Ode to the Scythians
The Scythian Credo:
Marijuana is the Goddess
is the Sacrament.
I. You were the first ever to ride the horse.
the saddle and blanket
the harness and bridle
the girth and stirrup.
You left us the image of the centaur
the superstitious impressions of your frightened enemies.
On your horse holding your bow
the Saggitarius symbol comes
Your zone of the sky points to the center of the galaxy
II. You were the first ever to smoke marijuana.
laid hemp flowers on the coals in a bowl
in the middle of your tent
bent over it
covered all your heads with a
Your spirit then joined the spirit of the Goddess.
That is how you communed with the Goddess
as She made known Her will
through subtle nudges to your imagination.
She turned your eyes to the splendor of
That is how you conceived the innovation
of climbing on a big animal
and by subtle nudges of
and turning his head aside
making him go where you wanted to travel.
As the Goddess showed you her way
so you showed the horse your way.
III. Your women warriors, named the Amazons
your enemies a lesson in fear.
Riding and shooting in troops of your own
you dealt the citizens the special chill
of the trembling man threatened by armed women.
The classical writers could not quite describe this terror.
has shivered down through the ages to us.
Modern man cannot quite explain this fear.
The Goddess nudged the imagination
of the Scythian women
turned your heads toward the weaponry
subtly raising to your eyes the questions
a woman ride?
Can not a woman fight?
Can not a woman slay a man?
Is this not splendor?
Pungent hemp smoke
wafted around the quiver of arrows.
The name Amazon became shouted in the fields
was whispered in the cities.
learned an arrow slipping narrowly through the sky
has no testicles.
IV. The cruel Assyrian with his curled black beard
oiled and perfumed
heard about the Scythians
that your Goddess drifted over your heads in smoke
women fought in battle wearing delicate fabrics woven of hemp
that your skin would shine through
that your intricate
filigrees of gold were worked with artistry beyond compare
the tyrant called out his imperial army.
armored, heavily armed, drilled and diciplined
these troops had conquered all the countries around
capturing the populace
forcing the survivors to bring tribute and slaves to Nineveh.
Assyria was the greatest and
harshest empire the world had known
Nineveh its proud and wealthy capital.
Women and men, you drifted on down through
obedient to the silent urgings of the Goddess
which She revealed in the sacred odor of Her smoke.
V. A solid wall was the unvanquished army of Assyria.
Marching at you in a block, spears gleaming in ranks.
Far behind them stood the mighty walls of Nineveh.
nudged your mind, and turned your face to look beyond, beyond.
You rode on towards the thousands meaning to slay you.
Your bows sang their soft pure notes.
The beauty of the clouds this day,
the shimmer of the enemy metal,
it not splendor?
With the instant precision of dancers you galloped in
and twisted your horses right through the massed
like you were phantoms made of smoke.
Was it done well?
Right past the imperial army you rode, through
them or over them.
Right into Nineveh you rode,
and tore down that town.
VI. The days pass, and pass, but the Goddess can handle
There were many days of peace, but few of war.
Scythians died, women and men,
and were buried, in log coffins,
in log houses made in the ground,
surrounded by a circle of stones.
Gold art work was buried with them, unexcelled
and wood, cloth and leather art,
and horses, marijuana, and weapons.
Some of the graves froze when
the weather cooled,
and some of them are still frozen.
Kings and slaves lived and died,
empires rose slowly and
and many peoples moved, but you Scythians stayed.
You were stable because your religion was true,
because you could contact your Goddess any time,
by smelling the sacred odor of her suffumigation,
the holy plant
would tell you of her will.
Twenty generations after you took Nineveh,
you went to war beside Alexander and conquered
Persia was an ancient empire, which in its dim dawning
had swallowed the ancient empire of Babylon
you knew a little about ancient empires.
You fought your old way, on your horses,
with your bows,
women and men,
misted in smoke.
Empires rise in centuries, fall in a day.
You rode the land before any of them.
come and go, like human lives, king and slaves, like smoke.
VII. Like smoke you drifted from sight as our era began.
When the tyrants dictate not only what one should do
but what one should believe
people will hide their old ways.
The endless plains grew dry and cold.
Amid the turbulence of peoples in Roman times
the Scythians eased quietly
into the forests.
The Goddess floats lightly over the jumble of history.
The ways of the Scythians can be seen to
like beaten gold in the rubble
from time to time
and place to place.
Horses are still ridden.
sacred plant still grows.
Women still fight.
The Goddess can be known any time in the smell of Her smoke.