T.Byron K. 2013

Freedom of Expression

In the destruction of any society freedom in art and poetry is one of the first things attacked and often to disappear. Spiritual blindness is already slavery to an unseen force outside the realm of reason.

T.Byron K. 2013

A Vast En-Starred Symbol

Take some time to consider the truth of where you really are. Even sitting still we are space travelers around the sun. If the Universe is still the "externization of the soul" as Emerson noted, are we not standing on the precipice of a vast en-starred symbol of an infinite expanse? A living painting of the eternal or an icon of the living heart of God?

T.Byron K. 2013

The Virginias

There once was a single Virginia until the great divide of 1863. I live in a part of Virginia that is about 40 minutes from the West Virginia border. I have crossed over into West Virginia and back again many times, usually while wandering the National Forests or going to one of our music shows in Bluefield or Bramwell-it is indeed a wild and beautuful place where the mountains are preeminent. My family on my Father's side are all from Pax WVa. originially. I noticed the idea put forth recently (called Vexit) which invites counties of Virginia that are unhappy with the current legislstion in Richmond to join the state of West Virginia by voting to do so. The governor of West Virginia has also signed on with Vexit and welcomes any counties that wish to join the Mountain State to come forward. In many ways the landscape in Western Virginia and the towns near the border are already similar (much of the region being in Appalachia).  I am not sure if I could get used to the Univeristy I attended being called West Virginia Polytechnic Institute, but it is possible I guess. If we really think about the fact that all of Virignia and West Virginia were indigenous lands that were commandeered long ago, stuck with flags and given new boundary lines it makes the notion of that somehow shifting at any time seem less startling. Our family homes currently reside (truthfully) on Catawba Indian lands.

T.Byron K. 2013

War & Peace

Tolstoy creates a wide landscape of characters and in some
way challenges the notion of the traditional "story line" by presenting detailed
accounts of multiple characters simultaneously. It is clear from the length
of War & Peace that Tolstoy wanted us to live in that world for a while,
it was intended to be read slowly.

T.Byron K. 2013

Fr. Alexander Men

From Letters April 25, 2015

Thinking today a bit of the Priest Fr. Alexander Men who was killed in Russia for his faith. Bishop Joseph Sigrist (a long time friend) is a scholar of his work and has a web page set up as well that you may want to visit @ http://www.alexandermen.com/Main_Page
"And the entire Christian mystical tradition from Paul to the present is built on this: that the way to the Father is only through the Son. Christ said “I am the door”, the gateway to heaven."
"So our common spiritual Father is God. And the mystery of the Gospel is this: an openness of the heart to the news of Jesus Christ. This is because each of us knows very well how weak and confused we are, and how every manner of sin and disorder has built its nest inside us."
"And today God’s kingdom mysteriously manifests itself among us as we do good, show love, contemplate beauty, or feel the fullness of life."
"Grace is new life."
-Fr. Alexander Men
And also of the mystical writer Norman O. Brown;
"Literalism makes the world of abstract materialism;
of dead matter; of the human body as dead matter. Literalism kills everything, including the human body. It is the spirit Blake called Ulro, which sees nothing but rock and sand, jostling together in the void; Whitehead's Misplaced Concreteness: "Nature a dull affair, soundless, scentless, colorless; merely the hurrying of material, endlessly, meaninglessly." Literalism makes a universe of stone, and men astonished, petrified. Literalism is the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones; tables of stone and a stony heart, a heart for the first time, or is it the second time, made of flesh. " A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."
-N.O Brown
Love's Body
T.Byron K. 2013

The Celebration of The Lizard

I still believe that Jim Morrison was a poetic prodigy in his generation, much like Rimbaud, who wrote imagistic and visionary poems in a short period of his life before disappearing into Africa, Jim carried the ideas of the French symbolists into the 20th century. In fact when one of the first comprehensive Rimbaud anthologies was translated into English by Professor Wallace Fowlie of Duke University, Jim was one of the first to write him about the book. Jim got an early start in Florida reading at the Beaux Arts Coffee house where beat poet Jack Kerouac was known to have read and his challenge to traditonal music formats later on with the addition of his poetry was surely inspired by the beats. Jim was also inspired by the musical theater of Anton Artaud, which was also interactive with the audience, attempting to make it merge with the performance. I remember being almost lightning struck by listening to the End and later hearing The Celebration of The Lizard and it changed what I thought was possible for a musical performance. The poetry is captivating, haunted and transcedently beautiful, otherworldly and really life changing. Jim wanted to challenge the "limited ways the people see and feel" but he also understood the connection between poetry and the eternal.

"The entire piece was originally intended to be recorded and released as one full side of the band's third studio album, Waiting for the Sun, in 1968. However, record producer Paul A. Rothchild and the other members of the band thought that the extended poetic sections and overall length of the piece made a complete recording impossible."


T.Byron K. 2013


I have lived on the borderlands of West Virginia for most of my life, it is a beautful region on the far Eastern edge of Appalachia in Montgomery County Virginia. I have wandered the Jefferson National Forests for decades now and more recently crossed over Pilot Mountian countless times to reach a 100 year old School House where I have a small art studio. I have often wondered about the fragmentation of the state of Virginia into West Virginia and recently found a book by a native West Virginian titled West Virginia, The Illegal State that I found to be most interesting. It does suggest the possibility of reunification with old Virginia, or East Virginia as I have called it, but I find that idea highly unlikely because the people in West Virginia are quite independent and resiliant on their own (despite years of political corruption and corporate abuses).  There were sentiments to remain united to Virginia during the Civil War as well, Monroe County supported the Confederate cause and there were soldiers that refused to fight for the North.
I spoke with Michael Abraham, the Author of "The Spine of The Virginias" at Solitude of Virginia Tech about the idea of a reunification as well a while back, he said he had written an article titled "Is West Virignia Necessary". My thinking is yes it is necessary to allow West Virignia to remain a soverign state because the people there voted it into being and continue to be proud to be from there and to remain there. I think it is because I have family from both Virignia and West Virginia that I have this perspective. I have been in favor of renaming Virginia to East Virginia out of respect for years now.

"During the Civil War, Monroe County favored the South. Ninety-five percent of men eligible for military service were in one of the 12 locally formed units that served the Confederate States. As a result of its Southern allegiance Monroe County was occupied by Union forces for three years after the war."

West Virginia: The Illegal State by Jeremy T.K. Farley https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692567429/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_3ApeEbK908932 via @amazon
T.Byron K. 2013

Robert Bly

I just came across a photo of Robert Bly on his farm in
2009 and thought about how important his poetry has been
to me over the years and his teaching as well. I was given an anthology
Bly had Edited and a video back around 1990-92 or so. The book was titled
"The Rag & Bone Shop of The Heart" and I recently purchased the hardback
version of it because I love it so much. The video was a tape of a Bill Moyer's PBS
special that featured Robert Bly and his work with the men's movement at the time.
It was called "A Gathering of Men" and in it Bly performs spoken word poems
with music and lectures gatherings of men. The poetry is transcendent and beautiful
and his reading of "The Wind One Brilliant Day" inspired me to perform it with my own
band later on. There is a healing component to Bly's work, but not without digging around
in the "mud" of everyday life and going through the grief that all of us face first. I always
thought of Robert Bly as one of my Spiritual Fathers, a Poet who cares about truth and Souls

From August 17th 2019
My family gave me a copy of a Robert Bly video back in 1989 that made a great impression on me. Robert Bly writes striking poems and is a truth bearer, a traveler downward through the grief, "making a hole in denial". Bly's reading of "The Wind One Brilliant Day" has stuck with me all of these years @

"We learned to lie about life early. Alice Miller in Prisoners of Childhood and For Your Own Good notes how fiercely children who have suffered abuse from parents will resist the truth. The child does not want to confront. The child will defend the parent, insisting that it deserved beating, and the abuse was done for 'my own good.'
Goethe in his poem "The Invisible King" declares that there are ominous and dangerous forces in the other world, both female and male in tone. When the rationalist European father refuses to see the horrors that mythology has talked of for centuries, the children -in this case the son-dies.
The corporate deniers own television. We can forget about that.There's no hope in commercial television at all.The schools teach denial by not teaching, and the student's language is so poor that they can't do anything but deny."

Robert Bly
Making a Hole in Denial
From-The Rag and Bone Shop
of the Heart

T.Byron K. 2013

The Beginning of The End

The (Queen)
Witch from
the North
who filled the
lost vision was
lone-bright as the
evening star/
& forgotten
dreams begin [within]
beyond the spell
of mourning hours/
O soft blooms of the
muse returned
& whispered secrets
As I have been


For Katelan F.