Happy summer from Mars!
“No point crying over spilt milk.” While we’ve all
heard that cliché, in folklore one shouldn’t waste time in crying over spilled
milk because the fairies will lap it up. Fairy lore says that they love milk
and are believed to keep magical cattle to quench their constant thirst for it.
Other fairies steal milk from the cows of mortal men, sometimes draining them
In Ireland it was considered a good idea to dip a thumb
into a pail of milk and make a cross on the cow’s flank as a bane against fairy
attack. Some vampires and witches were also believed to drink a cow dry.
Spilled milk being left out for the fairies may be a relic
of pouring milk on the ground as a libation for a variety of spirits. It was
thought that if these offerings were not made to the fairies, they might even
tip over the milk pail. Sometimes it was considered wise to pour milk into rock
hollows to feed the wandering fairies and other spirits.
The belief in leaving milk or cream out for house fairies
is quite widespread within folklore. Good Irish wives would usually
leave some in the churn as an offering. Leaving cookies and milk out for Santa
Claus may be related to these beliefs. Occasionally a hot coal was dropped into
the churn to keep the greedier fairies from stealing too much milk.
Milk has a long history of being an important food and is
an obvious symbol of motherhood. The stars were believed to be milk
spilled from the breasts of the cosmic mother. This is the likely source for the
name, the Milky Way.
Milk has a clear association with the moon, the moon being
either made of green cheese, or even being a great pitcher that waxes and
wanes as it fills and then spills its contents. In Russian folklore the spirit
of the moon is known as Miesiac or Mesiats;
she marries the sun every
summer. He abandons her during the winter but returns to her in the spring.
Given the vast popularity of superstar Brad Cooper, I
thought I might do a little review of one of his less known films, The Midnight Meat
Train (2008, 100 minutes).
Based on a Clive Barker short story by the same name, it centers around a
photographer who witnesses an attempted assault on the subway. Cooper’s
character needs some hot photos for a big show at a local gallery, so becomes
entangled with murders that seem to be happening on the subway. Just why the
victims are being slaughtered is even stranger. Many film shots are a cold
steely blue, suggesting a morgue or butcher shop. And the murder scenes are
quite graphic. With its handsome superstar, and based on a well-known author’s
work, it is assured a cult following. With Brook Shields as the curator of the
museum and British actor Vinnie James as the serial killer, this will
definitely appeal to the splatter-punk crowd. I also recommend Clive Barker’s BOOKS
OF BLOOD (First Edition), which features this short story. The film was
directed by Ryuhei Kitamura. Again, happy summer, earthlings.
Nature covers the
In a green velvet
Of her voluptuous
Promiscuous in her
Temple of Colors
Green is the
Of the frog-headed
Blue is the color
Of Shiva the
Red is the bloody
Of the sun;
Purple is the veil
Orange is the mask
The albino fetus;
White is the
Pearl of the mother.
Friend, firstname.lastname@example.org, of Parkersberg, W.Va, wrote the BP #80
poems, “The Empress” & “The Temple of Colors” (+ BP #79 poems, “The
Marquis” and “My Bloody Valentine”; the BP #78 poem, “The Old Yule Goat”; BP
#77’s 4-poem set: “At 50,” “Owls,” “Vintage Halloween,” & “Xmas in the
Asylum”; BP #76’s 4-poem set: “Hag Fairy Communion,” “Love’s Sepulcher,” “Night
Wanderer,” & “St. Andrew’s Feast”; 2 poems for BP #75, “Angel of the Pagan
Dead” and “Churchyard Watcher”; BP #72’s 2-poem set, “Ed Gein” & “Sour
Puss”; and the 2008 poem “All Hallows’ Eve”), writes and illustrates our “MARS
News” column. He did a cover for Black Petals back in 2000 for the fall issue,
and has been around ever since. BP keeps up two websites for him and prints his
column in the issue quarterly. Chris has a gallery at http://chris.michaelherring.net/
and was featured artist in Kurt Newton’s Ultimate PerVersities (Naked
Snake) [Jan. 2011].