All posts by Franklin Abbott

Why We Pray

20070804_highpriestess WHY WE PRAY

if your luck goes bad
get a witch to give you
a bath
get a shaman to cook
your supper
get a high priestess
to do your hair
get a siren to sing you
a lullaby
all ritual is illogical
and impractical
but when it works
the absurd
the sublime

Franklin Abbott
1,2 August 2007
Stone Mountain

When I travel to see my friends Alejandro and Alex in central Venezuela it isn’t long before Alex
gives me a ritual cleansing bath.
Alex is a brujo, or witch, who works with nature spirits. I am bathed under the huge mamones tree in their back garden.
Alex concocts my bathing solutions from various ingredients as common as vinegar and as rare as an herb from some remote valley.
The process can take several hours and culminates when Alex draws magical designs in gunpowder around me and then ignites them.
Poof pow be gone! and whatever cosmic crud I had accumulated in my aura is dispersed.

For me the most sacred place in the home is the kitchen.
True magic can be made on the altar of the stove. The four elements of earth, air, fire and water all comingle and their alchemy produces the sweet and salty tastes we all swoon over.
The High Priestess is one of the archetypal figures of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Her power is the power of Great Mystery. In her spare time she rearranges the galaxies.
The Sirens were mythical beings who lured sailors to their doom with their ethereal haunting songs.
We use their name for the sounds made by ambulances and police cars.
We also bestow the title on those voices whose songs make us weak in the knees.



the Red Cross
won’t take
my blood
but mosquitoes
why are they
so hard
to kill
they orbit
so much
I rarely
when I do
it is an
old mosquito
about to be
sent to
assisted living
that gives
itself up
to my clap
in that rare
instant when
I win
a million more
are born
and I
begin again


Franklin Abbott
22 July 2007
Stone Mountain

The Red Cross will not accept blood from men who are or have ever been sexually active with other men, a point of controversy in the gay community.  Only female mosquitoes are blood suckers.  Males dine on flower nectar.

Mosquitoes do have flight patterns that confuse us.  They evolved long before we did.
In old Japan mosquitoes were thought to be Preta, souls of people whose misdeeds in former
lives reincarnated them as blood suckers.  Given the number of mosquitoes in my back yard alone
there must be lots of wicked humans in past generations. 

Buzzzzzz, here comes one now.