Sunday, 3 May 2009



The Lilith Tree. Ink. 2006. by Barry Van-Asten.

This sequence of poems is written in the sonnet form and is a veiled invocation of the Love Goddess.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Could love but be here by my side
In fairest measure and motion, veiled
By the empty half-light, all aglow;
Where dark centuries come crashing from the void
Into the miracle of existence, like something hailed
By the extremity of love, though long ago,
And this is how my sad heart sailed
On music's broken wing - and died.
O if I could glimpse its light once more
And this movement lost in evening air
Were not some vision of youthful ways
Worn by the passing of time, before
Passion's resurrection sought it there,
Arranged in the splendour of my days.

And I would not be alone, with your heart and your hand,
Caressed into celestial surrender, joined
For an eternity of songs, sung from the heart,
To radiate love with naught to command.
But it's not in the tenderness that soothes, I find,
This perpetual resolve for a dying art;
or in the joy that's found in companioned mind
When heart and hand are one. To understand
Love's transference, drawn into naught,
Like embryos in amber, where two worlds hide -
Those planets unshaken by time and man
Are unaware of reason and finer thought;
Yet a simpler form of sorcery will decide
The magnitude of love and evolution.

For the rhythm of the heart cannot explain
What sick invention lies in man,
When love's momentum falls away
From the chain of possession it can't contain.
A silhouette of strange emotion
Tumbles upon truth that it cannot say;
To curl at a universe because it can,
With no fear of destiny, or mortal pain
To blind it by the growth of woman's beauty.
And we sigh as the songs of love within
Our beating breasts, gently unfold
Our smooth skins to this tragedy;
Afraid of our delicate passions that spin
Spells of love beneath a rose of gold.

And if my love with me now lay
As oft' in my dreams I saw her set,
Like some proud Venus with satyr stare:
What words could I conjure in me to say?
These tears from the avenues of regret
Where I fall from grace - but she is there,
All warmth and loving, and lips are met
By the dark afternoon and the perfumed day.
But still more is lost between her and me,
Within the green-shaded pause that led
To reflections of loneliness and time remaining.
Yet we could not embrace, for sadly we
Were like the interlude that left words dead,
Sunken and separated by everything.

And what will be is what will be,
With no sense of my sole sphere that shuns
The veiled root of beauty's bloom,
Unchecked, by nature's simplicity;
To flower in darkness, that subtly succumbs,
Unmasked, into the arms of sorrow's gloom.
And this wretched blood through dark veins, runs
Directionless, to unanswerable beauty.
But what love would seek this heart and stay
To find its fourfold chambers grim?
For these are the dreams of midnight's dread,
Where stars are born and turned away,
Away from the silence and the tragedy and the dim
Eternal echo of love's soft tread.

In seeking this divine light of love
There is sadness ripped from history,
Where the ghosts of words lie silent and curled.
And my body yearns, yet cannot move
Through time, and no nearer each are we
In perfecting the music of our world.
I grow different and ways once known to me
Are delicate in ordeals that seem to prove
That beyond these songs naught can compare...
As morning blossom begins to fall -
Fingers, caressing the silken flow
Of shoulder-shaken midnight hair,
Find love in sadness, after all,
And tears of glass are music's sorrow.

Should this veil between us ever part
To reveal love's course and astronomy,
Where the gentle ballad of womanhood
Sings soft and sweet within my heart;
Triumphant in strength, caressing me
With songs that soothe my every mood.
To pass through this memory of sleep, and see
Beyond nature's infinitesimal art,
Perfected by changes, still unknown;
To whisper solemnly, that beautiful name
That lives in the one light I adore,
Where childhood's blossom, first was sown
In that dread temple, like a flame
To flicker in darkness, for evermore.

Where wild in the heart and mad with love,
Cold of all thoughts which were not of you,
As the moon, in its darkling embrace, always slips
From my fiery mantle and my every move.
And thus I am shaped, and hopelessly drawn to
The curve and precision of your lips;
To cling to their ecstasy, and pursue
This vision of delicate creation, above
All passion. Where tombs of violet night,
See more than tears in this lyrical death
And surrenders to the silence of the dead.
To hear only whispers from the radiant light
With the aroma of roses upon your breath;
To touch only shadows at your fearless tread...

That love which I seek no stranger grows
Than that which is of the dark always,
Torn, to crawl down the centuries
And ache with the sound of man's sorrows.
The wild appetites, the cruel scent that strays
Through the long summer of her mysteries;
To breathe the music of nights and days,
Cursed to blow where the rough wind blows.
And in that expansive - love, there lies
Some rich echo, absorbed by darkness,
Filled with rage and terribly wronged,
Where the penetrating light destroys
And spoils those beautiful lips that kiss
In evening dreams, where everything's changed.

And there is a sadness in beauty beyond all things;
Its many petalled mystery remains unknown,
Like the midnight flower in fear of the night,
Startled, awaits the dawn and sings.
But that which is concealed and that which is shown:
Two ghosts grown separate that shun delight.
For below is the root and above is the crown:
Creation, destruction, their understanding brings
A marriage of opposites by enchantment;
A continual song like an echoing prayer
Of devotion, to release love's shadow
By seduction, from its element;
To flow from the heart that cannot bear
To wonder at its sensual might, and go...

Will sleep not take me far away
And fold me in its fiery wings;
To rest in the hollows of its sonorous sigh
Where midnight masks this world of clay?
And is there momentum in all things
That live upon the earth, and die?
The soul is stricken by strange sufferings
And has no will nor belief, to pray -
But this is blasphemy, you say - I know,
For the spirit in sick retreat of night
Finds no perfection to adore;
It is incomplete and compelled to go,
Soft in breath and tread, into the light:
Be it devil, be it god - it cares no more!

I know no tender ways, I know
Nothing of that strange delight
That the melody of the heart can bring.
And there is no feeling for words, and no
Complete devotion that can unite...
Lift up your joyous soul and sing,
Sing of love's madness and its might;
Of spring and creation, and unto them go,
When the gulf between our hearts, once wide,
Is no more so - and I will come;
Will come by satin moonlight cast,
To linger softly at your side
And part those pressed lips that lie dumb,
And wrench you from the varied past.

O adorable youth! - has your love fled;
Has that which filled the heart, now gone?
And is my world fallen where shadows lie long
Through remembered seasons of the dead;
Steered into silence by a serpent sun?
O heart, empty of ceremony and song,
Where the light divine once brightly shone.
And these are the last words of an old world, ended,
Lost to the unutterable shades of fate;
Fearful of what is to become
Without the glory of your radiant name
In this masquerade of tears and hate;
Crowned a fool by wisdom, dumb,
And born of sorrow, to die the same.

No peace of mind, nor spirit, pure,
Can show me love how it shall be,
And not these dull senses of desire,
That sink before her radiant nature
And dance by the pale moon-hungry sea.
The song is still, but the heart is fire
And will for evermore, adore thee,
By the sacred light of your timeless allure.
But I will not look on youth again,
For dreams are false, and this I know:
We sigh at nothingness, yet we sing
And tire and tremble to the strain
Of our awful selves, and go... and go...
Unto the end, and still sigh - nothing!

Three loves have I, one for the heart,
One for the living and one for the dead.
Love's threefold essence, strange and strong
And silent, in its praise, to part
The words of joy that won't be said;
The songs of love that won't be sung.
Time that the rose of youth ran red
And loneliness gave up its sick idol - art,
Where the night perfume of summers gone and to come
Have grown stranger by the brute of desire,
Where those songs of love and infinity
Still long for the pains of angeldom;
Governed by solitude, where three loves are
Silent of song in love's trinity.

But to sing of that splendour from afar
Is to lie with the anguish of the dead,
Where the continuity of sleep shall yield
The secret ardour of a star.
And when the momentum of the heart has fled,
A palace of song shall be revealed;
A resolve of longing, and of reason, that dread
The senseless conclusion of what we are.
But in search of your radiance, still I rove
From moments great that I too have known;
To the featureless changing of the land
And the terrible truth that's told by love:
Love in despair, love immemorial, blown
By a lyrical torment, too cruel to understand.

Love is the law, love under will.

No comments:

Post a Comment