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Posts tagged as “Lords of Misrule”

Lords of Misrule 2023: The rest

I must apologise most profusely for not putting the other submissions for Lords of Misrule on the blog in a timely fashion. They were quite long, and i tended to procrastinate for quite a while on their inclusion, and so i ended up not bothering for fear of cluttering up the timeline with endless scrolling past other people’s creations — not a particularly dignified viewing environment for them.

But here they are in all their glory, on the main site:

Lords of Misrule 2023: Pedestrian Diversions

Iō Saturnalia! Today’s post comes from an anonymous reader in Santiago — to comment, please visit its page on the main site.

as a kid coming down the portway into the harbourside through here was always so epic: going past the rugby club, along the seamills bridge, down the hill, past the willow whale, seeing climbers on the gorge, the tunnels randomly sticking out the cliff looking like something out of minecraft, then coming around the bend and seeing the absolutely massive iconic bridge so high up. diving into the short tunnel type thing and then being greeted with an truly odd mix of architecture being the announcement of entering the city so dramatically. first ashton gate sticks out slightly, and then driving past the first row of house (the last one before the turn has a waving flag of the spanish republican international brigades — always fun for us, i am from spain but grew up in the middle of farmyland severn vale — we always came down via the m5 and even there i remember the giraffe cranes at avonmouth and the hovis silos), then being greeted with these brutalist tendales towards the airport, but we would always come off and into the redeveloped harbourside of its modern style and parked in the (very expensive im told) millenium square car park. the short drive through hotwells road was always very strange to me because its old georgian and victorian housing sandwiched between two far more modern areas. the nautical theme with the absolutely massive victorian ss great britain is also great, it used to have even more colourful flags !

the trip back was still good but never as cool as that experience, just a bunch of huge weed-themed graffiti on the quarryfaces across the river. will probably look much cooler if the train ever comes back that side.

Lords of Misrule 2023 — let the misrule begin!

It’s been a long year. That’s the traditional thing to say, but honestly, it’s been quite a short year for me, and autumn has crept up without me even noticing. That can only mean one thing…

Io Saturnalia!

It’s time, once again, for our third annual Satyrs’ Forest Lords of Misrule, where in the spirit of the season, i put you (yes, you) in charge of the site.

If you write or put togeher something — absolutely anything* — and email it to, come Saturnalia (December 17 to 23, for those who aren’t up to date on their Roman calendar) i’ll put it up on the site, on the blog and on its own dedicated permanent subpage, etched in stone for all to see.

As in years past, i ask only that you refrain from political polemics and anything that would get this noble forest in legal trouble. Other than that, the sky is the limit. A video essay on the occult implications of Gremlins 2? A rant about that new skyscraper that blots out the view of your favourite billboard? Anything goes. Whatever you — my lords of misrule — want.

You can submit your entries from today until the 16th of December, 2023. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to get weird with it!

— Xanthe

Lords of Misrule 2022: Waves, by Ræl H. Bishop

Our final submission of the season comes from one Ræl H. Bishop, a dear friend of mine. Thank you so much for all the entries this year — it’s a lovely thing to have a tradition continue, especially when i’d worried you’d all forgotten i existed. And as always, please leave all your comments on the main site.

This past summer, I lived in a big coastal city. After two months, things took a turn for the worse and I had to move out. I found the city plastic and frustrating anyways. During my time there, I would go to the beach quite often. But not to swim or make sand castles. In the mornings, I’d walk with a book and a bottle of water and watch the sun dance over the horizon. In the evening, I’d find a vacant spot and watch the cargo ships sail over an increasingly indigo skyscape. It was very cathartic. I feel it’s the same feeling all cathedrals, mosques, and mandirs try to cultivate: a sense of awe and serenity that lets our minds meld and our troubles wash away.

I have a very beach-y metaphor for your consideration. The emotions we experience in our lives are like waves lapping onto a shoreline. All emotions are found in these waves. We get caught up in waves of anger, of depression, of pride and lust, of sorrow and shame, greed and jealousy, euphoria and ecstasy. They are strong, powerful waves. We all stand on these shores, but most folks spend their lives getting tossed and turned by these waves, smashed into the undercurrent and washed up to repeat the process the next day. What we need to do in the face of these waves is not to get knocked over by them, but to hold steadfast and let the waves pass. We observe the waves as they emerge, not “pushing back” and not “falling in”, but noting as they come and noting as they pass. The waves leave, and more take their place, but they’re all transient nonetheless.

I’ve tried taking this notion to heart since I realized it. I hope you can find use of this. The next time you’re caught in a slump, or a fit of rage, or in some all-consuming obsession, just remember that it’s another wave approaching from the distance. You have the power, the strength, the will to keep standing in its wake.

You are not these waves, these fleeting emotions. You are yourself. γνῶθι σεαυτόν. तत्त्वमसि.

Lords of Misrule 2022: Three poems

Today’s post(s) come to us, in no particular order, from three different people, because like buses, good things come in threes. As always, please leave your comments on the main site.

child meets Cernunnos

i met Him in the woods and He told me to hold my chin up His

skin black as ash shining


blood in the snow, He gave me a bow fitted for me and said to shoot

i said what for, to shoot what, i don’t want to hurt a creature

and He said the cycle of life requires death, if you reap then you will sow, to kill a cræture is

to give it back.

i said alright but i was scared and He said what if the other hunters come not my Hunters the other ones

man-shaped and hunting crætures like you

and i shot

the arrow fell through the shadow, spilling, and i said to protect i would do anything

and He said now you understand what this is for. and He said daughter, your destructive anger

can construct mountains and miracles. don’t listen to those as say death and life and rot and growth are anything different from each other. look at the berries grow through the snow. it kills the snow, the snow feeds them, they are not beautiful in this way without the snow.

i said, i understand i am an arrow and a Hunter and i am not yours i am my own and i protect

and like this is how my i became an I

two months later i called for Him

with my head in a bush

because the other ones had taken away my I again

and he said take it back and this time He gave me a knife

and I stole nothing

but I held the knife and sat with Him and remembered that i am I.

Listen to Hanif Aburraqib who says

“I don’t know if I believe in rage as something always acting in opposition to tenderness. I believe, more often, in the two as braided together. Two elements of trying to survive in a world once you have an understanding of that world’s capacity for violence.”

and go lightly but know yourself Leave a comment

sinxelo, lost
Sent in by an anonymous reader from Santiago

know true, feel feind

creer, pensar


estou na miña lengua perdide
non coa morriña, ni pobo.

lellos turn, so they wanted

beg, simple:
¿ Leave a comment


I’m a poet of the future
poet by mission
With pen in hand
I let any dick hard

Strong Viagra is my verse
Fills souls with lust
blowjob by passion
To all subverse morals

I open the gates of hell
Like a lady’s legs
For I am invited to both

May this verse last forever:
I feel sorry for those who love
destined for sadness.

Lords of Misrule 2022: The Gift of the Influencers, by Baki

Iō Saturnalia! Just as last year, a month ago, i flipped the tables and invited you all to send me whatever you wanted and i would put it up on the site. I’m pleased to say that even more took up my offer than last year, and over the next five days, you’ll be seeing a variety of their works. Our first submission for 2022 comes from a reader by the nom de plume of Baki. Enjoy.

One thousand eight hundred and seventy dollars. That was all. She had put it aside, one dollar and then another and then another, in her careful posting of selfies and other online activity. Della counted it three times. One thousand eight hundred and seventy dollars. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was nothing to do but post an Instagram Story and cry. So Della did it.

While the lady of the home is slowly growing quieter, we can look at the home. A VW van. There is little more to say about it.

The engine had decided to finally stop working completely and needed replacement. In the back there was an area too small to hold a toilet. There was a bed, but it was not long enough. Also there was a barely functional kitchen with the names of the owners above the tiny window surrounded by little hearts, Della and James Young.

When the names were placed there, Mr. James Dillingham Young was being paid $300 a week via PayPal, Venmo, and Patreon from people supporting their #vanlife social media lifestyle. Now, when he was being paid only $200 a week, the name seemed too long and important. It should have been “Jamie Young.” But when Mr. James Dillingham Young entered the van, his name became very short indeed. Mrs. James Dillingham Young put her arms warmly around him and called him “Jim.” You have already met her. She is Della.

Della finished her Instagram Story and wiped the tears from her face. She sat by the window and looked out with no interest. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only one thousand eight hundred and seventy dollars with which to buy Jim a gift. She had put aside as much as she could for months, with this result. Two hundred dollars a week is not much. Everything had cost more than she expected. It always happened like that.

Only $1,870 to buy a gift for Jim. She had had many happy hours planning something nice for him. Something nearly good enough. Something almost worth the honor of belonging to Jim.

There was the interior of the van. Perhaps you have seen the kind of interior of a van that is created by two people living #vanlife on social media. There was wood. There were lots of fairy lights. There was a colorful blanket to tie it all together. It was very narrow and hard to photograph properly with an iPhone that was two generations out-of-date. However, if she were very patient and used a cheap five dollar fish eye lens attachment, she might be able to get a good pic of the interior. Della, being quite patient, had mastered this art.

Suddenly she stopped trying to film the interior of the van and stared at her phone. Her eyes were shining brightly, but her face had lost its color. Quickly she turned off her phone and set it down on the colorful blanket.

The James Dillingham Youngs were very proud of two things which they owned. One thing was Jim’s VW van. It had been their reason for quitting their boring forty hour a week jobs so they could live their #bestlife. The other was Della’s iPhone, the only camera they owned which allowed them to document their #vanlife on social media so they could be influencers.

If a queen had lived in the campsite next to them, Della would have taken pics of her with the two generation old iPhone and posted them so the queen could see. Della knew that her pics were more beautiful than any a queen could have taken with much more modern equipment.

If a king had lived in the campsite next to them, with his fancy $200,000 RV with pop outs and self-leveling, Jim would have invited him over for a ramen dinner. Jim knew that no king had anything as wonderful as his VW van.

So Della stared down at her iPhone then picked it up again. She stopped for a moment and stood still while a tear or two ran down her face.

With the bright light still in her eyes, she created an eBay auction for her phone then announced it on social media.

“Will you buy my phone? Only two hours to bid!” Della Instagramed.

“Wonderful iPhone for sale. Only two hours to bid!” Della Facebooked.

“Get it while you can! #carpediem #2hourauction” Della Tweeted.

Two hours later, PayPal announced a four hundred dollar increase in their account.

Oh, and the next thirty minutes seemed to fly. She was going from online store to online store, to find a gift for Jim.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the online stores, and it was from a shop very close to them.

It was an original replacement engine for the VW van.

As soon as she saw it, she knew that Jim must have it. She paid the two thousand two hundred and seventy dollars for it. The owner of the shop was a fan, a subscriber to their YouTube channel, and promised it would be delivered within the hour.

What luck! To find the engine so close to their location and so close to Christmas!

Humming Christmas carols under her breath, Della quickly posted that “big things were afoot” and that she “might be off social media for a while” to her social media accounts then packed up her iPhone to be shipped to the winner of the eBay auction.

When Della had done this, her mind quieted a little. She began to think more reasonably. She started to try and cover the sad marks of what she had done. Love and large-hearted giving, when added together, can leave deep marks. It is never easy to cover these marks, dear friends – never easy.

Within forty minutes her head looked a little better and the engine had been delivered. “If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “after he realizes we can’t post to social media any longer. But what could I do – oh! What could I do with one thousand eight hundred and seventy dollars!”

At seven, Jim’s dinner was ready for him.

Jim was never late when he was out scouting new locations worthy of being photographed. Della held the colorful blanket that the engine lay on and sat cross-legged on the bed. Then she heard his step outside and her face lost color for a moment. She often said little prayers quietly, about simple everyday things. And now she said: “Please God, make him think the engine is nice.”

The van door opened and Jim crawled in. He looked very fit and he was not smiling. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-eight – and with only a couple hundred followers on Twitter!

Jim stopped inside the door. He was quiet as a hunting dog when it is near a bird. His eyes looked strangely at Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not understand. It filled her with fear. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor anything she had been ready for. He simply looked at her with that strange expression on his face.

“You’ve bought me an engine?” asked Jim slowly. He seemed to labor to understand what had happened. He seemed not to feel sure he knew.

Jim put his arms around Della. For ten seconds let us look in another direction. Two hundred dollars a week or a million dollars a month – how different are they? Someone may give you an answer, but it will be wrong. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. My meaning will be explained soon.

From inside the coat, Jim took something tied in paper. He threw it upon the blanket. “I sold the van to get the money to buy you the new iPhone.”

For there lay The Latest iPhone – the iPhone that Della had been reading reviews about for months. A beautiful iPhone with improved lenses and increased memory, perfect for taking selfies and pics of their van. She had known it cost too much for her to buy. She had looked at it without the least hope of owning it. And now it was hers, but the van was sold.

And then she cried, “Oh, oh!”

The magi as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men – who brought gifts to the newborn Christ-child. They were the first to give Christmas gifts. Being wise, their gifts were doubtless wise ones. And here I have told you the story of two influencers who were not wise. Each sold the most precious thing they owned in order to buy a gift for the other.

But let me speak one last word to the wise these days. Of all who give gifts, these two were the most wise. For when Della popped back onto social media that night using her new iPhone to tell their followers this story, Della and Jim went viral. Money and offers of sponsorship poured in. The lady who bought Jim’s van gave it back to him for nothing. The shop who sold Della the engine installed it for free. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are most wise. Everywhere they are the wise ones. They are the influencers.

#blessed #bestlife #vanlife

Lords of Misrule 2022 — let the misrule begin!

This is a copy of the main page for this event.

The cycle of a year is a wonderful thing. Trees grow and wilt, rivers ebb and flow, and every winter, Gæa blankets Herself in a snowy coat. All across Europe, people gather together, huddling around, exchanging gifts. Most would call it Christmas.

For us? Well… Io Saturnalia!

It’s time for the second annual Satyrs’ Forest Lords of Misrule! In the spirit of the topsy-turvy season, i’m putting you in charge of the site.

If you write or put together something — absolutely anything — and email it to, come Saturnalia (that’s December 17 to 23, for those who aren’t up to date with their ancient festivals) i’ll put it up on the site, both on the blog and on its own dedicated, permanent subpage, etched in stone for all to see.

Like last year, i would ask that you refrain from political polemics or anything that would get this noble forest in legal trouble. Apart from that, anything goes. Your gran’s chocolate cake recipe? An impassioned defence of Freddy Got Fingered as an ironic masterpiece? Hell, i’ll even let you vandalise one of the permanent pages for a bit if you ask me to. Whatever you — my lords of misrule — want.

You can submit your entries from today until the 16th of December, 2021. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to get weird with it!

— Xanthe

Lords of Misrule 2021: “Dancing.png” (for lack of a proper title)

As the solstice arrives, the week winds down, and the days begin once more to lengthen, it’s time for our final submission for this year’s Lords of Misrule. This one comes from an artist known only as Newt S. For the last time this year, Io Saturnalia!

In the style of an old carving (of some sort), a group of anthropomorphic animals (including a snake, fish, flamingo, and what i think is a hamster?) dance in a circle wearing traditional European ceremonial dress as the sun sets behind their forest clearing.

My sincerest thanks for everyone for participating this year. I wasn’t expecting a single submission, let alone five of the bloody things.

Lords of Misrule 2021: Walking and picking up trash will benefit you personally

Today’s submission, a plea to pick up litter while on your morning (or evening) constitutional, comes from one Quinn Casey. Io Saturnalia!

1. Forces you to walk slower

I normally walk at an incredibly brisk pace. I have found a zen to slowing down to A) pick up the garbage and B) turn around slowly and admire the clean patch.

2. A pass to roam in “less-than-public” land

I’m not talking about hopping a fence into someone’s farmland. There are areas in the US that are legally private property, but in practice are wild, unused spaces.

For a rule-follower like myself it’s a “you know it when you see it”. Some real life examples of property I regularly trespass on and cleanup:

  • A paved sidewalk that ends onto an HOA stormdrain, with well trodden dirt paths throughout.
  • Government / Utility company land
  • Land beside train tracks, under bridges, and on maintenance roads

Picking up trash adds a layer of innocence to your case when pleading ignorance of your trespassing. Even if you are never confronted, it may help immerse you and ease your law-abiding mind.

3. Repeated hikes are prettier than the last

Paths you roam frequently will be cleaned faster than they accumulate garbage, and there comes a point where the space looks natural, untouched by human kind. In my opinion, having those wild spaces close to where we live is essential to mental health.

4. An excuse to go for longer hikes

I’m stubbornly attached to the (unhealthy) notion that a productive day is a successful day.

5. A problem local enough to solve

Where does this trash go when you bring it all back to the bin? Does this encourage more consumption/litter, since the waste isn’t immediately obvious anymore? Is litter even a substantial environmental problem, or is it just aesthetic?

I don’t pretend to know the answer to these. These are problems for a society, a larger than life culture. For too many years this was the excuse I used to not care at all. To not take any action whatsoever.

What’s the point of helping at all?

Well now I’ve found one. (5, if you’ve been keeping count) reasons to take action in a localized, meaningful way.

Small but constant effort by everyone is just as impactful as a one off million dollar idea. For true change we need to alter our behavior for the long term.

Relax, take a walk. Bring a bag.

Lords of Misrule 2021: “A Saturnalia piece”

Welcome back to our first annual Lords of Misrule! Today’s poem comes to us from one Noa S. Enjoy.

do you
do you
do you ever
ever ever
wonder whether
maybe maybe
something else
is hiding
in this world

i see things
anything but
in this world

would i
could i
if there were
love these things
like i loved her
she is
touching me
hiding trying
to watch me
she is
missing me
now she
loves me


Lords of Misrule 2021: “Words of Advice”

Saturnalia! As you may remember, at the start of the month i announced that to celebrate the holiday season, you could submit anything you wanted to my website and i’d put it up. I’m pleased to say several people took up my offer, and i’ll be putting them up daily starting today. Our somber first submission comes from a reader by the nom de plume of Ræl H. Bishop. Enjoy.

I think I might’ve finally accepted the fact that I’m gonna die some day.

A story has no purpose if it doesn’t have an end.

We will all die some day and never again be able to feel the sun shine on our faces, shielding us with warmth.

But it’s that very fact that lets us enjoy the sun for his bountiful rays.

Be here, now.

For even the sun will burn out one day and never shine again.

Lords of Misrule

This is a copy of the main page for this event.

“Iō Saturnalia!” So went the cry that marked the start of the eponymous classical holiday. For one glorious week, Roman society was turned on its head: slaves became masters; togas were out and ostentatious displays of colour were in; gag gifts were given; and one lucky person was elected the local King of Saturnalia. Whatever orders the King barked had to be followed, no matter how ridiculous. This tradition clung on even into the Christian middle ages as the English “lord of misrule” — a lone pagan vestige in a monotheistic world.

So, in the spirit of those winter holidays, to lighten up this frosty time of year, i thought it would be fun to let you play that rule for my website. Welcome, one and all, to the first annual Lords of Misrule!

If you write or put together something — absolutely anything — and email it to, come Saturnalia (that’s December 17 to 23, for those who understandably aren’t up to date with ancient festival customs) i’ll put it up on the site, both on the blog and on its own dedicated, permanent subpage, etched in stone for all to see.

I would ask that you don’t submit any political polemics (we’ve had quite enough of those) or anything that would get me in legal trouble, but apart from that, anything goes. Your gran’s chocolate cake recipe? An impassioned defence of Freddy Got Fingered as an ironic masterpiece? A rant about how keyboards aren’t what they used to be? Whatever you — my lords of misrule — want.

You can submit your entries from today until the 16th of December, 2021. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to get weird with it!

— Marijn