Occultavia (1988)


“Because no retreat from the world can mask what is in your face.” – Gregory Maguire

“What is strange, when the strangest things are born from G_D.” – DS

I thought for a moment that it could be the late hour, the tricks of the night on the eye, the curves of the highway. I thought too much on it at first, and then I thought not on it at all, as the hillside parted, and that which was movement moved.

The space around her appeared barren, the frozen fog closing gaps around her lithe figure, changing not it’s form, yet somehow it changed. That she was the first witch, that I knew, and although there is reason that I should have known it not, yet in that late hour it became a part of me, something in reflection, I would rather it be not.

The years since then, that is something most would address, those many years since I saw, that cold dark spirit. She there in the wood. Still, so still near the highway. She in shadow, not a tale. Not a figment of thought to frighten young children on eves of reckoning. Rather she a witch, a true shadow in the leaves on that winter night. Standing with arms unfolded, inviting. Her song in alien syllables not of this world, but of that which we do not see until we die. But yes, it is the years since then I now address, and I do so carefully, for I think I have seen her once again in the corners of my dreams, and in that I think there is something I should see not.

I could describe that night, in detail, the Ozark mountain highway, the very monochrome world that I drove through. The cold, the moment KFAQ out of Tulsa, went silent, that bend in the road. That place where giants were born from falling angels, after the flood, after Ha Adam. The sifting of red clay and rich dark sediment, where the flood began, and ended. I could tell you all. Still, all would not describe her, standing there at 3:04 A.M. The first witch in darkness. The first witch I have ever seen.

It is written for I cannot say it aloud, that, my darkest thoughts contain G_D. It is in those thoughts that I am judged, for as my name beholds, G_D is my judge. Also, in my thoughts, those darkest thoughts, stands a witch, the first witch. She too implores and judges, and often, as my life moves, I do as I should not, and I look if only briefly into my mirror.

She runs, with her billowing swaths of black cloth moving all around her, she follows chasing, frost and cold about her. and her face I pray, oh her face I pray, I never ever see. – 02.25.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

Zuzan (Banrigh nan Witches)


“I myself have seen this woman draw the stars from the sky; she diverts the course of a fast-flowing river with her incantations; her voice makes the earth gape, it lures the spirits from the tombs, send the bones tumbling from the dying pyre. At her behest, the sad clouds scatter; at her behest, snow falls from a summer’s sky.” – Tibullus

In the act of prelude…

They burn her in the evening near the loch, an inward sea, hairless pilgrims from the Romans, who cannot abide what they cannot see. For they know not love of difference, nor the signs of transformation, so they burn her near the sunset, to set their superstitions free. Maple red it lights the skyway, like her skin in faire degrees, with the screams of a thousand angels as above and below deceived. For she is the heir of hierarchy, the share of all unseen. The voices of her sirens cry come forth thou, my craft it is aggrieved.

First act of the evening…

First I saw her in Lucy’s garden on a snowy Solstice Eve, with the air filled full of wonder, lights around her face and feet. She made me think of some wickedness the kind that is so grand, where you watch the pleasure of a lady, delivered by a softened hand. It seemed she did not notice me, where I was or what I am and it led me to a reason, that I was dreaming or a familiar, from an ancient tribe or clan. In the garden there were statues both alive and some were dead, and not alone some were speaking, and from those her mind seemed fed. And, she laughed in grand gaiety, and smiled her lips so bloody red, and she brought forth life from a cold stone woman, with a kiss upon her hand. Above the snow had stopped falling and shown bright north stars in those snowflakes stead. Not a sound from this garden except the laughter from her mouth, forming spells in passion noises, eagerness building all about.

I saw her look back shyly, her hand it waved my way, the brown ringlets from her brown hair fine, glistened as she swayed. Come with me sweet surveyor within my mind a voice. She led me to a crypt nearby from in it came a noise. She bent the handle without effort and with her hand, she waved, back through time, we entered through a doorway once her grave. The night sky seemed to follow, well before the dawn, down through magic passageways, from whence ghost travel from whence they come. Her body moved so lightly, as so as if to say, nothing has ever owned me, not ever without my say. For with this in mind I traveled from a present course, and arrived back in time so ancient she led me without force.

I came upon an altar in a sudden winters gloom, with ashes it still smoldered by a loch under a winters moon. The queen of all the witches turned to tell me of the ruins. Of all my crazed filled travels in dreams of rare displays. No nothing not of something had ever taken me this way. For it was her in this travel, that I learned of simple things, how the body burned for living, can never be decayed. In the simple act of hatred, in one act of just one play. The building of the sovereign spirit by craft can find its own way. For her story is the cosmos, her travel by air woven sleighs, and she has made her world in forest cathedrals, and there her book of shadows stays.

First, I saw her in Lucy’s garden on a snowy Solstice Eve.

For my Whitby Lady my very own, she who I followed through a garden – 12.23.2018 – דָנִיֵּאל

Tree Line


It’s a quarter till seven, that’s right, and I’m a driving towards first light. Never thought I’d say this now, not sure if I’m ready, but hear it now, my life is in the spirit of wind, along the tree line I’m driving in. I’m not really sure if G_D’s a he or a she, not sure it really matters for their inquiring in me.

I stare upon a tree line on a cold February day, the frozen mist drives north from Boulder, those limbs are darkened gray. The oaks they stand defiant, a division from street to land, but just the same they cannot stop the mist that penetrates their stand. Upon me rides the business of the coming day, to work, and all its details life’s troubles, comes what may. The swarming of the winter this day it seems always, the judgment down from heaven on this road, a right of way. The tree line goes on southward, dividing in its own way. What promise do I wonder does look the other way?

A whisper of a siren, the wetness of a tongue, a glance beyond toward westward, in fog where the trees look on. The fields roll out in body, their magic under sun. A sudden change in climate from pavement to a mystery sum. The question then on this early morn, when fate weighs heavily, to drive on to the fog that is known, or cross the tree line near. What then the voice does echo, does make thy soul draw near, the plainness of the day ahead, with cloudiness and drear.

Over land there draws the energy of the sun, while on this side of the tree line, there seems to be none. Is it something magic in a prayer that I must say, to cross over markers to where your angels play. What is it now that your good, it asks of me, on this side of Jordan here beneath these winter trees. There through the vale now, I see another sun, the better part of harvest, beneath what you have won. A radiance of better grace, a hope that’s better done. I’m driving down this side of fortune, and my spirits come undone. Pick me up, my better, pick me up, I’ve got to run.

This car it has no steering on this cold February day, the daemons hold it’s steering and it heads down straight away. Down there close to honesty, that makes a better man, but he’s worn and he’s dyeing, and he needs your promised land, there you are through the tree line, there you are.

For a moment, just because I can, I turn the wheel and enter a wind filled promised land, and I fly into a better sun I have always known, as my best friend!

It’s a quarter till seven, that’s right, and I’m a driving towards first light. Never thought I’d say this now, not sure if I’m ready but hear it now, my life is in the spirit of wind, along the tree line I’m driving in. I’m not really sure if G_D’s a he or a she, not sure it really matters for their inquiring in me. – 02.11.2018 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Gloria


“Who loves not music and the heavenly muse, That man G_D hates” – John Dowland

Words born in Gloria, my kingdom done, words born in Gloria my kingdom won.

When I was young, Gloria came to me gave herself to me all night long. Rested she spirit while I was learning, sang hallelujah as we were one. Varied the names that I would call her, maybe a him, they all would come. Never a dark valley in my childhood, Gloria made sure my eyes saw none. Some build their holiness as a witness, spending their time toward a grander sum. Waiting for some eternal wisdom, Gloria told me it never comes.

When I grew taller, Gloria was distant, leaving by hours, and days or weeks. No longer did I see her labor, testing my body when I felt her need. Though it was true there were some others muses of old and ancient creeds. One by one in times of haunting, they gave me their words by poems and deeds. Every meaning, they did filter, deviled it’s meaning by faulty belief. So many thoughts did I often falter, never expressed in true relief.

When I was older, voices grew softer, dreams came swifter, their meanings brief. How is it so, I would wonder, did Gloria leave, when I still had need. One such moment, as January grew longer, howling winds, and I couldn’t sleep. Out my window, the moon grew stronger, Gloria appeared, and made my soul complete.

Writing in craft, the spells growing stronger, words like bodies entwined in heat. Gloria, Gloria, adjectives, adverbs, heaven and hell, my sentences complete. Every syllable, comes in a picture, probing my mind, like a pleasure treat. Never before has there been another, the witch of verbiage with tales that speak.

Gloria comes in small bits of timing, teasing my mind when the evening comes. Sometimes she’s ghost in the midst of lightning, mostly she’s air when the pain recedes. I have knelt when the storm was coming, I have risen high when the moon has come, Gloria has been in my dead mind crying, now in the heat of creation we leap. So, it is when I am bleeding, begging relief from the mid-day sun. Torn from my safety of where I’m breathing, book of my shadows a spell undone. Words of a psalm that go by singing, night on a highway, trip not done. Words born in Gloria, my kingdom done, words born in Gloria my kingdom won. – 01.28.2018 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Mina


Mina’s back from America, sitting alone, in the dawn of the gray, her features are sharper than ever, her lips drawn back, with nothing to say. The steamer that brought her to Whitby arrived as quiet as a ghost, a gentleman’s folly for asking, what part of the journey the lady liked most. There’s changes of noticeable character, figures of dress that one should note, a spot of dried mud on satin, also her bust lines much tighter than most. Oh Mina, a matron has mentioned, your eyes have such devilish gay, says Mina, while she is still moving, at night down your body they’ll stray. A gentleman who stops by for calling, who eyed her while she was still in school, makes his visit much shorter, not sure of the discomfort, her sharp wit makes his lust a fool. He arrives his hair salt and pepper, and leaves with it so gray. His steps stumble throughout the garden, he’s heard to mumble, the woman is not so chaste.

Lucy stops by for biscuits, her flowers and dress in taste, what new fun did you find in America she whisper’s, and do I look okay? Mina plucks at an orchid, that sits tendering a tray. She brings it up to her red lips, and murmurs, tonight by the cliffs will that be okay, and oh by the way! He mentions your more than the cost of a fine gem, a singular sin in taste. He said it all in a moment, translucent as always, the case. Mina laughs as if she’s uttered a dark joke, her eyes dash down her friend’s waist. I’ll offer you more of the rest of his wants tonight, by the cliffs I can’t wait.

A shadow filled mist comes to Whitby, a steamer it moves back to sea, four glistening eyes watch from cliffs overhead, aghast at what they can’t leave. A Baphomet moment around them, immortal a spirit treatise. Mina’s back from America, the visit has sealed a found creed. – 04.12.2017 – דָּנִיֵּאל

The Witch Hethavich (1878)


For the want of a dream, old west sorcery in streams, an old bard’s tale found by the Laramie river. It floated so far till it reached a scar. There, look there, in a volcanic cave near some timbers. She’s known by some names but for this tale she’ll remain the Hethavich, may she spell long forever.

The wagon breaks down near Laramie town, the elements not pure enough in the river. For someone unclean, perhaps the priest upstream, has plucked and bled his chickens and spoiled the water. The journeys been long, two days from her home, near the Michigan Ditch sky where she holds her quarter. She’s traveled this way, her hair filled with braids, to Wyoming to help by being a giver.

Of potions she holds, that cure the common cold, and sometimes in magic she delivers. Of headaches and pain, crossed baby’s ingrained, with the flash of her eye’s, most illness leaves with a shiver. A territory she’s told, not yet a state to the fold, but oh the cold it lights her, now in the winter.

So global a matrix that spins in her mind, no one would guess she’s a witch from old rhymes. Her book of secrets is made from the skin of the thighs, of Ivan Vasilyevich’s hide, she his mistress when he died. Playing chess on the last, of the March of ides. But before you grow tiresome, for we all want thrills, on to the present, on to the till.

Near Laramie toward the north side of town is a lady, a lady of the night. She’s whored a certain many, spread her legs for dimes, but now here in the present there’s a man coming from Californy that by his letter would make her his wife. All he asks by seeing her picture, all he wants of a bride, will you be a virgin, for I have been pure my entire life.

And so the need comes in winter, the whore writes to the witch above tree line, the specter that can deliver. And crows they come, so many they come, flying low beneath the cold sun, and the wagon waits still broken by the Laramie river.

Throughout the night the snow does fall, the village gathers to bring its gold, and have a witch heal itch and cold, lice and broken love, those poisons of life so old. So they laugh and watch the whore approach and as the sun comes glowing, near the broken wagon by the river. And as the dawn grows red, the priest still in his bed, upriver, maybe now dead, yes maybe now dead. They stand amazed as from leather and magic, from crows crying and flying, as the whore’s hymen becomes whole, like an angel that’s been pure forever.

For the want of a dream, old west sorcery in streams, an old bard’s tale found by the Laramie river. It floated so far till it reached a scar. There, look there, in a volcanic cave near some timbers. She’s known by some names but for this tale she’ll remain the Hethavich, may she spell long forever. – 04.09.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Shoshanna’s Psalm

Shoshanna,

Let us go a ride into a life of season, clinging to a psalm of delight, sail upon a cloud of olive eyed spirit, overly the keys of a sighing night. There are tides that I will move within a desert, bring forth a bed summon there upon my thighs. Kisses when the sky falls, and begs for legion, I will bare your shoulders, a thousand wishes by my sight. Let a witch bend your spine, and daze your spirit, turn your fallow skin, on a Judean night, set a seal of oil upon your eyelids, thrust you ever gentle till, the seal is made tight. There are falling sons of seventy nations, a span of jealous lights of heavens far high. They would die bled dry on a daemons altar, watching morning rise to be with you tonight.

Shoshanna,

Bespoken by this summons of a Magen coven, essence of a psalm, that takes us through a life. Would I come to you where the sea is weeping, show me rings of light, while questions learn of why, under open sky, less it pass us by. Shoshanna is a rhyme that consumes reason, shifting in my craft, I cry out take my flight…and then she sees, I’m not a mighty witch, I’m only me.

For honest thought, for spirit that would bring a lady what he’s not, a sudden inspiration from some galaxy, a G-D like change that interacts with me, and purifies my magic, and I’m caught, and spins the coals of life into her fold, and she believes and touches me.

Blessed be, he that interacts, and brings her soul intact too me, a song, a thought of magic strong, between Shoshanna and me, and all the world does turn, for deficient light has ceased, a witch on his knees, and in his place of strength a psalm. What is me, when every thrilling spell is gone, and its two come to one, and it’s special like a private night song. Shoshanna’s Psalm. – 02.24.2015 – דניאל

Daniel Swearingen – Shoshanna’s Psalm

The Faith Healer and the Witch Heather (1896)


(A True Story)

The faith healer comes, his pockets undone, while Heather suns in her rafter!

A story not told, just bartered in souls, a tale of the lack of some water. From Laramie down, patch fence work and brown, the high land the earth is branded for slaughter. A drought brought by fools, those using men’s tools, those that plant what they rather. The sound of a cry, the wind high and dry, the hungry, from Kansas to Denver. The faith healer came to pray for some rain, his black clothes, Christ mourner forever. He looks to the sky, the plains to his side, and begs his dear Jesus for water. Oh the sin that man has brought, tending cattle, slaying flock, the soul it must wander forever. He preaches on stage, of judgment day, his eyes filled red hell, a pretender. Men fall to their knees, in crisis belief, they rend their clothes open in surrender. Please rain just fall, come over us all, we give you our souls as our tender.

A star on a lake, snow covered in rays, she sits and then hovers, she quivers. A small women true, a witch through and through, down Michigan Ditch her image comes slender. Down canyon she flies, her mouth open wide, the delta she opens her river. She’s quieter than sound, less open unbound, a magic that is no pretender. Some old lady prays, comes Heather this way, she’s bringing some bones from her quiver. Come water if she’s the offender. What if our lord did send her?

The crowd gathers round, the revival tent down, the preacher stands facing Ms. Heather. She shape shifts away, comes close to his face, says what would you give them contender. Can you make it rain, or those words you say, is money, or blood your sender. The crowd murmurs strong, the preacher stands tall, and slaps her face raw with a blister. How dare you mock me you wicked deceived, the rain will come when Christ wills it. He holds his hands high, and lets out a cry, come all that I pray, please deliver.

And then…

She stands to her feet, the skies in retreat, she summons her Lord and her master. The ground churns in heat, the western sky weaves, a rain that will fall like forever. What wills, or what ways, she gathers in place, and prances on past the dear pastor. The people rejoice, a land with a voice, a rainbow from Kansas to Denver.

The faith healer leaves, his pockets undone, and Heather flies back to her rafter! – 02.19.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל