Our Dark Lady

by j. griogair bell


This work is © copyright 1996 j. griogair bell, all rights reserved.

Some selections have been previously published in electronic media.

Originals `enrapture,' `around,' `distance,' `it will go on,' `that maze,' `enrapture,'and `around' are © copyright 1994 j. griogair bell.

Both current versions of `ishtar,' and `our dark lady of tears' are © copyright 1995 j. griogair bell. The original of `ishtar' was `a sinner's prayer' and was © copyright 1992 j. griogair bell. The original `our dark lady of tears' was © copyright 1988 j. griogair bell.


Printing History: This is book has not yet been published.


All rights reserved. No part of this book nor of individual works may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, in use or yet to be invented, without permission in writing from the author.

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dedicated to CC CP DB SC AH LGV JO SW ER.


Our Dark Lady


So many dreams beauty divine bodies
Ishtar, Inanna, Venus, Aphrodite ...
Thou, goddess fair and full, I worship you.
in armfuls of flowers I shower you
in heart full of fears I beseech you
Red, amorous lips and rose water cheeks
curves of careful carved grace and mighty warmth
true proud harsh beauty I breathlessly see
haunted prayers at midnight your shining eyes
drive me to sleeplessness ...

Thou god before the altar in my mind
in the cathedral of my soul slowly,
methodically replace the holy
relics of my past the icons I have
made with my own hands I seek to replace
my past with a holy grail upon
the altar I place mementos of you
avoiding your eyes with embarrassment
I: ashamed profane imperfect presence
this dedication of divine domain
... I must not lose myself in your eyes

I pray little else remains my altar
that thou god are not too distant to reach
that thou god also a grail in me
that thou god, as I feel, feel
I have tried to study the sacraments
I fear you, my feeble defilements
I prostrate before icons of my mind
in prayer to thou, god ...
the divine gemini: havoc, harmony
I: in my temple lost in the tempest
my robes tattered whirlwind of emotions
how can one combine the dichotomy
my own soul in some one other than me?
and this alone could prove divinity
I fear that beauty your soul will burn me
to my foundation ...

passion, my arson, has already lit
the bonfire of my creative soul
sacrificial fires altar of soul
thou worldly, wise divinity and yet
thou art pure art and I fear you and yet
I: drawn to the light, your consuming flame
I: blinded by your glory, holy name
by the light of your veiled harmony
I worship you I adore you ...

such a mess out of sacred love I made
everything for you so hard and so strong
adoring you the complementing choir
drowns my voice my hasty rewritten dirge
constitutionally incapable
I: left behind with nothing but my self
I: empty handed barren cathedral
the altar I constructed to you: bare
you: Thou, your eyes drawing me in ...

swept away I lose my self in your eyes
as gold never was but as it should be
dark as sin bright as day dancing alive
your hair glows as it lays against your skin
soft beatific skin, sweep of eyebrow
I: carried away some safe place of sun
where I lay entranced enraptured by your
sweet architecture, the curve of sculpture
in moments I spend lifetimes in worship
in adoration in the pure white light
in your glory; you, you; Thou art all things:
building up, taking away forever
amen ...


I: held in beautiful eyes unable to sleep
I: feverish and so meek near your song
overflowing resonant resounding sound
this power you have what is the nature?
I: drawn by the gravity of Thou Thou
my words falter stumble and stuttering
toward the veiled face of the sekinah
vocal rhythm some primal drum my rhyme
my missing rhyme under flickering feet
I wish to dance that rhyme that dance I wish
to be the one like that god of forests
I: startled by the flute behind the tree
as startled by the tree as from the sound
thru my walls the song of nature calls me
the music the rhythm thru the silence
rhythm of my heart not really my heart
faster and faster a kaleidoscope
capering calliope carnival mass
between the fool, the innocent in me
what little there is left in me dancing
I: in love with you I dance toward you
I: the fool hanged the hanged man the tower
perilously flung from the cathedral
I fly east meeting the sun and the wind
I: divested of the robes and vestments
from absence new ingredients enter
sacred amphora anointing oil
I: stripped of my multicoloured layers
I: plowed into the moist earth by the winds

I awake with a shudder just before
this earthen tomb is closed above my head
over what is left without my body
my last sight if I even still have eyes
is the light white distant light bright glowing
I still yearn in my dark abode for thou
I become the forest about my bed
I grow my many limbs and many leaves
blowing, rustling and turning in the wind
towards the sun and yet still I yearn
as the earthworms tickle my million toes
I: yggdrasill, tree of heaven and hell
I ponderous await time time end time
I still yearn ...

Ragnarok rocks Your heaven and this earth
my roots are ripped from the earth my leaves torn
bark my skin stripped from this forgotten tomb
I: naked once more flung to the abyss
yearning ...


Suddenly, my room, some reality
empty reality my empty room
without you without even your smile
things come back into focus as they are
but all this is not the way things should be
I read what I have written to you
my pomposity my own ludicrous
ridiculous inflated self image
how can a patchwork ego be so damned?
sewn together from remaining pieces
tapestry of potential and my ego
the tapestry I never could complete
and my mandala of many colours
ego of interrupted meditation
spins weaving along larger tapestries
in out over under willy-nilly

not my ego silly useless bauble
a prism, a crystal to twist the light
I throw it away; I see clearer now
I reach for that light, my deconstruction
delusion clearer in dissolution
my music is so faint the rhythm lost
in the echoes of sunshine and shadows
the tune twisted now by whistling trees
I dance spirals afraid of ritual
I sing sotto voce fearing to be heard
and yet I want so very much to be heard

what thru the dark trees do I hazy see?
this white approaching figure glowing light?
join my dance thou light thou fantastic dream
join me in my mushroom ringed stomping ground
I lose track my theme flashing thru the trees
in the dark I have lost touch with reason
are you dancing with me or around me?

the dance of return sunset in my eye
I: lost in these trees in this last dance lost
the hunt I love I return to my hunt
I return to goddess myself a god
I laugh as she returns to me, thou god
my empty body drops a sacrifice
a hollow husk of what I freely give
hollow tho I am I still yearn for thou
my endless holy offering complete
my hope is that I might reincarnate
I would I could because I would again
forever and ever amen ...


Thou god art me bound to me, I to thee
I know not how to name thee to envoke
knowing not image or flavour or taste
I know not what divinity sounds like
or how the divine feels to the touch
I do not know but to envoke with love
thou: ineffable surface sensation
living deep endless agnostic heaven

I feel your divinity in me
I think that the bond feels soft to touch
as soft to the touch as her skin to me
that the sound your holy voice to the ears
would be very much like her voice to me
that ambrosia taste would be sweet and strong
and as addictive as her lips to me
love would stand proud to be in her presence
determined directed with confidence
even at rest love could never be still
but around her revolving about her
celestial spheres caressing her skin
love adores ivory skin with a hint
of blush from her cheeks healthy with passion
love adores artistic hands musician
the fine brush and alto clef of her hands
there would be music vibrant in the air
and lustrous colours synaesthesia
flowing around the notes the flats the sharps
texture would vibrate and dance to the song
the vivid image of love like the music
like the staff of life her image to me
sienna dark and sensual burning
liquid fire illuminating love
like the spark in her eye to me

she is everything unmistakably
it is that she is all that she surrounds
like the aura of a spirit she is
that she creates the world in her image
it is what she is in all who see her
I would know her because she is of me
I know her there and when I see her here
it is that I see of her everywhere
when I hear her I hear her everywhere
when I breathe her with breath she sustains me
when I think her I think that she is me
when I am her she is free to be me
to dance around me to free me from self
I fling my self to her dance to find her
I know her there when I find her inside
and when I look in I see what I see
when I look for goddess outside of me
it is love thou art thou god thou goddess
I am love in love with the love thou art


she comes in from the distance like a dream, with sunshine glowing from her delicate and vibrant eyes. the invisible colour of the sun reflecting the beauty in her, from her.

she is the distance of the wonderful ocean enfolding the space between us. she is more than I am. she holds more than my dream in her distant looks. the awed reflection of my body in the corner of her grace and divinity is but a sliver of the ellipsis she contains in no space, and if I am but a sliver in no space then I am the dream inbetween the light and the reflection of her fabulously real eyes.

in the distance she stands a far away place like the horizon. The vanishing point of insecurity and uncertainty somewhere in the burnt sienna of her eyes gives life to the still and scape to the land. Her scale is something more than exact. Her perspective something more than paralax.

and my heart beats its specious and syncopated theme ...


softly now around me
the night gathers folding
a warming cloak
of summer shadow
thru the path
park pattern cyphering
some message for me
in every other step
can I hold her
any closer
than a silent walk?
and the pathway
whispers this secret
to me:

beauty does as beauty is
the nature of the pattern
is that patterns are motion
in silence set, but set
to the music of emotion ...

sure of nothing now
I take a chance to
wager the chance
that breaking silence
will gain me more
than this path
and the pathway
whispers this secret
to me ...


and she comes once more into my life ...

once I fell in love with her lips, her perfect lips. dreams of her perfect lips used to caress my lonely nights after she left. I would have closely held those dreams in my arms if I could have touched them with my love. before she left those invisible dreams were warmly real.

I could have held those dreams better than I did hold her. she was gone before I knew she was there. I thought I lost any future with her to the past she had collected about her like a maze. I thought I failed to find her. All I knew was that I had become lost on that maze she left behind.

and once more she comes into my life ...

once I fell in love with her skin, her perfect skin. I used to caress her perfect skin until all that was left were lonely nights. I would have held her closer if I hadn't known I would lose her even tho I really don't know why she left me. before the end, I used to dream about her beautiful skin.

I wanted to hold her closer than she ever let me hold her. I don't know why she never wanted to be there. I thought I lost any future with her when she left quicker than I could say goodbye. I even sent a letter as a last offering. All I knew was that I had once again failed to figure out the trick to that maze.

and once more she comes into my life ...

once again I see her and now I've fallen in love with her eyes, her amazingly beautiful eyes. I felt that I was in the very presence of pure beauty when sunshine in her eyes momentarily blinded me and that night the drums were silent - I was not parriah. I would have held her closer if I hadn't been afraid and when she touched me I once again felt alive. even before she left, I started to remember those old comfortable dreams.

I wanted to hold her close sooner than when I finally felt her lips touch my hair. I don't know why she was suddenly there again but the feeling of her skin was so very much more real than those dreams. I thought once again about difficult futures, but even still no matter how difficult I imagine those futures to be I find I am thinking about her again. I even started writing again. All I know is that despite my fear I am surprisingly excited at the possibility that she might let me struggle thru the thorns toward the chance that I might solve that maze before she is gone again.

and once again she comes into my life ...


Long after she was gone she seduced me
her secret silence filling her fertile
dark water of tears
our chittering flittering shivering
nervous nativity crawling creeping
reaping I harvest
fertility rites white forgotten fears
melting silk leather laced biting bleeding
her love her waters
to this I pray

united by the hand with which she preys
temple arch of Ivory sepulchre
our house divided
of agony and the communion
of forever ever more this I pray
lifting hand and tongue
to oblivion sweet and hereafter
alive flicker ghost images silent eye
wine awash the flesh
to this I pray

communion consummation by fire
baptism inquisition of colour
water of the World
Dark Lady of Waters, Lady of Tears
ocean of the wild mad world
her wave wash rhythm
floating in the dark waters suicide lovers
with fingers brush back my fears and my hair
hold my head lightly
to this I pray

lightly caressing the cascade of cares
passing moments passing passion caress
and my missed steps
breathing essence in the air expanding
rising up my spine lifting me drifting
I float above her
slowly sedately I am drawn to her
from her water light I am drawn there
surging shivering
currents emotion motion over me
my rising moon the ocean of waters
the eye of silence
heavy lidded occult rising over
the dark liquid reflexion horizon
across my body
her colours rippling following my path
as she brushes my forehead with her hand
praise the holy altar desire
designs and demands
to this I pray


As hard as it is he can easily see, she's as certain as a thousand miles that she needs to be free.

There's something about the distance that is inviting. Yet, how can a thousand miles of empty space be so thick with resistance? Things that were aren't the way they should be. The world used to offer some certain little safety in the close spaces of home, but now the empty open calls him to roam with uncertainty away from everything that he thinks of as home.

But he doesn't want to end up holding the hand of another thousand miles alone ...

The change of place could be good, but the leaving safe spaces for the company of barely familiar faces in those wild empty opens begins with the few hours of contact between them in the afternoon of migration. Where doesn't that flight lead her; and where, when would that flight lead her to leave him?

Does that matter in the face of the chance that her flight will enrapture him long enough to teach him also to fly? Is that such an embrace of darkness to the imagination?

And when the time comes she arrives with the other ... we shook hands and then she was gone. He was prepared for the chance that she might not arrive at all, and he was prepared with dreams of when she would enter once again in to the light of the sun flashing beauty across the room. He hadn't prepared for that particular torture, that particular distance that interposed between them so very much closer than a thousand miles yet still a thousand miles from her lips. Her eyes and the touch of her hands ... two moments, fast and fleeting, that passed without delay in the minutest fraction of a full day of waiting.


beautifully the flowers around her
surround her like I found her
a surprise I didn't realize
how beautiful the look in her eyes
from the distance my only chance
a motion of memory in her glance
and my eyes slip from her hips
to her lips with every thought a kiss
can I hope that that memory of me
will bring her back someday to me
from the flowing motion of devotion
for a chance at more than infatuation
she travels with faces to other places
and how can I ever hope to replace
that fragile and tactile grace
of the familiar caress she has there
unless I can surround her with flowers
around her like I found her
a surprise I knew her from pictures
silent stares at black and white cures
images I never imagined I'd know
until I managed to find her
in the flowing motion of the ocean
of a day and a half of emotion
that I didn't remember I could feel
that real feeling revealing to me
the quick depth of my devotion
to the chance of touching her
past the slow dance of distance
that chance for more than infatuation
she travels with other faces to places
far away from here and she has her
possible future with flowers there
I'm satisfied with the chance to know her
but my soul is a cliche that says
that I'll regret the day that I didn't
ask her to stay here with me,
with the flowing motion of devotion
for a chance at more than infatuation
she travels with faces to other places