Winter in New Orleans: News and Notes

Three weeks ago we had snow and ice for the first time in New Orleans in five years! It’s pretty rare that we actually get cold weather like that down here. People back home in Ohio always laugh at me when I complain about the cold. While it usually only gets down into the 20s and 30s for a few weeks, very few of us have central heat. And most of us live in really old houses that were built to stay cool in the intense heat of our summers. The houses are raised off the ground and have no insulation. While they do an excellent job of staying cool in the summer, there is no way to stay warm in the winter! Two weeks ago, I went into my office, which also does not have heat and found that it was a balmy 49 degrees. Cold like this is draining and hard to recover from, even when dressed warmly.

It was however, the perfect weather to really embrace Yule and Imbolc. Winter is of course the time of death and the resting Earth and sometimes it’s hard to really take a moment and enjoy that stillness and have that break when things never really take a wintry break. The frost and ice actually allowed us to have a winter this year!

But, I will admit that I was happy to have nice weather return. It’s been in the 60s and beautiful the last week and just in time for Mardi Gras! Walking into work the other morning I walked past this:

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And so the cycle starts all over again: life to death to life.

Just some quick announcements!

I just wrote an article about my partner, Kenny Klein for The Green Egg, one of the oldest running Pagan magazines in America! Their Imbolc edition is now out and is available in print for the first time in years. You should go buy a copy and check it out! The article is titled “Kenny Klein: A Kiss in the Dreamhouse.”

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The new book from Llewellyn is also coming out soon and you can now preorder it from Amazon!

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Last weekend, while at Pantheacon, I sat on a Llewellyn panel about death and ancestor work. The Wild Hunt posted a picture!

From left to right: Tess Whitehurst, Elysia Gallo, Tony Mierzwicki, Jhenah Telyndru, Me, Stephanie Woodfield, Kenny Klein

From left to right: Tess Whitehurst, Elysia Gallo, Tony Mierzwicki, Jhenah Telyndru, Me (Lauren DeVoe), Stephanie Woodfield, Kenny Klein

Last night was my subkrewe’s inaugural march in Chewbacchus, our science fiction and fantasy geek parade! The Party Elves of Mirkwood was a hairbrained scheme cooked up to honor the Randy Thrandy meme from The Lord of the Rings. We had a heck of a lot of fun and think others did as well. You should have been there! It’s totally started my Mardi Gras season off with a bang and is only the beginning! But I was briefly interviewed in The New Orleans Advocate during Comic Con about Chewbacchus, which was a lot of fun.

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Fall Fades Into Winter

I came across this poem tonight and thought it was appropriate for this time of year.

Persephone or, Why the Winters Seem to Be Getting Longer

by Wendy Froud

Six pomegranate seeds, as red as rubies, like on a golden plate. They glow with crimson fire in the candlelight. My lord bids me eat. I can feel his hands upon my shoulders. I can feel his breath hot upon my neck. I eat the first fruit, and as I taste, my lord tastes the skin of my throat, where the scent of flowers still lingers.

In the world above, the daylight fades. The wind blows cold among the trees.

The second seed is eaten, and my lord kneels at my feet. His hands reach for my breasts, and through the fabric of my gown I feel his caress, first soft, then hard. I watch my nipples rise then strain against the thin gold silk. He takes a small knife away from the table and, holding it delicately, cuts through the neckline of my dress. The fabric tears, parting from white flesh, and falls away.

In the world above, as night draws close, the grasses turn in the wind. Flowers bend. Petals fall.

My nipples are the color of crimson seeds. The third seed is upon my lips as my lord suckles at my breasts, tracing circles of fire with his tongue. They ripen like fruit beneath his kisses.

The world above is dark. The trees are black and bare. Creatures shiver, and shelter where they may.

My lord explores my body, kissing, biting, tasting the length of me. I need to see him. He will not undress. He will not let me touch him. I know that he is beautiful; I can feel that beauty as my body lifts to press itself against him. Naked now, my thighs tremble and open. The fourth seed is eaten.

In the world above, frost traces white patterns on brown leaves. The last of the summer fruit returns to the soil beneath the sleeping trees.

I catch my breath as my dark lord parts my thighs. His fingers touch me, there, gliding on the juices of my passion. His tongue, questing, thirsts for me, tasting me even as I taste the fifth seed upon my tongue.

The world above lies dormant, frozen. A creature caught by the cold, harsh air curls and sleeps, stiffens and dies.

He looks into my eyes, my lord, and slowly unlaces the robe he wears to taunt and tempt me. It falls to the ground. He stands before me, proud manhood beautiful. I long to take him in my mouth, to close my lips around that hot, strong flesh, taste the milky jewel glistening at its tip. He smiles as he puts instead the sixth seed to my lips. He gathers me to him; I twine my legs around his waist and open to his manhood. It thrusts deeper and deeper, taking me further into my dark lord’s dark realm. The last seed bursts cool upon my tongue as my lord’s seed bursts hot within my body.

The world above lies still as death, waiting for the spring to come. Hollow promise. Who can know how hard that promise is to keep?

I have always loved the taste of pomegranates.

Image Persephone by Silvereyed

You can find this poem here, and many others here.