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Prayer to the Storm God in a Time of Conflict

 

A flicker of white light across the sky

As lightning cuts the clouds. The god is here,

A sword blade flashes by

And all the sky comes clear.

As near and far the clashing shields

Across celestial battlefields

Cast echoes through the night, but don’t destroy.

The god is fighting for the simple joy

The sweetness of pure movement, the delight

Of perfect action, flawless, self-contained.

The sky is cut in two

This night.

Its blood pours down on us as rain.

God, let our deeds be true.

And as the cities fill with restless crowds

Like heavy, lightning-bearing clouds,

Grant us the strength to fight

Like sheets of blinding light

And let us take no joy in causing pain

But only cut the sky to bring the rain.

Christopher Scott Thompson

Christopher Scott Thompson is a writer, historical fencing instructor and founding member of Clann Bhride, the Children of Brighid. He was active with Occupy Minneapolis and Occupy St. Paul. His political writing can be found at https://alienationorsolidarity.wordpress.com/.


Christopher Scott Thompson is one of the many writers featured in A Beautiful Resistance: The Fire is Here. The digital edition is also on sale now.

4 Comments »

  1. Those last lines ‘And let us take no joy in causing pain / But only cut the sky to bring the rain’ are powerful. As I mentioned in my long comment to Dr Bones’ essay, at the moment I’m struggling with questions surrounding fighting and violence and questioning whether they are the only ways of bringing change and justice when other means fail.

    This is addressed to Taranis? Troublingly he gives his name to one of the military aircraft manufactured near me in the UK. This featured in a poem I wrote in 2011:

    ‘At Samlesbury and Warton
    They make lightning and tornadoes
    Aerial fighters, swift strikers
    And hurtling typhoons.
    Silent thunder dark and stealthy
    Swoop Taranis rolling deadly
    Unknown malice dark and manless
    Broach the sun shadow the moon.’

    I didn’t tap into joy so much as malice, although I was focusing on the aircraft rather than the god. I can see how thunder and lightning and Taranis himself can be purer and more joyous.

    Like

    • It’s like what Heathen Chinese said in one of the first essays on this site – we need to invoke the gods for what we do, because the other side is already doing so (in various ways).

      I think all of us are thinking about the issue of violence right now. The sword system I practice (Highland broadsword) had a traditional ethic of “anything but taking the life” – meaning that you were expected to go out of your way to avoid killing your opponent even when your own life was at stake. This guides my approach to these issues. Sometimes a fight is inevitable, but that doesn’t excuse the fighters from their responsibility to respect life wherever possible. Thanks for your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

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