“Ruins” – A Poem

Happy Main’s Day!

“Ruins” by Edward W . Raby, Sr.

There was once life here

Now all is ruin

Window pains broken

Doorways with no doors

No roof.

We build this house brick by brick

Love was the mortar

We had children, raised them

We gave our love to them

Taking the mortar and giving it to them

Then they left.

We discovered the mortar of our love

Was cracked and crumbling – nothing.

But we had no time to reset it.

We continued to live giving it away

The roof collapsed

The bricks fell apart

We walked away

And now all is ruins.

A sad testimony to what was

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

“Wayfarer”

Happy Tyr’s Day!

Wayfarer

Alone he walks

The snow crunches

beneath his feet.

He is the Wayfarer

The Walker of Paths

He wanders

But he is not lost.

He seeks

He looks for the wisdom

Of the old, the new

And his fellow travelers

Spear in hand for protection

His friends

Two ravens, Two wolves.

He wanders

He walks

He is the Wayfarer

Author’s commentary:

I fell in love with the imagery of Odin a long time ago. I however didn’t realize that is what the original myth was that I was enjoying because I was reading Lord of the Rings and the character was Gandalf, the Grey. But Tolkien took his inspiration from mythology and in this case Odin.

When I finally did get to Norse mythology as a teen the image of Odin appealed to me. The man leading his people trying to delay his fate and the fate of the Nine Worlds. Trying to delay Ragnorok. Warrior and Wizard all in one. The interesting thing is he doesn’t go out and build an army to fight but takes the role of a humble traveler looking not for strength, but knowledge.

I take for myself the moniker The Grey Wayfarer in honor of this inspiration and in truth this was my inspiration not just for this blog but also for some of my interests. I am a scholar and teacher but I lift weights with a warrior’s mind and discipline. I hike, you don’t get much more Wayfarer than that. I guess I came to see my self-image resonate with this image and this poem is a reflection of that.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

“Undying” – Skald Tales and Poems – Poem

Happy Mani’s Day! 

“Undying” – by Edward W. Raby, Sr. May 3-4, 2020

My love for you never dies

But that is not as good as it seems.

It drains me as it is not returned

Like a vampire’s kiss,

Thrilling and draining.

I give and get nothing.

You drain the blood of my love

From within it bleeds into you

But you are indifferent

Like a bored eternal vampire

you have moved on,

but I remain the one that is drained.

I miss what your love did for me,

but I hate what it does to me

If only it would die.

Perhaps I could slay this love

With a wooden stake peirce it forever

But I cannot – for it is undying.

Author’s Note’s

I am only going to note here that this is the first poem I have written in a while and I truly feel this. Perhaps it is no the greatest, but it is an expression of a part of my heart.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Writing Thoughts – O For a Muse of Fire” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

I have been thinking of late about how much I struggle writing.  I never used to have this much problem doing it, but these days it is a major uphill struggle and I can only figure one reason.  I don’t have muse anymore. I lack that person, real or imaginary to inspire my writing and it is becoming a real problem. 

In many ways, my imagination has always personified itself into a form that I have called my muse  This was contrasted by a personification of my internal editor. My muse was always female and my editor male. Just imaginary concepts to have a conversation with while I was writing. My muses have represented that which I found important at the time.

  1. In my early days, my writing was inspired by my boyhood imagination.  My muse became a personification of that. A young teasing girl my own age who pushed me.
  2. Faith was my muse for most of my writing up until I left my faith five years ago.  I did notice this struggle at that time as well.
  3. Only one time did my muse center around an actual person and Elpis the Dryad was a personification of the inspiration Miss Salty gave me. Miss Salty remains the only actual female that was also my muse. It is one of many reasons I still have a hard time shrugging her off my heart, she is truly unique to me. She was and sometimes remains and inspiration to my writing. Or at least who she presented herself to be to me was.  Now the only inspiration she gives me is the occasional sad love poem.

This leaves me with a hole I have not truly filled back in and it makes me struggle writing. I am so scattered in my thoughts these days when I write.  I need new creative focus and I will be damned if I can figure out what it will be.  Something to set my imagination on fire so the digital ink burns as I tap the keys.

See the source image

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“The Ghost of You” – Skald Tales and Poems – Poem

Happy Sif’s Day

Poem: “The Ghost of You” by Edward W. Raby Sr. – written from September 10th to September 14th, 2019

On the edge of the vision of my spirit

Is the Ghost of You

You haunt my dreams and my waking moments

You trouble me without even being here.

Like a poltergeist,

you disturb the objects of my mind

Like a wraith, 

Memories of you shimmer in my heart

Like a phantom,

you stand on the side of the road

Haunting my soul as I travel on

Stop Haunting Me!

Keep Haunting Me.

I can’t decide.

When I reach for you,

You vanish.

When I don’t.

you laugh.

Author’s Notes:

Well according to my archives this is the first poem I have written since April 2019. I still have the same problems with them.  On the one hand, I love them because I feel when I write poems, they are even a more true representation of my heart and feelings than any other thing I write.  One the other hand the person who opened up the world of poetry to me is remembered – Miss Salty.  And that has a whole pack of emotions that just flood in.

Especially since this poem is about her.  The idea for this poem came right after I wrote these words in a The Grey and The Wayfarer post (link) on August 9th that were directed at her:

I ain’t going to lie, I miss you. But I struggle with who exactly I miss. Was it really you or the character you were playing?  Was it MaKala, Miss Salty, Elpis or someone else?  I do know that whoever she was, she came into my life at a very cold, dark time and offered a lot of warmth and light. For that, I thank her, whoever she was.  She was truly the salt in my life that gave it flavor at the time. She will always be Miss Salty to me. There will always be a small piece of my heart that loves her. It is just the way I am.  I don’t know if not being able to get rid of love completely for a woman I have loved is a blessing or curse sometimes. Please don’t take advantage of it.

My words in my head were at the time I finished writing this paragraph were: “It is like she is a ghost.”

About a day later the seeds for this poem started flitting around in my head – like ghosts.  I tried for the last month to just not think about it, but it kept haunting me.  Seriously. I am no coward and so I intend my puns, but this is literally how it felt.  I think it even triggered a recent episode of The Grey a few days ago and that’s when I decided to write it and get it out of my head and into concrete form, hoping to eliviate that.  Time will tell if it works.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“A Blog Change I Have Been Meaning to Make” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day

Hey, it’s been a while since I did a regular The Rabyd Skald post.  Unfortunately, the time of year is difficult so mostly it is The Grey and The Wayfarer when I do one of these.  But today if you are a regular you noticed that no post dropped at 9 am and that was no accident.  This a change I have been wanting to make which is to start dropping posts in the afternoon.

There many reasons for this:

  1. I often find myself rushing as I get ready to be at work and sometimes a post just needs a little more loving care before it drops, but I skip it so I can go to work and just let it drop. This will allow me time to do a little love editing on each of my children known as posts, and then they will be a little cleaner and better.
  2. Traffic for my posts is actually statistically better for posts I drop in the afternoon instead of the morning. I get more engagements at least.
  3. I would feel better if I gave every post one last look right before it drops which given my work schedule, the afternoon is the beat time to do this.

So starting today with this post, my posts will drop at 4 pm. The one exception is on Sun’s Day which will still be The Pagan Pulpit at 10 am.   The reason for that is personal – I used to start the service and preach in my former church at 10 am.  So I preach from a little different pulpit these days at the same time.  For you pagans out there that used to be Christians, it is probably better understood.  Kind of a middle finger to my former ‘friends’ of that church. Image may contain: 1 person, beard, text that says 'You don t lose friends. You lose undercover haters. Real friends can never be lost.' Fuck You Haters!!!

Other Writing Notes:

I know I have promised this before but more fiction posts are coming. The Rogue Wizard has been difficult to write at this moment for personal reasons as well. I am thinking it will be better after the summer is over or the next chapter is finished.  In that chapter I essentially destroying most of the visages of what was the past in that series idea and moving on.  It is hard to do from an emotional point of view.  Try destroying something you put a lot of love into so you can move on, and then tell me something about it.  Until then you don’t have a clue.

When I do start my short story writing I will probably be doing alternative and very adult versions of Grimm’s Fairy tales.  Poetry has been rough or the same reason as The Rogue Wizard.  Poems are very emotional for me and have an automatic connection with someone that I can no longer have contact with but the memories of them surface for me every time I write a poem. Fall I might be able to muster something.

I have another post I want to write about using Role Playing Games as an inspiration but I might do a series very similar or The Adventures of Ayn Jones.  Something I did a long time ago taking the character creation process of a Megatraveler Character and bringing it to life with a very complete backstory.  I might very well use Megatraveller again to do this because it is Science Fiction.

Well, that is all the writing notes for now.  Don’t be surprised if another The Grey and The Wayfarer drops soon.  When The Grey builds to a point I have to write about it to deal with it.

One last note, there will be no Odin’s Eye today.  I have a lot of refitting and resting to do before the next couple of weeks.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Iron Maiden – Epic Metal Poets” – The Skald’s Lyre

 

Happy Saturn’s Day

Musical Journal:

This week has been an interesting trip down memory lane as regards to music.  I have been revisiting an old but new friend – Iron Maiden.  In my teenage years, I found my journey through the metal bands of the day difficult for a lot of reasons but most notably was there were so many of them and secondly my religion was openly hostile to anything that looked evil.  Iron Maiden was just one of many great metal bands in the 1980s and I have to say must have listened to them a lot for a couple months back in the day but had to walk away.  I guess it is hard to tell greatness when things are new and back then metal music was still very new. But mostly there was no way a good ‘Christian boy’ was going to slap Iron Maiden posters on his wall with their mascot Eddie grinning back at you on them.

See the source image

I reflect a lot on this, as my musical choices these days have a large dose of “I don’t give a fuck what people think about what I am listening to”. One of the things I have toyed with is getting copies of some of those old posters and lining the wall with them in my new ‘man cave’ someday when I get one.

As for Iron Maiden themselves, I think they are one of those bands that reflects a musical genius that still resonates today.  The music itself is multilayered and skilfully done.  While not speed metal per se, they do have rifts that keep going and a fantastic drummer who does not stop. It is relentless metal you might say. Their lead vocalist is legendary.

See the source image

But it is not just the music but two other factors that make Iron Maiden a great metal band.  Firstly, their lyrics are top notch with intricate poetry.  I challenge anyone to pull up just the lyrics and read them and not think about how deep they can be.  Many of their songs are based on literature both books and poems so there is that connection whether it is Edgar Allen Poe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, or Frank Herbert.

The poetic part I can appreciate much more now that I understand it better. I suppose I have to thank in part Miss Salty for that, ironically.  The fact that I now can go back an look at lyrics as poetry and see them a little deeper I have her to thank for that. At the same time, some of the pain associated with that relationship is why I listen to more music these days so…

Secondly, they understand that metal is a spectacle. They are one of those great concert bands that sounds better ‘live’ and puts on a real show for their fans.  Deep poetry, well done musical rifts and heavy metal theatre in one great package.

See the source image

Personal Significance:

Run to the Hills – This is probably for me the most known song of Iron Maiden.  The song is a commentary on the whole western settlers vs. Native Americans conflict.  Being a British band their criticism is scathing in some regards and to be honest, they have a good point.

See the source image

The Trooper – Based on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Charge of the Light Brigade, This song is a high energy, which is also a social commentary on the soldier’s thoughts during battle and war in general.

Hollowed Be Thy Name –  The Lord’s Prayer line coupled with the story of a man condemned to execution.  Classic deep lyrics actually make this my favorite Iron Maiden song. The song is not so much about capital punishment as it is about death and facing it bravely, no matter what is on the other side of it.  Which the song basically asserts the truth of – no one knows.

See the source image

The Number of the Beast – Another Biblically based song.  One of the reasons I couldn’t have this band’s posters on my wall as a teenager. I am fairly sure it wouldn’t have been appreciated.

Murders in the Rue Morgue – Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” it is another classic.

See the source image

I would like to say more but Iron Maiden speak as a band speak for themselves every song they write. For the playlist, I have tried to find live performances as much as possible because that is the best way to listen to them.  IMHO.

Playlist: 

Run to the Hills – Live 1985: (with band introduction)

The Trooper – Live 2013:

Hallowed Be Thy Name – Live 1982

The Number of the Beast – Live 2008

Murders in the Rue Morgue – Live 2005 – with introduction

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 3:2 – “There is Never Time to Do It Right, but There is Always Time to Do It Over.”

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: “Hammer to Fall” – Queen

I consider this one of the lesser known but better songs of Queen.  It also deals with today’s subject – time.

Poem: ‘Priceless Words’ by LK Pilgrim

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LK Pilgrim has some good stuff for poems and seeing I am not inspired for my own poetry right now, enjoy.

Meditation:

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Definitely yours for wasting time on them. Time to find someone better.

Song of Preparation: “Wasted Years” – Iron Maiden

I think we could all sing this song about someone or something. The point is to learn and head a different direction.

Text:

“There is Never Time to Do It Right, but There is Always Time to Do It Over.” – The Book of Rabyd 3:2

Sermon:

I don’t know actually where this expression originated in our family but I do know it was a favorite with my Father.  He was a big one for doing things right the first time.  He hated coming back to do something again if it could have been avoided by simply doing things right the first time. He also felt by doing it right the first time and taking a little extra time to do it that way saved time in the long run.  He was most definitely right.

It is when we get sloppy that we find ourselves doing things again and wasting time.  It is interesting that the one thing humans take so seriously is time, but that we waste so much of it doing a sloppy job is also true.  Sure the sand of time is ticking, but does doing things quickly really save time?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting things to get better with each repeat or doing things right the first time and have time to reach other goals?  I prefer the later and have to conclude that my dad, wherever he got the saying, was right.

Time is the most important commodity anyone has.  You don’t even really know how much you have so it is important to get things right the first time so you don’t waste time doing things over and over again. That goes for relationships too.

At this point, we will leave the Book of Rabyd for a bit.  I will come back to it whenever I add another verse or modify an existing verse. Next up is a series on universal religious concepts. I also may from time to time go truly pagan on the Pagan Pulpit.

Closing Song: “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” – Freddie Fender

I honor of my father who has provided two verses of The Book of Rabyd, I leave you with a country song and this was one of his favorites.  It also has a message I need to remember for myself.

Parting Thought:

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Ain’t that the truth.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 3:1 – “You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack”

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ – The Neptunes Remix

I suppose it wouldn’t be a playlist for the pagan pulpit without some reference to something controversial – like having sympathy for the devil.

Poem:

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This is hard for me. The truth of this little poem; as much as it hurts, is still the truth.

Meditation:

Song of Preparation: “Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats

Hats and a maypole for Beltane. Easy call here.

Text:

“You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack” – The Book of Rabyd 3:1

Sermon:

Chapter three of the Book of Rabyd represents some of the sayings and ‘-isms’ that have dominated the Raby Family for years.  They are not necessarily principles or wisdom but just stuff that is around our family that we just say as part of our particular family collective.  This one is from my father and I have no idea how many times he said it to me.  “You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack” was on his lips every single time I did something stupid.  It was a polite way of him telling me I should use my head to think rather than just have it occupy space and hold up my hat.

My father was not an educated man.  He was dyslexic or at least we think so.  He was a blue-collar man who had a gift for manufacturing.  He learned machinery and grinding early in his factory work days and knew math very well.  He just could never read very well.  These days, he might have been diagnosed early and he might have learned to read much better.  He was, however, a math genius in his own way and he believed highly in learning and common sense.

I don’t actually use this expression of his much myself.  I, however, hear it all the time in my head.  I always hear it when I am about to do something stupid or have not thought things through before I am about to act on them.  Most people don’t wear hats these days so I wonder if somebody would get it, but I certainly do.

This expression being 3:1 in the Book of Rabyd is more about my love for my Father than anything else.  I want the expression preserved for my kids and grandkids and all the rest.  I think it is a very polite and creative way to tell someone to start thinking and using your head. I know he was proud of me when I graduated college but he did not live to see me get my master’s but I could not have made either without this expression rolling around in my head.  Thanks, Dad, I still miss you.

Closing Song: “Walpurgisnacht” – FAUN

English lyrics version:

In honor of this past week being Beltane, I include this song.  The song is definitely a Celtic flavor I love.  Included the English translation version second if you are interested in the words.   Truly pagan for the pagan pulpit on this one.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 2:4 – “No One’s Happiness but My Own is in My Power to Achieve or to Destroy”

Happy Suns’ Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: “Wash It All Away” – Five Finger Death Punch

This song is on my playlist but for multiple reasons.  After my series with the Book of Rabyd, I will be doing a series on spiritual concepts that are universal and one of them is going to be ‘baptism’. This song inspired that idea although it goes back to an idea that someone else suggested to me before I left the ministry. Five Finger Death Punch is a new band for me in many ways, but I like the energy of this song.  The bridge is also very expressive of my emotional state at times:

“I won’t change for you

and I can’t take the pain

There is nothing you can do

and nothing you can say”

Poem: “I Speak to a Ghost” by The Ruined Man

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Don’t have a poem of my own this week so The Ruined Man will speak for me this time.

Meditation: 

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Song of Preparation: ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me’ – Walk the Moon

Just a feel-good song, we are talking about happiness after all.

Text:

“No One’s Happiness but My Own is in My Power to Achieve or to Destroy” – The Book of Rabyd 2:4

Sermon:

Originally this Quote by Ayn Rand was The Book of Rabyd 2:10; but with my desire to remove duplicate quotes as far as quotes from the same people, she jumps to 2:4.  This also presents a problem of the fact I have eliminated about six verses at this point so some new people to quote from will be necessary to get the other points.  I may jump ahead to chapter three and then drop those verses from chapter 2 in when they come to me. The Book of Rabyd is after all not a closed canon of scripture like some.

This statement is more complicated the more you meditate on it. But let’s break it down.

The first concept is that you cannot make people happy.  I think this is the most enlightening thing as I have watched people give their all trying to make others happy and then get frustrated that 1) They fail or 2) They are not happy themselves.  There is a lot of energy saved emotionally and mentally when you figure this out.

You can make yourself happy, in fact, your own happiness is the only happiness that you can really strive to achieve.  You also are the only person who can destroy your own happiness.  That is not to say that others can’t affect your happiness or life and general, but how you perceive, interpret and/or act about those things that determine your happiness and those are all in your power to do.

That’s not to say your emotions cannot be entwined with another.  I think Heinlein’s definition of love is applicable here.  The notion of love being where someone else’s happiness is essential to your own and vice versa. In the case of love, even here through the choices and who has the power over your happiness is still you.

In my own life, this principle has been difficult, even though the truth of it resonates with my soul.  Being an empathic person kind of causes people’s emotions to affect you at times, like it or not.  That said it is still my choice of whether or not to let that affect my happiness in general. I find also that memory can be a difficult thing to deal with at times.  I have choices to make about each and every time I remember things because my memories are highly emotional which of course causes me to relive them like they were yesterday.

All in all, though, the principle is true.  it is just you might have to make a lot of decisions and fight a lot of battles to stand on that mountain top of happiness.  It is, however, your power to achieve or destroy.

Closing Song: “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey:

Just the lyrics so you can sing along.

Parting Thought: 

 

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Yes, they do.  When it comes to happiness you never know who or what will come along to brighten your day.  You do have to be in the right frame of mind to be on the lookout for it.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!