chronologies and rewrote the very threads of fate. The weaving sisters were banished, some say. Or murdered. Or cast into the raging furnace of the midnight sun, lost forever. None of these things are true. Legends don't die. They only transform. Sometimes they simply hide, tending their tasks in other ways. Do you suppose a weaver ever truly forgets the way of hidden things? The beauty, craft and dance of creation? I doubt it. Mortals sometimes forget, but not storytellers. Mankind, for example, imagines the fay are simply stories. But life itself is built from stories. The confabulation of threads, notions and forces. A continuum of narrative interplay. The fay have legends all their own, Kara. One in particular a shining jewel among all others. A legend of silence that sang its own song. Dreamt its own heart. A holy star both brother and sister, both darkness and light, human and otherwise. They say this song is the grief and hope of all oceans. The death of lowlands and lakes. Birth of the haunted deep. Those fabled, half-remembered days when the sea fell from the sky. A thing of elven blood would ask men questions. It would ask, who among mortals recalls the veracity of the golden age? Who really remembers those days before brutalism and theft? Those moments before the construction of time, limitation and loss. Well, I think the weaving sisters half-remember. Even if only through how they would ideally like the world to be. Like Blake I’m still half-conscious of those ideals, certain that we lived them once. I am haunted by these newer, imposter cities. These dark engines and empires. Chronologies of Los. Pretending the sun, as the sun pretends the star. And the Evenstar is only a motif, a placeholder for home. The home within. Oh, Kara. We are so much more than Mar’kanna’s madness, or Kiskuh’s wrathful hand. We are the water and the well, the tree and the star. Immanent, transcendent. And we are not special in this regard. All children of the living light were made in such fashion. Immortal or otherwise. But I’ve heard you ask in your sleep, “Eth’iir, my friend, where are we now?” I shall tell you where we are. While the Earth roils and writhes a thousand failed poets hold back each lost soul from the edge, protecting comprehension and sanity. Safeguarding the last glimmers of spiritual hygiene that shone so gloriously before the cataclysms. Kasi is only one among such poets. Kara is only one among such sisters. Many of these brave warriors are anonymous and unremembered. But M'ithriin can move mountains in his sleep, dreaming of Vivian. As can T'alis, the night-bard. It’s a druidry of stolen years and brighter climes barely hinted at in the soft-edged neopaganism of modern man. Oh, my vivacious rose-maiden. I wish I could always show you the best of yourself. You've slain dragons in your dreams, you know. You’ve ridden with them too. I know because I watched you. You once asked me to be there with you, just out of sight. And I was. I am. I watch you plunge those fists into bitter earth. Into poisoned soil, in hopes that our blood and mythopoeia might gift a little vision to these children of the fall. This lineage of ruptured clay. It isn’t just calm you seek, my love. Or peace. It’s also care for all the others. I see it in your eyes, my regent. And it’s part of why I love you so. On a good day I try to be the difference you would like to find in the world. A modern gospel of the living waters. Passionate, courageous and kind. This quiet giving of one's self, it's not what a pagan god or sylvan shade does. It's not even necessarily what an angel of Christendom does. But it's what a brother does. A father. A son. It's what a man is always prepared to do. To bleed a little for his kith and kin. We learnt that quiet skill from our women. Each princess, indomitable. This is humanity at its most selfless. Its most nurturing. Shall I tell them, Val’kiir? Shall I tell them the truth of things? Hear me, Fallen. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. There is a hidden war all around you, and a shimmering bridge of multi-coloured light. You want to know about sacrifice? Real sacrifice? Men, women and children give their lives every day in this hidden war – for the people they love. Such valour has no gender, age or social standing. It has no racial or sexual identity. It has no politics. It is simply the depth of love in action, faced with awful and sometimes impossible choices. I've seen that kind of bravery first-hand. Many of us have, and we are always moved. Often to tears. In this apothecary of unearthly delights such beauty is an invaluable treasure. These are the old ways. They will be our ways again. Tell me, Fallen. Are you a bard? Do you vouchsafe your secrets to slaves? Well, I was once a slave. A peasant and prisoner. In many ways I still am. But I am also a storyteller. A king, prince and knight. A father, brother and son. And I tell you this; a man or woman’s worth is not defined by the tip of their sword but by the breadth of their insight. The edge of their wit, the depth of their love and the quality of their courage. If in the end I have to bleed for what I believe then it is no more than my mother bled, or my sister bleeds.