The Goat

Dreaming in molten meadows
when the sun honks his horn
and all the flowerwine streams
flash their diamonds and drain

the sunlight, I saw sleeping
between the sun and me
on a hill of hyacinths
a lush, a slim ladyé.

I thought I heard her breathing,
so I crept near to steal
a look at her naked breast
and finely chiseled heel.

And there I found her weeping—
ah yes, I wondered why!—

a brutish goat stood by her
gazing at her glazed eye.

He sidled to her strangely
with a sly gait and slow:
she wept so much she laughed at
herself, for weeping so.

The Waterfall


The Waterfall

No ordinary water
fall was this. In leaping
torrents we were taken
to the world’s end weeping.

Something secret whispered
its warning in your ear:
Don’t fall again
! renounce
falling’s ecstatic pleasure

Falling, falling, falling
like windtossed leaf, like fish
in these wild waters churning
were anybody’s wish!

Abyss of boiling waters,
the bliss of it below,
the gurge, the surge, the urge
the love of all things low!

And here a boat came bobbing,
bobbing the other way—
away from the dark falls
and the dangerous day.

And in the boat sat one
and out he stretched his hand
to you in those wild waters—
an angel from beyond!

Out of the black abyss
of waters lifted he
your body and sick soul
and fetched you to safety

and all the others went
over the roaring falls
leaping in ecstasy
down the watery walls

down to the rocks below
down to the sobbing stones
down to the bloodsplashed spikes
down to the splintered bones.


The Silent Scream


I am sick of love’s cruel desires
the sighs and the tears and the tinglings
and the lust for forbidden fires
in the city of secret longings

I am sick of the drug of sin
the song and the dance and the dream
and the search for paradise in
the city of the silent scream

I am sick of good and evil
and the days and nights of terror
and the hideous face of the devil
looking back at me in my mirror

Saroth the Demon

Saroth  the  Demon

Here’s the nymphomaniac
Saroth the Demon on my back
Riding me with lustcrazed eyes
And crushing anaconda thighs!

And when I tell the bitch to stop
She licks her whip, she flicks her crop
And flogs me freaky until I
Fall at her feral feet and my

Homunculus revives and springs
Up, up again on ragged wings!—
And roars around her until She
Melts in the furnace that is Me.

— Saroth, Saroth, tell me why
We burn in hell,  both you and I.
And Saroth laughs and Saroth says:
Because there
is no other place!

Take this truth and hide it well:
There is no Heaven, only Hell!
Down, down, however low you go—
New hells, new wells, a newer low!


Prajapati’s Teachings (from the Sanskrit)


Prajapati, lord of creation, had three
Different types of devotees: gods, men, demons.

Now the gods approached Prajapati first
For wisdom, saying ‘Sir, give us something
Precious to remember: truth in a word.’
Prajapati offered one syllable.
‘Da!’ he said. ‘Have you understood?’ he said.
‘We have understood,’ they said. ‘You said, Control!
Da for Damyata: Control, rein yourself in!’
‘Good,’ Prajapati said. ‘You have understood.’

The men of the world sought Prajapati next
For wisdom, saying ‘Sir, give us something
Precious to remember: truth in a word.’
Prajapati offered one syllable.
‘Da!’ he said. ‘Have you understood?’ he said.
‘We have understood,’ they said. ‘You said, Give!
‘Da for Datta: Give freely, be generous!’
‘Good,’ Prajapati said. ‘You have understood.’

The demons sought out Prajapati next
For wisdom, saying ‘Sir, give us something
Precious to remember: truth in a word.’
Prajapati offered one syllable.
‘Da!’ he said, ‘Have you understood?’ he said.
‘We have understood,’ they said. ‘You said, Mercy!
Da for Dayadhvam: Have mercy, forgive!’
‘Good,’ Prajapati said. ‘You have understood.’

These words can still be heard when thunder roars:
Da! Da! Da! Damyata! Datta! Dayadhvam!

*            *            *            *            *            *            *

— Translated from the Sanskrit of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad  (c. 1000  BCE)
by Lasha Darkmoon in collaboration with ‘MW’. Published in Acumen Magazine,
May 2008, under the composite pen name ‘Manna Domini’.

Lesbian lovers on a balcony (Verlaine translation)

Lesbian lovers on a balcony… “swooning under a summer evening moon.”

Lesbian Lovers on a balcony

They looked on as the swallows clipped the air:
One pale and raven-tressed, the other blonde.
Light cloudy gowns clung to their bodies fair
And round their slender limbs like serpents wound.

Lovely they were like languid asphodels
Swooning under a summer evening moon,
Savouring such joy as in a sad heart dwells
When lover turns to lover in night gloom.

So pleased to love each other instead of man,
These dreamy girls upon the balcony
Caress each other’s cool and clammy skin.

Behind them in the musky room there stands,
In pride of place, marked out for ecstasy,
The Bed…the scented bed of sweetest sin!

(Verlaine imitation/translation)

The Green Fields of Longing

In the gardens of paradise 
watered by crystalline
streams, they stroll with
their long-lashed loves
eating the bittersweet
apples of endless desire.

Here they lie listening to music
under the boughs of the
peach trees, the pea-
cock’s tail their fan.
Here where the spiced winds blow
they enjoy the languors of love

in the kissing gardens for ever.
There is food and wine here
too, and there is                                                  
laughter under
the sun, and the sea lies
sleeping, sleeping. What has led them

here, to the green fields of longing
and the bluewater bay?
Prayer and study.
And sacrifice.
And death, a noble death
in battle. Praise them, honour them!

In the pit of vipers

so for deliverance
little from me you cry?
pit sucked you into this
of viper’s slime have i?

about me do you find
what irresistible?
so fascinating why
you think i am me tell!
mine no more a beauty
than a most common is
two i am a penny
but the poor fish i guess
the hook for hungers as
for me do you! you must
replace me something with
that will assuage your lust
god tried you have and found
no comfort in his arms?
failed substitute to find
satanic for my charms?
end dead! ever you tried
spitting in your mirror?
you really can’t can you
sink poor soul much lower?

It’s over now

Go! I set you free!

It’s over now

addiction last day of
let this your lethal be!
it’s over now, in peace
go! i set you free!

the cage from which so long
cooped up i kept you in—
known had you only if
the door was always open!

cage you in this it was
who freely chose to dwell!
sweet my flesh and young
drug you made your hell!

chain i am your and you
clutches are in my helpless!
nothing but my mercy
save you can and kindness?

see, sharp the hook i slip
from torn your mouth! no more
pain! quick, away fish swim
again i catch you before!


The bad dream passes


The loves that lead to nothing,
The shattered dreams, the tears!—
Old age, sickness, dying,
The terror of the years!—

Among the kindest mercies
To ease the sick heart’s sore,
Is this: the bad dream passes,
The nightmare is no more.


In the beginning (from the Sanskrit)

“Who knows what happened first…?”

In the Beginning

Neither Is nor Is Not was,
No when nor where nor why.
There was no sky because
There was nowhere for sky.

No stir of living breath,
No signs of night or day.
And what of death? No death
Or immortality.

The One alone lay breathing
(O ask not when or where!)
In the deep mindsea seething
Unconscious, unaware.

Nothing stretched beyond him,
There He lay all alone!
No one became I Am.
Up rose the Only One!

And in the One grew Love,
The first seed of the soul.
Space then, and stars enough,
And the sky’s blue bowl.

Who knows the truth? who can
Tell how this universe
Bubbled up and began?
Who knows what happened first?

The universal Dancer,
The Dreamer with his dreams,
perhaps knows the answer
Of all that is and seems.

The why and the wherefore,
What makes Time’s river flow,
knows the reason or—
Maybe he does not know!

(Translated from the Sanskrit (Rig-Veda X.129)
by Lasha Darkmoon in collaboration with ‘MW’.
Published in Acumen magazine, September 2006,
under the composite pen name ‘Manna Domini’.

Hymn to the Unknown God (from the Sanskrit)

“You make the tinkling rivers run…”

Hymn to an Unknown God

As the sun on morning dew
Sparkles, making all things new—
We shine for joy, reflecting You.

You make the tinkling rivers run:
How happily they tumble on
Like birds that fall through air for fun!

Under your protection we
Find love and sweet serenity.
Forgive our sins and set us free!

Let the stream of my life wind
Through the green fields of the mind.
Loose the bonds of sin that bind.

Let not the web of song I weave
Be swept away, nor Time bereave
Me of the loved ones I must leave.

Let not this hymn of praise to Thee
Be lost for ever utterly.
When Time is dead, let these words be!


— Translated from the Sanskrit (Rig-Veda, XI.28)
by Lasha Darkmoon in collaboration with ‘MW’.
Published in Acumen Magazine, September 2006,
under the composite pen name ‘Manna Domini’.

Under cold moons

“Let me die beyond the sea…in the sacred haven…not under cold moons.”

Under cold moons

I must leave you
now, but I want you to know
there will never be another like you.
Before you came there was a yawning a—
byss. Then you came and the sky
rang with the song

of the angels!
The sun threw a net of gold
across the sea, the birds sang hosannas!
I wept. And I knew then the wounds of the
holy. And the kissing stones.
No other gods,

I promise! No
other altars. Incense to
you alone, my loveliest. Only this:
don’t lash me to the wall or let me gnash
my teeth in darkness through the
long night’s burning.

This my last wish:
let me die beyond the sea
in the sacred haven, not under cold
moons. There winter shadows twitch the veils of
darkness, and the hellcrow carks:
No more! No more!


Never again!

Never again!

Never again! Never again that hell!
Say it, until it sinks into you deep
Like a stone into a bottomless well.
The words will work there slowly as you sleep.

The fish has jumped the net. The devil’s hook
Looks for another mouth. You’re still in pain.
No matter. Start again! And please don’t break
Your foolish heart if you get caught again.

Forget the past, the wasteful lives you’ve lived.
How you ran, and always fell in the race.
How all the faces that you ever loved
Melt into one face finally: the face
Of One who waits for you where no wind blows
In gardens where the Tree of Knowledge gr


Carmina Angelorum

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.” — Sufi aphorism

Carmina Angelorum

Insubstantial, without form
How they cluster, how they come!

Songs like falling leaves descend
Tossed to earth by heaven’s wind.

Blackbird, warble!  Nightingale,
Break your heart but tell your tale!

In spite of all your shocking sins
Angels scrape their violins

For you. This music’s from the gods.
chop the meanings, slice the words.

And yet who cares?  So many sounds
Ping like hailstones all around.

Who gives a damn for singing bird?
O goldsmith of the golden word

Know this: the best songs have been lost
And nothing beautiful will last.

Flower and leaf and Flora fall
Onto the compost heap of All.

Into the witch’s cauldron go
Love and beauty there to stew,

And out of the universal froth
These songs arise and body forth.

Though our life’s blood supplies the juice,
The golden wine gleams in the glass.