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03 March, 2006

Tenebrae - Songs of Darkness

Consumed by Fire

*Deus, in adiutorium meum intende. Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina.

Every word an eternal fire
And yet you think I have forgotten
All dewdrops that fell from your lips long ago –
Oh but I merely long
For litanies, to alchemize these to icicles,
That I may burn my memories in this wilderness
With your light.

The Death of Fire

Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, mine acquaintance is darkness.

How desolate this place is
Yet no more than the space I left behind,
The fires lit by others I kill blaze by blaze -
Oh but I merely wish
Forgetfulness, to throw your face in shadows,
That I may quench all hopes of resurrection of lust and longing
In your light.


Broken Music

Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? Shall the dead arise and praise thee?

The canticle melts into the darkness
And the notes fall like tears from the night sky,
Lonely, gasping, torn asunder from the word –
Oh but I merely desire
The death of voices, to silence expression,
That I may hide behind veils, stone walls, and my eyes
Without your light.

Death

I have come into deep waters and the torrent washes over me.

The words I longed to tell you breathe their end
They drown in the tears you held in your eyes when I left,
They flit in the space that I imagined was you –
Oh but I will delude you no longer
There will never be a turning back, a return to you,
That I don’t repeat this loss, this dying of music
In the murder of our light.

*O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Maddy said...

The Death of Fire - and this is
SO cliche but I promise you
to be entirely true -

gave me goosebumps.

Splendid.

04 March, 2006 02:55  
Blogger Space Bar said...

i really liked this poem without knowing what the title meant; when i looked up 'tenebrae' everything fell into place.

echoes of orpheus in the last section....very nice.

the form reminded me of an african poet i've read very recently, but whose name i've forgotten; the slight change to the structure of each sentence, a kind of an overall reverb.

could you explain the quotations in each section--they are all quotations,aren't they?

i like the service echoing the end of a life...esp

'The fires lit by others I kill blaze by blaze -'

very moving.

04 March, 2006 21:13  
Blogger Ankit said...

nice poem reawlly makes me wonder....:-?

04 March, 2006 22:51  
Blogger Alex said...

thanks a lot everyone...

about this stuff...i guess it being Lent amongst other things made the poem this way. anyway, about the quotations - they are verses from the Bible - Psalm 68:3, Psalm 88:11 and 13 - can't remember exactly. The first verse is the crux of the tenebrae service - where the lights are extinguished, the altars are stripped, the music... ends in silence.

a sense of loss, an absence of commuunion...and maybe more.

05 March, 2006 16:13  

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