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Ode to Pan

ODE TO PAN (Or, "The Terror and Ecstasy of Being Alive")

What if Terror isn’t something we ever “get over”?

What if Nightmare

isn’t a bridge we cross

after paying the Trolls’ toll

but is the cross?

The one we have to bare


as we crucify ourselves on the trees of good and evil

and swallow our own serpentine tales?

The Ring of the Lords

is the Ouroboros.

It is cast of golden shadow.

Eve and Adam’s wedding rings

slithered on their middle fingers.

Did you know they honey-mooned

at the forked tongue of the River Styx

which is always to be found at the mouth

of our own estuaries?

Nature never “gets over” her waterfalls and volcanoes

anymore than we overcome our hearts beating or adrenaline crashing

on the cliffs of our brains or the wetness

between our legs.

Earthquakes are Gaia’s shudderings and shivering;

typhoons her ecstasies and exhilarations,

geysers her ejaculations.

The Earth doesn’t get over herself:

She whirls dervishly.

She accepts.

She surfs.

She sinks into cavernous holes of herself

and spews lava and fireballs

as she waits out eternity in sandstone and alligators and blue whales

and calculates the sacred geometry of snails

and weighs the scales of red dragons

in their scientific lairs.

What if fear, if horror,

is something we cannot surpass

But at best, undress?

Pan lives in caves on cool hilltops

and beds down on damp forest floors.

He cannot resist a bonfire

or pulling down a zipper

and feeling for something warm and pulsing


He does this with lightening

speed and sharp fingernails

or very, very slowly, with his teeth.

The nymphs tell me

he is also pretty good with buttons,

undoing them...

pushing them...

Pan grows impatient

if the strip tease goes on too long:

he is always naked

and demands the same in us.

He plays at sado-masochism of the Soul

but this isn’t a game, it’s a rite.

There are no safe-words.

Pan is sure-footed on the ledges of our craggy fears.

He takes what he wants. He wants to give.

He speaks in thrusts and tongues

even as he licks our ears and when

we offer our jugular to him;

when we surrender on our backs and stretch our necks

and offer blood as if to fangs of vampire;

when we feel the truth raging in our veins

that we share his pulse and chloroform,

he feels green and hard and heard.

Then, and only then,

will he hold his reed flute erect,

—All beast, all man—

and exhale raindrops and butterflies,

blades of grass and bucking stags,

daffodils, ancient oaks and thorns of rose

so that we can inhale his

fresh mountain air.

When we breath together this way—

the Horned God’s tongue filling up our mouths,

the human moans echoing in the canyon of his throat—

the heavens and the earth harmonize in

pitchfork perfect union.

Only then does enemy become ally;

war story transcends into epic poem;

a fallen angel re-pairs his mossy wings.

And the cross?

The cross spreads her loving arms

and lets Ecstasy and Terror

hug her close.

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