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
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!
All things pass
Everything passes, all things seem
As insubstantial as a dream.
Time’s shimmering cities rise and fall
Like passing shadows on a wall.
See the world golden at high prime,
Suns and moons of the olden time!
Swallowed in darkness, lost forever
Love and the loved one and the lover.
Whirled away by time’s chill wind
Holy saints and all who sinned—
The laugh, the kiss, the shining eye,
Friend and foe and passer-by.
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 grows.
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.
They 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
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.
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
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. 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!
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.
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
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.
where are you
who were here once with me
why did you leave
why have you left me to my raging
demons never an answer
comes never a whisper
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