Day 61 day at a time

February 24, 2010

for the likes of me, self-
confessed Goose devotee
to day is a once and forever Day


And so, as on every 23rd of every month for more than five years already – * excepting when we were out of the country, and even then others stood at The Gates and held the space * – we stood at The Gates and held lights and tied ribbons and said prayers not to God out there but within our own humanity and to honour The Goose, the Muse and “True author” of The Southwark Mysteries:

Here lay your hearts, your flowers,
Your Book of Hours,
Your fingers, your thumbs,
Your ‘Miss You Mums’.

Here hang your hopes, your dreams,
Your Might Have Beens,
Your locks, your keys,
Your Mysteries.


There were three different groups filming – 2 student films and a TV documentary. They were respectful and friendly; their presence inhibited too much intense psychic activity.

No… Today, John Crow didn’t go into trance. Which was fine. I’m giving at least a part of my shamanic persona a rest, having an actor else play John Crow in the play, a deliberate decision to objectify the character John Crow.

So… John Constable gave a short account of the history of Crossbones, the burial ground for paupers and prostitutes, and the recent works there, and suggested that the rituals we perform here should be viewed perhaps as more akin to Art than Religion – more a talk than the usual poetic shamanigans and there you go, some things can only be filmed from the inside.

And even on that cold damp night, 30 and more of the living showed up to commune – not only with The Dead and what is past but also with The Unborn and what is yet to come – and most of all with the creative potential of the present, the playful honouring when we crowd in close to The Gates – the portal, the iron bars strung with ribbons and totems and beyond the empty space of the garden – and seal ourselves in with a half circle of gin poured on the street and cry:

Goose be you never be hungry!
Goose be you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!

Later in the yard of The George Inn, Jonas, Holly and three other students from Central interviewed me about Crossbones means to me.

A place of transformation.

And yes, I did also put in a few hours today as the producer of The Southwark Mysteries – publicity and strategic thinking. The late afternoon and evening of this Day 61 aka 23, however, were dedicated to The Goose, which is mete and proper for, or so it seems to me, it is of The Goose and John Crow at Crossbones Graveyard that The Southwark Mysteries was born.

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