Where the Birds of Paradise Sing [*POEM*]

WHERE  THE  BIRDS  OF  PARADISE  SING

For a dead friend 

by XANADU


Give me the Mountains of Magic
Where the birds of paradise sing
In a hieratic language—
Sweet songs of infinite longing.
Give me the Gardens of Longing
In a visionary world never seen;
Give me the far Lands of Morning
Where my love is all she has been.
Give me the face of my darling
Come back to me—back from the dead—
Radiant with joy and thanksgiving
With a rainbow round her head. 
Here’s my longing—let it be done!—
Let me walk with my angel soon
Through the golden fields of the sun,
By the silver seas of the moon. 

18 thoughts to “Where the Birds of Paradise Sing [*POEM*]”

  1. Lasha, have you ever written an article about your close friend who died? I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to know more about her, especially since she plays a prominent role in your thoughts and in your poetry.

    While I’m at it, and speaking of birds and also of death, here’s my “Song of the Silent Swan” 🙂
    https://www.darkmoon.me/2011/song-of-the-silent-swan-by-lucius-knightsword/

    For the newbies, about 10 years ago I thought it a fun idea to give myself a pen name like Lasha, so for a while I was “Lucius Knightsword.” I also had a bit more “fear of the Jujus” back then. Since then I’ve pretty much resigned myself to being on the extermination list. Pray the Rosary every day to have less fear also.

    Here are some beautiful words from Our Lady of Fatima in 1917:

    “Jesus wants to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by me before His throne.”

    1. TODAY, SEPT. 24 IS THE FEAST OF
      OUR LADY OF MERCY/ OUR LADY OF RANSOM

      Supplication to Our Lady of Ransom: To obtain the Favor of her Patronage till Death.

      Sweet Mother! turn those gentle eyes
      Of pity down on me;
      Oh! hear thy suppliant’s tearful cries,
      My humble prayer do not despise,
      Star of the pathless sea!

      In dark temptation’s dreary hour,
      To thee, bright Queen, we flee;
      Oh! then exert a mother’s power,
      When storms are rough and tempests lower;
      Star of the raging sea!

      Through all my joys and cares, sweet Maid,
      May I still look on thee,
      Who bore the Price our ransom paid,
      And ne’er the suppliant’s cry hath stayed;
      Star of the azure sea!

      And when my last expiring sigh,
      My soul from earth shall free,
      Do thou, bright Queen of Saints, stand by,
      And bear it up to God on high,
      Star of the boundless sea!

      Recommendation: Say the Hail Mary three times followed by the Hail Holy Queen
      “The more exalted she is, the greater her clemency, and sweetness towards penitent sinners.” — St. Gregory the Great.

  2. Death seems so final when viewed solely (soulfully?) from the perspective of “this side”. Ones we love (or once loved) we appear to lose to Death for eternity. They became at once and with apparent finality irretrievable, nonreturnable, unresponsive to prayer and abject supplication.

    There are those who see from both sides now, which fact songstress Joni Mitchell engraved with strident voice in the Mind of GOD for us. We experience ends, then beginnings, like pearls on an infinite string, like cosmic onions with 5,000 eye-watering layers. This poem is for them, as they march inexorably toward Death. We trudge along with them. We ask questions.

    Life Hike, Before It’s Over

    I said, “I think we be done for the day,
    any further puts us farther from The Way.”
    None argued or, solely by expression, disagreed.
    We tented on needled carpets, rations treed.

    From darkness ‘cross the campfire arrowed a question,
    “Where to, how long from now?”, followed by
    proverbial pregnant silence.
    After a time I responded, more calling than yelling,
    “The quest-I-on has no direction, no dearth of sorrow.
    Only the strong and brave need follow on the morrow.”
    “When shall we be free to go our respective ways?”, queried
    the same voice from same sector of darkness.
    “My quest is your quest, we be all in this together.” I replied,
    “All of us will share in the final reward!”
    “My portion”, sighed The Voice from the Dark, “how much?
    What proportion of the pie is my ‘final reward’?”
    “Your fair share, of course,” I quickly said, taking to account
    CON-tributions of all CON-cerned, those participating
    in ways we hardly know and, as a CON-sequence, much less
    think about (and, if we do happen to think,
    especially “critically”, then only as directed!), continuing after the refreshing pause, “commensurate with your sacrifice for Causes of ALL.”
    All became quiet once more and thereafter, ‘til Sun’s next coming.

    “Babes in the woods”, I thought, leading them on at dawn.
    “Women take the form of men with brains and brawn.
    In backwood estates, bucks get it on with fawns.
    Fair question – another of the million quests-I-on” –
    WHO’s in charge, really? Is any GOD, god, any THING
    responsible?! at all for ALL?”
    We hike on, all of us together as one yet separate,
    as the sphere on which we stride spins,
    our thoughts on this night’s pillows
    well before zenith, our hearts in graves
    as yet undug by kith or kin.

    acd, 22 September 2021
    [formatting, re-formatting difficult, roughly done here]

  3. Most people do their best to escape, forget, repress the reality that what happens after we die has been clearly and with the highest authority revealed by God Himself.

    The common belief about the Afterlife until about the mid-19th Century and the proliferation of the pernicious Darwinian myth, at least in the western world, was more or less that which was taught by Christianity, and especially that which the Catholic Church taught from the beginning, the Protestants beginning in the 16th Century retaining most but differing in important areas. One of the great classics on the “Four Last Things” is that of St Alphonsus Liguori, an 18th C. Bishop and Doctor of the Church (both very holy and very learned):
    http://www.amazon.com/Death-Judgment-Heaven-Hell-Meditations/dp/1530479126

    Such meditations on what happens at and after death will seem foreign to most readers, but that is primarily because we live in a secular, post-Christian culture — and I may add, we are suffering the consequences of it.

    BTW, what the saint says is not what one hears from the enemy-hijacked Church of Rome today, or even since the 1960s, or from the 30,000 “Bible Alone” churches, but primarily only in pockets here and there where Apostolic tradition in doctrine, etc. has not been discarded.

  4. Correct me if I am wrong, but I detect many exotic influences at work in this profoundly moving poem about death and the afterlife, especially the overarching influence of LD’s favourite female poet Christina Rossetti. The average reader would miss these literary allusions (or “echoes”), but I am myself a Rossetti admirer, so it is relatively easy for me to detect what the average reader would be totally unaware of.

    There are two tributes (or “In Memoriam” poems) LD addressed to Rossetti about a year ago. I particularly liked the first sonnet, ‘Forgotten, but still remembered’.

    FORGOTTEN, BUT STILL REMEMBERED
    https://www.darkmoon.me/2019/forgotten-but-still-remembered/

    WOUNDED NIGHTINGALE
    https://www.darkmoon.me/2020/wounded-nightingale-in-memoriam-christina-rossetti/

    Please confirm if the above poem ‘Where the Birds of Paradise Sing’ is a Rossetti influenced poem, or it it my obsession with Rossetti that has made me imagine this.

    Also, are there any esoteric references to other sources other than Rossetti who is thoroughly steeped in Dante? I wonder what “the Lands of Morning” are, and if this is just a poetic way of referring to the Far East, i.e. where the sun rises first every morning?

    I know that LD would not refer to “the Lands of Morning” just for the rhyme’s sake— i.e. because “Morning” in line 3 rhymes with “Longing” in line 1, but only because “Lands of Morning” must mean something special to her. Please comment on this query if you can. Much appreciated.

    N. Keble
    (Academic)

    1. @ N.Keble

      You ask rather searching questions which will interest very few of our regular readers. However, for the miniscule minority who take an interest in these abstruse matters, I will answer your questions after consultation with Lasha.

      She has been advised by Montecristo to avoid posting comments here if possible because most of the men posting comments here, in her opinion, are misogynistic, sexist, condescending and crude — an assessment I fully agree with. A large percentage of our posters, I regret to say, are ill-bred vulgarians who need lessons in good manners. In fact, they regard bad manners as a sign of alpha male masculinity. Being rude puts hairs on their chests.

      We do not welcome such ranting troglodytes on our site but simply put up with them in the interests of free speech. Some of them can be quite amusing in their stupidity, as when a Village Idiot assumes the airs and graces of an omniscient sage.

      Having said this, I will now answer your questions in subsequent comments after I’ve taken a break for a cup of coffee. Will be back soon! 🙂

      1. @ N. Keble

        QUESTION 1:

        Correct me if I am wrong, but I detect many exotic influences at work in this profoundly moving poem about death and the afterlife, especially the overarching influence of LD’s favourite female poet Christina Rossetti. The average reader would miss these literary allusions (or “echoes”), but I am myself a Rossetti admirer, so it is relatively easy for me to detect what the average reader would be totally unaware of.

        ANSWER: Well done, you are correct! The influence of Christina Rossetti here would be apparent to any Rossetti scholar. Before writing her own poem in a state of deepest meditation, Lasha had been rereading for the umteenth time Rossetti’s hauntingly beatiful poem “Birds of Paradise”.

        http://www.bombaxo.com/2006/09/05/birds-of-paradise/

        Birds of paradise are grand symbols or archetypes that feature in the Collective Unconscious of mankind and they mean as much to Lasha as they meant to the mystical Victorian poet Christina Rossetti (born 1830).

        After her mother’s death, Lasha tells me, her mother appeared to Lasha in a vision in the form of a Bird of Paradise … sitting in the top branches of a tropical tree in the Earthly Paradise. LD was in deepest contemplation at the time (a semi-trance state) in the Lady Chapel of a Benedictine monastery when this “vision” came to her. Unexpected and unbidden, just as dreams do.

        LD is aware that most people would think this supernatural (or “paranormal”) experience is no more than a visual and auditory hallucination. However, having experienced this mystical vision at first hand for herself, and having heard her mother communicate with her telepathically in the form of a heavenly bird in paradise, she is left in no doubt whatever that there are realms beyond this earth that are totally beyond human conception.

        Heaven is not a “myth” invented by the “Evil Vatican”. It exists as a REAL supernatural realm in ever single religion since the dawn of time. Because it exists in the Collective Unconscious or Supermind.

        If heaven doesn’t exist, billions of highly intelligent people have been living in a fool’s paradise since time immemorial. That would include all the greatest philosophers, scientists, sages, artists, musicians and poets who have lived on this earth.

        P.S.

        BTW, this is not generally known, but Christina Rossetti has now been canonised as a saint. Not by the Catholic Church, given that she was a High Church Anglican. (As Cardinal Newman once was before he converted to Catholicism). Christina remained a High Church Anglican (or English Protestant) to the end, so she is a saint of the Protestant Church. She has her own feast day on April 27. See here:

        https://www.episcopalcafe.com/feast-day-of-christina-rossetti/

        1. Dear Sister Monica, if you and Lasha are interested in knowledge about life after death, I can seriously recommend a book in which it is described in detail by a deceased English bishop in communication with a friend on earth. The book is called Life in the World Unseen by Anthony Borgia, and can be read free on line.

          Google: Anthony Borgia – Life in The World Unseen – pdf – Ghostcircle.

          It is only 140 pages long but contains a wealth of information and is very inspiring. To me it rings entirely true.

          1. @ Franklin Ryckaert

            Many thanks for your useful suggestion, Franklin.

            Meanwhile, here is a book for you which was published with exceptionally good reviews last year and which you could buy from any high street bookshop or through Amazon. It’s available in paperback but I bought it in hardback for £16.99. The book is called “AFTER” and is about near-death experiences. What makes it exceptional is that it is not written by an ecclesiastic but by a neurosurgeon with the most impressive scientific qualifications. I would recommend the book also to Darrell.

            First check out the book reviews by googling: “AFTER, by Dr Bruce Greyson, book reviews”. Try and see if you can get the book review by the Daily Mail or the Guardian. All the reviews are most lavish in their praise for its scientific methodology. This is what the flyleaf of my book says:

            DR BRUCE GREYSON is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He was a co-founder and President for the International Association for Near-Death Studies and Editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies.

            His research for the past four decades has focussed on near-death experiences, particularly their after effects and implications. His academic work has been translated into twenty languages and used in hundreds of studies worldwide. Dr Greyson has published over one hundred scholarly articles about near-death experiences and gives regular addresses at international conferences on the subject. After is his first book for general readers.

            Impressive credentials indeed.

            Basically, this is a book of case histories of Dr Greyson’s patients who died on the operating table and experienced out-of-the-body travel, proving that consciousness does not end when the heart shuts down and the brain dies. The patients proved this by the uncanny similarity of their experiences, including the “life review” when every single incident is one’s life is recollected and relived in the one split second preceding death.

            I have not explained this properly and you need to read the book yourself. It ties in with quantum physics, Buddhism, Vedanta, and the unreality of time and space and matter as posited by Einstein and the later theoretical physicists who specialised in quantum mechanics.

            1. Sr Monica
              Franklin Ryckaert
              N. Keble

              Thank you all for this most stimulating discussion. This 4-minute YouTube video came to my attention recently and is not withot relevance to the topic we are discussing. Top British philosopher Dr Anthony Flew had been the world’s most prominent atheist for the last 50 years. At the end of his life he shocked the academic world by changing his mind. “There IS a God,” he said, and goes on to explain why. This 4-minute video is well worth watching:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AMOXU2w7x0

            2. @Sister Monica

              Thanks for the suggestion. I am already familiar with the near-death phenomenon and believe in its reality anyway. For me, the next question is what happens after the “after”, i. e. how is life after death for those who don’t come back. An answer I think is given in the book I recommended above, but thanks anyway.

              Cheers.

        2. @ Sister Monica

          Thank you for answering my admittedly abstruse academic question on “Birds of Paradise” and the strong influence of Christina Rossetti’s verse on Lasha Darkmoon. The fact that Lasha had been aware of Rossetti’s beautiful poem “Birds of Paradise” before writing her own poem “Where the Birds of Paradise Sing” confirms my belief that LD’s verse has been deeply influenced not only by Rossetti but by the Jungian archetypes. The Bird of Paradise is definitely a great symbol or archetype that pre-exists in the Collective Unconscious posited and proved by Jung — though rejected by the atheistical Freud.

          Do you have any answer to my second question:

          I wonder what “the Lands of Morning” are, and if this is just a poetic way of referring to the Far East, i.e. where the sun rises first every morning?

          I know that LD would not refer to “the Lands of Morning” just for the rhyme’s sake— i.e. because “Morning” in line 3 rhymes with “Longing” in line 1, but only because “Lands of Morning” must mean something special to her. Please comment on this query if you can. Much appreciated.

          1. @ N. Keble

            I will try and answer your erudite question tomorrow, dear Mr Keble. I must get some sleep now as it’s been a long day.

            Meanwhile, many thanks to Darrell, Alan Donelson and Homer for their fascinating and thought-provoking contributions.

            It’s nice to know that Coronavirus is not the the only subject on people’s minds nowadays and that the perennial topics of God’s existence and the after life are of far greater cosmic significance.

            After all, if God and the after life don’t exist, why are we all getting so steamed up about Coronavirus? If God and the after life are non-existent, then life is meaningless and the sooner we all die off the better.

            1. “A large percentage of our posters, I regret to say, are ill-bred vulgarians who need lessons in good manners. In fact, they regard bad manners as a sign of alpha male masculinity. Being rude puts hairs on their chests.”

              Hmmm.. Could it be because of the preconceived notion of the presence of the feminine kind? I wonder………Mr. Anderson.

        1. “A large percentage of our posters, I regret to say, are ill-bred vulgarians who need lessons in good manners. In fact, they regard bad manners as a sign of alpha male masculinity. Being rude puts hairs on their chests.”

          I would not take too much of that to heart. Male, aged in Earth’s cellar so long that I lose more hair in a day than I can grow in a week (though never, even after adolescence, on my chest, no matter how “misogynistic, sexist, condescending and crude” I’ve been), I note that our good Sister Monica deftly expressed her sentiment in a genderless manner! Perhaps dykes and others of that ilk among us can stand up for themselves on this one.

          That said, Franklin Ryckaert’s welcome reference and citation, which I’ve downloaded and begun to peruse, inspired me to bring the book to the attention of my own friends and correspondents, which have dwindled to single digits in this Era of COVID, no doubt pleasing the NSA, DHS, et alia. My comment to them and, by extension, to those following this thread follows.

          [ACD Comment (edited, expanded)] Some believe in an “after life”, so called — as if Life could exist somewhere and not everywhere, including Nowhere! Some do not, ranging from outspoken atheists to solipsistic agnostics (“Don’t bother me with such questions, I am not interested.” Some find themselves ‘twixt and ‘tween, perhaps having once read Elisabeth Kubla-Ross’ book, “On Death and Dying” and its accounts of “near death” experiences, or, having once or thrice taken a good dose of LSD upon reading the (spooky) book authored by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard (“Ram Dass”) Alpert, “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”.

          I attach a PDF of the short book for your convenience, should you be curious enough to pursue the topic through the medium (!) from which it manifested! The author’s surname raised one of my eyebrows to new heights [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Borgia], my having previously read Michael Hoffman III’s magisterial work, “The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome”. 😉 [End comment]

          Finally, I note here that a man recognized as an adept — Rev. Earl W. Blighton, founder of Science of Man, later the Holy Order of MANS (HOOM) — also spoke and wrote of “life beyond earthly existence”, to paraphrase. Placing his greatest emphasis on personal experience, “Father Paul” was fond of saying “Anything believed is a lie.” Yogi Bhajan laid out a framework of thought and yogic practice for pursuing one’s own research into this matter while still in a physical vehicle, so to write (“The Mind”), which I have found very useful.

          I concur that experience is paramount when undertaking semi-skilled labor! Experience informs when it comes to pondering “life after death”, all the better to prepare ahead of one’s time for what was called “transition” in the HOOM. I often hear references to “passing” or “dying to this world” — the latter one can do before lying down on a death bed — to distinguish from “dying”, implying winking out of any kind of existence. May each and all of us pass in peace, joy, and love in our hearts.

          1. Alan, now I’m wondering if I was simply misbehaving again when I teased Burroughs by (softly) shouting Hare Krishna! Hare Rama! to him if he was outside his house as I walked by. Yeah, fun! I honestly felt and still feel he enjoyed it too not only because he’d laugh and shake his fist at me rather because of how he’d laugh and shake it. As if he knew we were both in jail.. Then I’d chuckle and ask myself, gosh, I wonder who’s weirder, me or Burroughs? Americana 101 with a dash of lol.

            Fast forward to right now and shiver me timbers I’m still here, but where pray tell dear William?
            (please don’t answer that)

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