Monday, January 30, 2006

The Gypsy Rover (The Highwaymen)

This is a beautiful song, recorded by The Highwaymen in 1961. If anybody knows how to upload a song onto this blog, it would be really nice to have this song uploaded.

"Ah-di-do, ah-di-do-da-dayAh-di-do, ah-di-day-dee. He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang and he won the heart of the lady.

The gypsy rover came over the hill,
Down through the valley shady,
He whistled and he sang ‘til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of the lady.

She left her father's castle gate, left her own fond lover. She left her servants and her states to follow the gypsy rover.

Her father saddled his fastest steed and roamed the valleys all over. He searched for his daughter at great speed and the whistlin' gypsy rover.

He came at last to a mansion fine, down by the river Clady and there was music, and there was wine for the gypsy and his lady.

He's no gypsy, my Father, she said,But Lord of these lands all over and I will stay 'til my dyin' day with my whistlin' gypsy rover.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Gypsy Eyes

Janie's piece caused me to seek out this poem,
originally titled 'Wizard Eyes', except that
Hollywood and fiction writings have
completely destroyed that term.

I now use the word 'Cuin', but 'Gypsy'
can serve as well in spiritual draw ...


Pray come gather about the joining fire
and behold how the bright protected flames
flicker in the caress of approaching night,
and roar out in awe of sudden gusting
awareness of the approaching spirit.

“for you are alive – adept – centered,
protected, guided, driven by my presence.”

See strange shadows dance in symmetry
with the velvet strumming of Mother Earth
and vibrant song of a time-spun lyre.
Gather close round - about to sing and dream,
while tinkling embers fane warm your soul.

“for I can see your secret flame within,
and hear your lover’s special whispered name”

See in each new friend a mirror of being
who now fills in the words you did forget,
and shades your eyes from the glare of truth,
so that you can dance free of guilt and shame,
now reborne to the innocence of dawn.

“for these wise aging eyes will never dim
when you arrive with open hand and heart.”

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Eye of the Gypsy

Look for a gypsy in the eye of every stranger,
Take nothing that's yours to avoid uncertain danger,
For the trap on the road is to lose sight of your heart,
To fatten on certainty, comfort and untruthful art,
To be afraid of taking risks, wrong turns and lost pride,
To feed a guarded heart on dirt from yesterday's stride.
Posession is 9/10 of irrelevance and your dreams hold the key,
To the darkness that you are, and the sun that you can be.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Zaryana's Journal

Late last night I wandered down to the Gypsy Camp to see my old friend Zaryana. As I approached the camp I heard the simple beat of a drum, possibly a tabor. Ticka ticka, tic tic tic. I edged nearer. The roaring fire blocked my vision at first. Then off to the side I saw a few dancers, long skirts waving to the drumbeat. I looked for my old gypsy friend and saw her at the edge of the group, ready to join in the dance. Easing onto a log next to a young girl, I sat and watched.

Ticka ticka tic tic tic. The drums were joined by zils flirting with the beat. Dancers now whirled onto the makeshift stage, their skirts and scarves whirling together as watercolors flowing onto a painting. The drums quickened as the dancers moved. Zaguareets, high pitched trills, honored the dancers as the audience showed their approval. What joy!

As the dance was ending, my friend saw me and motioned for me to stay. It seemed she had something to tell me. A few minutes later she rushed over to me. “Come with me my friend,” she whispered, still out of breath from the dance. “I have something to show you!”

We hastened off to her wagon. As I entered the scent of sandalwood and myrrh greeted my nose. Candles everywhere, shadows flickering off each other. No other lights. It was warm inside even though I had been cold outside and I looked around to find the source of the heat. Before I could find it, my attention was brought back to my friend as she handed me a parcel.

“I found this the other day,” Zaryana told me. “I thought you might like to read it.”

I opened the brown paper wrapping and found Zaryana’s very own journal from years past. My heart leapt with excitement as I turned the pages. Drawings, collages, poems, all written in her exotic handwriting. A running narrative wove through the pages explaining and detailing her many adventures over the years. I was in visual heaven!

I must have been so caught up in the book I had not noticed she had made tea and poured me a cup. She laughed as she thrust one of her delicious Russian tea cakes under my nose. “A little treat to warm the night?” she asked.

We sat and enjoyed the Russian Caravan tea and cakes. She told me I could keep the journal for as long as I wanted and urged me to share some of it with my new friends at Riversleigh Manor. I promised her I would guard this treasure with my life and hurried back to my room to read.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Gypsy Dancers

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

SKREE - 3 (end)

So while the Cuins forged their will into solidity of being, and weaved magick from threads of Currents and Creation's notes and special gifts of perception; the park lost its identity and purpose and the skree return to Mother Earth. Which was fine by the Throng, for in truth they harbored secret fears and some lack of trust in what they did not understand. They accepted one and all the powers and domains, and price to pay for the love found there in these wonders of stone and magick -- and they needed these Cuin as much as the Cuin existed only by their will -- and this was magick too.

And finally the work was done -- at least this tested part. The Throng came to within the Meadow to see and learn and wonder, and by their sway of change of heart and mind that day, would forge themselves the meaning of the Cuin Arts. The children were excluded though, which bothered them not a lick, and they were left in safety at the Park. The ancient one would keep out a wary eye for scrape and tear and unlikely stranger -- of this there was no doubt. And no one questioned why this one alone did not care to see the wonders of the Cuin, and would prefer the innocence of little ones at play. He and they belonged there, I guess, as comfortable as the stones and the lessons of the trees and songs of the grass.

At dusk the Throng left the Meadow in silence, as there seemed nothing to be said. They went home to hearth and field and shop as before, though struck by awe and wonder of the magick they had seen. The children joined the journey with tiny hands 'round fingers and flowers in their hair; and the Throng dissolved into families and couples and ones who walked alone. Some were changed, of course, in great and hidden ways, and in doing cast a vote; and the Cuin came to learn that none of them had really made much difference, thought that alone was magickal enough. The meadow is a myth, of course -- or so it seems this day, and the Cuin returned to chosen place and name, where they can be found right now -- if you choose to seek and listen with soul instead of mind.

Of the Meadow there is nothing left now but a shimmering lake, formed as the stream pressed ever against the Skree and brought down the soft sands and pebbles of lost hopes from above and all. And through and of this changing the old man sat and watched the passing of the Cuin, and they in turn bowed a bit and smiled -- for they too were children, and some even tarried a bit to eat some stew and whistle with the birds.

And there are those who would say there is no such thing as Magick;
and none of the Throng ever asked his name,
but you know where to find him
just the same.
I do!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


At spots about at seeming random draw of mound and rill and forest shade there were a number of piles of hefty stones -- just enough, it seems, for the count of travelers. Each might have been a crumbled castle wall or ancient buttress fallen from an edifice now shifted on. Each comprised in equal share stones rough and smooth, large and small and of shapes varied by geometer. There was even a spread of discarded skree at the meadow's lip where additional pieces could be sought to fit special niche or purpose; but it was found that each preset heap of opportunity was enough for then and all -- the 'Cuin', I mean. Well, I have to call these contestants something, and that will serve -- certainly none had objection to this phrase of reverence or limitation.

They assembled by process unknown close by these pallets of boulders and pebbles and gravel. Each fashioned in experienced imagination that which would resemble; and by what special art and intent that which would manifest assemble. For each would in finality be both a statement of self and soul and show the firmament just how magick played a role. Aye -- it was a simple task thus set by common will. While simple folk might find magick in any sense of awe that they might share with one another, these Cuin would forge a reality of magick art and prance of mind and spirit and heart. Now pray understand -- this 'contest' was not for ranking or fine reward, for the Cuin were above that in need or comfort -- but as a 'con - 'test', as to learn or steer a course in trial and perfection. In the taverns below, where the 'judges' prepared, this event was called in mirth the, "The grand put up or shut up," but then what would these villagers know of magick? May as well call them 'throng', for want of better term.
The Throng was vital in the game both as participants, audience and judge; for magick is meaningless unless it changes something -- and humanity is all we have by way of measure. Each of the Throng spent time in the Meadow; some to stand and gawk and get underfoot, others to help in construction for pay or barter -- some to pay in kind for entertainment provided by some Cuin for some bardic art. It might have been a medieval faire, for all of that, and each man found his place or call. They all wearied eventually though, and it became custom to rest at the Skree before the journey home. There was in practice a stone suited to every rump and shade suitable for a brief nap or a picnic or some games. What the Cuin would discard became a sort of park.

Within the Meadow sections solid miracles took form and shape -- which I will not describe out of respect -- and lack of words. You need to grasp that each was not a 'tower' or 'stage' or 'classroom', but that such words might apply, depending on which Throng gazed on it or toiled there or shook their head in wonder. In some the stones meshed in seeming random form yet in perfect symmetry -- and on these the Cuin sat or stood that all could plainly see. In some the building blocks were hewn smooth and regular such that no mortar held them fast -- and the Cuin there was hid away, though music issues forth. In one the boulders were phase-shifted unto sand and scooped and sculpted into fairie drifts and then returned to stone -- the Cuin within cast only shadows and brilliant words of light. In another the stones became benches in a theater both round and in a maze -- the Cuin there attending seemed everywhere at once. And there were/are others -- those just caught my eye.

Daily at the park, while chatting with friends old and new, I noticed that one man was always there -- I guess had always been. He sat by a smokeless fire and stirred a pot of stew, to which many folk added bits of edibles left over from their meal -- and no one ever went hungry or suffered long from chill. The tumbled stones stayed where they lay and drew on coverlets of moss and fern and lichen. We were comfortable there when said and done and the aged one always set out a lantern when the sun was gone. We knew he must have had stories to share, but somehow we always spoke instead, or laughed at some simple joke, or took a hand at mimicking a Cuin up the hill. There were no rules or guiding hand, yet the Skree did not allow for shouting or rough words or normal push and tumble. A gentle breeze always seemed to keep the pests away and the water in the brook's eddy pool was always clear and cool. And best of all the children found it easy to join in simple games and leave the troubles of the world to parents and wiser ones, who gathered in small groups to converse and whisper dreams.

(to be continued)

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Lavengro and I were enjoined (hiding)
beneath a shading wagon playing mumble-t-peg,
when conversation drifted to perceptions
of magick and epiphenomina.

rather than offer an opinion
(which is all any one can pontificate),
I told a story -- or started one,
as he is constantly being interupted --
or in search of another bottle of wine,



They came, or perhaps assembled would be more precise, for no one had the competence to call or herald, nor would these have heeded a command by any measure. They just understood that a shift to minor key vibration had created a hollow in the fabric of knowledge -- so they came to 'scratch an itch', shall we say. As they gathered from close to 'say when' and 'over yonder' and 'just beyond', the reflections of their energy brought attention to a specific place; and conditions of a contest, and limits equally repugnant to all -- and thereby extremely balanced fair. And so it began -- and thus there is a tale to tell -- and that is enough -- or so I am told.

Now to make sense of this you will have to conceptualize who or what they are -- or were -- it's tough to explain when all of those words apply. So just suppose you can see a little glimpse of these going-ons, like peaking through a knothole at the universe. Some came from a place where they were called alchemists, but that claim would hardly hold in South Unture. Others were lovingly called witches, but were more like music teachers that spiritual mechanics. A couple or three would be acknowledged as wizards in my old home town, but were barely remembered in their home of claim. No matter actually, for all forespoke their trappings and dressed in soft beige robes and used short friendly names that what you would know is not. The only thing that served common bond were stories told and dance and song; for they were only men and women after all.

The meadow was curious only in that it was unused, slightly up a bit from the valley floor and reasonable distant from three towns well met. Black soil nurtured dreams of seeds and corms and bulbs in turn, and the surrounding forest gave forth game and fowl to follow the central stream, where trout competed with morning mist-laughter for sparkle and allure. Perhaps it was just that no one had ever found the place -- yet -- or something. It would serve!

(to be continued)


Gypsies in the Woods

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My mother said
That I never should
Play with the gypsies
In the wood
Of if I did she would say
Naughty girl to disobey
Your hair shan't curl,
Your shoes shan't shine
You naughty girl
You shan't be mine

Well I have never been fussed about curly hair and shining shoes and my poor old Mum has long given up on the idea of disowning me for doing naughty things. These days she is naughtier than me and willing to come on any of my insane adventures. That is her up in the tree and me dancing for Lavengro.