Stories and Snippets from my Travels in the US of A

 

Historically Reenacted Battles, (to the best of my ability)

I shall be returning to The Norwegian, Rockford, IL, USA for a couple of gigs this spring, and perhaps this isn’t the best example of my work…

Lady Freyja snippet from the Irish club, Green Bay, WI, USA…

Snippet from Veikko’s Quest, as performed at Hostfest, North Dakota, USA…

Veikko’s Quest snippet from University Wisconsin. Green Bay…

Bit more from the Hus…

Dwayne volunteers here feeding the fish, but actually it is a hydroponics bay…

Cujo and Tree’s open mic at Pepper GB in Green Bay USA

Another one from Pepper GB…

And a scary one to finish…

giddy viking by danny

Gods and Goddesses of the Greek Mythos Continued – Hermes the Babe

Gods and Goddesses of the Greek Mythos Continued – Hermes the Babe

Here is another of my characterisations of Gods and Goddesses, this one written while I was in hospital having the cancer taken away (nil by mouth for 19 days).

In this case though although it is an interesting storyline the God (if he is a God) Hermes is at best an anti-hero with the historic crimes division after him probably. There are those who leapt from Olympus rather than him turn them to ever staring stone.

Hermes – Cairn-man – Pillar of Stone – Toddler

This man is not a god he is a pillar.image An offspring of gods yet was born as an embodiment of an orgiastic pillar. Dance near him if you dare. Hermes is Priapus the totemistic virtue of a phallic pillar or cairn no less.

His mother was Maia and if there was such a thing as fatherhood back then we would be saying his father was Zeus. Maia met Zeus because she was the daughter of Apollo then afterwards being with child she had a score to settle with her father for mistreatments.[!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]  Gods being gods they grow fast, and Hermes grew fast, very fast, especially in intellect. By seven months he had mastered the bow and invented many things, then Themis gave him nectar and ambrosia of the gods or should that be Nectar of the Gods and Ambrosia of the Gods; and he was ready to   adventure. image.jpgReady for that vengeance from beyond the womb.

He was followed by a gathering band of nymphs they made a wicked wilful travelling party. wild band.jpgHe was befriended by Cyllene. They played and sang and laughed. Cyllene showed off her enchanting musical ability and Hermes claimed he could make something far more mystical than that. Cyllene bid him to show it was true, Hermes said he would need some cattle hide to make the strings. Then when Cyllene told him of Apollo’s herd he knew he could get his revenge and build his instrument, he knew so much more too. Well well before we discover how great he is, he knew.

Yes this merry band agreed that little Hermes and they could smuggle the herd, but Apollo would simply follow and they would be found.

Hermes bid them cut large patches of bark from the Fallen Oak and to cut long grass to bind into cord. From these he showed them how to fashion shoes for the cattle and away they were led along a trackless path.

The cattle were gone.

Apollo was livid.

Apollo he searched but there were no tracks.

Then, by chance in his raging stampede around the land he found the Satyrs, led by the rogue Silenus they were greedy for reward, great reward, for Apollo was angry, very great reward.

Eventually, in Arcadia, the Satyr gang heard something unusual, unique in fact; strange music like no melody ever heard before yet dulled and distant. It seemed to be coming from far away and yet from everywhere. It seemed to be coming from below the earth and yet, – no it was, it was down below, it was. Eager as they were they could not help but dance. Dance, as they hunched and sniffed and searched

Tnymph.jpghen suddenly they noticed a little way ahead by a gateway in a leafy copse the sultry, haughty, Cyllene idly taking the air. The music led them towards her.

It was louder behind her and there at the back of the glade was a cave; the music was coming from there. “What is that music of the nymphs we have never heard before?”cave.jpg

Cyllene swung gently round towards them, “No nymph plays that marvellous tune upon that unique instrument.”

“No one can play better than the nymphs, no one has a better instrument than they.” The satyrs gaggled together in panic behind him, staring in quizzical fear.

“Hermes does.”

“Who is Hermes?”

“Hermes is a babe.”chain babe.jpg

The Satyrs stood mesmerised as Cyllene gracefully articulated the story of the babe who was born within this cave. He who had adventured across the lands at so young an age, who had acted with great skill and created a marvellous lyre like nothing ever heard before. Silenus enquired what this lyre was like and Cyllene told him how it was shaped like a tortoise because he had fashioned it out of a tortoise and cow hide twine. “So where did he get this twine?” “Are you calling him a thief!” Just as a fierce argument sprung up a few things happened at once.crane.jpg A great long-winged bird landed in the glade; this was the Sacred Crane sacred to Hermes and because of Hermes. Silenus glanced his eyes around the glade and there were two cow hides stretched between branches to dry.hides.jpg The grandfather of the babe of course had known that the crane was sacred, sacred to Hermes, and had followed it; Apollo suddenly appeared.

Silenus pointed at the hides, thus establishing himself a right to the reward, then to seal the deal he pointed at the cave.

Apollo strode in and down with a procession following. There lay Maia sleeping deeply a bundle in her arms. “Bring me that quickly grown man Hermes now,” shouted the mighty Apollo, “For he has stolen my cattle and shall be made to bring them back to me, at least all that live.”

Maia threw back the covers and revealed a babe still in its swaddling bands and wrapped in a large leather hide. “How could it be that a babe such as this has done this thing you say?”image.jpg

“I recognise the hide!” boomed Apollo and he snatch up the child and fled the cave.

“Father of Heaven,” (and father of the babe unfortunately), cried Apollo as he bent to his knee in front of Zeus, “I accuse this babe”, (the bundle unrolled from his arms as did the other two hides from the glade), “of theft of all my herd.”z 01.jpg

“Zeus looked down to Hermes, “I cannot believe that you did such a thing and I ask you to plead not guilty.”

“Well I did,” confessed Hermes standing proudly for all his small size, “and I am sorry. I shall return all that live and tell you of the flesh of the others”

Apollo stood looking dazed, enraged and confused.

I divided the flesh of each dead beast in to twelve pieces each as sacrifices to the twelve gods.”

“Twelve?” questioned Apollo, “Who it the twelfth?”

Bowing with a smirk the tiny Hermes said, “Why it is I”.chain babe

How Zeus laughed.z 02

Hermes continued, “A twelfth of the flesh of each of the beasts I ate for I was ferocious hungry the rest I burned. Thus I have invented the first ever flesh- sacrifice. Now I shall give you recompense, follow me.”

He led Apollo in a flash back to the cave and he retrieved a bundle from beneath a sheepskin. “What have you there?” asked Apollo.

Hermes held up the tortoise-shell lyre in display and in the other hand held a plectrum, “This I also invented.”

The music was mesmerising, the singing was praise worthy; it was full of praise also. Praise of Apollo, his nobility, his dignity his grace, his intelligence and, of course, his generosity. It worked, Apollo forgave him and nevertheless little Hermes led him to Pylus, playing all the way, to the cave he had hidden the cattle.image.jpg He released them to graze and offered the Lyre to Apollo, he took it and thankful he said as I keep this so you keep the cattle. Hermes held up his tiny tiny hand and Apollo solemnly shook.

From the distance they heard the mountain top laughter of Zeus as he watched all Hermes’ antics.

As the cattle grazed Hermes gathered long grasses and wove them into a pipe. He played and he declared, “This is the shepherd pipe that leads any sheep to you.”

“If you will let me have this pipe I will trade you my golden cattle-herding staff; it also has the power to send the spirits of the dead peacefully to heaven.”

“I accept, in part, for the reedpipe is worth far more than the golden staff and I will accept the deal if you also promise to teach me the power of augury.”

The distant laugh of the onlooking Zeus could be heard again from afar.z 03.jpg

“I cannot but my three nurses the Thriae can. They will teach you on the isle of Parnassus to read the flowing pebbles in the swirling bowl.”pebbles.jpg

“This is indeed a very ingenious, eloquent and persuasive Godling.” Chortled Zeus.

Upon their return Zeus bellowed at tiny Hermes, “You must promise forever from now respect the rights of another’s property and never tell utter lies.”

“Then make me your herald great father, and I will never tell lies, although I shall not promise to always tell the whole of the truth in every detail. Furthermore I shall protect and preserve all divine property in your honour.”ribbon stick.jpg

(Apollo was chortling now.)

“You shall be my herald then, and you shall in that duty guide the dead to the underworld, oversee all matters of business, all treaties and all rights of way.styx

Even furthermore you shall teach us the twirling of sticks to make fire you shall assist the Three Fates (this he did and invented the knuckle bones, the alphabet, astronomy, boxing, the musical scale, gymnastics and weights and measures. He also learned the tree alphabet.)

Thus it was Zeus who chuckled quietly now for he had honoured and empowered him in such a way that he would forever be too busy.

So it was that the now growing Hermes was presented with the adornments of Herald and proudly stood in the round hat of rain protection, the fast flying golden sandals and the beribboned herald’s staff which commanded respect from all when Hermes was engaged in matters of administration, (of which there were many).admin babe.jpg

Thank you Robert Graves

 

 

Recent blogs include from the Greek Myths, Athene , The Fates and Pan.

Behold the God-slayer Typhon – Doom of Zeus – Graphic Novel First Draft

Ales and Tales around York pubs.

and more as the Skald to the Chieftain inspired by Georg and Gudvangen.

history-tabviking-life-taboldman-tabviking comics inc tab.jpgpoetics tab.jpgrants tab.jpgchat tab.jpgspooky tab.jpggby-tabnewsnext

My Storytelling props at the Diverse Festival

We had a great time at this amazing festival in Bridlington, Yorkshire. If you want to know more about We Are Theatre events go to www.wearetheatre.co.uk

Here is a little film showing my props, a film of the ribbon dance show with Meg Badrick and Rachel Louise Fitt and one of the stalls; Homeopathy, Bridlington.

meg n rach

rach

puppets

 

My favourite ‘shorts’ from 2019

My favourite ‘shorts’ from 2019

Jamie Cooper – When Johnny Cash Saved Christmas

egyptian cat

Scary Faces in the Gravestone

Cheese on Toast

My Jokes for Kids Collection

Peppa Pig and Mr Men Sampler for little ones

 

 

 

 

People’s Prosperity Pledge

People’s Prosperity Pledge
There have been difficult divisive times, certainly here in Britain, there has been anger, regretted words and despair. I have felt all of these. There is a feeling for many of, “How can we carry on?” I have found myself a way to put all this behind me and pick myself up and go forward, this is my way of apologising for any words of difference or disapproval. I hereby make a People’s Prosperity Pledge.
Wherever I am engaged I will ask what else I can do. There are disadvantaged people out there, be it through blindness, age, poverty, being ostracised; many things – can we help? The extra mile. Should I do a free extra performance, or a pre-visit, can people be invited or helped; a special session? Where can you share this post to draw groups closer?
I shall be asking these questions while discussing any gig or project, I will be asking these of myself and of those I work with. The People’s Prosperity Pledge.

Make that pledge.

 

 

The Story of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, made possible by only one word…

By only one man.

Those pilgrims they landed they tried and they struggled. Nothing worked. They really suffered. Nothing grew, all the seasons were wrong. They came down with all of the infections which were just like at home but different, different enough to do them real harm. They even tried hunting, but even that was diferent than they had known. This was a new country where God had made things other than they had believed would be possible. As many laid sick and indeed dying, they gave it one more try. A small band went out looking for game and they met with something totally unexpected. This is the word. This is the message. America listen. This is the word. “Welcome.” This is what they heard.

How could that small band of travelling originals know one word of English, “Welcome” but they did so. They cautiously walked towards the struggling settlers and spoke the one word of English they knew “Welcome” all this way from the homeland.

This was the moment which gave America English. This is the reason that as new settlers arrived they heard English. All along the coasts were settlements where it was the language and new arrivals from Germany, Poland, Spain, The Ukraine, from the known world heard and adapted. English was the first language they heard.

This was the word of Squanto.

For that welcoming band (that small ‘nation’) led the poor settlers to another tribe than their own. They took them to a ‘nation’ where Squanto lived.

It was Squanto who took them in, who travelled with them, who settled with them for a while. He taught them how life was different here. They gathered seeds because of him. They learned the lore. The lore of this land the Americas. And they thrived.

In years to come, they would be all along the coast, coastal settlement to coastal settlement; welcoming the new arrivals in English, just like the tribal band before them, “Welcome” “Welcome” “Welcome”

This was the doing of one person, one person on this earth; Squanto.

Many, many years before, other strangers had come, they had come from Spain, they had come to take, and they took him. Squanto the slave had to work; had to work on an alien vessel, a huge wooden sailing ship, doing menial tasks. Hard they treated him, and hard he worked. Then came the time that they traded him. To yet another alien vessel, in an alien world, at an alien port. From America to Europe.

From there he sailed with this new crew to another world. To a port, as he learned they called them. To the port of London. More beings in one glimpse than he had ever seen in his life.

But he saw his life ahead of him and he jumped ship. He left. He escaped. He survived. He learned the language. English.

Time went by and he had what he needed to know. The ships that landed here could go anywhere. So he asked and he asked, and one of these ships said yes. The captain agreed, yes he was going to the ‘new’ world and yes he would employ him.

All Squanto required in payment was nourishment. Nourishment and hope.

The journey was long. And it was hard.

The shore, at last, was before him. The captain was true to his word. Squanto was free.

He was not bitter. He had learned. And he knew one word more than any other.

Long was his walk, hundreds of miles, but he got down that coast, till he started to recognise where he was…

And was he welcomed, he who had come back from the dead, all these years gone.

As an older wiser man, he taught all around him. The only way to survive in this ‘new’ larger world was to welcome. To welcome.
He taught this word to all who came near him.

And those settlers, all those years onwards were welcome.

All along the coast of America his one true word echoed. “Welcome.” “Welcome.” “Welcome.”

Welcome.

Be thankful and be welcoming.

For this is Thanksgiving.welcome