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.

The Queen of Night

“Every day brings some new stranger…”

The Queen of Night

Never say the night is over,
Never think the race is run.
Every day brings some new stranger:
This is a game that can’t be won.

Sometimes when walking by the sea
And not a cloud or sail in sight,
You think you’ve found serenity.
And then she comes, the Queen of Night!

She creeps up on you slyly and
Kills you slowly with her smiles,
And then at last you understand
This is a hospital for souls.

The corridors are lined with skulls,
And still she bares her breasts for you
And whispers, ‘Aren’t I beautiful?
Come, take me, sir!’
— And so you do.



“There is no more time for love’s caresses…”


This is the end of days:
truly, there is no more time
for love’s caresses
in looming tomb.

There is no time for anything
at all. There is only
time for meditating
and being lonely.

See, how the smoke rises
from the mind’s dark wood
in puffs and curlicues

that are not understood.

We call them thoughts, but they
are really devil smoke
from the chimneys grim and grey
of Ravencroak.


The Summer Gardens of the Flesh

In the reign of the feminine
When your skin was a golden flush,
In the age of desire, in
The summer gardens of the flesh

When everything shone and was precious
And the rivers ran singing to sea
And the fruit on the trees hung luscious
And all things were as they should be:

I barely noticed a thing,
I walked in a dream and was dull,
Blind to your bright eyes sparkling—
Blind, blind to you, my beautiful!

And now that the light has vanished
From your eyes, and my heart is cold,
And the play is nearly finished
And the story is almost told,

I see you once more as you were!
A fragment of the Beautiful,
Fading. Soon, soon to disappear
Into the black night of the skull.

It is finished


It is finished. Yes, this is the last time!
Never again the hook in the mouth, howling
To be cut free. Never again the same

Cage for cooping, wolftrap in wood of wailing.

What ways to heal the grieving heart? These three:
Prayer and fasting and a daily dying.
And if a fourth were needed, let it be
The crowning touch that sanctifies: forgiving.

Forgiveness absolute and unconditional
For all who crave forgiveness and who cry
For meaningfulness and the eternal,
And like the sibyl say—I long to die!

And may this mantra make your anguish end:
It is finished, finished, it is finished!

Happy Lands

"...and the nights are long and thrilling...and the kissing never ends."


They think they’re now in heaven
As they strip off all their clothes
In the pleasure lands of Satan
Where the rose of rapture blows

Where the swooning violins
Sound so sweetly on the air
And the loveliest of sins
Come in answer to your prayer

Where the girls are wild and willing
And the boys your bosom friends
And the nights are long and thrilling
And the kissing never ends

Where there’s no more any weeping
And there’s neither moth nor rust
And the Unborn all lie sleeping
In the happy hills of lust.



Feast your eyes on my beauty. I am the
irresistible. Imagine me Lilith
now. I am the Eternal Feminine.

I am attar of girl in the long green
grass, flowerscent of the feminine wrapt
in the golden silk of the flesh, oozing

oestrogen and the summer’s honeygums.
I am Lilith under the lemon tree,
Lilith lolling in long lapping shadows.

I am imbued with Lilith, drenched with her
dewflesh. I am Lilith come back to life.
It is Lilith you long for. Her longlashed

eyes bewitch you from behind the gold mane
of my hair. She peeps from me. She’s the red
blood, sluicing through my veins like vintage wine.

My smile is her net, my eyes her drowning
pools. Stranger, I am waiting. Speak to me
now. I melt. I am Lilith in liquescence.

I am sea. I am river. I am the
ripe peach of the moon. Oh pluck me! take me
back to the lost gardens of paradise.

Painting: The Birth of Venus, by Manfred von Penz
Dedit mihi Dominus arte mercedem meam et in illa laudabo nomen Eius.


The Keys of the Unseen


It is I
who hold the Keys of the Unseen.
All the treasures of knowledge are laid bare
before me. All images
of time—past, present and future—
I make them,

I weave them
into my web, I cherish them
dearly. Not a leaf falls to the ground with
out my knowledge. Not a blade
of grass grows in the far field un-
seen by me.

Not a snow
drop lifts its head in the shadowed
woods, that does not live its dark secret life.
All things have their histories
written down in Sijjin in the
Book of Deeds.

that can be known, is known. Someone
knows it. I am the one who visits you
at night in dreams, who sees all
you do in the secret room. One
day I will

raise you up
from the dead. You will be with me
where I am, and I shall show you the stained
sheets of your life. And I shall
wash away your sins, and you will
have clean sheets

again. And
your sheets will be shining white as
they dry in the sun on the bleaching fields
of heaven, the dewspangled
fields and sparrow hedges, hidden
in my mind.

I am with you always


where are you
who were here once with me
why did you leave
why have you left me to my raging
never an answer
comes   never a whisper

never a
sigh   never the touch of
a hand on my
shoulder    never a kiss          i never
abandoned you     i am here
in the shadows     i am

wet with your
tears     i sleep in your bed
beside you           see
my face at the window    looking in
at you    my eyes like black holes
beyond me the sunlight

of the sea where are you my darling
in my arms lie
enfolded      be the blue sea in my
eyes      be the sun on my skin
i am with you always


Come gray the days

fantasy_surrealism_landscape_photo_sculpture_photosculpture-p153590902431210096qdjh_4006Come gray the days

Come gráy the dáys and gó,
Long áll go dówn to sléep;
Love álways yét belów
Thís in my heárt I kéep.

Ónce agaín I’ll sée you
Tíme for the fírst agaín,
And sáme the wínd will blów
And ráke us sáme the raín.

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

I am the young and beautiful
none can resist. My mocking mouth
so kissable, my long black hair
a net of darkness from the south

lands of the heart…where passion burns
in men like you, sick with longing
for the heroin of my beauty.
Ache, ache! I can give you nothing

but more addiction. If you take
me, you take damnation too.
I am the angel of burning
frenzy, and the love I give you

is an unquenchable fire.
No cure for you in my caresses.
And never, never, never can
even the wildest of my kisses

give you new life, or bring you back
the leaping seed: the lust you had
in the summerlands long ago
before your eyes became so sad.

The Witch’s Song

The Witch’s Song

Bring back, bring back to me
Wild eyes and wicked mouth!
Bring back my precious loves
Lost in the lanes of youth.

Bring back the necromancer,
The sorceress with her sighs
And the golden girl of summer
With secrets in her eyes!

Bring back the raging moon
And the old, old temptations!
Bring back the bed of lust,
The devil and damnation!


The Graveyard of Dead Girls


These gifts are not given, they have
to be taken. Things come
when you’re ready.
day after day
new treasures arrive from
the summerlands. From the courts of

morning. From the magical lands
of longing. The southlands
of the sun. Two
shalt nots

are now needed:
never to open the
forbidden drawer again, never

again to touch the red velvet
box. This is the first thing.
The second, this:
again to crave
that delicious poison,
never again to hanker for

those addictive toxins, never
to go climbing again
the mountains of
never again
to wander in the waste
lands of lust, panting for shadows.


Succuba Singing

Weep no more, dry your eyes!
Let me show you where peace lies:
In my pussy lies your prize!

Spider, spider, weave for me
Your web of black iniquity
So I can snare my victims three—
Honour, Truth and Dignity!

Laughing, lilting, see me go
Where the girls of summer blow
In the gardens we all know.

In the gardens of delight
Where nobody laughs tonight
But the loathers of daylight.

O In is out and Out is in—
And where we end, there we begin.
The downward road snakes back above
For Evil is the bite of Love.

O aren’t you sick of all my lies?
Aren’t you weary of being wise?
Come, find peace between my thighs!


To Francesca, my praises (Baudelaire translation)

To Francesca, my praises


See, I practise a new art
As my angel plays her part
In the desert of my heart.

Now be crowned with garlands gay
Lovely woman fair and fey
Who washes all my sins away.

Let me drink oblivion from
Your sweet mouth as I succumb
To your kisses as they come!

When I trod the path of shame,
When I did things you might blame—
Then, my angel, then you came!

See, my star of shining light,
In the wreck of my soul’s night,
Me, on your altar laying my heart.

Source of every good and sum
Of eternal youth, ah come
Let me sing who now plays dumb.

What was foul, you burnt to bits.
was crooked: now it fits.
My will was weak: you strengthened it.

In my hunger, you the inn;
In the dark, my lamp; and in
Your chaste arms, an end to sin.

Add your strength to mine and give
Some sweeter scented additive—
O balm of Gilead, in me live!

Let your chastity confound
My lustful loins and there abound—
Strew your holy water round.

O Lady, be my Golden Bowl!—
My sacred bread, my wine, my soul!—
My fleeting youth, my Beautiful!

*          *          *

Baudelaire’s Franciscae mea laudes
(Freely translated from the Latin).