Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fergus and Yeats in the Poop Park

















[Druid] What would you, Fergus?

[Fergus] Be no more a king
But learn the dreaming wisdom that is yours...

- W.B.Yeats, "Fergus and the Druid"

Half a block east of my home is a small neighborhood park I call the Poop Park, because it is highly utilitarian: every second person in the neighborhood has a dog and people are constantly rushing down to empty their dogs on the way to or from work and other things.

When we first moved to this neighborhood, I was struck by how many of the dogs in the Poop Park had names out of myth and poetry and legend - Zeus, Tiamat, Xenobia were early acquaintances. I would hear the laughter of the gods as I was introduced to a shaggy Zeus or a bottom-sniffing Xenobia.

One day a woman came running after me to strike up a conversation. Bounding with her was a beautiful and puppy-wild Irish setter who jumped up and licked my face. "This is Fergus," she made the introduction.

"Fergus. That's a very Celtic name."

"Yes. I got it from the poem by Yeats."

Almost in the same breath, we started reciting the poem.

For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all disheveled wandering stars.

As we came to the last line, I looked down and noticed that, in the dark, I had put on mismatched socks. One had the pattern of stars, another an animal pattern. That morning, I joked, I was the "disheveled wandering star" - all the more since I had to rush to the airport to fly off and give a lecture and would not take time to change my socks.

Since then, every single time I have met Fergus in the Poop Park I have been researching or dreaming or writing about Yeats. Every time. No kidding. The deeper world comes through to us any way it can.

6 comments:

nina said...
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Robert Moss said...

Thanks, Nina - You prompted me to look into the etymology. "Disheveled" comes into English from the Old French descheveler "to disarrange the hair." Interesting that elsewhere today I reported meeting a shamanic teacher I like and admire in a hair salon...

Wanda said...

As always I am delighted by your Poop Park Adventures - they almost rival your Airplane Synchronicity Stories. Almost....
I suspect Yeats is sitting in a prominent place inside your Secret Library chuckling over your visits to the Park - hmmmm...or maybe tweeking your path just a bit so that the "dishevelled stars" twinkle brightly in your Universe.

Robert Moss said...

Wanda - I often quote Yeats' observation about the "mingling of minds", his phrase for what happens when we are so passionately engaged in a line of creative work that we draw other intelligences near to us. Your comment makes me think that we may need a further phrase, to do with "tweaking" by minds beyond the Veil.

nina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Captain Anne Flint said...

I am reading a self-help book about finding one's ideal job, and one of my choices is Writing. I found your little jewel of a story first thing in the morning, before I was fully awake. Wow!