Poems for Temple
Ecstasy After the Apocalypse
by Katherine Journeay writing as Helen Ophelia Byrne
In the fall of 2006 Katherine Journeay began playing in a Post Apocalyptic Live Action Roleplaying game (LARP) in New Hampshire. LARPing s a form of roleplaying where the participants physically act out the actions of the characters they have assumed. The character Journeay created and portrayed, Helen Byrne, developed and an entirely unexpected (and unscripted), ecstatic connection to the Divine.
As she started to explore this vibrant connection, poetry began to come to her in post game waves of creativity. Journeay had written poetry in college, studying with Mary Jo Salter and Brad Leithauser, but the trance states that she would fall into after each game were unique in her experience. At the height of her creative frenzy, she was writing two and three poems a day. They were Helen's poems, but from Katherine's pen.
Although the references to people, violence and living in a world infested with zombies, ghosts and aliens are entirely made up, the truths that come through Helen feel genuine, even applicable to each person's quest for grace amid the horror of our modern society.
Helen Byrne is a former EMT from Boston Massachusetts. During the final days of the world we knew before the Collapse, she began to spontaneously manifest the skills of what came to be known as Ghostwalking. Uncomfortable with these abilities and feeling as if they were incongruent with her Catholic upbringing, she unsuccessfully tried to suppress them.
She survived by trading her medical skills for food and shelter. In 2008, two years after the Collapse, she responded to a call for help from a struggling resistance community in New Hampshire. In Temple she discovered romance with a fellow survivor, TJ, and a new purpose: to keep her fellow Templers alive, to destroy the alien invaders, to save humanity and to rebuild civilization. This is her first volume of poetry.
In the fall of 2006 Katherine Journeay began playing in a Post Apocalyptic Live Action Roleplaying game (LARP) called Endgame. LARPing s a form of role playing where the participants physically act out the actions of the characters they have assumed. The character Journeay created and portrayed developed and an entirely unexpected ecstatic connection to the Divine. Although Journeay had written poetry in college nothing prepared her for the onslaught of creativity that Endgame unleashed in her or the spiritual relationship she suddenly found herself plunged into. When she is not LARPing Katherine Journeay lives with her husband, an extraordinarily grumpy cat and an ever rotating cast of characters in Camelot Cohousing, Berlin MA.
Poems for Temple - Invisible Sun Published June 24, 2011