Where They May Be Found: Dionysos


Under Pine, Pining

Pine treeBehind words are other words.  Hidden, shadowed meanings, dancing in the edges we imagine are solid, like the borders between realms.  The closer to the boundried contours of the word and not the word,  definition slips.  Define a word, de-fine, show us its edges, its limits, its end.

A word means another word, but what means means?  What is the meaning of meaning? What does meaning mean?

I’m not playing with you, but play with me, play with this if you’ve time.  Long, maybe not too long.  You’ve longed, yeah?  Long isn’t short, but long is what, precisely?

And you’ve longed, of course. For how long have you longed?  For a man, a woman, an other, a fragment of yourself or the world or the Other, found that you are suddenly stretched out but not flattened. Expanded, pulled towards even as you incline towards, but not pulled away. You long, and the hours grow long though others tell you that they are the same length, and therein’s why science isn’t poetry.

Longing under pine.  He’s there (I mean He’s there), but He’s also not there, because he’s not here, not there with you. You long.  You pine.  Your soul expands as the sky grows dark, as Her stars filter through needles, the smell of sap wakening something more luscious, more intoxicating, than sleep.

It’s an ache, but it’s one you cling to, embrace, coddle and protect and nurture.  He was said to be sewn into the leg of a god, an ache to be nurtured.  But the ache isn’t that it’s there, it’s that it’s not there yet still there, inside you, the place he left, the place you made for him, the place he carved from you, the place He inhabits.

When you pine against the bark of a pine, the sap clings to you, like his scent when he’s gone, haunting like the gods.  And somewhere, not far, between the longing and the pining, He’s there.

In Desire, Dancing

Sweat drips off the chest in the languid summer heat, the close space, matted hair and fur and laughter.  Saltwater drips from pores and you pour some to Him, crimson vine-blood.

Satyrs dance in the forest, just out of sight of firelight, but you’re not in a forest at all.

You can dance in a forest, but who else would be there?  You can also dance in a forest, if you desire.

You can desire in other forests, forests inside, forests filled with satyrs who are men, nymphs who are women, and men-who-are-women or were women and women-who-are-men or were men or will be, and every body in-between.

Dancing, but not dancing.  Whirling like Her stars, or standing still.  A crown in the heavens, a wheel, a dance.

Dance mimics desire.  Dance is desire.  Desire is a dance, between yourself and an other, an other and you.  Every other, every you, and every Other.

Watch him dance.  Watch her dance.  Watch Them dancing as they dance, know there’s an Other there, and many throngs of Others.

Dionysos is rarely alone.


Amidst the Dead Who Laugh With You

Actually, you were crying.

Actually, you weren’t, or were but are not.  You thought you were alone, but you were not.  You thought they were gone, but they aren’t.  He’s gone, but He’s back.  Why do they go away?

Why does He go away?

He’s elsewhere, and you stop asking why, because He comes back, even as She came back, or went elsewhere.  Most mostly stay, are there when you pour out to them what you offer, are there to tell you something, to warn, to request.  Sometimes just to remind you They’re there.

schedelHe, though.  Where’s He go?  It doesn’t matter, because you know Others are with Him, laughing.  He’s with Him, and she, and you hear them sometimes, laughing, passing through.

I heard them in a tavern, not long ago, while longing, while pining.  I didn’t expect them.  No one asks when you pour the first part of your drink onto the floor and hail Him.  You’d think they would, but then you remember that they are remembering, for a moment, where they are.

And then He comes through, but you don’t notice Him first.  You hear them, the Dionysian dead.  They’re playing and shaping the laughter around you as you watch, sober, writing in a journal at the bar, waiting.

Gods, they’re loud, and welcome.

Everyone’s laughing, and the dead shaped their mirth, give depth to their revelry.  So loud you can’t mistake it, so loud you look again at your full drink just to make sure.

And then gone, just like the living.  Where did the dead go?  Where do the living go?

Some go with Him.

In the Seething Madness of Those You’ve Ignored




They’re coming for you.  Burning barricades, broken glass, hurled cobbles, shattered chains.

There’s some Guédé who’ve got something to say about what you’ve done, and some Barons, too.   Some dragged-out masked punks seething with rage.  Angry immigrants sick of scraps, seething nymphs and feral satyrs gonna rip you to shreds.

Ripping off chains you put on ’em, ’cause chains ain’t just iron.

Howling madness, the fear from the trees.  The dead amongst ’em animating rage, because they remember what you hoped we’d forget.

You seen a revolt?

It looks like a carnival.

And Someone’s dancing amongst them.

Io Evohe.

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About Rhyd Wildermuth

An intractable tea-swilling leftist-punk bard, Rhyd Wildermuth has left bits of his heart(h) everywhere—in a satyr’s den in Berlin, hanging from an elder tree over a holy well in Bretagne, scattered in back alleys of Seattle, and lost somewhere in the bottom of his rucksack. He’s devoted to Welsh gods, breathes words, makes candles, plays recorder, fumbles with tech, and refuses ever to learn to drive. He also writes at paganarch.com.