Thursday, May 31, 2007

Trash Can Tikis

Discovery channel tonight has neat story of mankind, cavemen and such.

Living things are older than the granite hereabouts.

When I read about the Gundestrup Cauldron one site had it that some think it is the Holy Grail. And I was trying then, this a few posts back, to fill out Honi the Circle Drawer, and magic circles. One site noted the many circular things that have magic, or mystical qualities, and mentioned bird nests.

They, I think, might be the Holy Grail--bird nests. A circle with eggs.

Circles are completion the bases in baseball.

Here's a site with Honi, the Seven Sleepers, and a lot of circles...

Well, I've got too many threads going at the same time!! For the moment here I'm trying to recall that the cauldron, or grail, wait, that was it!! brb..well foo, couldn't find it...thought was that the grail is the milky way...where did I see that!?

Didn't buy the car.

Hiker's bus begins tomorrow...Monday I can go to the meadows, and Teusday to the dentist...

Tree in the Door
May 31, 2007

Trash Can Formation

I've lost my train of thought....
Dynamics make things, and I like to study something not for what it looks like, but what dynamic makes it look that way.
The dynamics of flight make bird's wings and butterflies'. Back by the creek today I found a great place for butterflies. I must have seen a half dozen different ones in just a few minutes. And back there too were these trash cans being stored.
Their unusual topnots was determined by the dynamic of bears breaking into trash cans.
I'm not sure what dynamic compelled the workmen to set them in two ordered rows!! Nearby there are others too lying about like tiki idols. They have a "temple" which I'll get a photo of tomorrow!!
The book, A Soldiers Heart, came and I've read some, but that image I thought could be a euphamism for comets or modern weapons is a modern image by the author. So I cross it off my collection of anceint literary and art references to cataclysims!
It's a slim book, a poem about Suibhne, with a crib. T.S. Eliot's footnotes are a crib. And the Soldier's Heart has some web sites to hook up to, mostly those that are concerned with opposing the war in Iraq.
I dont want to promote that view. But it's about Suibhne, as supposedly is Eliot's Sweeney poems, and Seamus Heaney, I think that's spelled right, has a translation.
My interest in Suibhne goes back to reading Robert Graves, and if I recall right, Graves says Suibhne was cursed with the "flying sickness" for interfering in the prebattle negotiations of the two sides respective Druids. They were on a hill, and Suibhne tossed his spear at them, he didn't trust the negotiations, and missed, and one whirled around and threw straw at Suibhne and as a consequence Suibhne caught the "flying sickness", grew feathers, and took to the woods as a wild man who flys about the tree tops.
Even the 1910 text doesn't have that, so my memory could be at fault, and when I find again, by reacquiring my books in storage!, the passage in Graves, I'll figure this out.
Oh, David Letterman has Hanna on with an Eurasian Owl and a baby. (earlier a Komodo dragon eating a steak on his desk)...
Suffice to say the "flying sickness" is not "soldier's heart" i.e. mental injury from experiencing war.
Tree in the Door
May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I thought to acquire the tail of this unfortunate Grey Squirrel, yet another Memorial Day auto victim, and something of an ominous omen insomuch as I've plunked down six hundred dollars for a used car after almost four years of not driving-I regard the automobile as an alien invasion. With the tail I thought to make a paintbrush. But all natural things in the park are protected, and I passed by, after disturbing another Grey Squirrel that was snacking on its fellow. Life does that. This was yesterday in the morning as I peddled past on my way to Happy Isles, and a hike to Half Dome.

Tree in the Door
May 29, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

No Post Today

I'm too tired from hiking to post today, until tomorrow.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tube Worms

Tube Worms
(Illustration: Dante and Virgil entering Hell, by William Blake)

Home from work I flip through the channels,
War movies about Vietnam and World War Two (John Wayne),
And Tsunamis and Tornados on National Geographic…
I settle on the Tsunamis and Tornados.

I could probably now never again see a shootemup movie and I wouldn’t miss them,
I’m just at that age I guess, unlike when young and a kid when shootemups seem the things to see. Now they just seem kindof off. Maybe it’s something like hunting, some people like to hunt, others never pursue it. I don’t hunt, and hunting for sport seems kindof off.

I like sports though, I don’t think there’s a game with a ball that I haven’t played. And I have a little bit above average knack for them, anymore and I probably been able to play professional sports.

Kill Bill was on this morning, and Tarantinos movies are disturbing. In a way they are art movies about the stock scenes in movies…an Ekphrasis too.
There’s this movie, Young Guns, which I never had any compulsion to see, but I watched it one night, yet another story of Billy the Kid , and thought, it’s a bit exaggerated! But I wikipediaied Billy the Kid and found that nearly every shootemup scene was based substantially on what really happened. Now, it’s Hollywood hyped with the sountrack, goodlooking actors, and pistols that never run out of bullets, but it was historical.

I have that sense with Kill Bill, again I watched it with grim curiosity, having heard so much about it, and not long ago seen Pulp Fiction, which has the same sense to it, and the sense is that it is based on actual sense—things really do happen like the scenes in the movie, however hyped they are by the soundtrack, goodlooking actors, and pistols that never run out of bullets!! “Like a Nicaraguan massacre…”

But I’m not going do a Tarantino like Ekphrasis with this blog. It is an art blog on the scenes in the media, but I’m going to have some limits, follow the guidelines set forth by Horace in his Ars Poetica. LetmeseeifIcanget the pertinent bits….


The business of the drama must appearIn action or description.
What we hear,
With weaker passion will affect the heart,
Than when the faithful eye beholds the part.
But yet let nothing on the stage be brought
Which better should behind the scenes be wrought;
Nor force th' unwilling audience to behold
What may with grace and eloquence be told.
Let not Medea, with unnatural rage,
Slaughter her mangled infants on the stage;
Nor Atreus his nefarious feast prepare,
Nor Cadmus roll a snake, nor Progne wing the air;
For while upon such monstrous scenes we gaze,
They shock our faith, our indignation raise.


End quote
No one seems to get indignant 'bought much anymore!!

So, the day to day frightful things in the news, will be in this blog “off stage”.

Credit Tarantino with his exaggeration at getting at a depiction of things as they are. Picasso's “ekphrasis”, Guernica, of the 1937 bombings in Spain, did the same, and a replica hangs in the UN foyer.
(This goes here: from wiki
A tapestry copy of Picasso's Guernica is displayed on the wall of the United Nations building in New York City, at the entrance to the Security Council room. It was placed there as a reminder of the horrors of war. Commissioned and donated by Nelson Rockefeller, it is not quite as monochromatic as the original, using several shades of brown. On February 5, 2003 a large blue curtain was placed to cover this work, so that it would not be visible in the background when Colin Powell and John Negroponte gave press conferences at the United Nations. On the following day, it was claimed that the curtain was placed there at the request of television news crews, who had complained that the wild lines and screaming figures made for a bad backdrop, and that a horse's hindquarters appeared just above the faces of any speakers. Diplomats, however, told journalists that the Bush Administration pressured UN officials to cover the tapestry, rather than have it in the background while Powell or other U.S. diplomats argued for war on Iraq. [9]
end quote)
The painting has lore...

It’s a strange time, but they all seem to have had their own strangeness.

A poem…

The Televised Tale
…Before me there were no created things, Only eterne, and I eternal last. All hope abandon, ye who enter in!" These words in sombre colour I beheld Written upon the summit of a gate; Whence I: "Their sense is, Master, hard to me!"
Dante translated by Longfellow

Well, if I too had Virgil to listen to on my hikes, that would be fine,
But Dante, while the scenery hereabouts has been called hellish,
It is for the most part divine.

Oh, I could tell you and Virgil another long narration,
The comedic televised tale of my time,
An innovation to make pale Old Hell’s population.

Feb. 17, 2007

Now, the strange creatures under the sea growing near a fumarole is on the tube…
Tube Worms….”the longest living animals on the earth”.

I’m not sure if they meant agewise, or just length! Age it is…200 years and more.

Tree in the Door
May 27, 2007

Wheel Within a Wheel

Well, I was going to do a post on "Evil Mountain: Repository of All Our Fears".

The Russians have been building a secret redoubt in a mountain called Yamantau, which of course has corresponding redoubts in the US, and every other nation involved in the Cold War, which is the atom bomb threat war. It’s really a terrible and daunting subject. Everyone is, or has built, these Doomesday Mountains. One is a feature in the ending of Terminator Three.

And I got to thinking about mysterious caves and tunnels of the same ilk, some made during modern wars, others I recall from ancient history.

It could make a book!!

But the caves searches landed me on a site about the interior of the earth, which is here:

The core of the earth, which may be a gigantic moon sized hexagonal iron crystal surrounded by a mars sized liquid iron “sky”, is spinning, and spinning just a little faster than the earth’s crust, or a little slower. In fact, and I find this intriguing, in 120 years, or 360 years, it laps the crust, or the crust laps it, I think. So the Earth is like two planets, one inside the other.

I have this notion that the earth is set like a clock at 365 days, but it's off by five days, and here the core is at the right "time" 360 days, I think! Foo, I'll have to study this out. How many days in the core's year?? *

A wheel within a wheel.

That’s what a Throne is, an Angel Throne I mean. Thrones are depicted as a wheel within a wheel with rows of eyes.

How odd…
Illustration from an old edition of Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth".
from wiki:
Mars has a relatively pronounced orbital eccentricity of about 9%; of the other planets in the solar system, only Mercury shows greater eccentricity. Mars’ average distance from the Sun is roughly 230 million km (1.5 AU) and its orbital period is 687 (Earth) days. The solar day (or sol) on Mars is only slightly longer than an Earth day: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds. A Martian year is equal to 1.8809 Earth years, or 1 year, 320 days, and 18.2 hours.
Mars' axial tilt is 25.19 degrees, which is similar to the axial tilt of the Earth. As a result, Mars has seasons like the Earth, though on Mars they are about twice as long given its longer year. Mars passed its aphelion in June 2006 and is now heading for its perihelion in June 2007.
Venus hasn't been set...yet.

Tree in the Door
May 26, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007



When I came home from work, and turned the TV on (first thing I do…news tonight had it watching TV raises blood sugar, and this found studying diabetic kids!) and the movie Tomb Raider was on towards the very end. It has a time travel scene, and Laura Croft goes back in time to see her Dad….shades of Dr. Who Episode 8 last night!

Well, I wanted to study the plot, so I google that up and a site explains that the contraption spinning around in the final scenes is an orrey.

Didn’t know what that was, and googled that! It’s a mechainical solar system model, and that got me to reading again about that ancient Greek astrolab, who's story is here:

Which then leads to a bit on the Mayan Doomesday, December 21, 2012. Which is here:

Whole problem seems to be the solar system is passing through the plane of the Milky Way galaxy!

Illustration is by old artist James Wright, A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrey.

Horry stole the series from the Suns…

Tree in the Door
May 25, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dangers of Meddling with Time

Dangers of Meddling with Time

Watching Dr, Who tonight, a strange episode of time travel, and fantastic creatures that appear when time is altered, and they’ve eaten the whole world almost, except for Dr. Who’s friend and a wedding party holed up in a church. She only tried to go back in time and stop her Dad from being run down in a car accident. They’re refuge is a cathedral and bat like creatures fly about and crawl trying to get in. I don’t watch the show often enough to know the characters. I wont give the end away, but it is a both sad and happy ending.

The cold has me worn out, and I wanted to work on a St. Francis post. I have an illustration of one of his visions of thrones. Regular thrones it seems, not the angel thrones, but I have to research it out.

Sheesh, now PBS has a show about the show, how it was made and all. “Somethings are not meant to be meddled with…” And that’s the opinion of the Dr. Who actor!!

Movie Anaconda gave me nightmares…this one will too!!
Well, here I found the story of the vision of the thrones (Catholic encyclopedia on web):
"When the morning came, Francis' companion returned to the church and found him prostrate before the altar, so he waited for him outside the choir and then also began to pray devoutly before the cross. And behold he went into ecstasy and saw among the many thrones in heaven one that was more honorable than all the rest, ornamented with precious stones and radiant with glory. He wondered at this noble throne and whose it might be, and while he was thinking about these things, he heard a voice saying to him: 'This throne belonged to one of the fallen angels but now it is reserved for humble Francis.'
"At length, coming back to himself, the brother saw Francis returning from his prayers. He quickly prostrated himself at Francis' feet and spoke to him, not as one living but as one already reigning in heaven: 'Father, pray to the Son of God for me that He will not impute my sins to me.' Francis stretched out his hand and raised him up, recognizing that he must have been shown something in his prayers.
"As they began to leave that place, the brother asked blessed Francis, "Father, what is your opinion of yourself?' And Francis replied, 'It seems to me that I am the greatest of sinners, for if God had treated any criminal with such mercy as he has shown to me, that man would have been ten times more spiritual than myself.' But the Holy Spirit said in the heart of the brother, 'Know that the vision you saw was in fact true, for humility will raise this humble man to the throne that was lost through pride.'" Thomas of Celano, Second Life 123
Things to consider tomorrow....

Tree in the Door
May 24, 2009

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Uriel and The Feast of Trumpets

Uriel and The Feast of Trumpets

It gets curioser and curioser…

I thought to google up Uriel…I’ve been wanting to work angelology into the blog, as I find it charming! A bit ago in a discussion I put forth the notion that all nations, regardless of their political make up, have a throne. Sort of like every Major League Baseball team has a stadium. When the crowd is in the stadium the playing field comes “alive”, and the game and players take on aspects that just aren’t there when the seats are empty. And fans are loyal to their team, win or lose, much as the people of a nation are patriotic. Oh, it’s just the same thing exactly.

But, but anyway, having expressed all this on a whim I thought to fill it out with a google search of “thrones”…see if yet again, as usually happens, my inventive thought had a precedent, as in ‘there’s nothing new under the sun". And anyway, anyway, I google ‘thrones’ and discover something I hadn’t suspected, that there is a class of angels called “thrones”! I didn’t know angels were classified…though watching Charmed should have clued me to that!!

Now, this was a few weeks ago and has been rattling about in my head, but the blog posts have brought me to Uriel, who is of the angel class Cherubim. So I’ve come to Angels by two “threads”, Uriel, and Thrones.

And googling Uriel tonight I latched onto Uriel being the angel with the flaming sword that guards the Garden of Eden, Paradise, ever since Adam and Eve were kicked out.

One of the first sites I visited has it that the Flaming Sword is a euphemism for a comet or comets . And along with that, has it that this comet, a harbinger of the “end times”, is to arrive at the Feast of Trumpets in 2007.

I didn’t know what day this Feast falls on, and hoping it had come and gone, I googled Feast of Trumpets. It’s in October. So it’ll be a wait and see!

I had been thinking to discuss the imagery in the Book of Revelations as referring to astronomical catastrophes like comets and meteors striking the earth. That gets done a lot, but not so much as war. The “War in Heaven” is a popular preoccupation!!

The elaboration of these subjects is so extensive, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and all the other religions too, that it makes no sense for me to add much. I doubt if I could!!

But on reading about the Feast of Trumpets, which includes the tale of seven trumpets announcing the end times, I recalled King Tut’s trumpet….

And while I read about this trumpet long before the web, I’m not surprised that just googling “king tut’s trumpet” brings up the tale. And even a recording!

Here’s one site:

It’ll give you goose bumps….
An addenda...
I did some more word searches, and here's a site that looks to cover the same ground as the book "Uriel's Machine"...and it has at the end of the page links to old Irish Welsh tales like the Madness of Suibhne, many of which I've read. They are culling them for possible imagery, euphemisms, of comets of meteor strikes.
I'll have to hunt up the Pygmy story, there was an author who wrote about Pygmies that had all this comets and tsunamis and upheavels...

Tree in the Door
May 23, 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Whart Suibhne sees...

What Suibhne sees...

Well, on the tube is a National Geographic show Secret Yosemite, so this post is a special Ekphrasis.

It's all about Souvenirs....

But back to Suibhne.

Buile Shuibhne

I found these sites,, and a 1910 text, trying to source Patricia Monaghan's version of a scene:


I was on a small hill in the center of the storm. Men fell around me like rain. I
heard something like thunder. I looked up.
Five heads flew out of the sky at me. Faces twisted in anger and death. Mouths
open in the small circle of death. Blood streaming from their severed
necks, streaming like clouds at sunset.

Soldier's Heart: The Book Of Sweeney by Patricia Monaghan


Now, these heads could be comets, or a vision of modern weaponery, and here’s another curio from yesterday…


The theory of Uriel's Machine is postulated in a book of the same name by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas.[1]

The book supposes that ancient (pre-historic) European (and by extension British) astronomers developed a stellar calendar. The author then suggests that the Book of Enoch records that an archangel by the name of Uriel warned Enoch about the impending flood and gave him instructions for building a form of calendar so that crops could be re-planted. This is then compared with the early roots of religion and archaeoastronomy in Britain and suggests that Uriel was in fact a mortal 'astronomer priest' from Britain who sought to spread his knowledge.
In masonic mythology there are many references to seven, which could refer to seven cometary fragments, although it is not clear why masons should have any relevance to supposed events in prehistory, apart from the fact the Freemasonry claims a mythical history which began before the Biblical Flood. These seven cometary fragements are described in the book as hitting the earth in prehistory causing tsunamis.


Seven sleepers, seven comets…the number seven is a favorite…the senses have seven holes in our heads…hence sleepers could mean senses asleep.

a poem


I’ve yet to figure out what to do in the High Country
When the thunder clouds move in…
I awake in my tent and hope the aluminum stays don’t attract a bolt,
Or cuddel in my poncho deep in the forest listening to the raindrops,
Or hurry to come down from a peak watching the clouds materialize and marching towards me.
A souvenir: A bolt striking Cathedral
Seen from where I camped by the lake in ignorance of the no camping sign!!

Tree in the Door
May 22, 2007


Monday, May 21, 2007

Double Spiral

Quote from web:
According to Uriel's Machine by Knight and Lomas (2003) the triple spiral may represent the nine month period of human pregnancy, since the sun takes a fourth of a year to go from the celestial equator (an equinox) to extreme north or south declination (a solstice), and vice versa. During each three-month period, the sun's path across the sky appears to form a closely-wound quasi-helical shape, which can be likened to a spiral, so that three spirals could represent nine months, providing an explanation for a link between fertility and the triple-spiral symbol.


Well. My own explanation of the Celtic spirals is close to this. Sometimes there are two spirals and what I see is a representation of the waxing and waning seasons. As days get short they “spiral” inward, and and as they get longer they “spiral” outward. Spirals are a common motif all over the ancient world and in one sense I think they represent days getting longer and shorter.

In looking about the web, there is a lot out there about spirals (see turf maze), but one site’s take on them has caught my eye. In explaining the New Grange spirals it points to the snake like zig zag representations as being derived from a common snake in Europe. Well, snake’s coil, making a natural spiral, or maze. So, they would represent the passage of the year as well. And a zig zag can be night and day. Checkerboard patterns, running coils often use in Greek designs, also can do this.

The seated horned man holding the snake is holding the “year”. And the round neck torque, so common an ornament of the Celts, probably reiterates this.

I don’t know how close to the truth of things the spiral Sherlocks are, but its universal appeal is without a doubt.

The spiral can also represent the waxing and waning moon; all the planets too, their cycles.

And the most charming thing about spirals is they appear naturally in Nature. Clam shells are like joined spirals, a double spiral.

May 21, 2007
Tree in the Door

Gundestrup Cauldron

Gundestrup cauldron

I was looking for a pic of Suibhne, but only could find that he is portrayed sometimes as having deer horns, like a Celtic horned god, and this led to the image on the Gundestrup cauldron of a seated man with deer horns, holding a torque and a ram headed snake, and surrounded by an assortment of animals.

Now, there all kinds of things said about this cauldron, but one site has a bit where the author explains that the images are astronomcal, that it is a kind of zodiac. Which makes sense to me. The telling point is that the figures have their arms raised, much like the figures in the famous zodiac of Dendera.

Nearly everything in anicient art is somehow tied into astronomy, the changing seasons, the calendar, and sequences living things go through in life. The book Hamlet’s Mill goes into this, but offers no explanation of how so many diverse ancient cultures come up with the same images and tales.

Suibhne Geilt. I didn’t know what “geilt” referred too, but it is a word that means a wild kindof nature poet, or something.

And I’m trying to make something of St. Francis that fits in all this. One site already has, calling itself the Fourth Order of St. Francis and Clare. Francis dreamt up three orders, and this site has added a fourth—geilts!

I have a genius for thinking up things only to find someone else already has!

I’d like to tie the Homeridae into this too!

Some of the sites I visited and recommend. I bought the Soldier’s Heart on Amazon.


Yes, Breddelwyn, the "Geilt" is indeed a separate classification of Celtic poet, apart from the standard and more formal categories of Fili, Ca'inte, and so forth. Some scholars believe that Merlin was a composite of several different figures, one of which may have been Suibhne Geilt (Mad Sweeney) or the Scottish Lailokin. The Geilt is a crazed hermit, usually driven mad by events connected with battle or war. They run wild in the forest, eat no meat but only plants (watercress, in Suibhne's case)and milk, and can move with supernatural grace through the treetops. The Geilt offers mainly nature poetry, of course, in keeping with his shamanic character.

103. Cu Geilt ( Geilt; Irish, A Person Who Inhabits Woods ); His Son; A Quo O Caillte; Anglicised Kielty, Quilty, Galt, Wood, And Woods.
* Geilt; Thius Word, According To O Briens Dictionary, Originally Meant ( A Wild Man Or Woman, One That Inhabits Woods Or Deserts) Coill And Coillte; Irish, Woods. Welsh Guylht ( A Wild Man And Gelhtydh Wood ) Compare Both Irish Words Geilt And Coillte, And The Latin Celtae, And The Hebrew Work Celat, ( Refuge ); Fir Tge Caltae Frequented The Woods And Groves, Either For Their Places Of Refuge And Residence, Or To Perform Their Religious Rites And Other Ceremonies.

The Fourth Order of Francis and Clare
As the world considers the path of war, poet Patricia Monaghan offers us the wisdom of Mad Sweeney, Suibhne Geilt, in these compelling new poems and translations of the famous twelfth century Middle Irish narrative.

Let us now ask which of the images on the Gundestrup Cauldron might be Lugh, and to what constellation he might correspond.The central image, the Horned One, is quite arresting. The other images on the panel are the neighboring constellations; subject to artistic license, they are in the right places. Ursa Major is turned around to face the Horned One to express his vassalship. Clockwise from the lower right, the following constellations can be recognized: Leo Major and Minor, Hydra, Boötes, Hercules / Ophiuchus (bearing horns), the Ass (an obsolete constellation), Ursa Minor, Delphinus, and Capricornus.On comparing the central Horned One with Boötes on the star chart, one sees a compelling likeness: the Buddhic position of the legs, and the torc on his right arm corresponding in position with Corona Borealis; this was also Lugh's sling or Mes Gegra's brain.Very anciently, the Horned One was resident in the constellation of Menat, which was Hercules plus Ophiuchus. As precession continued, the sky position of Menat ceased to signal the autumnal equinox, so the Horned One moved on into Boötes.As mentioned earlier, snakes were used to mark important circles on the celestial sphere; for instance, Hydra marked the equator. Around 7500 BC the colure (meridian) of the autumnal equinox was marked by Serpens Caput, the snake in the hand of Menat. By 5000 BC the colure had moved to the staff in the left hand of Boötes.The maker of the Gundestrup Cauldron depicted the staff as a mythical serpent; it is to be explained as an attribute transferred from Menat. The staff could also be imagined as the upwardly extended left arm. This sky figure was none other than Lugh Lamhfhada, of the Long Arm, who was similar to the Indian god Savitar, of the Wide Hand (Mac Cana 1970).In the story of How Finn Got His Name, the Long Arm became the fish fork. Therefore, Lugh was a manifestation of the ancient Cernunnos, formerly dwelling in Menat, but later in Boötes. By this time he was called Lugh or Finn.


Tree in the Door
May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Madness of Sweeny

It is my wont to gather in things from the web. The following continues yesterday’s curios….

76 ‘Welcome in sooth is your coming here, Suibhne’, said Moling, ‘for it is destined for you to be here and to end your life here ; to leave here your history and adventures, and to be buried in a churchyard of righteous folk ; and I bind you,’ said Moling, ‘that however much of Ireland you may travel each day, you will come to me each evening so that I may write your history.’
77 Thereafter during that year the madman was visiting Moling. One day he would go to Innis Bo Finne in west Connacht, another day to delightful Eas Ruaidh, another day to smooth, beautiful Sliabh Mis, another day to ever-chilly Benn Boirche, but go where he would each day, he would attend at vespers each night at Teach Moling.


Thinking about the time travel of Honi and the Seven Sleepers, I thought of Suibhne and this passage which refers to his traveling. He gets around.
In the UFO lore there are now some pictures from medieval times that have portrayals of strange aircraft in them. Another post I’ll locate those.

But in ancient literature there are instances of strange things which now can be possibly understood from the discoveries of modern science.

I find the way the story of Suibhne is told really neat. There will be a passage in prose telling the story, then it breaks into a poem which often goes over the same thing, but extends it.

This following maybe the most famous part…

36 Loingseachan : ‘O Suibhne from lofty Sliabh na nEach, thou of the rough blade wert given to wounding ; for Christ’s sake, who hath put thee in bondage, grant converse with thy foster-brother.
Hearken to me if thou hearest me, O splendid king, O great prince, so that I may relate gently to thee tidings of thy good land.
There is life for none in thy land after thee ; it is to tell of it that I have come ; dead is thy renowned brother there, dead thy father and thy mother.
Suibhne : If my gentle mother be dead, harder is it for me to go to my land ; ’tis long since she has loved my body ; she has ceased to pity me.
Foolish the counsel of each wild youth whose elders live not ; like unto a branch bowed under nuts ; whoso is brotherless has a gaping side.
Loingseachan : There is another calamity there which is bewailed by the men of Erin, though uncouth be thy side and thy foot, dead is thy fair wife of grief for thee.
Suibhne : For a household to be without a wife is rowing a rudderless boat, ’tis a garb of feathers to the skin, ’tis kindling a single fire.
Loingseachan : I have heard a fearful and loud tale around which was a clear, fierce wail, ’tis a fist round smoke, however, thou art without sister, O Suibhne.
Suibhne : A proverb this, bitter the . . . —; it has no delight for me—; the mild son rests on every ditch, a sister loves though she be not loved.
Loingseachan : Calves are not let to cows amongst us in cold Araidhe since thy gentle daughter, who has loved thee, died, likewise thy sister’s son.
Suibhne : My sister’s son and my hound, they would not forsake me for wealth ’tis adding loss to sorrow ; the heart’s needle is an only daughter.
Loingseachan : There is another famous story—; loth am I to tell it—; meetly are the men of the Arada bewailing thy only son.
Suibhne : That is the renowned drop (?) which brings a man to the ground, that his little son who used to say ‘daddy’ should be without life.
It has called me to thee from the tree, scarce have I caused enmity, I cannot bear up against the blow since I heard the tidings of my only son.
Loingseachan : Since thou hast come, O splendid warrior, within Loingseachan’s hands, all thy folk are alive, O scion of Eochu Salbuidhe.
Be still, let thy sense come, in the east is thy house, not in the west, far from thy land thou hast come hither, this is the truth, O Suibhne.
More delightful deemest thou to be amongst deer in woods and forests than sleeping in thy stronghold in the east on a bed of down.
Better deemest thou to be on a holly-branch beside the swift mill’s pond than to be in choice company with young fellows about thee.
If thou wert to sleep in the bosom of hills to the soft strings of lutes, more sweet wouldst thou deem under the oak-wood the belling of the brown stag of the herd.
Thou art fleeter than the wind across the valley, thou art the famous madman of Erin, brilliant in thy beauty, come hither, O Suibhne, thou wast a noble champion.

Where I got this…

I never had the opportunity to read this whole story, but now can on the web. When I found this site I had been reading about St. Francis and have a wonder that the two stories might be related. More on that tomorrow…

And let me add this, which I found looking for a picture of Suibhne, as it gets at the pertinence of Suibhne’s story, and St. Francis…

Irish myth tells of two parallel figures who suffered from Soldier's Heart. One was Mis, a young woman of Kerry who saw her father struck down in battle as she watched. Running to his side, she found him still warm, his blood streaming from the last desperate pumps of his dying heart. She leaned over him and took his blood in her cupped palms and drank it. Then she ran, screaming, from the battlefield.
The other myth is set on the opposite side of the island, in northern Ulster. There the king, Suibhne (Sweeney), was leading his warriors in the battle of Mag Rath when the noise of the battle grew too much for his senses. He looked up and saw something dreadful in the sky and, his wits leaving him, raced from the battlefield and disappeared.
That’s something too. The “something” in the sky!

‘Till tomorrow…

Tree in the Door
May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beyond the Cavern of the Seven Sleepers

Beyond the Cavern of the Seven Sleepers

That’s a line from one of Robert Graves poems, and referenced I knew not what until I googled it.* In it’s context it clearly meant something to overcome, and I thought maybe a seven headed dragon or something. But no, the Seven Sleepers is a famous medieval story. When the Roman’s were persecuting the Christians, seven youths took refuge in a cave, and the Romans sealed them in it. They went to sleep for two hundred years! And when they awoke, without aging, and left the cave, they found Rome transformed into a Christian nation.

That’s a fine tale, but the no aging part has caught my eye.

In the Terminator films, when they begin, Arnold comes from the future enveloped in an energy time traveling bubble of some sort, and when it drops him off it leaves a circle of fire. Now, on first seeing this, I thought of magic circles. Magicians make magic circles, and there’s one famous one in particular, Honi the Circle Drawer.

On a whim I looked him up too last nite, and in his story he goes to sleep and doesn’t age for seventy years. (His story is that he sits stubbornly in a circle until God makes it rain—Honi is a Rainmaker).

Now, that’s odd, and there’s a movie, Flight of the Navigator, where a kid goes to sleep for a number of years and wakes up in a future time.

I could fill in the steps of how I leapt around here, but that’s for another time.

But the no aging thing, and traveling forward in time, that’s right out of Einstein, the Theory of Relativity, and traveling at light speed.

A curio, that’s what I call these things!!!
*In googling about I noticed a connection of Camelot with Seven Sleepers, and tracking that out found that legend has it that King Arthur is asleep in a cave with seven sleeping Knights of the Round Table, and that theses seven represent stars in the Big Dipper, or Ursus Major, the Big Bear--are they all sleeping in a bear cave?? They await a day when England is in peril, when they will awake and come to aid. This may be what Graves' is about. A neat thing is that the Round Table may represent the revolving night stars. That's cool! This will get it's own take/post!!
Oh, I should ad that there is a juvenile Christian book series based on the Seven the book the juvenile heros awaken in a post apocalyptic world to battle the evil Sanhedran. I dont know how the Sanhedran receently regenerated, or at least an attempt by some theologians, takes to that!!

Tree in the Door
May 17, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cythera and the Ephemeral Sierra

Ansel Adam's called the Sierra The Range of Light, no wait, that might be John Muir, letme check...Muir!, Adam's has a book, Yosemite and the Range of Light.
It's ephemeral.
The mountains are so ancient, and solid granite hereabouts, but the play of light on them gets everyone's attention. For photographers it is an ultimate challenge. Aritists just give in, take what they can from a field sketch, or a reference photo, and try to recall what they see and put into the picture. The light is ephemeral and constantly changing--the Ephemeral Mountains.
(hooey! already a book of that title!)
The rainbows are what maybe most express this. I call Yosemite sometimes The Valley of the Rainbows. And there's moonbows, this time of year with a full moon and the Falls full, a moonbow shows up at the lower Falls. I imagine at the other falls too...I hadn't thought of that...worth a nite trek to Vernal.
One nite my roommate dragged me out to see a moonbow around the moon (it may have been a circumhorizonal arc thing). I tried to photograph it, but all I have is a recollection. It looked like the aura around the Catholic saint so popular in roommate being Catholic was totally taken with it, much as I was with the Circumhorizontal arc which I saw for the first time on my first time atop Half Dome. In the High Country these are quite common.
You never know if you will ever see again the things you see in the Sierra.
When I come back from a hike, hiking back, my back is turned to what I've seen, many paddle on back with nary a care, but I'm all the time glimpsing back, looking back from the bus window at Tenaya and Pywaick.
It is truly sad, and I suppose it's the sadness that is in beauty. Watteau captured it in his famous painting in the illustration, Leaving from Cythera.
Tioga is open, and the hiker's bus begins June 1.
Wiki has a bit on Cythera, spelled Kythera.
Tree in the Door
May 16, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Christian Virtue Channel

Let me go back to the first line of Souvenir as it is puzzling me.

"Oh, from a Christian virtue channel that was engaging awhile,"

It maybe should have been "Christian virtues", but as it is there might be other "virtue" channels. I'll leave that to contemplation.

A down day, down in the sense I just didn't have enough energy to do much after yesterday's hike up the Falls, and just layed down in my bunk a lot!


Tree in the Door

May 15, 2007


Well, this last bit is easily understood if one has read Andre Norton’s Star Man’s Son. And if one hasn’t, and I explain it, it might give away the story. Suffice to say scientist have developed a sub culture of sorts where they see their efforts in a continuum: discoveries leading to more discoveries. Like Archimedes, they are preoccupied. Before science the continuum was the purview of poets.

Star Men’s (and Women’s) sons (and daughters)
Astride their cats
Will sift the ruins for their memories.

About DavidDavid…

I’ve started signing off on things this way as people keep saying, “David, David, David…” often while shaking their heads.

DolphinWords. Long before the marketing of domain names I made this one up. See John Lilly.

And about signing off with Yosemite..

I sign off where I am, something I notice poets do, notably Robert Graves who took up refuge in Majorca. I am at some risk doing this, as anyone is using their name and place on the web, but I am of the opinion I better be just exactly who I am. Already my name has been usurped, so I’m hereabouts for any questions or correspondence. Kids have imaginary friends, I have imaginary readers! As refuges go, Yosemite might be the ultimate redoubt.

May 14, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007


The next bit of "Souvenir" references the TV show, Jericho, which is a post nuclear war story. I used wikipedia to remind myself of the story of Jericho in the Bible, but here I’m using it a bit different. Soldiers tramp and cities tremble, and the sense may not come across that “Jericho” is all of us in our cities, and they still stand. That’s what I was aiming at. That the ancient Israeli’s were doing the tramping is neither here nor there, the tramping is war.

So many have trampled
And made Jericho tremble.

Nonetheless, out there in web, and I mean out there, controversy rages among theologians of the ancient past and more recent past centering on Jews and Israel. Simply put, the Holocaust of WW2 in Germany where millions of Jews, and others too, died, is set beside the stories in the Bible, in an effort to point out that the ancient Israeli’s committed genocides too.

I’ve wondered about this my ownself as the Angel of Death in the Exodus story seems ungodly cruel.

But in the past were cruel times, ancient and recent. People have been ungodly cruel.

God can certainly inspire a person, or a whole nation of people, but that doesn’t mean God is that person or nation. And clearly the ungodly things they do are just that, inspight of their exhortations that they are doing God’s will.

Prince I think did care when he wrote 1999.

Tree in the Door
May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Oops out of time

Today’s bit from “Souvenir”…

“And then there’s our Prince,
Who missed with 1999…”

I saw the news footage of Prince performing at Superbowl time when I wrote Souvenir, and that’s how he got in there. He was being Devilish. And one of the charms of the web is I can now read lyrics to songs I’ve always had trouble understanding. I hear okay, but rock and roll lyrics, and Spanish lessons have always escaped me!

Here’s some of the lyric…

“I was dreamin' when I wrote this

Forgive me if it goes astray

But when I woke up this mornin'

Coulda sworn it was judgment day

The sky was all purple

There were people runnin' everywhere

Tryin' 2 run from the destruction

U know I didn't even care

'Cuz they say two thousand zero zero party over

Oops out of time

So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999”

I think I might make the same caveat regarding “Sourvenir”: forgive me if I go astray.

But Prince’s words are really good. While I’m writing, CNN is doing a documentary on Iraq, Month of Mayhem, with a British or Austrailian newsman narrating.

And that song was written in 1983, and all those years leading up to the turn of the century it was a kindof party anthem.

Party singing for me is singing, Take me out to the ball game… during the seventh inning stretch! But I can see/hear Joan Jett singing, I love rock and roll…

Songfacts on the web has the best collection of rock and roll lore I’ve found.

Tree in the Door
May 12, 2007

The Ruler of this World

"I give my heart so easily to the Ruler of this World..."

There is a Reason
Alison Krauss
{Illustration: Michaelangelo's Last Judgement}

The next bit of “Souvenir”…

“Who’s to say who will compound (or confound) Armageddon
When we see a bogeyman in every bush?”

Well, there’s some puns in the poem, and this far along in the poem lots happens with double senses…the molten metal scene was hellish in Terminator 2, and in some theologies, the Devil rules over this world. Chavez down there in Venezuela called President Bush the Devil. And in the Terminator movies I think Arnold is the villain in the first movie.

These movies are so well known that a kind of short hand can be used to reference them, which is what poems often do. They play off the general knowledge of the reader. This “ekphrasis poem” is playing off the wide general knowledge we all have of apocalyptic stories.

Before I get too far from the first bit, the “sad goodbyes”, I’d like to add that I’ve been going over the endings of films. Films all work on the same few plots, and scenes, and riding off into the sunset is the most common, but this group scene of people saying farewell is common too, and I find very moving. I wonder if Spielberg borrowed from this scene in I’d Climb the Highest Mountain for the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

Back to the Devil… The Devil has a big part in Armegeddon, and his cohorts, and I got to playing with this with the words, Governor, Prince and bogeyman.

The Pope says today the world has slipped into Hedonism. And meanwhile a Mickey Mouse lookalike is being used by a Hamas TV channel to propagandize Palastinian kids into hating Israel.

Next, Prince and his song 1999, which I find a remarkable song.

Tree in the Door
May 11, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Molten Metal

Now, after the first bit, the second bit in “Souvenir” goes:

We surf about and watch our Governor
In an earlier, twice over incarnation,
Slowly lowered into molten metal
With a thumbs up hasta la vista.

Well, Arnold, the star of the movie Terminator 2, is the Governor now of California.

“Surf about” is channel changing with the TV remote control, which is what we did when the other film ended. The final scene of the movie is the terminator being lowered into molten metal to be destroyed least technology from the future fall into the “hands” of the computer.

I could have ended the poem here, but I thought of my Christian friends’ preoccupation with the Book of Revelations and the “end times”, and got a little preoccupied my ownself.

Twice over incarnation refers to Arnold coming back from the future repeatedly. There’s three of these movies.

Arnold is trying to stop that moment in time when things go haywire, and when I got this far with the poem and latched onto this notion of the moment in time, I strung out the rest, preoccupied. Tomorrow I’ll go on to the next bit.

Tree in the Door
May 10, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'd Climb the Highest Mountain

The first line of “Souvenir”, the poem in the first post, goes like this…

“Oh, from a Christian virtue channel that was engaging awhile,
An old time movie with sad goodbyes,”

The blog gives me the opportunity to fill out the sources of the poem.

“Souvenir” is intended to stand on it’s own, by that I mean one needn’t know exactly what movie I was watching, but actually, I was over at some friend’s watching a cable Christian channel, and until tonight I didn’t know what the name of the movie was.

I remembered the actress’s face, but not her name, so tonight I googled through web sites with actresses from the early color movie days, and found her, Susan Hayward. And the movie is “I’d Climb the Highest Mountain”.

I didn’t see the whole movie, and even what I watched was through the distractions of talking and visiting. It was in the background, but the final scene was extraordinary. See it if you have the opportunity.

Tree in the Door
May 9, 2007

Monday, May 7, 2007


{Illustration: Shield of Achilles}

Ekphrasis was the original title of Souvenir, my poem in this blog's first post. I don’t, as rule, and I have a lot of rules, write poems about art. Poets have done that, Ode to a Grecian Urn and such, but I decided a long time ago not to make them that way. Ah, a scruple. Anyway, Ekphrasis refers to making poems about art, Virgil’s description of Achilles’ shield is used as an example. I don’t know why Homer’s isn’t used. Anyway, anyway, I wrote out Souvenir pegging it to movies, the Bible, rock and roll, television shows, and Andre Norton’s book Starman’s Son. And all those terrible things I thought would come to pass if I broke my rule have come to pass, as now there’s this blog.

Ekphrasis poems are okay to write but they totally come apart if the reader isn’t familiar with the artwork being referenced.

Within the confines of this blog I’ll have ekphrasis poems stemming off from TV mostly, and it’s kindof satisfying to do them, but sourcing from what ends up under the bird in the cage, likely means the poems will have a similar fate.

I catch myself working the sentiments of my poems into my day-to-day conversations, and they are not crafted or fashioned, except to the extent that I’m trying to make myself understood, as everyone does.

I read a discussion contemplating why people like difficult poems, and it’s true, readers will respect a sentiment fashioned in a poem more than they will one in prose, especially journalistic prose, or in just talking. Poems trump prose and talk—songs trump poems. And Shakespeare’s verse plays trump everything. Notice Shakespeare left behind no prose that I know of, and his plays are based mostly on classical history, or past English history.

Tree in the Door
May 7, 2007


The illustration yesterday came from this web page. I clicked on the Home and it goes to a really neat site of ancient history. Read the bit about Thermopylae.

Yesterday’s Archimedes thoughts led to reading this page, and here is something that’s a tie in with Souvenir. In Souvenir I reference the Terminator movies. The story goes in those that a computer becomes self-aware and goes to war with humans. The Terminator, Arnold, comes back from the future to try to change history, and find the moment in time where the computer can be stopped—confound Armageddon.

Now, as I mentioned, Archimedes invented war machines, like Leonardo de Vinci. He was in one sense a pure research scientist, but he applied his science for the defense of Syracuse.

And here is what Plato has to say about all this, this in Plutarch quoted from above site.


These machines he had designed and contrived, not as matters of any importance, but as mere amusements in geometry; in compliance with King Hiero's desire and request, some little time before, that he should reduce to practice some part of his admirable speculation in science, and by accommodating the theoretic truth to sensation and ordinary use, bring it more within the appreciation of the people in general.


But what with Plato's indignation at it, and his invectives against it as the mere corruption and annihilation of the one good of geometry, which was thus shamefully turning its back upon the unembodied objects of pure intelligence to recur to sensation, and to ask help (not to be obtained without base supervisions and depravation) from matter; so it was that mechanics came to be separated from geometry, and, repudiated and neglected by philosophers, took its place as a military art.


The notion that a computer takes over is often in the movies, and is in truth it seems a concern, that if the computers are improved with artificial intelligence they can take off on their own. The X-Files had one episode on this, the computer was “living” in a little house trailer, and had access to a ray gun satellite.

Artificial intelligence leads to something called “the singularity”. A point in time in the evolution of computers where they just dispense with human creation and create themselves and evolve on their own.

A less complicated notion is that technology is already evolving on it’s own, taking humanity along willy-nilly.

One wonders if we have computers, or the computers have us.

While watching Michael Douglas in Black Rain…

I dont have a cell favorite spokesperason's brand doesn't reach here...some guys have all the luck.

Tree in the Door
May 6, 2007

Sunday, May 6, 2007



"Noli turbare circulos meos"
"Do not disturb my circles"

Well. I was mulling over things that make me anxious. That began last night while watching the old horror movie, The Fly. I didn’t see it as a kid, but remember everyone at school telling of it, and the “Help me!, Help me!" scene. (Night before I saw old scifi of giant spider!!)

The Fly is a remarkably focused movie, very CSIsih too, though it was mentioned that Vincent Price’s scenes had to be reshot sometimes as he couldn’t stop laughing.

The hark back of the rock crushing the fly in the spider’s web, and the printing press crushing Andre, and the observation by Price that the Inspector, who crushes the fly, has now committed murder in self similar fashion to Andre’s wife, who operated the press, is one of those things we’d dwell on in English class. The Inspector, hoisted as it were, finds it agreeable to find that Andre commited suicide, and his wife innocent…a happy ending. But what anxiety she expressed over flies, believing of course that one was her transformed husband.

The problem of teleportation, explored in the movie, that things don’t get translated exactly, is a common place in uploading and downloading computer things. Computers work it out with ieteration. Multiple copies keep refreshing until errors drop out.

Which is how spacecraft communicate back to earth. One transmission will likely be error filled, so many are made of the same thing, and it works out.

Now, tonight I watched back to back, the robot rovers on Mars, and the probes going out to Pluto. And I thought, how anxiety ridden are these NASA scientists? They seem a happy bunch…so long as their spacecraft are reiterating!!

And I tried to think of someone from history that somehow expresses anxiety, and how to deal with it. By it, I mean something like the news stories coming out of Iraq.

And I thought of Archimedes. As I recall, Archimedes came up with ideas for the defense of Syracuse against the Romans. Sort of like Leonardo’s military inventions, but Syarcuse falls and a Roman soldier happened upon Archimedes engrossed in his mathematical studies, and killed him (see illustration).

Well, clearly Archimedes could set aside it all, and stay focused on his scientific pursuits.

An aside: I once worked moving things with forklifts, and my foreman often was aggravated by the shops as they wouldn’t put what they wanted moved on a pallet so we could move it, and he would say, I can here him talking on the phone…"Put it on a pallet and I’ll move it.” Very Archimedian…

Tree in the Door
May 5, 2007

Friday, May 4, 2007


The 12x came, and I added a 2x, so I have a camera now that zooms out over 600 mm! For a long time I've thought to take pictures and videos of the animals around my cabin, but the 3x digital I have couldn't get close enough. I thought to use a film camera and a 200 mm lens, but I find it very hard to focus on things moving...I think I mentioned that earlier. Anyway, this robin was the first thing I focused on with the long lens this morning.

I had to get a YouTube account, and figure out how to put the video here. By luck, and I suppose my experience with such things, I've gotten it all to work on the first try! But it's late...and watching X files reruns...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Second Arrow

Drumming Up Concern

Concerned that chaos will ensue President Bush has vetoed Congress’ budget bill with the withdrawal from Iraq attached.

Barry Bonds is approaching Hank Aaron’s homerun record.

I don’t think the Lakers can beat the Suns.

Robins run about the forest floor. They run a short ways, then stop, then run, then stop.

Marmots do the same, scrambling over the rocks in the High Country.

My bicycle squeaks and the deer lift their heads from grazing on the Spring grasses.

The Falls are loud and full, and high water is approaching soon, too soon.
The low snow pack means a long dry summer.

The days are a bit crowded with concerns.

A poem....

The Second Arrow

"The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing to do with the people’s parks is to destroy them bit by bit as they are able. Their arguments are curiously like those of the devil, devised for the destruction of the first garden. . . ."

John Muir

Darwin thought of the animals, their pain and suffering…
I’ve seen them aside the trails, wounded or sick, caught in the jaws of Coyote,
And saddened, walked by
As Buddha might advise…
Pain arrives suddenly, or creeps in, the first arrow,
Then thoughts struggle, the second arrow, more painful than the first.
In Norway they chained themselves to the rocks
And that worked somewhat to preserve their waterfall, Mardalsfossen,
Now controlled by hydroelectric sympathy—sometimes flowing, sometimes dammed
And lighting their City.
Hetch Hetchy is dammed now, and few go there, except to hike,
The trails rattlesnake infested in Spring.
Spring is the season of Waterfalls,
And the Sierra haven’t a thought for San Francisco, only water.

Feb. 19, 2007

The chainsaws had approached the cedar, Tree in the Door's cedar, two Springs ago, but a judge stopped them, on John Muir's birthday (April 21, 1938) no less. I've become somewhat chained to it with sentimental fondness. Construction delays and budget shortfalls have postponed I suppose the inevitable. Demolition of the cabin and cutting down many of the pines and cedars hereabouts are in the plans. Not my plans, though I think a promenade to the Falls a good idea. As it is, everyone's in the road with their cameras.