Friday, 25 June 2010

Albion beckons, but bless the Turtle Island.

Well, time is a flying arrow, and, for now, this great epic journey through America is almost done. It's early morning here in Point Reyes -the 'LEAVING THE VILLAGE, FINDING THE FOREST, weekend was a huge success - 250 souls on the fri, 60 for the workshop. Rumi round an open fire, David's leaping cello, Lisa's hugely powerful poetry, stories of Wild Third Daughter's and Men that Become Bears. Sat night late i was invited into the Miwok roundhouse (local Native American tribe) as guest storyteller for their solstice celebrations. So after several hours as ceremonial drummer (about 12.45 at night) i told a Firebird story into that most magical of environments. A big honour and i look forward to spending more time with them and witnessing more of their beautiful dances. Big, mad thanks to the great LISA DORON for organizing the weekend and making it such a success; a very gifted woman.
So much to say and so much experienced this last five weeks. I will cherry pic some photos on my return to daub into the blog.
A final hook up with Coleman tonight at a Sufi Conference just outside San Francisco and then home on Monday. Much more on the trip soon amigos(i need 2 hours spare to do justice)-remember, the next WHEEL OF STORY event in Devon a week Saturday! It will be the last one up at Bone Hill House (boo!) so lets give it a big send off and send much love and support to SAM WERNHAM in the process. The story will be one i have never explored before, along with Duende poetry from Lorca and Rilke. See you there!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Hollywood boogie-woogie

well, it's the small hours here in san francisco bay, and me and the tribe are holed up with the magnificent Doug Von Koss before waddling (chicken, pasta, ice cream and red wine supper)up to Point Reyes this friday for the LEAVING THE VILLAGE,FINDING THE FOREST weekend with Coleman Barks et al (see previous blogs for all details).
We had a great time in LA: John Densmore was the consumate host and elegently ignored my tourettes syndrome of DOORS lyrics continually being muttered under my breath. Shaw Tribe has fallen in love with Topagna Canyon- and specifically 'Froggies' bar.
Events in Hollywood and Malibu went very well (Hollywood gig with Daniel Deardorff went out live on the net on Kulaks Woodshed website. Email them and they may repeat). Did an event on land up in the mountains owned by the Lloyd-Wrights (the famous ones)-blazing hot, heavily magical spot, we all felt touched by some strange ancient energy.
So we've traversed thousands of miles and found curious, kind folk everywhere we went. Turtle Island really is some place to be. Lots more shaggy corners and brilliant trees than we see on the adverts. A raised glass as i crawl into my dark bed.More soon.

'yet no matter how deeply i go down into myself
My god is dark, and like a webbing made
of a hundred roots, that drink in silence.'

Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Well, its been emotional. Two and half weeks into the U.S. foray and this is the first time i have had a moment to write. New York was 90 in the shade, aye curamba. The Shaw tribe staggered to the Met and saw paintings by Robert Motherwell, Willem De Kooning and Susan Rothenburg, then wolfed hot dogs and ice cream, before getting lost on the subway and ending up in deepest Bronx. I did a gig in a prohibition syle speak easy ; gin in cups and rooms hidden behind bookshelves. Guide was Nick Adamski,fuedal lord over the 'Poetry Brothel' events in NY, a shadow boxing champ of the holy word.

Then onto Vermont for a day on rites-of-passage and then the Great Mother Conference. Bly rocked this year - best i've seen him for a awhile. Shaw tribe were holed up with writer Lewis Hyde and Poet Tony Hoagland, plus one vat of Jim Beam and a selection of beverages. I think the conference missed having one big story as opposed to a bunch i had to squeeze in (usual time restraints and nebulous planning)but had many highlights, especially from the younger folks - the emergence of a womens circle (yay!) and Adamski bringing the Brothel in as a late night event. Poetry that is. It was it's usual blur of song, dance, story and poetry.

So now i'm in downtown L.A., writing this in the hallway of a motel, surrounded by lively hispanic voices. Police broke down a nearby door for overdose victim last night, if that gives you an idea of the area. Actually we went for a late night stroll and it was groovy - wild spanish churches on the street, $5 for HUGE pizzas and everyone very affable. Danny Deardorff flies in today for a weekend of us teaching Russian Fairy Tales in North Hollywood and Malibu and the bags are packed for John Densmore to pick us up at midday to whisk us off to his rock star pad in the hills.It's a tough gig this myth work,(sigh) but i guess someone has to do it.

Some news is that i will be a guest on Caroline Casey's radio show a week this thursday (live from Berkely -2 pm US time, 10pm UK time). I will be live in the studio before heading off to find Coleman Barks and friends in a San Fran parking lot for our weekend (see below entry). Just google her name to tune in on line or hear as an archive on her website.

So we're having a good time and hope to see your face before too long on this strange old trip. Wild storms and emotional outbursts are always close, but hey, thats what myth-tellers sign up for. Daughter Dulcie is tugging on my leg for a dip in the pool so i must away. More soon.
Slange amigos.
M x