Sometimes the mesh that holds life together bends under a weight.

It isn't like stone, or granite, or slate.

It isn't like the weight of all the ice that's melting left and right.

It isn't like the fragile gravity that keeps us all held like children in our mother's embrace.

It is a weight that goes against the soft flow of all that is sweet and natural.


Arcane energies are bubbling up again --



recurring antecedents

in this our shared curriculum of Dark Learning.


I feel that weight in this pain-racked body.

I see that weight in the slumped spines

and down-turned eyes

of the people I pass

who've forgotten their beauty,

who are filled with fears they don't belong.


When men and women and whole cultures forget to do their Shadow Work

the unseen helpers and healers are chased out of the village.

Pain-Demons slip in,

and they aim to do nothing

but knock down the shrines that hold us together.


When a Dark Age arrives, we have to call on the old travelers for aid,

and you and me

as much as we

would have this leg of our journey be

one lived with more peace and soft sovereignty

are wandering through a Dark Age now.


When a Dark Age arrives, we have to call on the old travelers for aid.

Persephone knows the road down and back.

Fudo knows how to sit in the fire and burn away these impurities.

Odin knows how to hang by the World Tree and see a new vision in time's great mirror.

Lao Tzu knows the way to restore balance to body and mind.

Aceso, Asclepius, Ratri, Shalim

and a million and one other guides of healing and dreaming

are waiting for the fires and candles to be lit

are waiting for the calling-songs to be lifted

are waiting for the animal dances

to mark another season of driving pain out of the body through the body itself.


The old ones say

when we get to the point where we can't even name our shared ailment

the only antidote is to pick a night and call-in a new dream together,

and since the whole world has grown tired of holding up these banners of war

let that night be this one.


(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen /

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