‘Dark Season’ touches on the ‘in between places’ of the autumnal equinox

The Pirate Poet embraces the darkness of the fall season

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 1:00pm

    Last we heard from that poetry-writing swashbuckling pirate John Bullock, a part-time mate on the Appledore, he was trying to impress a lass in a literary showdown.

    But as September 22 marks the autumnal equinox, it’s time to embrace the darkness. Of the following poem, which Bullock wrote around the fall equinox in 1998, he said: “In folklore and in many belief systems, coming into this dark time of the year is considered ‘in between times’ in which the things you can’t define and can’t explain come out to play. This is the same reason that midnight is considered a magical time, as well as dawn or dusk, because it’s neither fish nor fowl, neither one thing or another, it’s something in between.”

    Bullock, an avid reader of legends, attributes the inspiration of this poem to The Kalevala, a 19th-Century body of poetry encompassing Finnish oral folklore and mythology. 

    “In The Kalevala, the world is created by this primordial wizard singer named Väinämöinen. He sings the world into being by naming things and thereby circumscribing what they are and what they are not,” he said. Defining something gives a person power over it, said Bullock. “When the Christian missionaries got to Iceland, they decided that all of the gods were demons and devils. Because once you call something a ‘demon’ it is no longer defined as a ‘god’ and it reduces its power considerably.”

    Once again bring you some of Pirate John’s best prose and the inspiration behind it.

    Dark Season

    This is the advent of the dark season
    When rigid patterned Day
    Illuminated by Reason
    Fades in the Coming Twilight

    The primal Darkness now holds sway
    From which everything once came
    Before Logic lied-explaining away
    All the secrets of the Night

    We invoked the power in a Name
    To cover the cracks where Chaos hides
    And so we sought to bind the reign
    of Nameless mysteries of the Night

    But borders blur and boundaries slide
    As the pendulum ever swings
    And possibilities, banished, slip their ties
    That once kept them from the light

    Listen to the songs the Darkness sings
    Escape the trap of Reason
    Taste of all the nameless things
    Freed in the gloaming season

    Rage Not against the dying of the Light
    Revel in the coming of the Night!

    (my apologies to Dylan Thomas)


    Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com