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A Voyage to Middle-Earth

Posted by on 24 Jun 2011 | Tagged as: Poetry

This work seems to have vanished from the net and clearly deserves to be there. Raven did grant us permission long ago to publish his material, so here it is.

A Voyage to Middle-Earth (c) 1986, C. M. Joserlin

Find me a ship that can sail on the sea
Whose waves are the passed-away years,
Over the Ocean of Dreams — let it be
Sweet Middle-Earth’s shore that she nears.

Voyage to Ennorath, tree-tangled land,
To find my old friends faring well,
Take dwarf, elf, hobbit, and wizard by hand,
And hear what new tales they will tell;

Wander in Lorien, try to console
Galadriel’s elven lament;
Party with Bombadil, merry old soul;
At leisure converse with an Ent;

Fly with the Eagles, look down on the graves
Where Dragon or Balrog once fell;
Stand on the shore and look over the waves
Toward where the Valar now dwell;

Journey to mead-halls astride on the steeds
Of Rohan, that race like the wind;
Hark to the harpers, and hear of the deeds
Of those who sought virtue — or sinned;

Listen to lore of the long-ago times
Before Sauron dared to attack;
Hear how his creatures accomplished his crimes,
And how the Free Folk fought him back;

Join in the praise of the courage they showed
By facing the fell, fearsome foe;
Joy in the peace and the freedom bestowed
On good folk, to flourish and grow;

Let me sing with them the songs of the Quest,
The heroes, the brave and the fair;
Let me hear legends of Middle-Earth’s best…
But, most of all, let me be there!

Initiate by C.M. Joserlin, “Raven”

Posted by on 15 Sep 2009 | Tagged as: Poetry

(Copyright 1984, C.M. Joserlin, “Raven”)

I have seen the sun at midnight, slain the bull at his command,
Used the power of the crystal, felt the force direct my hand,
Thricefold served the silver lady, sailed upon the darkest sea,
Counted corpses in the forest, chanted runes upon the tree;
I have spoken words of power, summoned Hiram from the grave,
Sung Eurydice to ransom, called ‘Phrodite from the wave;
I’ve recited rhymes to order, chimes that echoed in the brain,
That incited love and joy — or hate and sorrow, fear and pain;
I have built the greater temple and survived the tests inside,
I have stepped on earth and water and been pierced in feet and side,
I have danced around the fire, walked the circle semi-clad,
I have chased the beasts and shared the feasts of bread and wine we had;
I have travelled to the hidden centers, studied in their lore,
Listened to the quiet murmurs and looked deep into the core,
Bound strong servants to their duties, striven long within the craft,
Drawn the dirk and done the work while being warded fore and aft;
‘Till the flower opened to me, and I learned the secret ways,
Found the stone and on me shone the black and white and ruddy rays,
Saw with many-colored vision and through many changes passed,
Let myself become myself, and reached my mastery at last.

Enjoy “Initiate”, which echoes the “I have beens” of Welsh bards in a pied conflation of the various initiatory traditions and legends, e.g. both Jesus and Odin were hung “upon a tree”, both Jesus and Llew Llaw Gyffes “stepped on earth and water and were pierced”, both Mithraists and Egyptians ritually slew bulls, both alchemists and Freemasons speak of “the Work”, both the Battle of the Trees and the Grove of Nemi left “corpses in the forest”. The opening phrase, “I have seen the sun at midnight”, was a pass-phrase of the Eleusinian Mysteries. So Celtic is only one of the ethnicities mingled; but then, how many Welsh “I have been” references were Biblical (i.e. Hebrew)? See Robert Graves’ THE WHITE GODDESS and Sir James Frazer’s THE GOLDEN BOUGH.

Faith, by C. M. Joserlin (Raven)

Posted by on 15 Sep 2009 | Tagged as: Poetry

Bend  with  life,  don’t  fossilize;
rigid  vision blinds the eyes;
faith — unchanging — petrifies;
frozen truths turn into lies;
even God, imprisoned, dies.
— C. M. Joserlin, 1984

The Dream — a poem by C. M. Joserlin

Posted by on 18 Sep 2007 | Tagged as: Poetry

[This is a brilliant piece of work that remains unpublished as far as I know. When I first discovered it, I corresponded with the author who gave his permission for it to be posted. It appeared on a few other sites on the net as well. I recently discovered that it no longer seemed to be anywhere to be found. It deserves to be Available and here it is. -Ed ]


     THE DREAM     (c) 1991     by C. M. Joserlin ("Raven")

Friend, when you and I were younger, and the world was strange and vast,
How our eager hearts would hunger for the legends of the past:
Dreams of swords and spears uplifted, gleaming armor in the sun,
Streams of banners bravely flying where the battle had begun.
Oh, to see the truth triumphant, setting Right ahead of Might,
Hear the gentle judgments afterward, at Court by candlelight,
Or the revelry and laughter while the merry minstrels sing
Of Heorot Hall with Grendel gone, or Camelot in Spring.

     We have joined in joy and sadness with each hero in his plight,
     Shared the fine inspired madness of La Mancha's woeful knight;
     Parents little know the path they chart for children when they bring
     All the stories, songs, and sagas about Camelot in Spring.

How those visions filled our childhood, strengthened us as nothing could,
Put our world in moral order, set our standard of the good;
For the lessons that we heeded, shining from the printed page,
Were the virtues that were needed to bring on the Golden Age.
But perhaps our elders mocked our dreams of dragons and their hoards,
So for lack of worthy foes we packed away our magic swords;
Then our schools and jobs distracted us with all the work they bring,
And no more we thought of Heorot, or Camelot in Spring.

     Bid farewell to bold adventures and our comrades of the mind,
     To the Wizards wise and subtle, and the Ladies fair and kind,
     To the Knights of the Round Table, and the Fellows of the Ring;
     Farewell Narnia and Middle-Earth and Camelot in Spring.

But when danger came to challenge us, and fear cried, "hide or flee,"
What compelled us to embrace the threat, and not the coward's plea?
Was it that we found the courage to confront it on our own,
Or had help from him of Heorot, who fought the troll alone?
And the day we faced injustice, hypocrites who held truth caged,
Then we showed our true upbringing when our indignation raged,
Saying, "THIS is not the right way, THIS would not have pleased the King
Who set justice at the Table Round, at Camelot in Spring!"

     And we've mourned for other dreamers who had followed the same star,
     And who died before they ever knew if truth would win the war;
     But their names still live within us, and in legend they will ring
     Along with those of Heorot and Camelot in Spring.

What though now the world grows older, and our castles fade away?
Still our dreams can make us bolder, bear our standards through the fray,
Still the quest for honor bids us battle lies and unjust laws;
Still the memory of heroes gives us comrades in our cause --
Beowulf and mighty Arthur, they knew what the battle cost,
And their songs may lend us courage when we feel alone and lost.
Even in the darkest Winter, we can raise our voice to sing
Of the vision... of the glory... that was Camelot in Spring.

     What if we should be forgotten, all our efforts go in vain,
     Hopes and plans die misbegotten, with but insults for our pain?
     What if no-one hears our story?  Still, they'll know us when they sing
     Of all those who dreamed the glory that was Camelot in Spring.

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