Printables for Apollon

Some months ago, Kaye at KALLISTI suggested that we polytheists “need to up our printables game.” She posted one printable image with a prayer to Dionysos, which I’ve had on his shrine for a while now. (Thanks, Kaye!)

In honor of Lord Apollon’s holy day (the 7th of each lunar month), I offer the following humble contributions, which I invite fellow polytheists to use freely and share widely. (Three PDF versions linked below.)

The prayer is an oracle quoted by the Emperor Julian the Faithful, the last pagan emperor of Rome, in his “Letter to a Priest.”

The text and translation are from volume 2 of the Loeb edition of Julian’s works, translated by Wilmer Cave Wright, first published in 1913 and now in the public domain. I have slightly adjusted Wright’s punctuation and transliteration of Greek names, but otherwise left his translation unchanged.

The image is from here under a CC4.0 license.

There are three versions:


Inseparable Sisters

Sorrow, tragedy.
Depth of rage and anguish.
Tears flow, hearts break.
Sky darkens, hopes fade.
The folly of pride, revealed at the last:
The foolish and the luckless brought low
Before Gods and mortals.
Bitter cleansing. Katharsis.

Yet that is not all.
That is not the only story
Told together,
On one stage.

Joy, comedy.
Sky brightens, Dawn’s fingers
Bring day where once was night.
Tears flow once more,
But now of levity,
Mirth too much to contain.
The lost restored, hope triumphs:
Lightness and blessing. Success.

The bitter with the sweet,
The fullness, from high to low,
Seen together,
On one stage.

While in the wings,
Bless’d sisters watch,
Hand in hand, side by side.

For Thalia and Melpomene, of course.

After the Fire

Look down, look down,  
Eyes on the ground.
The flowing stream,
the Sun’s bright gleam,
All’s well –
So it would seem.
Look down, look down,  
Eyes on the ground.
Green mosses thrive,
Bright flowers bloom.
All’s well –
No sign of doom.
Look high, look high,  
Up toward the sky
At dark-scorched trees
Whose blackened trunks
Will soon fall in
To broken stumps.
Look high, look high,  
Up toward the sky
At branches bare
In summer air
Scant signs of green
To be found there.
Up toward the sky  
Dead sentinel trees
Wave ravaged corpses
In the breeze,
While on the ground
New verdant growth
Obscures the signs
Of fire and smoke.
Look down, look down 
Where water flows.
The promise of
Renewal grows.
Look high, look high
And ask how long
‘Til living branches
Host birdsong?

Written July 2019, after a visit to the section of the Columbia River Gorge which was ravaged by the Eagle Creek fire, two years ago.

For the Summer Solstice

The winds blow, rains come.
Bare feet touch the Earth.
Green leaves unfurl, flowers bloom,
Fruits ripen, roots sink deep.

Seas, rivers, fields and forests
Teem, overflow with abundant life:
Darting, leaping, running, soaring high.

On the longest of days,
At midsummer, raise our voices,
Sing loudly: It is well!

A blessed Solstice to all! Watch this space for a companion poem, in about six months’ time. 😉

A reminder

One quiet evening, taking things
Perhaps too easy on myself.
Here at my patrons’ shrine,
A reminder, a holy prompting:

“Look! See what is possible!
Will you go deeper, strive
For more, reach the heights?
Now, tonight, do the work!”

Praise, thanks for this call.
May I never grow complacent.

In memoriam

Hail to the fallen   who honorably fought
Who fell bravely in battle their faces to the foe
You who sacrificed all   in service to country 
Freely giving your lives to make safe your home
You who will not return   who shall never grow old 
Honor to you this day. Be remembered with thanks.

On a granite mountain peak

On a granite mountain peak
I recline on cool stone:
The bones of the Earth
Once stripped bare by glaciers,
Home now to intrepid lichen.

Wind blows, fog settles in:
I rest within flowing cloud,
Held up solidly, lovingly sustained
By the rich Telluric currents
Welling up from depths below.

A Spring Morning

Just outside an open window
Mighty, agéd Oak stands sentinel.
New green leaves dance, sway
In time with gentle breezes.
Sun’s dappled beams filter through
The leaves, and the windowpanes.
Wind picks up, blows strong,
Supple branches twist and wave,
As leaves find their voice
Singing susurrus songs of spring.