©2023 michael raven

ash rising on
smoke-filled skies
night & shadow
surrender firmament
nothing unseen
slag cast aside
winter rains falling
on hard earth
unworked steel
hammered into
blaze & shape
temper & fold
strike & mold
edges draw the dawn
a wheel spins
smooth the rough
nigh reflects
starry skies

blanket see

©2022 Michael Raven

midwinter new moon
lacunae drinking up night
her flow river ᛚ crossing
one foot, either side
ᚺ core falling ice
ulfheðnar howling home
cold rain hearth
stone stubborn ᚢ me
blanket under
blanket see

heron in moonlight

©2022 Michael Raven

It’s so simple at times that I forget.

Things are as they are, and rarely as we imagine them to be.

This monkey brain of ours always wants to explain explain explain. To find connections. To create meaning.

Sometimes a heron flies in the moonlight because it flies in the moonlight. Any meaning ascribed to the act is all us, and nothing of the heron. The problem is, we forget that our meanings are not necessarily the heron’s meaning. And, even when we are correct, can we not just accept that “a heron flies in the moonlight” without worrying about meaning?

These thoughts are not standalone thoughts — I was actually thinking last night and today about how certain educated people have used modern thought processes to explain the actions of people who lived millennia ago. We are often so certain of what they were doing and thinking, but we miss the bias of our own actions and thinking being applied to people so long gone that only disjointed fragments remain. We really have no clue what their motives might have been. And does it really matter?

Maybe that figurine was heron worship. Perhaps.

Or maybe it was celebration of a heron flying in moonlight.

Who can really say for certain?

Things I’m Putting Back Inside My Head (Autumn, part 1)

©2022 Michael Raven

As mentioned yesterday, I’m prone to thinking hard about my beliefs. For some 35 years now, I’ve been trying to wrap my arms around just what elements of various systems of belief “work” for me, and those that don’t. There is a lot of Eastern thinking that has an outsized role in how I think, from Tao/Dao to Chan to Zen. I hold some of that thinking in the realm of the philosophical branch of my belief systems and they act as a compass for my beliefs, which are separate and apart from my philosophical values. And those philosophical values are just mostly informed by the Eastern thought (I’m going to reduce it to “Tao” or “Zen” moving forward, and interchangeably so; we can argue about my reasons sometime at a later time, if it really bugs you), as I have been known to find value in some Western thinking as well (existentialism has a role, as far as I am concerned, as does absurdism, amongst others). And, while I think I have a decent grasp on those philosophies as they pertain to me, I’ve never seriously sat down and codified my actual belief system.

Over intermittent posts moving forward, I think I might try to rationalize my beliefs “in the open” to see if I can make something cohesive about it. Or, perhaps, it will always be a chaotic mess that only I can grasp.

Continue reading “Things I’m Putting Back Inside My Head (Autumn, part 1)”

rebirth red

©2022 Michael Raven

heather my head
stone wrought gairm
let no lies be shared
swordpierced hollow
under water thrashing
my head
nightcry, wolfkin
nightcry, owl
cast me in western hues
for the feast
in three with me

cauldron kept
we rebirth, beating
the sides red 

Clouds under the sea

©2022 Michael Raven

I wish I had words. I suspect I do not have words because there are no words that work with what I want to convey. I also strongly suspect that we might have to create a whole new language and, with it, a whole new culture and way of life for me to convey the what of my mind’s meanderings.

Seems like an overwhelming ask, just so you can hear what I am trying to say.

It helps not at all that my vision is obscured by dark spider silk laced over my eyes, something that allows sight, but only a sight that manifests darkly. I can apprehend the edges of things, if only moment to moment, things that seem invisible to everyone else. Here: take this shallow, dark blue bowl of water and gaze into it… What do you see?

I know: water. And under that: that deep sea of blue porcelain, chipped in places as to mask the dream.

Maybe it is only my dream.

Mama went to the doctor and the doctor said…

And you see, that is my personal gnosis (reach out and touch faith) which cannot be confirmed because the words do not exist and my vision is blurred by shadows and dark filigree falling like spun lace from ancient looms. Gunmetal grey.

no more monkeys jumping on the bed.

Look to the clouds. Tell me what you see.

Ahh, there… we touch on it together.


Now look to the clouds under the sea.