Venus and Luna

This is what Venus and the Moon cooked up last Sunday (July 15) for all to see in the late evening sky. This was taken in Northern California, in the Sierra Foothills.

These two have been performing a marvelous dance all week, with Venus moving off to the south, parallel to the horizon, but not too far away, and then coming back again so that last night she was directly below the moon on a perpendicular line up from the horizon. It’s been beautiful and profound to watch. Sappho would have been giddy with wonder and would have written many poems of two sweet souls at play in the gardens of love.

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Haiku Morning

overcast like mourning robes
five white horses on a small hill
tears of rain soft upon the window

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Poetry Reading April 13

I’ll be reading with Taylor Graham, El Dorado County Poet Laureate, and Michael Paul, at the El Dorado County Public Library in Georgetown. If anyone reading this happens to be in the area, come on by. It should be quite an enjoyable event. More details on the El Dorado Arts Council facebook page.

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Waiting on sleep, gazing
up through the window at
the bright cold and clear night —

Orion strides in magnificent stature
adorned with incandescent jewels.
And there is Sirius, and over there the Pleiades,
one a trumpet sound of light
the other a demure pool
of lambent mystery.

Ah! A plane crosses, a poor cousin
passing only briefly, like Icarus,
amongst the high shoulders
of the astral gods!

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With a rake I spread
the last embers of the bonfire
       like fiery butter

and I stand basking,
gazing down into
       a sky-full of red stars

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Bright Unknowns

Christmas lights brightly jewel
the frosty fence in morning calm —
a car with one lone dawn soldier
passes by, leaving

only drifting steam that curls
slowly, lovingly, above that diadem of
colored star-bright gems.

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secrets openly hidden

Pine cones leaning,
sitting buddha-like along the path —
monuments to beetles,
whole planets to fleas,
menorah-like jewels to my own eye.

I can’t get over how they wait.
So quiet here in the still woods.
On what secret do they attend?

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Slow Soft Flame of Autumn

Wind rolls through these leaves
in long exhalations
as Atlas labors at the wheel that
turns the seasons —

now from the last gleam of summer
into full autumn.

Leaves in maples reflect fires
in the furnace that fuels this
great onward rush

grasses, twigs, and vines
once succulent with the rising
springs of the vernal blush

now grow dry and thin
in the heated languid haste
as Cronos devours what was wrought.

Bees crowd the buds of honeysuckle
entwining the old pine,
collecting all they can carry;

hornets mob a dead bird’s carcass
ravenous before the urge
of their own inward clock;

and two squirrels argue
from opposite sides of the wood
as they bustle through the mass
of detritus, caching winter stores

or up the boles of oaks with
loads of pine-straw to build
with haste a stout shelter

to stand against the coming
autumn winds and winter
hail and rain.

I find myself dizzy
with the intoxication
of aging detritus and orchard fruits

the dazzling kaleidoscopic pin-wheels of
wind-spun autumn leaves

and I feel too far behind in all that must
be done to even begin — so

I wander the woods and the orchard
until a need appears and
with a smile I attend to it,

all the while imbibing the slow
dreams of all that fast approaches sleep.

Above these visions I float
like the moon above the water —
I taste but do not enter the feast.

That doorway has closed for me.

Instead I wander
with a song in silence
as behind me the path blooms
in slow soft flame.

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After Halloween

Inline image 1
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Hallowed Moon

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March of the Wicked Demise

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John De Lancie Reads “The Raven”

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Halloween, Samhain, the ancient rite
which alone on the calendar boldly sees the night
with all its hidden, suppressed and fearsome fright
and in ghoulish guise or sepulchral facade
sees and smiles at death’s inevitable bite.

Portals dark, shadowed cyprus, weathered tombstone, spectral glow,
flickering bat that flits and flees,
drooping trees in stilted breeze,
all dwell beneath what one claims to know —

the hidden realm immense and looming below,
the Id, the unconscious, the failed ideal,
all that luminous thought cannot reveal —
the endless descent,
the bewildering torment,
all the philosophers who fell unfulfilled
their thoughts like muddy rain running beneath the barrow hill,
sages and monks, and shamans and priests —
hungry ghosts upon their withered bones feast.
Kings and stars of beauty and power
haunt only empty halls, thankless and dour.

The majesty of the play of Samhain eve
is through merriment death’s burdens to relieve
and with sacred reflection to open and retrieve
immortality’s hidden power which no shuttered mind can conceive.


by Kevin Trammel

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Dance Macabre for Samhain

Listen to Dance Macabre, it really is a wonderful, evocative piece.

About the composition

Danse Macabre (by Camille Saint-Saëns)
Danse Macabre (the Poem)

On Youtube

Danse Macabre – Saint-Saëns
National Philharmonic Orchestra

An English translation of the poem upon which the piece is based

Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence,
Striking a tomb with his heel,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zag, on his violin.
The winter wind blows, and the night is dark;
Moans are heard in the linden trees.
White skeletons pass through the gloom,
Running and leaping in their shrouds.
Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking,
You can hear the cracking of the bones of the dancers.
A lustful couple sits on the moss
So as to taste long lost delights.
Zig zig, zig, Death continues
The unending scraping on his instrument.
A veil has fallen! The dancer is naked.
Her partner grasps her amorously.
The lady, it’s said, is a marchioness or baroness
And her green gallant, a poor cartwright.
Horror! Look how she gives herself to him,
Like the rustic was a baron.
Zig, zig, zig. What a saraband!
They all hold hands and dance in circles.
Zig, zig, zag. You can see in the crowd
The king dancing among the peasants.
But hist! All of a sudden, they leave the dance,
They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.
Oh what a beautiful night for the poor world!
Long live death and equality!

-Henri Cazalis

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Incantation of the Hollow Moon

The orange gourd rattles in a spectral sky
Shadowed shrouds of mist from icy fields fly
Heaven’s hollow dome coldly echoes a strange cry
Dreams once hopeful wingless by dark stones lie.



by Kevin Trammel

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Crème Du Halloween

A modest recipe for Halloween (from a previous post).

Crème Du Halloween
by Kevin Trammel

One gob pickled innards,
Ten drops black bat glop,
An ooze of dead men’s gizzards—
Stir, pour, and chop.

Add a pinch of spider’s eyes,
Garnish with false alibis,
Serve atop aged, rotting flesh.
Best when eaten fresh.

A note to the prudent host or hostess:
If your guests should hesitate,
And grimace, gasp, wax quite irate,
Bring out the severed fingers plate,
With chocolate sauce and sugar cake.

Bon Appetit!

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Incantation of a Dark Seduction

Long purple fingers of creeping mist
Black trees before an orange moon list
Warmth and light of day could not resist
Entranced all fall toward a shadow tryst.


by Kevin Trammel

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Deathly Discourse

“Eat some candy– THINK OF DEATH.” -Caitlin Doughty


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Lovely Ossuaries and Charnal Houses

Empire de la Mort

While you contemplate mortality, immortality, and wonder about ghosts and pretas, this Halloween, visit some of the world’s Beinhouses.

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Halloween Nap

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