a poem that inspired a reading, which led to three questions, just for you. ~

i recently stumbled upon this poem: The Man-Moth, by Elizabeth Bishop.

i was pre-disposed to liking it, i think because of the title.

…my band has been working on our third album – which we’re calling Mothdust –so i’ve been roaming the dusty hills of moth-land for a while.

plus, what led me to the poem was an intriguing tattoo, created by this artist.

the entire poem is hauntingly stark and tinged with longing, and is somehow hopeful. this happens to be right in my wheelhouse. (if you know my band’s music, you might see what i mean.)

as i read it a second time, a few sections jumped out, and it struck me that i’d like to try another tirage-en-ligne. (reading the cards in a line, which i had a lot of fun with in this post).

what follows are the lines i used as inspiration/ a jumping off point for my reading.

The Man-Moth always seats himself facing the wrong way
and the train starts at once at its full, terrible speed,
without a shift in gears or a gradation of any sort.

He cannot tell the rate at which he travels backwards.

                         Each night he must
be carried through artificial tunnels and dream recurrent dreams.
Just as the ties recur beneath his train, these underlie

his rushing brain.

                                                                    …Then from the lids
one tear, his only possession, like the bee’s sting, slips.
Slyly he palms it, and if you’re not paying attention
he’ll swallow it. However, if you watch, he’ll hand it over,

cool as from underground springs and pure enough to drink.

Playing Marseille, by Inset Cards

Queen of Spades…

With a sword at my back, my only possession
the scent of a single red flower, I 

conjure blood and revolution.

Queen of Diamonds…

With a dazzling gem in the palm of my hand,
the shine holds my attention. I
foresee an alliance and building the future.


The Grand Aha! (can you hear the trumpet call?)

We Queens wield particular tools of working
in our genius, we move ever toward
each other.





all good art and divination* serves a similar purpose – it gives us the chance to see ourselves, and our ways of connecting and relating, with fresh eyes.


i see a bit of myself in the Man-Moth, feeling sometimes like i’m traveling backwards, running over the same dreams, over the same ties, as if carried by a force i cannot direct but to which i am content to succumb. feeling my alone-ness. feeling unlike any other thing, sometimes not knowing how to relate to anything or anyone at all. but the longing is there… to offer my single tear. and often times i swallow it instead.




as for the cards…

i love thinking about powerful Queens coming together – with different “tools” – around a common cause.

and, to take a more personal look – we are each Queens who wield all the tools, for different times in our lives.


so here are a few questions for you, based on these cards, for your own self-inquiry:

<>what do you dream of building?

<>what do you actively destroy?

<>is there a place where these things meet?


lots of love,

* as i wrote this sentence i realized the words of my teacher, Camelia Elias, were coming through. She recently created an Art Tarot class, and though i haven’t watched it yet, i’ve started to read the pdf, and i can tell it’s going to be wonderfully mind-blowing (like all of her classes are). it this topic interests you, i believe it’s still being offered through her website.



4 thoughts on “a poem that inspired a reading, which led to three questions, just for you. ~

  1. Beautiful poem, Sami, very provoking 😉 I don’t want to be dragged backwards at high speed 😉

    What do I dream of building – a world of seeing clearly, stepping out on my own path and knowing everyone i meet by looking into their eyes

    What do I actively destroy – unknowing and not caring to know and everyone ignoring their own chains clanking

    Is there a place where these things meet – NOW, in the moment before the world turns and gets re-imagined into Being

    Love Pam

    Liked by 1 person

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