Loss swaggers through the land
Devouring everything like some monster
A person hiding generations of ghosts
nested inside each other,
Obsessed with consuming and surviving
Out of control, forgetting what he is
Autocracy emerges from a loss so immense
A grief so immense, we forget even words for it
we might just think its “how things are”

But whose is that secret voice in the wind’s murmur
or a late goldfinch’s song, at twilight, close to
The edge of everything?:

“Don’t forget about me, remember me,
I know you, yes you, have a special spell
That will turn things around.
Those who will find me will find abundance,
those who hate me love only the wasteland”

Baba Yaga is the great initiator, ruthless,
and she might eat you, and all of humanity
As it goes through its whole species initiation
And she also another form,
Did you forget about her?
Little known, a beautiful goddess Yaginyi
With hair black as night,
plaited with the leaves of trees, eyes of starfire
Her lover is Veles, a blazing horned God
Accompanied by bear, wolf, snake and bull

She dies by some trick of the other Gods,
he goes to the underworld,
and he trades his life for one of hers.
She is reborn. Nearer this world.
You know the story.
They are like the sun and the moon
Winter and summer
The otherworld and the appearing reality
Two galaxies merging,
Because of their love the cosmos
turns, and the tree of life constantly
Fountains up time and exquisite lifeforms

And also, some say they don’t quite find each other,
That’s why the Yaga is so angry
And they secretly long for each other through eternity

So do they find each other, or not?

It’s late in the day and much has been lost
But I’m glad to be here with you,
Here at the end of all things
Years ago, Veles was wandering in heartache,
Looking for Yagyini
Searching long lonely beaches
But listening, listening, listening
Something miraculous flowered from his grief
The sea said: “shine your soul like a beacon fire,
And the people will find you
Become a beacon fire in the great dark”

Can you repair a little piece of the brokenness?
Reassemble the goddess from her bones you
Cast aside. Get in the underworld
Pick up those bones.
Get in the bone yard
Remember what was forgotten
Can you stand up to an impossibly strong force,
Like a yaga-dragon over the city spires?
Can you listen deeply enough
To someone’s grief, rage or agony,
To find an ancient culture seeded in it?
Can you reassemble the universe?

Sing us back to life
Launch the moon into the sky
It’s not just you that does it
I’m not writing this.
Something else is writing this:
When you tend to someone’s trouble or grief
When you repair a little piece of a culture
You are not doing it

Your community is doing it
The salmon in a nearby river are doing it
The swans you have watched since they
were cygnets, are wrapping their feathered wings
Around the person who needs tending

When you’re facilitating someone
to come crawling to conflict resolution
taking the despised dying filth that is their
enemy in their arms,
Teaching them to
listen to their enemy’s ancestor’s grief
an immense horned God Veles, worshipped
by your ancestors twelve thousand years ago
Is standing behind you, ten feet tall,
And is really the one doing it

We are all traversed by multitudes
Swarms and colonies of
more-than-human and human forces
That lend their hand, or angel wing or claw
or antennae
to our courage
When we step forward to repair
a river or a country

You step forward
Uncertain if it will make difference
to the immense war machine
of eradication
But listen: The gods are activated by uncertainty
Things start to manoeuvre in place
In the other world,
deeper in the world tree’s roots
that will fruit in the branches in this material world

Because of the exquisite taste of your grief and courage
Because of your shaking
The god’s know a good story is being cooked up
They know fate and luck,
the wyrd of the universe, is being reweaved
The living organism of reality is changing

Because you are going into the unknown
Going up against impossible odds
Leaping off the edge of the precipice
Getting ready with your solidarity network
Or leaving your front door

“This is how the great stories begin” The Gods say:

“I’ll lend them my wings, my hooves,
my army,
my healing salve, and
my spear that flies and always hits its target,
my cauldron of abundance for all,
my spell-filled stang
my fiery sword like Michael’s
my allegiance, my people, my love”

“He is one who love us
He is one who hasn’t forgotten us
Terror is his delicious food
He is one of them who will
Lead them across the terrifying abyss
At the end of history

He is the one who knows
that boneshaking community ritual song
Which is even more exhilarating than war
Even more satisfying than combat
even more attractive than death
And even more compelling than mutual annihilation”

Terror is the ladder you will climb
The mythic world is activated when
You know you may fail
Then your fear will turn into dragon power
The goddess will come with the full power of spring
Unspeakable in rapturous beauty
And kiss you on the lips