Thursday, May 21, 2015


**In Welsh & Scots folklore, the sin-eater was called at the death of a family member. He or she was paid a small coin and bread, beer and salt were passed over the corpse, and were  eaten and drunk by the sin-eater, who would say a few words, thus taking on all the sins of the deceased, so the soul would rest and not walk about the earth. The door to the cottage would be left open, so the spirit could fly free. When his purpose was accomplished the people burned the wooden bowl and platter from which he had eaten the food handed across, or placed on the corpse for his consumption. At all other times, the sin-eater was shunned, living alone in remote places, avoided and despised by those who chanced to meet him/her.

Sin-Eater          5/15/15

we come into this world
eyes still misted with the Wisdom from the other side of the veil
gaze with infinite compassion, no judgement, whole acceptance
the milk of our best moments pours into that new awareness
and the mists thicken
suffocating the memory of Oneness overlaying from here
modeling humanity
to there
thread tenuous
small spurts of lightning
Zip! under the radar
Zap! the vestigial organ
vast preknowledge encapsulated in remembrance
never lost

the soul a fly on your lips
half seen, sticky
from visiting the honey jar
fortified for the Journey
in-breath and out take on concrete
harden the briefly osmotic skin
permeable still to the voice of deep space
stars, planets so far away they are only rumours
brush the veil aside and enter what’s known as Reality
the connection to the veiled world makes sin-eaters of poets
condemned to gather the sorrows, petty angers
sins of omission
murderous thoughts
killing actions
condemned to recreate recreate recreate without end

the deeper remembrances of the womb pave the road to that other world
beyond and back again
some of the same ecstasy spilling over into normal potluck
in the universe of flaming sons and daughters
sacrificed to the post Enlightenment backslide

tick tock tick tock tick tock
footsteps at the roach end of the night
soot-blackened buildings lean close in
ruined morning
fumes of dead streetlight auras follow the lost ones
home to their cribs pads hustles
a few hours sweaty sleep on gritty sheets
or no sheets
drag stained ratty comforter close to ward off the nightmare of daylight
ordinary life impossible for the nightwalkers
stories fit only for the ears of rebels and madmen
like Cassandra
like the Christ
like Malcolm or Lamumba or Peltier
or who knows what nameless female locked away

the earth trembles
and the mouth of the mother opens to swallow her children
morning dawns unknowing
desolation waste and wreckage all around
when the fog has melted rigid edges of shared experience
dreams melt with the mist
buried for another day
until the dirt maw shall claim
the unresisting

break bread and lick salt from the wounds!
a palm crossed with silver       
and I will take from you darkness
that threatens to devour the pristine temple of spirit

who would be a sin-eater, a poet , a visionary
disdained though they’re the Record of us all
internalized with bread and beer and salt and cries
in the depths of loss?
a last supper for
shrunken starving bellies abject in fear & loathing
seeking, always craving Love & Light
who would willingly quaff this drink
only to be driven out to the edges of the void
no honour?

break bread! drink the iniquities of this gone life
imbibed with draughts of beer
washed down so he or she can rest, but never you!
the poetry of their billion seconds now the songs for your tongue
and for all the world
                but who will hear or remember?

without the shadow, all is blindness; without the truth, everything is a lie
when night winds brush the veils aside
divine insomniacs sit with dead heroes and avatars
and listen
tell us again why we do this
tell us again why we’re here
echoes and echoes in firmament, no answer
no sound save the sin-eater’s timeless wail
                benediction of a broken heart

© 2015 pamela twining