Friday, December 24, 2021

The Yule Goat


Happy Yule to All!

Goat watching

Yule Goat

In December’s dark descent
across crackled breaking sky ice
slivered with dagger snow,
bells ring in whitened night, sharp
hooves stamp on the cloudcloth
shaking pearl dust stripes on
emerald spruces' candelabra arms,
turquoise and white pinwheels
circling their wands
of bitter bark raven haunted.

The god of thunders 
pulls the sun's shadow,
flickering hammer tucked
in his brace of clouds,
drives his twin goats
toward the time when day
and night are strait, equals at last
as Odin's wild hunt 
passes damned, mad,
howling overhead

The Snarler and the Grinder
fleet of foot, heedless of fate
run on; tonight's feast, tomorrow’s
feat, killed for meat this starveling
night, raised at dawn.
Spread the skins and 
let each bone 
fall with care so
those here reborn 
race again on the solar wind.

O bright black eye
split with too much knowledge
devil’s mask, canting voice
of the abyss, god's bearer, hunger's enemy
come bless us this Yule with your
yellow stare, ignite yourself
against the hag’s winter storm,
flute your flames through a straw ribcage. 
Watch us make the old dance new again
under the reckless stars.

December 2011

In Norse myth, Thor was not only provided with his mountain-shattering hammer Mjölnir, his magical, strength doubling belt Megingjörð, but a chariot in which he traveled through the sky pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir (Old Norse "teeth-barer, snarler") and Tanngnjóstr (Old Norse "teeth grinder") spoken of in the Prose Edda, who could be slain for food at Thor's discretion then resurrected with the power of Mjölnir and returned to the traces.~ from wikipedia: 'The Yule Goat is one of the oldest Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbols and traditions. Originally denoting the goat that was slaughtered during the Germanic pagan festival of Yule, "Yule Goat" now typically refers to a goat-figure made of straw. It is also associated with the custom of wassailing, sometimes referred to as "going Yule Goat" in Scandinavia.' As always, I've taken a few liberties with the letter of the myths.You can read more about the folklore of the Yule Goat here  and the Wild Hunt here.

Header Photo: Goat watching, by on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons License 
Footer Photo: The Gävle goat burning, author unknown
All copyright belongs to the copyright holder

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Age of Forfeit


Age of Forfeit
"..I deny the tastes and habits of the age.
 I am its punk debauche..A fierce lampoon
seeking to inherit what is necessary to forfeit.." 
~1959, Gregory Corso
Ten years old in '59
learning how to eat plastic
how to steal the eyes
of sorrow, how to watch the TV box
build the marshmallow engines of dreams;
learning how to flip forward and back,
an acrobat of lies, an appearance nun, bride-to-be of
Christ's money, of necrotic success, of tears
that can only come out at night.

Ten years old in '59
the decade of glorious acquisition,
born from war and set to marinate in flag-juice,
to memorize the ABC's: Avarice, Bombast, Consumption
at all costs. Eat cake on your birthday. Ignore
the bleached bones of beauty floating
in your corn flakes, the ghost-children, your peers,
who howled as they died in the split atom's vomit.
Don't look at

the malice behind the service.
Don't go too far. Don't grow your hair
or wander in the ruins of compassion;
there's no money there. Don't ask why you're 
starving on plenty, little girl, little pawn. Learn
to iron a shirt, feed the baby, please your man, work
in the cafe, at the office, behind the 
dimestore counter selling blood-paste 
for lyrically lying lips

or you'll be the joke,
the reject, the outcast forever
running for your life.

December 2021


posted for


Images: Fifties photographs, courtesy of Soren Larsen, © Frank Larson   Fair Use

Monday, December 20, 2021

The Crow-Mother


The Crow-Mother
 (a triquain)
As a child
I knew a crow-woman.
She loved shiny things, breathy south wind
and tall corn, green in the field of desire. She
wore onyx feathers grieving the time
when she had real words, not
just for me, 
but for everyone. She
was friend to doves unable to mourn,
a lover of small clouds which could never give rain,
a mother of all misplaced things: keys
coins and rings, strings, lost girls
life passed by.

December 2021

posted for Fireblossom

Note: the triquain is a counted syllable form based on threes. It normally consists of seven lines, each line increasing in syllables by three to twelve, then decreasing again by three to the close. This is a triquain swirl, which is slightly different in containing 13 lines. (3 - 6 - 9 - 12 - 9 - 6 - 3 - 6 - 9 - 12 - 9 - 6 - 3).
Images: Crow Prince Charming, © Rene Magritte   Fair Use
Crow woman cosplay, via Sunday Muse   Fair Use 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sevenling: Owl In The Night


 Sevenling: Owl In The Night

Owl in the night
mouse in the grass
wind behind wide wings

like my own heart I feel you fly
my voice a mouse-cry
as wide wings beat the light from

the moon to my eye.

December 2021

posted for Fireblossom
Note on sevenlings if you haven't met one before: "The sevenling is a poem of seven lines inspired by the form of [a].. much translated short verse by Anna Akhmatova (1889 - 1966)...The first three lines should contain an element of three - three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities..lines four to six should similarly contain an element of three connected directly or indirectly or not at all..The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or as an unusual juxtaposition..A sevenling should be titled Sevenling followed by the first few words in parentheses The tone of the sevenling should be mysterious, offbeat or disturbing, giving a feeling that only part of the story is being told.."~Roddy Lumsden
Images: Owl and Moon, ©Alan Perry All Rights Reserved Fair Use
birdperson image author unknown via Sunday Muse Fair Use

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Kowboy Katzenjammer


 Kowboy Katzenjammer

When Kowboy Katzenjammer
comes to Kittycon
he always brings his religion.

Sixgun and spurs
forecast high-noon confessions
and lavish donations.

He preaches tomcat gospel
to green-eyed kittens
in sharp ears and lazy ribbons,

offers his cardboard box
in the church of broken locks
to a fury of furries

 trading their fur
for a two-second purr.
December 2021

posted for Fireblossom

Note:This 55 uses the following words from Shay's Word List (Laura Nyro), which I did not include in my previous poem for that prompt: confession,forecast,fury,lazy,religion,tomcat

Image via Sunday Muse   Fair use

Wednesday, December 15, 2021



(a 55)
The black dog runs
on the wind that
reaps the world.
He bites starlorn
at the moon who knows
his teeth will find marrow.
Behind him comes
the scythe that cuts tomorrow
down to bone.
Moon must learn to bleed,
monkeys to eat snow,
man to live on tears
where the black dog runs.

December 2021


posted for Dverse Poets
Images: Moonrise, 1884, © Stanislaw Maslowski   Public Domain
Wolf-Dog, manipulated, 1976 © Jamie Wyeth  Public Domain

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Winter's Relic


 Winter's Relic

Winter is on the steps
and in my hair. She croons
as she starves sparrows
rocks pigeons dead in the cradle.

Spare me her holy patience
her frost palimpsest on the window
her holiday coffins.

Feed me instead
on figs and sangria
scarlet under a firecracker sky
rippling with heat and Spanish moons.
Throw me on a bed white with
linen, not this nullity of snow that
 melts away beneath my fever.

Let me have something
besides these starving cats
under my skin, hear something besides the blues
they blow like a train-whistle from

 the feral saxophones of their  throats.
But if I open my eyes,
I see reflected only winter's relic;

a twist of shadow in the blizzard,
trying to hold back the wind,
while around me the plague
doctors work, looking for

blood from the stoned, and
the Fearless Captain stands at the door
overseeing our dispossession.

December 2021

 posted for

Images: Looking southwest from Five Barrows under Snow, ©James Ravellius Fair Use
The Snow Queen Flies through the Winter Skies, © Edmond Dulac   Public Domain 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Several Pleasures


Several Pleasures
I've never found anything perfect
except a flower once that never died.
It swiveled in the sun's slow swing
slept in snow, woke for the Bride
in spring, plush and wild each year from
drinking sky.
I've never had anything last
except that flying summer of love for light
where children briefly burned their hungry fear;
that spark became the wildfire of my life.
Its living fire keeps me whole tonight
protected from the winter-walking years.

I've never had a dime I didn't spend
except the gold we minted for love's pay.
Spendthrifts can lose a fortune in a day,
yet keep it all in a sun-vault of a safe
with two last coins for final fare on eyes
that see their dreams at last without disguise.
 December 2021


posted for dVerse Poets

Images: Narcissus 'Sir Winston Churchill' © joyannjones 2014
Dancing couple, featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine, Woodstock Festival, Bethel, New York, 1969. © Jim Marshall Photography LLC  Fair Use