Podcast Ep1 – Havamal Part 1 – Stanzas 1-80

In this first podcast episode I begin reading the Havamal, the second poem featured in the Poetic Edda. Stanzas 1-80 are read from Bellow’s translation from the original Icelandic, this section is known as the Havamal proper and contains some if the most well known stanzas of the poem. In future episodes I’ll continue with the other sections of the Havamal from stanza 81 onwards. Happy listening…

Background Music: Butterfly Tea – “Age of Conquest”

Early Flight

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Another day, another airport…

I’m both lucky enough and at the same time unlucky enough to travel a great deal in my professional life. Whilst this does give me a great chance of broadening my world view and meeting a diverse range of people it does take me away from those I love, sometimes for extensive periods of time. I’m not alone in this situation and I’m sure some of you reading now can identify with me.

But I thank the Gods for each and every experience, regardless of the meaning we attach to those experiences, for we can always learn and grow from them. My time in transit is often spent observing… Myself, others, the environment around me and the dynamics of how we all interact…

Blessing on your own travels and maybe our souls will pass each other someday /|\

Early Flight

I breath… My chest expanding as the cool air rushes in,
Looking to the stars I count my blessings,
Under the speckled inky blanket I am safe,
Watched over by the Father, Mother and Kin.

Travelling once more, away from my homeland and family,
I miss the embrace of loved ones,
But I accept the embrace of new experiences,
Connections and friendships further afield.

The early morning darkness and the accompanying silence,
Seem to permeate my body and my mind,
A catalyst for a stillness rarely known by most,
In a manic word of perpetual distracting stimuli.

Moving inside, saccadic eyes everywhere,
Lead bags to be checked with automaton scripts,
A stone chiselled face shifts into beaming grin,
As I place my bag with a heart felt smile.

The quiet times are a chance to watch,
Sit back and notice the animated corpses,
With their occasional caffeine fuelled glances,
In the direction of the lounge info screen.

Eventually the gate opens.
The herds shuffle accordingly,
I smile again… Preparing for more adventures…

Sometimes, only tea will do…

In general, life is rather wonderful… Both the mundane and the magical world constantly surprise me with wonders, reinforcing joy of life.

But… There are “those” days, when we are forced to confront our darker side. Turned toward ourselves and pushed to acknowledge that life can sometimes smack you hard on the nose and feel absolutely no remorse.

It’s at these time that I turn to a warm beverage for a time out… Giving a few minutes to calmly put things in perspective… Works for me ;)

Brightest Blessings /|\

When life sucks… Make tea!

The kettle’s chaotic chorus builds,
Tendrils of vapour slink upward catching the daylight,
As I wait, watching and listening,
My mind buzzes with worry after worry.

The click of completion feels closer,
Indicating the boiling of life giving liquid,
The final seconds stretch in anticipation,
A few drops jumping from the spout.

The steaming water pours over the dry bag, beginning the magic,
Rich golden colours swirl around the cup,
The aroma of the leaf teases my senses,
My mind’s concerns halt in their path.

A few drops of cool milk drip into the golden pool,
Shapes form briefly on the surface,
As I exist briefly on Earth
Before becoming part of the brew,
As we eventually and inevitably rejoin the Earth.

I raise this small cauldron to my mouth,
The most common of morning rituals,
For a moment, if only fleetingly,
My worries fade into the distance,
Briefly… Nothing matters but me and my tea… /|\

Leaky Bottom

I’ve been away on holiday, to the warmer climate of Turkey… Whilst the break and the change of pace has been much appreciated I was looking forward to returning home for a much needed English Breakfast Tea :)
So… Imagine the perplexed nature of my thinking as I endeavoured to make that most traditional of drinks this morning to no avail!

Leaky Bottom

I stare at the puddle just after the morning “click”,
Wanting only to quench my thirst and dampen my tongue,
Following a night of mixed unconscious randomness,
Awoken during a conversation with a purple Hedgehog.
The liquid begins to trace is winding path,
Slinking across its faux granite landscape,
Onward to the edge, succumbing to gravity,
Drip, drip, drip…
I blink once… twice…. thrice… Watching.
Wyldwood Radio adding background dramatics,
As the potential beverage, now just a puddle,
Sits on the floor, denying me my Tea.
I glance back to the source, mumbling,
A sacred curse upon the kettle,
For this morning I shall not drink,
That break of day nectar…

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Pride

 

It’s one of those things that I contemplate almost everyday… How best to live my life?

Our ancestors lived in a very different world but I firmly believe they had a greater contact with self and others on a community, family and spiritual level. We live in a materialistic world that has forgotten that value for the most part…

I hope you enjoy this poem, composed as I dwelt on this very issue… Blessings /|\

Balancing ‘Positive’ and ‘Negative’ personal influences…

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So… I’m intrigued… How do you deal with the intended negative actions of others?

In the time it takes me to have a tea break and tap out a thought or two, I can be fairly certain that someone I know is also planning their next conversation, business meeting, tête à tête or maybe even a blog post.
“So what?”, I hear you ask… After all, I know a lot of people.

I am also certain that those people are, in the most part, positive and constructive  individuals. In fact I choose my friends, acquaintances and business partners wisely, and yet subconsciously, in many cases.

However, there are those few, with far less than positive intentions, that manage to get inside my circle.
They are not there for long, but from time to time they get close. But something always happens… They catch their feet on my metaphorical trip wire and the empty tin cans clang from the branches in my mind.

I see their behaviour, I hear their words… I observe from a distance. My guard dogs also hear the clang and they swarm around me in preparation for a standoff. But this is not a physical battle front, this is their tactical, strategic manoeuvre and it has taken some thought and planning on their part.

So, how to respond? Unleash the dogs? Turn a blind eye or even turn the proverbial other-cheek?

People are somewhat predictable… and without the use of a single system of divination I trust that ‘Life’ will deal with them in a suitably fitting manner. So… I choose to do nothing, knowing that this choice, in itself, is doing something.

Invariably, in my own experience, ‘Life’ does teach it’s lessons… I like my own lessons to be positive, evolving and fulfilling by keeping this in mind.

Brightest blessings and may your lives be filled with those that foster friendship, love and compassion /|\

 

Birds Eye

hill path

I mentioned in my post ‘They’re Only clouds…‘ that I enjoy capturing beautiful moments in my life, holding those memories for recall when I need it most.

One example of this is the peaceful, serenity of a hilltop… When I’m standing in the strong winds looking down on a valley I feel a perspective shift that allows me the freedom to think more creatively and objectively about life’s challenges. I love to spend time living these moments in the Peaks and Lakes of England, and the Hills and Mountains of Wales and Scotland…

Then, when I need clarity… I close my eyes and feel the strong winds once more.

Below is a Tanka that briefly expresses this.

Blessings all /|\

Birds Eye

My feet stride the path
Upward to the hills zenith
Dwelling out of time
High and free with the graceful hawk
Life below seen clear and bright

Time for a ‘brew’…

It’s that time again… But not for my favourite hot beverage. Preparation for the Mercian Gathering is now underway and I should have a nice stock for the hearth fire chats ;)
Happy days…

Haiku, No Typhoo

Flowers picked in bloom,
The demi-john emerges,
Elderflower Wine!

Bright blessings /|\

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Treading the Bones of The Ancestors

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I recently replied to the question posted on Facebook, “Where are your Happy places?”. This took some considerable thought as I live in an almost relentless wave of happiness so I had so many ‘places’ I could name.

However, one such place may seem at first glance to be a rather morbid venue for bathing in the warmth of love, security, belonging and yes… Happiness. And, that place is my local cemetary.

It is without a doubt one of the most peaceful, if considerably (and favourably in my opinion) reclaimed by nature, places in the area and it always blesses me with the gift of relaxing with the wildlife that dwell there… I wrote this poem a while ago that endeavours to put into words, one such visit… I hope you enjoy it.

Blessings /|\

 

Treading the Bones of Ancestors

Bright rays shine through the needles of the great pine,
Scattering flashes over the ground as if ripples reflected on a turbulent sea,
The cool breeze moves slowly past me,
Continuing on to gently wave the grass and wild flowers.

Resting places of long departed souls embraced by the vibrancy of nature,
Forgotten by humankind but watched over ever vigilantly by others,
A rich repertoire of stories recounting messages of love and loss,
Buried now, except to those who peek under blankets of creeping moss.

The quiet is disturbed briefly as an old Yew shakes,
A small deer ventures into the sunlight cautiously checking the air,
I watch and listen… Still… Silent…
The deer, now relaxed, begins grazing amongst the stones.

As I continue to simply ‘be’ here, I feel honoured to form part of the landscape,
The pace of life is shifted, slowing as our spirits touch and blend,
My human mind throwing off the shackles of time, if only briefly,
Treasuring each passing instant, I breathe and smile.

I return to the path as the deer returns to the Yew,
The crow calls a farewell and I nod in acknowledgment,
Thanking those that form the tales of our past,
Whilst I slowly drift back to my present.