The Movable Feast


In the forest clearing

In the urban warehouse

In the suburban living room




The Bakkhants meet

They pour out water and wine for the land, for the dead

And they call Them in


In rush the Maenads, Thyone dancing among them

In rush the Satyrs, Silenus staggering and weaving among them

Their stomping feet clear the floor, wheeling dance defines the edge


The Bakkhants pour a cup and offer a plate to Them

Crying Euhoi and dancing with Them

And that mortal space sprouts immortal life


In stalks the panther, in slides the snake

In grow the ivy and the grape, in walks the Starry Bull

All is riot of life irrepressible


In comes Ariadne of the Starry Crown, with her Maenads attending

In comes Dionysos of the Feast, with amphora ever-full

They take the thrones prepared for Them, and the revelry truly begins


The Bakkhants pour out wine to Them, and offer them the best of the feast

Singing the names of their Undying guests

And offering their cups to receive the God’s gift


Seen in double vision, with eyes of flesh and eyes of fire

Carpet, concrete, bare dirt overlaid with Her ancient dancing ground

Walls, rafters, fire-pit and trash-bin overgrown with His leafy vines


All fetters fall away, all chains are broken

Heavy masks are set aside, naked faces shine

Skins are shed, soft new flesh bathed in oil and wine


Naked-souled the Bakkhants dance, mortal and undying together

Claws and wings and horns unbound from shrouds of mundane life

And secret monsters offered up, sacred chimerae made holy in Their presence


Alive, in joy of flesh and feast, souls aflame with rare ecstasy

Alive, despite the narrow lanes laid from birth to death

Alive, remembering the eternal feast yet to come


Ariadne arises from Her throne, her Maenads rise with Her

Dionysos arises from His throne, shoulders His amphora

They depart the dancing-ground, as the feast winds down


Out the panther, out the snake, out the Starry Bull

Out the leaves, out the vines, out the ancient sands

Sleepy lids close the eyes of fire


Thyone calls a new hunt, Drawing the Maenads away

Silenus, dreaming adrift on tides of wine, by Satyrs carried away

Carpets and concrete, fire-pits and trash bins cover the subtle world


The Bakkhants pour out water and wine

Crying farewell to Them, giving thanks to the land and the dead

And gather up their fetters, their shrouds and their skins


Once more into the ways of mortal life, on the entropic march

Ever aflame, the true self within dances toward the eternal feast

Leaving vines in their tracks, living a life irrepressible


In the forest clearing

In the urban warehouse

In the suburban living room

About Ashley Sarver

Ashley Sarver is a queer, nonbinary trans femme, polytheist, gamer, and disability caregiver living in the San Francisco Bay Area. View all posts by Ashley Sarver

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