An Episode in the Life of a Compatriot

Photo (c)2022 by Sanguine Woods.


I became frustrated with planet Earth today. It was episodic. And intense. And a lot like being in charge of who’s head goes next in a Charles Dickens yarn. From Mar Vista to Mar-a-Lago—the murder of Anne Heche which is being covered up and no one is talking about: it shows me people are afraid of something; and the rifling through a former American President’s ‘compound’ to discover confidential US documents—apparently on display for friends and wayward staff (declassified by Donald himself, and relocated to said compound by White House staff)—well, that shows me something, too: people are afraid of something. And so. And so. And soooooo I walked into town. I downed a Dairy Queen Buster Bar. The big one with the peanuts. Then, I strutted down Main Street, and ducked low into a dim alleyway and through a hedge and into the wee bookstore, like a spy on the lam. I grabbed a couple reads for a cool $20. A lavender lattee and a whole lot of intense shadowy Bad Juju dissipation later (“You don’t wanna see me with the house lights on.” #RobThomas), I am reading about our nation’s first President, and discussing his life with a little jade plant I named Honey. History must comfort me. And plants and books do share common ancestry. Anyway. Anne Heche—I will not forget. And Mr. Washington, Sir, will you take care of this shit in DC and Florida, please—by the sword, General, if you must. And, Honey, dear, will you pass me my lavender latte?…and a long extension cord?

Tolling Karma’s Bell #anneheche

I’m deeply troubled over the death of this woman. I cannot place my intuitive finger on why. But I will. Funny this book is not available anywhere on the Internet all of a sudden. The actress died recently in a supposed auto fire that took 59 firefighters a long time to put out. As she was being put into the ambulance, however, she was caught sitting up, where she appears to be naked, not burned, and trying to unstrap her left leg. She was strapped to the gurney. She is pushed back down by a paremedic, and put quickly into the ambulance; and no one ever saw her again. I say no one because that’s what they consider us viewers and receivers and experiencers of the media in this country. They consider our intellects weak. And that is unfortunate. Rest in Power, Anne. May Karma toll her great balancing bell for you, dear, soon; clearly and loudly. 🤟

Above and Below: Lisa Drew Books, 2001; library copy.

Bed Burials

Replica of the “Saxon Princess” bed burial at Kirkleatham Museum. Source: Prioryman/CC BY-SA 3.0

A burial practice among elite medieval Europeans was to be interred on their beds, a rite which archaeologists call “a bed burial.” An English researcher has now completed an analysis of 72 bed burials across Europe, determining when exactly this luxury way to go arrived in England, and why. 

According to a new study published in the journal Medieval Archaeology , “bed burials” became popular in England in the 7th century AD. This century correlates with the rapid spread of Christianity in Britain. Furthermore, the new study found that all of England’s bed burials held female remains. 

Early medieval partially turned bed made from beech found in Trossinger Grave 58 in Wurtemberg. (Archaeological Museum of Baden-Württemberg)

Early medieval partially turned bed made from beech found in Trossinger Grave 58 in Wurtemberg. ( Archaeological Museum of Baden-Württemberg )

Non-Christian Husband Hunters 

Dr. Emma Brownlee is a research fellow in archaeology at Girton College, within the University of Cambridge in England, and she was the new study’s only researcher and author. In 2011 in Trumpington, an eastern English village, archaeologists uncovered a 7th century bed burial containing a young woman lying on a wooden bed with iron brackets surrounded by ritualistic grave goods. Archaeologists discovered a knife, a gold cross, garnets, and a collection of glass beads buried with the anonymous Christian woman. 

The Trumpington bed burial contained this ornate gold cross embedded with garnets. (Ethan Doyle White/CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Trumpington bed burial contained this ornate gold cross embedded with garnets. (Ethan Doyle White/ CC BY-SA 4.0 )

According to the new study the earliest known bed burial in Eastern Europe dates back to the 5th century AD. It was during the late 6th and 7th centuries that bed burials became more common for women in England, said Brownlee. The scientist concluded that bed burials in England “occurred at a time when women were moving around more as Christian wives looking for non-Christian husbands.” 

Finger Rings as Tools of Conversion 

Brownlee was able to deduce all of this data from studying the corpse’s isotopes. She discovered that three of the bed burials in England contained women with European origins. This suggests the bed burial rite was imported by women and that it was “likely linked to conversion efforts in the seventh century,” said the researcher. 

Brownlee told Live Science that in the 7th century Pope Gregory I pushed to convert non-Christian European places to the Catholic faith. Furthermore, women transferred this specific burial as they migrated as Christian missionaries, causing the practice to take on “these associations of femininity and Christianity in England,” Brownlee said in a statement.

More than 70 bed burials were studied as part of the research, including beds found in Trossingen and Cologne Cathedral. (Historic England/Medieval Archaeology/CC BY 4.0)

More than 70 bed burials were studied as part of the research, including beds found in Trossingen and Cologne Cathedral.  (Historic England/Medieval Archaeology/ CC BY 4.0 )

They Weren’t Marrying Paupers, Were They? 

During the medieval period, a major tool of conversion was arranged marriages between Christian women and “rich” non-Christian men, said Brownlee. She added that the English elite were largely non-Christian in the 7th century. This meant there was a specific policy of European Christian families trying to marry their daughters into the aforementioned English elite.

On the outside it appeared that good Christian women were concerned with paganism and set about converting non-Christian men and their families to the new Christian ways. However, these marriages also secured a lot of land, titles, and dowryfor the Catholic church and increased their power base across Europe. 

Bed Burials: Preparing for the Longest Road 

During a bed burial the body was laid in the grave and after the funeral was completed the grave would have been backfilled, with an earthen mound raised over it. Essentially, a bed burial symbolically brings together death and eternal sleep, because sleep was seen as a metaphor for death. 

Brownlee thinks the bed burial rite was “related to a person’s status, as well as a poetic metaphor regarding death.” At a time when most people slept on a crude straw mattress the cost of a wooden and metal bed frame, for disposable use, would have also been an extravagant show of disposable income. 

Top Image: Replica of the “Saxon Princess” bed burial at Kirkleatham Museum . Source: Prioryman/ CC BY-SA 3.0 

Reblogged from

“The Fly”—A Short Story by #KatherineMansfield


The Fly” is often heralded as one of Katherine Mansfield’s finest short stories. Mansfield wrote the story in February 1922 at the Victoria Palace Hotel in Montparnasse, Paris. It was first published in The Nation and Athenaeum on 18 March 1922 and in The Doves’ Nest and Other Stories in 1923. Wikipedia

Katherine Mansfield (Public Domain).


“Y’ARE very snug in here,” piped old Mr. Woodifield, and he peered out of the great, green leather armchair by his friend the boss’s desk as a baby peers out of its pram. His talk was over; it was time for him to be off. But he did not want to go. Since he had retired, since his… stroke, the wife and the girls kept him boxed up in the house every day of the week except Tuesday. On Tuesday he was dressed and brushed and allowed to cut back to the City for the day. Though what he did there the wife and girls couldn’t imagine. Made a nuisance of himself to his friends, they supposed … Well, perhaps so. All the same, we cling to our last pleasures as the tree clings to its last leaves. So there sat old Woodifield, smoking a cigar and staring almost greedily at the boss, who rolled in his office chair, stout, rosy, five years older than he, and still going strong, still at the helm. It did one good to see him. Wistfully, admiringly, the old voice added, ” It’s snug in here, upon my word ! “

” Yes, it’s comfortable enough,” agreed the boss, and he flipped the Financial Times with a paper-knife. As a matter of fact he was proud of his room ; he liked to have it admired, especially by old Woodifield. It gave him a feeling of deep, solid satisfaction to be planted there in the midst of it in full view of that frail old figure in the muffler.

” I’ve had it done up lately,” he explained, as he had explained for the past—how many ?— weeks. ” New carpet,” and he pointed to the bright red carpet with a pattern of large white rings. ” New furniture,” and he nodded towards the massive bookcase and the table with legs like twisted treacle. ” Electric heating ! ” He waved almost exultantly towards the five transparent, pearly sausages glowing so softly in the tilted copper pan.

But he did not draw old Woodifield’s attention to the photograph over the table of a grave-looking boy in uniform standing in one of those spectral photographers’ parks with photographers’ storm-clouds behind him. It was not new. It had been there for over six years.

” There was something I wanted to tell you,” said old Woodifield, and his eyes grew dim remembering. ” Now what was it ? I had it in my mind when I started out this morning.” His hands began to tremble, and patches of red showed above his beard.

Poor old chap, he’s on his last pins, thought the boss. And, feeling kindly, he winked at the old man, and said jokingly, ” I tell you what. I’ve got a little drop of something here that’ll do you good before you go out into the cold again. It’s beautiful stuff. It wouldn’t hurt a child.” He took a key off his watch-chain, unlocked a cupboard below his desk, and drew forth a dark, squat bottle. ” That’s the medicine,” said he. ” And the man from whom I got it told me on the strict Q.T. it came from the cellars at Windsor Cassel.”

Old Woodifield’s mouth fell open at the sight. He couldn’t have looked more surprised if the boss had produced a rabbit.

” It’s whisky, ain’t it ? ” he piped, feebly.

The boss turned the bottle and lovingly showed him the label. Whisky it was.

” D’you know,” said he, peering up at the boss wonderingly, ” they won’t let me touch it at home.” And he looked as though he was going to cry.

Continue reading

Hey, Hobo Man!—A #NewPoem by #SanguineWoods

Smile. It looks good on you. Photo (c)2022 by Sanguine Woods. All rights reserved.


Happy Friday. I hope it’s goin well.
Don’t forget to thank

The sun today. The God of warm.
And tonight, the moon—sweet
Argent light her Solstice rings
White midway every June.
Thank the cloud and
Drink the rain. Thank the
Pine needles for your breath.
And every flower a bee
Has named. And stone and wing
And bean and shell. Such
Gratitude serves Karma well.
And tolls the Master Maker’s
Bell—and seraphim alight
On peaks, and steeples speak
Unto “the king”—and lords and
Prophets, sheiks, and crowns—
These, the Maker wrenches
Down; as tables turned at
Temple time (when tarnished gold
Occults the rhyme
of hymnody); Upon a dime.
A snowflake trumps
the soul’s mute sound—
and parables, come
crashing down.
(A child of his

shall wear



(c)2022 by Sanguine Woods. All rights reserved.


I have an eccentric habit—I like to collect unique or interesting #gemstones and #rings from around the world. Then I spend a few days with them and name them based on the #energy I feel wearing them; or even just a romanticism I form around their origin as a crafted piece of art. This was made in #Dubai. I call it “waliu aleahd”. The energy it offers is risky business. But it’s also been cultivated in the hot desert sun—and crafted in tough-wrought Turkish silver. It’s a searing aura, then, met with a lot of hard-won desire and longing—#empire building, and #warring it all back down again—at Biblical proportions; there is a slow steady burn to this energy—it is a dry heat—it does not let up. It is #entitled. 

All of this I do not yet understand; but I will… “altharwat tueti lilrajul alshujae ‘akthar min alrajul alkhayif”, they say; and so, in the end, it’s the weak man who #leadsthemasses. And it’s the bold men, alone, who lead all the badasses. (la tusi’ fahum hadhih alhaqiqa)


“waliu aleahd” — Original words/Photo (c)2022 by Sanguine Woods. All rights reserved.









“Beachwater Blues”🌴 — #newpoetry by #SanguineWoods

Photo courtesy of


A little breeze came. And went.
And it came and went. Then
It came and went again.
And again
And again
And again. But,
The day was smokin hot.
And it’s a breeze, right?

And I’m a Colorado boy at heart,

All the damn day long.
Not born; but raised.
And mountain tops they
Should be praised.

But those beach boy
Tunes—they slay me man:
Gettin paid and stayin tan—
Glass of moondust in my hand—

And those backbeat vibes?
They won’t unpack:

Come ride the woeful curl of jade—
Miss Lady Luck’s got throws to save—

Crest the ocean-burl and toss—
You’re pure-white pearls
On a pirate’s grave—

(c)2022 by Sanguine Woods. All rights reserved.

#witches&spells! ✨  🥀🕷 ❤️‍🔥 🕷🌹✨#sabrinatheteenagewitch



I ♥️ the writing in this show! It’s poetry and gothic-melodrama, mashed together w comic-book scene-setting and atoeyboarding—and enough teenage angst to keep anyone watching who made it through those dreaded years.

🎥It keeps me watching, because every time I return to it, as I walk along the myriad #pathways I have chosen to follow on my life’s journey, I am able to better hear the subliminal language of the show’s story—and better speak the actual language of #thecrookedpath, which I can also hear, understand, and translate, now. #lore #traditionalwitchcraft, aka. #magick #blackmagic #Netflix #comicbooks #archie #feminism #toxicpuritanmasculinity #witchhunt #teens #Haloween #writing #familiars #witch #bigotry #discrimination #girlpower #moon #goddess #darkbaptism

Season 1, Episode 1:

Sabrina: Lorning Aunties. Ambrose.
Auntie Hilda: “Good Morning, darling. How did you sleep?”
Auntie Z: “Tempestuously, by the sound of it.”
Sabrina: “Now that you mention it, Aunt Z, I did wake up once or twice. It’s an exciting time…in more ways than one.
Auntie X: “Hmmmm. I remember the week before my Dark Baptism. I barely slept. It felt as if my real life were finally beginning. I barely slept.
Auntie Hilda: “Here, love. Rabbits’ for feet under your pillow tonight. You’ll sleep like the dead.”
Sabrina: “Speaking is the dead…a bat flew into my room last night. Smashed through one of my windows.”
Ambrose: “You want me to bring it back!”
Auntie Z: “No, Ambrose. We’ll have none of your necromancy.”
Sabrina: “Is it ok if I bury it in the garden?”
Auntie Hilda: “Yes. As you wish. You can bury it in the pet cemetery by the sundial. There’s room there.” *Places a drink down.
Sabrina: “Wait. What’s this?”
Auntie Z: “Before it can be baptized, the temple of your body needs to be purified. Cleansed of its toxins.
Auntie Hilda: “This is actually milk and eggs, and Rosemary and agrimony, and a cup full of vanilla, and a pinch of the John the Conqueror root and tannis…and some other herbs from my garden. Drink up, darling.”
Ambrose: “Cough!—Don’t do it cousin!”
Auntie Z: “Ambrose!” *glares… “Sabrina, you need to pick a Familiar before your Dark Baptism. The Council sent over the Registry.” (drops old heavy book onto table drops): I’ve indicated a few suitable options. (opens the book to pictures of animals): Now, there’s a very handsome hedgehog, a noble-looking owl; Vinegar Tom would happily welcome another dog…”
Sabrina: “About that, Aunt Z, instead of picking a Familiar out of a book, which is so…I don’t know, dehumanizing—“
Auntie Z: “Familars are goblins, who have taken on the shape of animals to better serve their witch masters. There’s nothing ‘human’ about them.”
Sabrina: “But…I’ve been practicing a summoning spell I found in the Demonomicon—and, what if I put it out there that I’m looking for a Familiar, and see if anyone wants to volunteer.”
Auntie Hilda: “I think that is a charming idea!”
Auntie Z: “What about your baptismal name? Have you settled on one yet?”
Sabrina: “I have as a matter of fact, ‘Edwina Diana’ Edwina, which is almost Edward, to honor my father—and Diana, to honor my mother. And not just to honor them, but to be closer to them, to have them with me as I walk the Path of Night.”
Auntie Hilda: “Oh, god, I’m going to cry! And, Injust wish your mom and dad were here to see this, to see you!”
Sabrina: “Me, too, Auntie.”
Auntie Hilda: “They would be so proud of the young woman you’ve become.”
Auntie Z (long cigarette in fingers): “Correction—They’d be so proud of the young witch she is becoming.”



(Penguin Press, NY 2019)


Mornings can also be places where starlight is stored. Reading some #MaryOliver—Upstream was the second-to-last thing she ever published. I met her in 2006 at the Tattered Cover bookstore in LoDo (Denver lower downtown). I had to hear her readings from another room—the room was packed. Then I waited three hours to have her sign four books. When I got to the front of the line and she saw the books, she heaved the collective sigh of drained emotives and intuitive wordworkers—she nodded at me, stood up; and quietly went out into the dark dripping alley for a goddam smoke break. (She did kindly sign them on her return, smiling, light blue eyes twinkling behind reading glasses on a silver chain.)
This woman woke with the morning. Walked with the doe in her forest. Plucked shells from the sand like diamonds. She loved her dogs, living and passed on. In fact she published a whole book of poetry, Dog Songs, for them. She loved her wife of over 50 years who passed on before Mary did. So she knew lonely. A shaman of the earth—Mary Oliver left us a collection of maps (poems & essays) to show us the way—to her truth and lessons learned—if we should ever care to find her, that is—her and the doe, and the shell and the pond, moon and foot of the sparrow—and the pain of being different and the pain of childhood trauma (which she endured from her father) and how to love anyway—regardless—for five decades; and how not to kiss only a human being (‘let your body drink in the juice of the sweet wild blackberries and love what it loves’)—but, also a kitten born without one eye; a weed along the roadside; a savage parental wound; the thinnest thread of a dying lover’s final words; and mostly, most importantly, how to press your lips softer to the breast of Mother Earth and know her heartbeat.

Wisdom for your day my friends.
And calm should you need it
to remain balanced.

Love yourself bigger today.
Than you did yesterday.


Below: Mary Oliver w one of her beloved friends (Pinterest).