Poets and Heroes

This weekend is the funeral for a young man named Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, who, together with veteran and father Ricky John Best and poet Micah David-Cole stood up against a white supremacist spewing hate and threatening two young women on the Portland Metro.


Taliesin’s death has especially hit home for me, because, while I didn’t know him personally, he is part of our extended community of Pagans and Witches and activists.  My heart goes out to his family and loved ones, and to the families of Ricky John Best.  Pride and honor are a small consolation for such a loss.  Love and healing, also, to Micah David-Cole, who survived, and who reminds us not to idolize the heroes and forget the young women who were the targets of such destructive hate.

For those young women, I pray that they might come through with the deep knowledge of their own precious worth and sacred beauty, that they may be surrounded by a community that cherishes them, and that their own courage and agency be recognized and fostered.

Acts of hate are acts of terror, meant to reinforce the constant low-level fear carried by every person of color, every woman in a racist, misogynist society—that your mere presence, separate from any act you might take or thing you might do—can make you the target of violence at any moment.

Against that tide, we need everyday heras and heroes, poets and fathers, lovers and protectors—all of us to commit to acts of common decency and humanity.

We are living in a world bathed in a foul atmosphere of vitriol, scorn and lies, amped up by the run-up to and outcome of the elections, reinforced by social media.  It’s like a poisonous miasma, as if somewhere on the astral plane demonic mills are churning out a bath of psychic smog.  Every diatribe on the internet, every racist statement by a leader or politician, every misogynist tweet is like a forced-air furnace blowing toxins into our atmosphere.

The corrosion creeps into everything, even our personal relationships.  We who consider ourselves progressives are not immune—too often we respond to one another with that same energy of castigation and vitriol.  And the damaged and broken among us are most susceptible.  When your psychic defenses are cracked, it’s all too easy for the poison to seep in, fill you up and spill over.  When it does, it finds channels already laid out for itby Trump and Fox News and white-supremacist websites and all the purveyors of prejudice and hate.

Any act of common decency is like a small window letting in a breath of fresh, clean air.  A great act, a sacrifice of such magnitude as what took place on that Portland metro, is a powerful act of magic that opens a great portal.  Such love is a powerful force; such fierce compassion is a wild, cleansing wind. Into the toxic stew of hatred and lies and vitriol reinforced by that pathetic man who has seized great power, now pours a gale of truth and love.


Now it is up to us all to pry open that portal even further, to assert with our daily choices and actions that to be truly human is to care for others, to fight lies with poetic truths, to fight the ugliness of hatred and violence with beauty and courage.

We are each faced with small choices, every day, that can pour a breath of compassion and caring into the dank air.  Let out memorial for these heroes be a wide-open door, and through it let the storm winds blow!

5 comments to Poets and Heroes

  • Cathryn Duerden

    Thank you. Exquisitely wise.

  • Mara

    You are such a powerful writer and THIS is no exception! Thank you, for giving hope even in these dangerous times. I will continue to fight lies. I will continue to love and to teach. So many brainwashed it seems they can’t see what directly in front of their faces.

  • Maggie Mamer

    Thank you, Starhawk – absolutely beautiful – full of truth and light!

  • Thank you Star for the reminder and the thread of hope. Last night Wonder Woman, and today basically same from you. Love, compassion are the fuel we must rely on for change. Yesterday morning I found myself in a conversation with my spouse about the Portland tragedy. He believes the killer was a liberal who voted for Bernie Sanders and not a white supremacist and no amount of discussion would change his belief – yes he watches FOX. I find myself questioning the very fabric of my beliefs. FOX is powerful, even 2nd hand. Reality is flickering like a candle flame. I think it’s time to chat with those fire fairies… much love!

  • Yvonne

    Thank you so much for this post, Starhawk. It is exactly the support and clarity that we need for these times of spiritual challenge. I couldn’t agree more! Well said.

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