Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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A Bridge Dyed Red with the Blood of a Poet

Yule morning. A friend and I are driving back from singing up the Sun out of the Mississippi River valley.

Each year, as we have for decades, on Yule morning we sing the Sun up from a bridge once dyed red with the blood of a poet.

Surely such a bridge must stand forever.

My friend gets a text from his partner, who has decided to forgo the annual cold and discomfort of the river valley's microclimate, and instead has proceeded directly to the Sunrise brunch location towards which we're currently heading.

“Where is everyone?” she writes.

In fact, the singing was particularly good this year, and we lingered long to savor it. You could feel our songs calling up the Sun out of darkness. You could feel us calling the trees into bud, the apples into blooming and fruiting, all in their own proper season.

“'Minneapolis Bridge Collapses, Coven Killed,'” I intone in my best self-important banner-headline tone.

We riff off of this scenario for a few minutes, laughing.

“They'd still be telling stories about us a hundred years from now,” I say.

“The old Achilles dilemma,” says my friend. “Undying fame, or a life of anonymity.”

He pauses, reflecting.

“Me, I'll settle for brunch,” he says.

I concur, and we do.

A bridge dyed red with the blood of a poet will surely never fall.






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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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