Polytheist Rap Battle

As I continue to work at my on-going exploration of anthropocentrism and its influence on modern Pagan theology and ritual, time passes here in the damp and half-wild city of Seattle as winter slow-dances with spring. This past weekend, we were blessed with a dusting of snow, followed by the hushed drizzle of overnight rain. The daffodils in the front yard are lifting up their little green hands in prayer, and the neighborhood hummingbird perches as sentinel on the highest twig of the lilac tree, flashing his breast in the sun. And everywhere, the damp plush moss!

It’s that time of year when I am restless to be outside… and sometimes restlessness gives way to snark. So while I’m off wrestling the hobgoblins of cabin fever, dear reader, here is a touch of silliness for you to enjoy.

Pagan Mic Night


Polytheist Rap Battle



Check it–

I try to walk with grace through these tricky conversations,
but sometimes it’s like a minefield of potential lacerations
with each step, each stride, I am swallowing my pride,
trying not to lose my center on this wild online ride.
Inside, I know, I am fierce but I am flawed.
I speak my truth well knowing you might think that I’m a fraud
or an asshole or a flake. That’s great, but wait–
let’s try some give and take.
I’ve got my own opinions, but I also make mistakes.
I am trying hard to listen through this riotous uproar,
but each time I crack a window you wanna show me to the door.

There are lots of insults flying, and some labels you’re applying
that obscure the deeper nuance of ideas you’re decrying.
When I say my gods are earthbound, I don’t mean they’re less than mud.
Sure I may not be too pious but I got spirit in my blood,
in my breath and in my bones, where it’s moving to the sound
of the sultry, subtle rhythms of divinity unbound.
I’ve found, with time, that the edges always blur,
and I can try to be discrete, but still complexity recurs.
And I am no more separate than the forest from the trees,
or the mountain from the valley, or the rivers from the seas.
(Which is to say I am, or at least I seem to be.)

But there’s you and me, and we are lost in definitions,
and without a sense of humor it can all end in derision.
So I smile, and shrug, and I do my best to sing,
and I know I’ve hit rock bottom when I hear that dulcet ring.
But if you’re trying to insult me, I won’t rise to the bait.
I’m weighing every word I say — that’s why my words have weight.
I don’t claim to be a prophet. My gods speak fine on their own
in the wind and in the waters, in the sunlight and the stone.
And there is power in uncertainty, sincerity and grace,
and I don’t mind a little mud so I don’t waste time saving face.

So you’re saying gods are hard, and that I just don’t understand?
But I never was the one who drew that line across the sand.
And now the sands are shifting and the conversation’s changing.
I’m always reassessing, but you’re busy rearranging,
complaining, explaining away your incoherence,
Pretending you’re on defense when you’re running interference.
I’m not picking sides or keeping score — I’m just seeking common ground.
I’m trying to dig deeper. All you do is double-down,
rewriting conversations that we all still have the links to
and then claiming lack of context when that clearly ain’t the issue.
(We miss you, you know, at our round-table discussions.
It’s not the same without you. There are far fewer concussions.)

I’m not saying I’m not snarky. I never claimed to be a saint.
But even in a rap battle, I try to show restraint.
Because it’s poetry that saves me at the end of every day.
So here’s where I say my name, drop the mic and walk away.


Share This Post:

Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

8 Comments

  1. Melissa
    Feb 12, 2014

    That is brilliant.

  2. Christine Hoff Kraemer
    Feb 13, 2014

    I love it when we can laugh at ourselves. :)

  3. Leithin Cluan
    Feb 16, 2014

    Fabulous. :)

  4. David Trammel
    Feb 16, 2014

    Just found your website from a comment over on the Archdruid report discussing the coming collapse of modern civilization due to peak oil and resource depletion AND how steampunk may well be our future. I’m going to spend a few hours reading over your past post, which look marvelous btw.

    Bookmarked for future reading.

  5. Jeannine
    Feb 19, 2014

    I haven’t been following the conversation, but I think you just scored a touchdown.

    Brilliant!

    • Alison Leigh Lilly
      Feb 19, 2014

      LOL! Thanks… I think? :)

      I’m reminded of a progressive Christian friend of mine who once said that when he watches debates between hardcore atheists and fundamentalist Christians, he feels like he’s sitting on the sidelines and, whenever one or the other team scores a goal, yelling, “Ha! Missed again!” ;)

  6. Caelesti/Mariah
    Feb 22, 2014

    Brilliant! An excellent piece of druidic satire- just what we need right now!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Next Steps in Polytheist/Wiccan Diplomacy | The Lefthander's Path - […] When people get too serious and grouchy- online or off, I often find one of the best ways to …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>