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Dedication As a poet, writer and artist it is a privilege to encounter the truly gifted who over a lifetime, seduced by the muse, distil drops of vision, born of hearts blood into art that speaks to the soul. Our lives are dependant upon the gifts bestowed upon us by the visionary who dips their quill into the ocean of possibility and like a mage transforms the mundane into beauty, whose simplicity absent artifice makes of The Vale Of Tears, Eden. One such is Lisa Gerrard who speaks with the tongue of angels and whose Canticles Of Ecstasy speak for themselves and require no comment from the present scribe other than to say

Thank You

Introduction We have over our lifetime encountered those we have been inspired by and as a consequence have been moved to celebrate their unique work in our modest way. In approaching what amounts to being a series of tributes within our Epitaph Cycle of texts our approach, when possible, is to select text, poems or lyrics that are penned by the individual in question. These we then illustrate with our artwork and graphics and fashion all into a complete text. In the present instance Lisa Gerrard poses a challenge for her Canticles Of Ecstasy, as we would call them are absent of lyrics other than that of the tongue of angels and as such we have a choice to either leave our tribute absent of text or present text which either serves as an interpretation of the canticle in question or utilise text of our own which we deem to reflect the overall impression of the canticle in question. We have elected to do both and trust that both Lisa and our readership are tolerant of our presumption.

Damiana Evohe 2.00pm Monday March 11 2013 London England


Part One Dead Can Dance

A Quill Dipped In Hearts’ Blood Scribes Words Born Of Vision On The Roof Of Your Mind

We Do Not Dust The Nightmare That Is Existence With The Opiate Of Meaning

Long Ago Was The Battle Fought And Won When Life And Death Stood Upon Opposing Shores And Glimpsed Each Other Death Looked Upon Life And Smiled Whilst Life Like A Maiden Shy Upon Her Bed Of Roses Coyly Looked Aside

Once Upon A Hill Of Flint He Stood Raising Hands And Calling Forth His Elohim And As His Form Dissolved The Seals Opened And The Dance Unfolds

Sybyl Of Her Secrets None Shall Know As Beneath A Blood Red Moon She Lay Liquid Fire Within The Cast Of Her Eye And Upon Her Lips A Nectar Sweet A Poison Dew So Cast Thy Spells And Cast Thy Words Upon The Shadows Of Her Breath Thy Blood It Boils Thy Soul Condemned To Walk In Shadows Deep As Night Upon These Foreign Shores Unforgiven

Speak Not Speak not of light… … … Shadows cast upon a skin of remembrance. Edifice of delight, rent by word and deed, etched in breath, etched in blood. Speak not of love… … … Barbed thorn, tearing flesh, tender in its yielding, opens to anguish. Crimson tide ebbing from open vein, enters an ocean of rest. Speak not of liberty… … … Illusion of freedom, conceit of choice. Hollow words cast upon a void, upon ears deaf to enchantment. One heart, one mind, one body wrapped within a tapestry of deceit and longing.

Tell me sweet lies that I might yet believe. Grant tender words that I might wrap my heart within folds of rapture. Tear thorns from flesh grown weary, grown sour with the ichor of barren wastelands. Silent remorse, witness to decay unfolding, causes breath to freeze in lungs once opened by ecstasy’s chant. Stills the heart, drumbeat of time, of eternity. Eyes dim, portals once graced by vision, grown weary, jaded by witchcraft and lust, retreat and are blinded to the unfolding of splendours pageant. Speak not of dreams… … … Pale spectres, alluring, calling forth futures witness. One who sighs, yields life to the fragmented shadows that crease the sky, obscure the sun and enters the palace of exiles beneath a sky bruised purple and violet. Speak not of rapture… … … Of nerves that sing, of breath that quickens, a heartbeat that crushes life within its grasp. Whispers upon the breeze and meets a void of silence, stillness.

Speak not of tomorrow’s promise… … … Alighting upon a seashore of hopes golden sands. Strands of memory cascade from a font grown dry, burnt upon a pyre of passion. Flesh seared within a cauldron of lust. Skin yields, slips from bones, brittle, turns to dust and is caught upon a breeze. Enters air and is purified within oceans tender embrace, to be no more. Speak not … … …

Not to you do I speak brave of heart and firm of purpose Nor to you bright ones within a field of light Not to you who walks in purpose fulfilled Nor to you of vision strong buoyed by life’s enrichment But to you I speak wanderer upon the shores of night And to you the desolate ones outside the circles of life Raised upon columns of molten ash Your journey began with a cry and ends with a scream Betwixt the emptiness evolved First a doubt becomes a certainty Those of faith know you not Those of vision know you not Those of purpose know you not Within the citadel of life do they dwell Basking beneath an indolent sun

Closer Shed not a tear for those that have passed Cast not a sigh Upon Air now spent Bind not the free to your temple of woe But rather rejoice in the freedom gainsaid by life In the immortal lands of deliverance therein I dwell

The Ladye Fayre Whereof the thoughts that course the heavens of her mind made swift by mercury’s quicksilver mantle? Whereof the beating of her heart, cradled? Whereof the tide and upon what exotic shores does she lay? Whereof the dreams in a bed of liquid light, carry her aloft to join the dance eternal? Whereof the angels who upon her breath are called forth? Whereof the faerykind, her sisters, within whose embrace she does dwell? Whereof the goddess, her oracle does reside? Whereof the quest, across mountain and valley, desert and ocean? Of the Earth is she made. Of oceanic Water does her blood flow. Of Air, her breath passes eternal and of Fire is her vision made complete. What truth does reside within her essence, what secrets within her heart and what are the bounties her body graces and brings forth? She travels deep and wide. Like the ocean, her tides an eternal song. Like a field of corn beneath amber skies she blesses all. And like the passing breeze does she alight, a butterfly upon a leaf of emerald.

Benediction Amidst shadows and smoke does he rise Splinters of light adorn his torn visage Thorns rend flesh, rivers of blood embrace limbs, barely formed. Shadows coalesce and in the frozen moments does he remember Limbs once broken begin to heal as the elixir flows Drop by iridescent drop Nectar sweet, laced with bitter gall enters eyes, yet dim of sight Enters nostrils, a benediction. Shadowed forms limned in lightning attend the moment A chorus of cries and whispers Echoes into eternity, the moment. Once upon a hill of flint he stood Raising hands and calling forth his Elohim as his form dissolved The Seals opened and the dance unfolds. Once into a pool of quicksilver did he gaze Fingers drawing forth tendrils of form cast upon the air, they rise Summoning the rays of Solus Noir, they descend.

Once beneath the ocean did he reach out and clasp his sisters hand In embrace they dance upon aethyrs burnished gold A dark stain rises and consumes all within its path. Once upon a lightning bolt did he descend and entered fairest Lilith’s domain A stranger, cast upon shores, foreign and exotic. Once within the heart of a star he slumbered Bound by chains of liquid light Called forth by life, his nemesis. Once as Azrael he seeded himself into the unfolding pageant And once he Became. Amidst shadows and smoke does he rise Splinters of light adorn his torn visage Thorns rend flesh, rivers of blood embrace limbs, barely formed.

Once upon a hill of flint beneath an ocean of stars I called unto thee. Vision burned within eyes, pale mirrors of thy glory and in the velvet silence of midnight an answer came. Now like one turned to ash beneath thy gaze I wander upon the shores of night. Shadows attend me, their whispers seductive yet bereft of life as they turn upon the wheel of thy becoming. Errant shades caught within a web of whispers. Burn their presence from my sight and grant the benediction which is thine alone to grant. Make of my body a sigil, celebrating thy presence and within thy embrace might I reside until time itself tumbles into memory, dull mirror of thy glory.

Part Two Lisa Gerrard

Time & Again Once

A whisper caught upon a breeze A murmur heard within the dark A glimpse etched in thorns A cry cast upon ears deafened A plea unheeded


A whisper unheard A murmur eternal A glimpse cast upon a skin of amber A cry of a heart emptied A plea an ocean of dreams

Shadows, dreams, but echoes, pass along corridors unending. Thoughts, architects of sorrow lay their stones and upon foundations crumbling this tower is raised, washed within amniotic oceans embrace. Caressed by starlight. Nurtured by Moons light. Cursed by the day star. Time again and yet again


Within a golden city he caught a glimpse of her Eyes bruised in the beholding Upon a hill beneath the moon he held her, trembling Heart entranced by ardour and pain Beneath the ocean he reached for her Grasped her hand and was lost to the waves

Upon a starbeam they danced within the embrace of fairest Artemis. she a ladye fair cloaked in lace of white, he a jester gold and black. Now

Shadows resolve into emptiness. Whispers to silence. Vision to the void. The heart a burning ground. The mind but a dim reflection. The body kindling for the fire.

Time again and yet again The promise of a love. The promise of a life. Ashes cast upon waters turned to venom. And yet this heart knows beauty, this mind knows truth. And within that noble temple does reside. And now the call is sent forth upon aethyrs devoid of life. Entranced by ardour grown sour, a fruit plucked corrupt.


Hopes golden sands beneath a violet moon A starlit city of dreaming domes An ocean of promise An eternity of dream


Carbon ash burnt beneath a blood red moon Miasmas of corruption sow seeds of despair A barren wasteland A fixed moment

Time again and yet again The dreaming moment evolves, unfolds, and in its turning the stars do spin. The lambent light rejoices. The enslaved are freed. The joyless know ecstasy. The innocent are absolved. Once

A dream beheld A call sent forth An answer issued A mystery unfolding


A dream made flesh A call yet echoes upon the aethyrs An answer yet unfolding A mystery inviolate

The son of the starbeam dreams and knows freedom Time again and yet again

I sought you out in forest glade limned in moonlight Veiled in beauty sylphen spectre Breath upon the chill night air gossamer mist of rainbow Sought you out in oceans deep Reached out a hand and drowned in your embrace Ebb and tide eternal turning and returning Sought you out in the caverns of the earth Where crystal adorned your body And liquid gold flowed as blood Sought you out in starry depths Where whispers caress the silence eternal The dance unfolding in splendour unheeded Sought you out in leaf and stem branch and bough Your face blessed by sunlight Your feet deep within the mother Turned and saw before me a simple woman Forgive my love Beloved eternal forgive Forgive

Blood Rain Liquid tears leeched into golden sand Rises, a mist of softest pink Borne upon breath Etched in flesh A cascade of liquid longing Witness to the ages thy brother calls His call echoes upon aethyrs Bruised by love’s eternal caress A teardrop of blood upon a waxen cheek A breath frozen in time A heartbeat stilled, silent Liquid words leeched into silence Rises, a silent scream Borne along avenues of fire Consume, transform into myriad worlds Each a mirror, carbon Witness to the moment thy sister calls Her call, plainsong of the heart Wounded by love’s travails

A tear frozen in blood red silence A breath, caught upon the breeze A heartbeat, a whisper rises to a scream, silence Liquid silence leeched into the spiral of the day Rises, a memory darkly Borne along moments eternal Unfold into the golden moment Return ‌ Return ‌ Return Witness to truth we call unto thee A liquid call from oceans deep Thy lovers, spent, return Blood rain falls Its heart a drumbeat, Its breath a triumph Within the citadel the watchers pray And upon plains of liquid gold Beneath a sky indigo A bright star beckons Blood rain rises A tide, flows into liquid oceans embrace Dark towers rise, beacons of night cast shadows deep And upon an escarpment of amber The Grigori, legions of the night await, a vigil Blood rain, a tide of shadows Consumes the night and casts upon the shores of time Still, silent forms, each a cipher of promise And along corridors sulphurous does the pageant unfold, eternal Sic transit gloria rosa mundi

Blood rain shrouds the light of a black sun Its rays a resonant thrum, a heartbeat Beneath its rays bathed in nectar, a toxin sweet Watchers shrouded in darkness await the tide Liquid fire consumes all to ash, blown upon winds and vacuum Blood Rain ‌ Blood Moon ‌ Black Sun Holy trinity in The Night of Pan Khephren Ma Un Nefer Ast witness to the ages rise Through the portal enter this The Vale of Tears Thy Grigori hold the pylons and summon thee Namrael a cipher of brightest day, Samael of deepest night Their breath a toxin, their gaze a benediction Their hearts conjoined, their minds a liquid dance upon aethyrs bright Blood rain falls and quenches thirst, slakes appetites jaded Blood Moon rises, silence Black Sun rises conjoined, silence The dragon stirs from her slumbers, scales vibrate Takes flight and enters the opalescent night Khephren Ma Un Nefer Ast rises The dance unfolds and in her embrace the Grigori dance She a ladye fair adorned in white lace He a jester in motley black and gold And upon their cheeks a single tear of blood falls into the night

Blood rain Liquid tears leeched into golden sand Rises, a mist of softest pink Borne upon breath Etched in flesh A cascade of liquid longing Ave Samael Ave Lilith Ave Pan

‌ ‌For the moment let us leave our collapsed and slumbering hero and travel through time to a far distant shore. A marble monument, a palace built upon a cliff top overlooking the majesty of an ocean roiling in the grip of a violent storm. Clouds swift, cross a blood red moon and amidst howls of thunder, the screams of a woman in labour pierce the night. A bed chamber lit by candles, the air heavy with camphor, a woman lies upon a bed, pressure within her belly, sweat upon her body, she pushes downwards. Her breath escaping in gasps, she opens and is delivered of child, the rapture of release. Holding life within her hands, placing the child upon her swollen breast, releases liquid into the expectant mouth and knows the pleasure of union. And in this way our Ely came to this life, cherished and nurtured by parents awash with the glow of love. Surrounded by tenderness did he thrive for seven long and rapturous summers. And what of these our loving parents? Atop their cliff top they lived in solitude and study. Morgan, a cypher of beauty, lithe in form with hair the nimbus that would adorn the sun of any world stood in majesty. Adorned in white lace with but one ruby star that hung from a chain of gold between her breasts. Again the golden eyes, a family sign also shared by Ybrim, slight of figure but possessed of a presence that would fill any hall. Muscular and yet something of the feline pervaded his form. Long raven locks adorned a face more akin to a hawk than to a man and yes the golden eyes‌ ...

The Call And who would walk this way with me Creature of shadow and dark repose Who yet yearns to feel the warmth of a human heart The caress that calls the blood to flow, the breath to quicken, The breath dissolving the flesh in rapture An angel passing between us Skin soft warm bathed in nectar as onward we spiral For I have dreamed and in that dream a voice Reaches out towards me in welcome Casting new shapes and patterns before my eyes Shapes yet hard of surface begin to yield Soften flow in liquid curves Undulating as surface meets surface Moistens liquifies and flows to a greater depth Shadows pass leaving a silven moon Upon a hilltop amidst a forest glade The purple legion of night around and between us The dark silhouette of arboreal forms

A stream wending its way across rocky terrain in quest Of its continuance its source its end For in truth we stand alone and yet a time A one whose heart beats to a similar tune A thought echoed across the aethyrs The call of nature’s horn That her creatures know of rapture and repose To what surface does this call And from what depth comes forth the answer To you who walks in beauty these words these echoes are sent Shapes born of ink and wrought in thought Each one bearing within itself a heart beat a dream a vision Long may we walk in shadows perchance that daylight beckons And with this passing thought I bid thee adieu

Once beneath the ocean I called unto thee, reached out a hand and felt thine in mine, only to slip away. Was it but a moment ago that flesh met flesh and melded into a single heart? Through eyes yet dim did I behold thee? With ears confounded by deceit did I yet comprehend thee and upon my lips did I not taste of the nectar that drips, honeyed, from the petals of thy rose? Life steps briefly behind the veil of eternity, takes a bow and collapses into singularity. Waves resolve themselves into ripples and as the reflection settles a new form arises, takes a stumbling step and the pageant unfolds.

The dust finally settled and all that remained of the windstorm were the last fleeting whispers, almost sighs, as the air stilled and its memory of the recent turbulence slipped into oblivion. Removing the mask from her face and the silk that served as a veil she looks around the room and surveys the damage left in the wake of the windstorm. What had once been opulent and certainly decadent had been reduced to debris that barely resembled its original form. Here a picture, its frame reduced to tinder, lay upon the floor and what had once been a smile on the face of its subject had now become a grimace. Glancing to her side she caught a partial reflection in a shard of mirror breaking the surface of the sea of dust beneath her feet. Her face, not quite as she recalled but it would serve. The crossing had been particularly irksome, though they said it would be different this time and as ever they had lied. She fondly grasps the shard of memory that lies buried deep in her heart and reflects it upon the mirror of memory. The fabled city wherein she yet dwells as she recalls the chamber which served as her exit from the realm of dreams into the even less substantial realm in which she was now cast.

The dust surrounding her, now long settled serves as a mantle beneath which he recall ascends into consciousness as she takes her first tentative step across the room, reaches a door and as she clasps its handle a tendril of sensation informs her now longer senses. The room dismantled and dismembered now fades and her exit is attended by a thousand voices raised in prayer and celebration. For again the House Of Dolls has been breached and the day star bids her welcome. Before her a turquoise plain of rolling hills beckons and upon a path of amethyst that weaves its way through the hills she steps. A stream of liquid gold undulates across the terrain and this she must follow for as it is written all finds its source in the ocean that claims all and takes us into its eternal embrace. The sun above warms her and the air fills with the sound of birdsong and in the distance, perhaps a half days walk she hears the oceans swell and the taste of ozone upon her lips. The dust that once limned h body is washed away as a mist like rain tinted emerald envelops her form and cleanses her of the remaining detritus, so recently her identity. Renewed and attired in a flowing gown of the whitest lace she kneels and gazes into the stream and beholds again her recently acquired shape and form. Almond eyes gaze back at her, golden stained violet at their hearts below which a nose aquiline and predatory crowns lips rich and full. High cheekbones display her noble heritage and the tumbling waterfall that crowns her flows ebon down shoulders delicate and strong. Rising she beholds her body cased in the finest lace which reveals in its subtlety the body beneath. Lithe yet muscular fro she is bred of the fey, warriors and mages and generations of her kind poured their life essence into her becoming over the millennia that have passed unheeded. Beneath a willow, roots drinking of the stream serves as her arbor and she sits,

embraced by the dryad within. The air sparkling and alive with the fluttering of butterfly and lacewing evokes a drowsiness which she embraces and she dreams. A dragonfly rests upon her upraised knee and joins her in her reverie. And in the depths of her recall memory surfaces and she briefly returns to that which she has come to know as home. Had it been so long since she walked the marbled halls that led to forest beyond? How long had it been since she had dipped trembling fingers into the nectar that was the lifeblood of this ancient world? Had memory been so erased by the travail that ensued upon the arrival of the shadows. A once verdant world reduced to marsh and quagmire. So nearly lost, so far away and yet but a whisper and all is reclaimed and the shadows dissolve into the void, banished, never to return. Into her reverie steps a figure limned in lightning and with a voice of softest silk whispers, “come for I await thee� And with this recall she rises into wakefulness, rubs the dust of sleep from her eyes and greets the dragonfly that upon hearing her voice takes to the air on gossamer wings and returns to his task of patrolling the stream in quest of his own needs. Rising, having rested well she continues to follow the undulations of the stream that acts as guide upon this her maiden voyage in this new form. Time passes and with it rolling hill resolves itself into the foothills of a mountain range, peaks capped in clouds of cerise and gold. Flanks dressed in a robe of wildflowers amongst which bees eagerly gather the nectar that rises like a mist into the air. To her left she marks the presence of a cave, its entrance dividing the waterfall that flows down the flanks of the mountain above. She enters the mist of rainbow that informs the air and enters the cave. A narrow passageway cut into the bedrock leads to a gallery of cathedral like proportions. Pools of liquid crystal adorn the surface of that upon which she now walks. Outcroppings of sulphur iridescent cling to walls, veins of gold

weave their way across distant walls and from the far distant roof of this vast edifice hang crystals of quartz and amethyst. Light entering the cave becomes a symphony of sound and colour and before her a raised surface informs her ever sharpening senses and towards this she walks. The steps she climbs, etched by natures hand led to a chamber wherein upon a lectern of brass adorned with ebony carvings rests The Book Of Life, whose pages she was sent to read. The book open upon a page of purest vellum is etched in cipher and image she knows to be the Axiomata. Long had been her preparation and the study of the ancient ways had initiated her into the apprehension of the alphabet of desire. The ink that formed the cyphers was drawn from the hearts of all that had entered this sacred place and the images were drawn from the tapestry that served as a portrayal of their lives and its memories. With reverence her fingertips brush the surface of the page and what was once ink scribed upon a surface of vellum now rises as light and before her eyes the dance of the Axiomata unfolds. An embryo bathed in amniotic oceans embrace with a cry becomes a babe held in loving arms, tiny hands reach out and grasp flesh and she begins to learn. An infant stumbling upon legs yet to bear her traverses a room huge to her developing senses and clasps the edge of a chair before her and steadies her shaking body. A girl upon a swing, the wind in her hair rejoices in the sense of flight and freedom. A young woman feels a glow as her lips are parted and she shares her first kiss and dissolves into the purity of its embrace. This and more she reads in the cyphers alight upon the air. Deeper the Axiomata travel as beneath a sea of stars the first of beings, the Grigori raise their voice in celebration of life. Millennia of evolution unfolded and the watchers, witnesses to

life’s mystery entered the matrix of form and lay dreaming within their masks of wonder. Protohuman looks upwards and wonders at the mystery that surrounds them. Language evolve and the dawn of consciousness begins to its reveal its fable. Nature, man and beast, leaf and stem, stone and water, fire and aethyr dance in the unity and the Grigori deep with in their dreams stir. Empires rise, only to fall into the dust from whence they come and cycle upon cycle unfolds. Belief, the home of the feeble claims life in its unrelenting grasp and squeezes the lifeblood of its servitors and offers this as sacrifice to its infernal god. The Grigori rise from their slumbers, called forth by the mother, she who has nurtured them throughout eternity and into their outstretched hands she places the seal of dominion. Reading from the Book Of Life Damiana continues her quest and as the Axiomata continue to dance upon the air the cavern in which she stands trembles and the windstorm without begins to rage and were you of a foolhardy disposition and entered this sacred place, which resides outside the circles of time and life your eyes would be greeted by the sight of the fairest of maidens enraptured as she gazes into the aethyrs that now form her essence and form. Eternal she stands, witness to all that unfolds and her tale is cyphered in the stars, who whispering across the void witness the despair that has become life’s reward.

Na’amah Golden thread around heart entwined Visage of palest gold bleached by blood Darkest barb, venom sweet Vision of light shadowed by blood moon Step by step the pageant unfolds Embrace, melt into rapture Dissolve into bliss denied Pale golden one a kiss upon thy brow A caress upon breast of softest silk Entwine limbs slick with sweat Heat dissolves flesh Breath dissolves thought Passion dissolves the heart Union dissolves life Blood flows from wounds deep as time Semen rises caught in a cup of softest velvet Between golden thighs Breath quickens and dissolves in rapture sweet Breath stills in the velvet shroud of darkest midnight Cascading thought tumbles into oblivion, servant of time Na’amah golden one mistress of time, servant of none

Shapes born of desire replace the tapestry of life Life bows to death her master Through silven forests does she dance beneath pale Hecate Loose thy arrows desolate one, pierce flesh spent in passion Golden nectar flows through limbs broken Darkest venom courses through veins burned upon thy pyre One kiss granted, benediction One kiss denied, eternal longing Reflection, dark shadows arise, a mist of amber stained blood red Lightning burns eyes long weary Thunder subdues heart quenched in fire Gaze deep into the mirror of thy mind Draw deeply from the well of thy heart Broken vessel leaking blood into sand unheeding Once a garden pure where innocence was born Leaf and stem embraced in love Once an earth mother to her children Cradled in loving arms Once starlight dissolved the vacuum of space A thousand angels voices arched in ecstasy Once life pierced the veil of time The tapestry woven thread by thread Across the mountains of the moon did we walk my love and i Taking our rest within the vale of Aphrodite Into the boundary lands did we step Upon a plain of golden sand the bones of all who went before Beneath our sun we walk ebon rays shining forth Dissolving all that has been and will be Creation unmade upon the plain of truth unfolding

Namrael fairest maiden Samael desolate one Hand in hand each step a drop of blood released upon the aethyrs And in the last of days Two Grigori walk upon the earth And they shall die Yglas Na’amah Yglas Isheth Yglas Ygrat Yglas Lilitu Ben Grigori Evohe Evohe Evohe Ast Innui Khephri Vos Ahdi Ypres Grigori Selim Ast Nobilis Khephren Ma Un Nefer Ast Portus Lucis Noir Ave

Had I but one name it would be thine Had I but one body of it would I raise a temple unto thee Had I but one breath with it would I call thy name Had I but one heart this I would offer to the fire in thy service Had I but one mind its reflection would celebrate thy beauty Had I but one life its tapestry woven with thy presence Would bear witness Had I but one vision its fire would burn to ash All that is not of thee Had I but one word its shadow would be Beloved Had I but one dream it would be of thee Had I but wish it would be of thy embrace Thy Kiss Abides

Hymn To Artemis Artemis virgin huntress thou I wouldst become Accept me into thy embrace By the virtue of thy name … I Invoke Thee By thy name Artemis … I Invoke Thee By the pantacle of thy service … I Invoke Thee By the sign and perfume … I Invoke Thee Pierce my heart with the silven arrows of thy love Raise me above my mortal station into thy splendour As thou waxeth so dost i As thou waneth so dost i Upon thy journey across a star spangled sky Pause and answer the call of one who loves thee so Artemis my sister lift me up into thy gentle arms Caress me with thy splendour Let thy light illumine my path

Empower the … Reflection … I seek at this time In all ways at all times … I Call To Thee My blood but a river that carries me to thee My heart but a temple of desire for thee My mind a hollow space until thou dost enter My body the precinct of thy love my aspiration With Love and Purity … I Invoke Thee By all that I am and will become … I Invoke Thee I dwellest in darkness seeking thy light By this do I also … Invoke Thee Proud and strong … Artemis … Silver shod virgin huntress Answer My Call

And Within That Final Embrace The Last Breath Is Drawn Memory Tumbles Into The Void On Gossamer Threads Of Light Echoes Into Eternity A Siren Song Only The Stars Now Whisper Across The Infinite Field Of Being And In the Silent Chambers Of The Heart A Voice Sibilant Rises Come For I Await Thee

Part Three La Bas Song Of The Drowned

Pax Nobilis A Noble Peace I Slumbering within her grave, pale Damiana sighs. Above, the soft pressure of leafmould, like a blanket, wraps itself around her in tenderness, a tenderness she had not known in life. Beyond that a gentle warmth sometimes makes itself known to her diminishing senses. How long she had lain here none could tell, for in truth none knew of her presence, alone within this shallow grave. How had she lived, how had her life come to end and how, within this earthy tomb could she yet continue to be? How could she still be here and not as the prophecy had foretold, released into freedom and the golden valleys beyond to join her Lord and Lover. Only in these rare moments of awareness did she wonder, for mostly she knew only the dark, the sweet embrace of oblivion. This she would have, and yet something called to her, called to her in fine sibilant whispers, seductive, enticing and beguiling.

In life she had been fine and noble of form, in stature tall, lithe, the body of a dancer, fine of feature, cheek bones a razors edge, nose aquiline above which a pair of almond eyes, stained violet at their heart, shone like bright suns. Crowned by a mane of ink black hair, dark as the night sky itself, hung in swathes across her shoulders and shrouded the nape of her neck, cascading, like a waterfall over breasts of milky opalescence crowned by aureoles of crushed peaches. Travelling downwards across muscle firm yet yielding to that secret place nestled between thighs of softness, covered in a fine down of gossamer strands of silk. Legs, long, tapering to an ankle of fine bone and sinew. Feet slim yet strong. Many had sought her through her short life, for her beauty, for her mystery, each of them now lay dreaming within her womb. Yes, she had shared her delights, only briefly and harvested the fruits of love, memories which now haunted her into the long night, unrelenting. And then death, one velvet dark night had seduced her into his mystery, had come for her whispering gentle endearments into her ever open ears, had lain with her, entered her and claimed her as his, for was she not beauty indeed? And yet, she was still sentient, not a fleeting spirit adrift upon the night air, not a disembodied soul seeking solace amongst loved ones. Was this her reward, her penance? Had she not served her mistress well, offering blood and semen as votive offerings within the services performed in her name? Had she not offered herself, her flesh, the means of manifestation, where passion is the prayer and lust the means of Invokation? The dark shore of night whereupon, we embark upon a journey from mystery into greater mystery, our blood knowingness our only guide, steers us through dark atavisms and pre-human byways of being, where bestial tongues utter inchoate sounds unto the firmament that

hears them not. Hecate’s dark realm, awash with soft murmurings yielding to screams and the torment of tortured souls. She stands triumphant upon the bones of her worshippers, for torment is her service, where pain is but the echo of her yearning, where birth and destruction are the ebb and flow of her breath, fetid with the whisperings of dark mystery. Had she not been promised entry into the realm of the true gods, those who exist outside the night of time? A whisper from the dark lord Lucifer, brooding within his citadel of memory, casting dreams like sprinkled stardust into the void. Dark lord of Repose. The Redeemer. The Opposer. It was for this one that she had served her dark mistress these cold, long aeons. The circumstances surrounding her death are a mystery to her as is her present condition. Of time she knows not, of reason also, little is known, only the ever dimming memories that surface to torment her within her citadel of isolation. And yet occasionally she feels, rather than hears a distant, plaintive song, a calling back to flesh and life upon the surface of the shimmering star. And how does she spend her moments of lucid waking? Remembering sweet pleasures, ones which elevated her, made her complete within her service to her dark mistress.

II And how had that service begun? Alone upon a wind swept beach, hair tossed by the raging tempest, the tang of salt upon tongue, stinging her eyes. Skin, open to the elements through folds and pleats within her dress and cloak, bruised by the contact of cutting wind and occasional grains of sand, too light to retain their tenuous grip upon the surface of the beach. Walking, musing upon trifles, what was and what would be. Then turning, noticing for the first time the moon, blood red, ravaged by clouds the colour of bruised flesh, waxing, not yet full. A sound, at first shrill then becoming deeper, insistent as it invades her attention. From what source, and to what purpose? Pausing to discover its point of origin, a shadow within shadows, the entrance to a cave and at its entrance a dull pulsating light, honeyed amber in colour, reaches out and invades her senses, captivating, entrancing. Stepping forward, one faltering step then another and finally stretching into a run, a sense of slow motion envelops her as she moves forwards, yet moves not, a wrenching sensation in the pit of her stomach, a snap of some internal unknown and movement is granted and with lightning speed she arrives at the cave entrance. Waiting, waiting for what? She knows not. Then the sensation of tiny fingers, touching, caressing, fingers of ice calling forth her heat and moisture as slowly she is lifted from the sand and begins to spin upon the breeze, now master of her movements. Ice enters her, touching first the surface of her skin, then penetrating inwards and meeting her fire, melts into languid and liquid delight, she glows, sweats and gentle moans rise from her throat as one by one her clothes are teased from her, opening her to the elements and the penetration of the night. Fingers slide across back, belly and breast, down thigh and leg leaving her naked, exposed within

the embrace of fire and ice. She touches sand, its grains abrading soft skin, feels its coolness, its support. The sound diminishes and in its place, shadows arise, dimly seen, keenly felt and in the silence the tempest ceases and stillness soothes her ravaged senses. Advancing upon her, the shadows, at first fragmentary, coalesce into an aethyreal form of opalescent beauty, hues, pastel in shade undulate across and through surfaces creating a shifting plane of perspectives, “speak not” says a voice of liquid amber, “take delight and pleasure in the flesh.” Advances closer crooning a lullaby, distant memories arise, childhood, summer, a forest glade, lying at ease in the embrace of nature. Fingers touch, breath like the gentlest of breezes touches, flushing of skin, hearts blood coursing through sinew and skin causing breath to increase, as one by one each part is touched, hair stroked, teased outwards into a veil, a nimbus of dark light illuminating contours and features, eyes opened to the glories of the dark by a breath that touches lightly and then is gone. Lips brushed, the taste of almonds and orange blossom, causing the lips to part the tongue to move outward, to touch, contact lips, now gone. Breasts aflame as liquidness touches their surface, nipples harden, pulse, stretching towards this source of pleasure. Belly opens, like the womb of time itself, opens and releases moisture, demanding. Fingers touch, explore soft contours, like the petals of a rose, one by one unfolding, opening to the sensation of penetration, releasing moisture, as thighs gently bruised by a lovers kiss, back arches, stretches, the abandon of passion sweet. Adrift upon the tide of passions velvet embrace she soars into unknown realms, realms of pure sensation, each breath etches a lambent flame upon her flesh, forming an alphabet, whose consonants and vowels are the sweet sensations of fulfillment, an orgasmic being, where only the essential, the pleasure of the moment unfolds itself to her saturated senses. Finally pausing,

spent, she alights upon a barren plane and in the near distance a mountain range, a castle, brooding, casting its shadow across the terrain, staining the landscape, as if some hideous night born horror dwelt within. Rising, compelled to move towards this monstrosity. Surveying her surroundings, the barrenness reluctantly gives way to fetid swamp, her feet now awash, slime arising from the depths, ankle deep in the mire she makes her way tortuously through the rank undergrowth, the stench released by her footfalls releasing into the air the odour of decay and stagnancy, night creatures make themselves known to her sharpening senses. The slither of serpents rising along the sinews of her legs, wrap themselves around her as if they would hide her nakedness, searching, probing, exploring her contours. She advances amidst the chorus of nights purple legion. Swamp gives way to rock and the sharpened fragments of stone now underfoot, causing her to wince, briars in profusion, unyielding meet tender flesh, barbs that enter and tear at her skin, forming fine rivulets of blood travelling along the length of arms and legs, stinging as the night breeze opens her to further sensation. She gasps, her breath coming in halted gulps. Onwards and now upwards she treads, a barely discernible path, flanked by stunted trees and twisted shrubs releasing their perfumes upon the night air, finally gives way to a courtyard, an expanse of broken flagstones, limned with lichen and moss, glowing as with the presence of praeternatural light, weeds appearing in crevices formed by the passage of time. Steps rising and finally a doorway of marble embossed with plaques of metal, strange signs and images, some of nature, some of strange worlds, all carrying a sense of menace. The way is barred to her. Sentinels guard the portal, bestial forms, part human, part beast, raised upon pinions of furred talon, giving way to the torso of humanities perfection, ripe, full breasts and the softness of curves she recognizes well,

crowned by a visage of bestial perfection, fangs bared as if awaiting their quarry, who even now passes between them. A voice, hushed whispers, issues from she knows not where, “what seekest thou, fair creature, the delights of our castle, or perhaps the presence of she who dwells within?” In answer she claims her innocence of any intent, and as a simple traveller has stumbled upon this place, this castle. “Enter and know that shadows and despair await thee”. No way back, she advances to see the door dissolve before her eyes and now she is within a chamber, vaulted, supported upon pillars rising upwards into unfathomable heights, carpets scattered upon bare stone, alcoves containing statuary and images from the past of cultures divers, some human, many not. Recesses containing divans of velvet flanked by candles whose guttering flames cast an amber light upon the chamber. Pausing she takes her rest in order to better survey the immediate surroundings. Along one wall a hearth, the mantle of which is supported by angelic forms, wrapped in their pinions and gazing upwards beatifically. Within the hearth the roaring of flames fed by logs the size of small trees. She rises and advances to this place in search of warmth. Whispered endearments meet her ears as finally she arrives and is greeted by a being who steps out of the shadows, ink black his skin, red his eyes, of form slender and sinuous, graceful, crowned by a skullcap of filigreed metal. Magnificent in his nakedness he holds within his hands a bowl of beaten brass figured in an unknown cipher. “Drink, fair one, for it will prepare the way.” Reaching out she receives the bowl, raises it to her lips and drinks deeply of its contents, again the taste of almonds and orange blossom assails her senses and carries with it a sense of well being and rapture. Emptying the contents, swooning, she falls upon a surface of furs and rich velvets and dreams.

III Awakes to the sound of plainsong interwoven with the susurration of flowing water and the call of night birds. Beneath her back cold stone, she is stretched, arched across a boulder, hands and feet bound by silken cords. Above her, smiling, she stands, awaiting the return to consciousness of her ward. “Fear not the bindings, for I must open your body, your flesh�, comes a whispered voice, caressing her senses with its wine rich depths. “Long have I awaited you and now the time of waiting is past, be at ease, rest, be attentive for I have a story to tell. Like you I to, was once mortal, shared in the pleasures of the flesh, yet I knew the worm awaited me, the unrelenting passage of time would bring me into its chthonic realm, this I denied with every fibre of my being, sought long for the means of release from this curse, having searched high and low within the confused ramblings of my kind, the promise of celestial paradise, the entrance to hallowed halls of learning and becoming. I finally realized that this served to distract, assuage the inevitable which I too would come to despite my time honoured and cherished illusions. Yes I learned of the sweetness that sours in the light of times passing. I knew pain, hurt as any of my kind would, for as a woman I carry the joys of the world within my womb and also its sin. In time I came to know the purity of despair and came to savour the austerity of its bitter sweet taste. I found pleasure a paltry affair, visited infrequently by moments, mere moments of anaesthetic release. No more would this be so, I withdrew and so doing ceased to be as I was, and now, would never be again. For I abandoned my kind and their ways. And in the desert of despair left this world, leaving only a shadow self to continue the pretence. That shadow continued, retreated

further then it too dissolved and joined me and became she who now stands before you. From the pit of suffering and remorse I arose triumphant and made my pact with the lord of this world, the ever present one, thinly guised as pleasure, as pain and the means of release from both. He took me into himself and shared his glory, his secrets, his yearnings, until I finally joined him and knew rapture pure, undefiled by thought and speech, the chatterings of primates scurrying from darkness to darkness complete. Long aeons have I dwelt within my fortress of night, taking my pleasure amongst the legions of the half lives. Distilling from their pleasure and their pain the vital nectar that sustains my form, form which exists within the dark cave of each of their hearts, their lives. They see only my horror and not the beauty of austerity that shines within my heart, the pulse of life that bruises my eyes, eyes that know their hearts and minds. Only suffering they know, for they have not plumbed the depths of despair and its kindred, my offspring. And now I would claim thee as mine fairest Damiana for I know your heart, your mind and now I would know your flesh.” So saying she advances and in the silence of her passage Damiana again tastes almond and orange blossom upon her lips as a gentle breeze resolving itself into flesh touches her lips with a stroke so fine and rich. She answers the call and opens her heart to the embrace, an embrace which ignites her flesh once again into rapture, as tiny tongues of flame reach out and touch her. Breast to breast, lips to lips they meld and become one, exploring textures and shapes, tastes and odours of intoxication, lines of fire limning their every angle and contour. Caught upon a wine dark sea travelling from rapture to rapture. Gently she rises wiping the sweat from her brow, from her lips and breasts and looks upon Damiana. “Would you join me fair one and know my Art, my Knowledge?” In silence Damiana answers an assent. “I

must open your flesh, let it blossom, strip the kernel that yet binds you and release you into the exaltation of the new flesh.” Advancing she utters a brief plaintive call whereupon she is transformed into the guise of the sentinel encountered in the outer hall, in shadows he advances, black within a deeper black, his eyes glowing in the darkness now all but complete and from the air he plucks a crystal which sparkles within its own light. With this he touches her forehead and she sleeps and dreams of caresses, of kisses, of passion ignited by the touching of flesh to flesh and as passion unfolds itself within the passing of their breath, one to the other he opens her fleshy veil and extracts her essence, bone, blood, organ and muscle does he excise, making of it a mannequin which dances in rapture. And of her essence he shapes a new form and inscribes upon its contours the ciphers of desire, sigils of power, of protection and eternity. Lambent light courses through this new form, sigils form and reform, dancing eternity’s dance of splendour and becoming. The sigils coalesce, writhe and finally meet at a central axis point between her breasts, then dissolve into the new tissue and flesh. Damiana awakes from her dream to whispered words, caught upon the breeze, “in time you will know my name, for that is secret and undivided, for now go forth and take thy will and pleasure amongst the legions of the living.” And in this way did Damiana meet her mistress and true to her did service through the flesh, opening herself to each and every delight, celebrating the new flesh. And then she met with death one ink black night and now waits for the call that will release her from her leafy grave that she might know glory and the promise of eternity in the arms of her dark lord. He who awaits her arrival on the other side of the veil called appearance.

“Go in peace and rest within the embrace of shadows tender arms� Damiana

Canticles Of Ecstasy  

A Tribute To Lisa Gerrard

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