by James A. Eshelman
Last Updated December 14, 2006
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This page has nothing at all to do with computer support. It is a sliver of that which balances, within me, against the absorption in things technical. These few poems, collated from those I have written over the years, are mostly mystical devotions. They are, perhaps, sufficiently atypical to stir some interest. I readily understand how personal poetry is, both in the writing of it and the appreciation of it, so I fully expect that there will be many who will be touched by these, many who will not like them at all, and many who simply will realize why I never became known as a poet! <vbg> So be it! They are what they are, and little else — and I wouldn’t really have it any other way. — Jim Eshelman

July 27, 1999

O ineffable GOD without Name,
     I’ve invoked Thee, provoking thy flame.
In the sensuous Form of my Lord,
     ’Neath its veil, wailing gale, my soul roared.
I desire the sweet fire of thy Being —
     Single spark, sail the dark sea of wonder!
Thrice almighty in all things Thou art,
     Solar snake in the lake of my heart.

Now, before me the healing dawn light
     Wears the rose of the rising sun’s beauty,
While behind me the Foundation’s might
     Bears the grail and the tale of life’s duty.
God’s ambassador flames on my right,
     Scintillation elating the mind,
While the backlit and boreal night
     On my left is the passion that binds me.

     About me only blaze these things of sense.
     Within, thy star-stream column spawns events.
          So locked in love — a princess and her prince.

October 24, 1998

I await the sword of the Belovéd,
     Baring my throat for the stroke.
The severing lightning of Heaven —
     The caress of the God I invoke.
A loud-speaking Silence engulfs me,
     An intimate knowledge provok’d:
I await the sword of the Belovéd,
     In Whose arms love’s mad fire I stoke.

June 3, 1992

From out of the darkness came Dawn,
     And Dawn’s light,
Its wondrous, lustrous dew transfiguring
     All things of sight, of taste, of touch.
Touched by miraculous fingers of incandescent life,
My heart expands & wakes, even before the roses.
Three lotuses lay open before this morning’s glory.
All of me is laid bare & open & awake before Thee;
And in the offering of myself, naught withheld,
I hear, at last, the Song of that deafening silence.

Quiet moonlight implodes in silvery dance
     within the folds of that silent song.
In eternal Night, the river of forthpouring stars runs ever
     serenely & keenly, all in their appointed Way.
I have known the night, the darkness, the dread weariness,
     And been lost, through my frailty, in its leaden shroud;
Yet this new Night, more luminous than any Day,
     Expands me beyond whatever used to pass for me
     On the prior day of barren, cavernous aloneness.
Now, within this Dawning Night,
     The without & within, mysterious twins,
     Are lost in each other,
The veil between them indistinguishable from the
     continuous living texture
     of their shared substance.
I shall know the dim and empty night again, no doubt.
Only one lamp, one love, shall conduct me surely through
     that nacreous nocturne:
It is a single scarab, immortal,
A midnight sun that burns with unwavering heat
     even in the otherwise empty void.

Sacred twin columns of silver & gold,
     Rapturous dance of our disparate essences.
Alive in the beauty of diurnal glory;
     Enswathed in the pleasure of luminous night.
Water to quench the immense conflagration;
     Flame to sublime the cascading desire.
Spiraling waves, intertwined, oscillating,
     Enfolding, enswathing each other each hour.
Secret, obscure, enigmatic twin mirrors,
     There is no difference; they are one — and are not.

Veil of Mystery withdrawn —
     Union, communion of October dawn —
In silence I bite back this rapture, and then,
     In thunderous song we are One. Amen.

September 22, 1992

Solar-serpent caressing my heart.
     Tongue of inspiration darting teasingly and pleasingly
     within the expanding vault of my soul,
unsealing its warded mysteries
     from behind their brazen plaque.
My passion rises from timorous flame to surging solar fury until,
     head flung back, my sweat-soaked mane tossed madly about
          in concert with the thrashing rhythm of my rider,
                    I surrender
     to the blinding shaft of insupportable splendor,
     That floods me, slays me, flays, betrays me
          with its resurgent venomous coruscations.

My mind reeling in the intoxication of this madness,
     The grape’s royal blood infuses veins
          made void of corpuscular life.
     Wine blazes through my soul,
          its moist fire spreading from my center,
               outward, to poison
                    every cell
                    every memory
                    every dream
With the ineradicable kiss, imprint, and seal
     of this muse
          whose elixir of inspiration unleashes me,
          whose Genius releases me,
     Pregnant with Life unguessed.

May 1, 1997

000. Behold the Grail, uplifted in the heart of She who is He that I adore. It is an offering of perfect love. All that is pure, amethestine splendor asparkle, refracting the fluid and liquid dance of Her kiss that sips the nectar-blood of my soul.

00. An arrow’s shaft splits the night, meteoric lightning flashing from the earth unto the threshold where atmosphere greets Her immeasurable Night of stars. I too am uplifted by mighty angel-wings unto the precipice of Her Mystery.

0. And love is the portal of its Understanding.

1. Thou art the breath, caressing my cheek, in thine incessant going. Yet Thou art with me always.

2. What Word compares to thine unending universe of Love? O plant Thee thine Word in the chalice of my heart, & I will bear Thee children that shall walk the Pathways of the Stars, & shall know the Father than begot them.

3. Yet thy skin is cool & pale in the moonlight. Not even night can cool the embrace of thine arms about me, nor darken the glistening silver-white substance of our love. I close my eyes and it shields them not; rather, you grow brighter still. Your eyes lock on mine unblinking, and uneclipsed, O mother, O lover, O child.

4. Thou art about me & through me. Thy kisses are at once in all places. The moist folds of thy skin are open & engulfing & devouring the whole of me. Yet I am thy gate, & the shaft of thy burning & luminous love impales me & rips me & feeds me even as thy mouth, thy touch, thy womb swallows me up.

5. In the silence of thy Night, Thou art beautiful, my Silver One, dancing, O my Golden One, ablaze & forthpouring the unending river of the stars. Let me die in thy stream of the many, of the none.

6. How art Thou now my husband that art my Bride? What word must I remember? Nail me to the door of thine enemy, to the door of the marketplace, to the door of thy sepulchre, that, naked & unknowing, even I may be a sign of thy devotion to all thy lovers.

7. O Mother, extinguish my brilliance in thy devouring night. Let not my brilliance stain the sublimity of thy perfection. Let not my little light blind me so that I cannot see Thee. Thy love is the velvet sheath to my sword, & the white-hot heat that tempers it. Take me for the sword in thine own hand, with which Thou art girt, O warrior-lover.

8. O amber heart, O crystal bell that ringeth once without end, I am the wine Thou bearest in thy Mass. My will is to serve Thee alone. Am I fermented aright? Is the vintage ripe? O, that I may give pleasure to thy mouth, O Belovéd.

9. Thou art the Rose to my cross — find new life in my heart! Thou art the Moon to my Sun, and I the wine to thy cup — I pour the whole of me into Thee.

10. I am alone, in a cold, grey, desolate land. There is no other to be found, no companion to ease the going. Yet Thou art the Light I bear (even when I know it not), and the strong, single staff that supporteth me.

11. “I turned me about thrice in every way; and always I came at the last unto Thee.” For Thou art hidden in every thing I love, in all that I desire.

12. Even if I wander from Thee, Thou art there. Thy pleasure ever leads me into the depths of Thee; thy chastening hand is the caress of reclaiming me. I walk through the alleys of Hell, in the byways of my deeds, and the stifling heat is the clasp of thine embrace — yea, of thy holding me tight unto Thee.

13. Thou art the Sun at the hub of my being. Thy Word is the shaft which fills me, to which I conform myself. O, that I might be the still, silent pool that reflects Thee, the veil that reveals Thee.

14. Thou art the death of me. I am slain in my love for Thee, O devouring serpent, O immortal python, O crushing Wisdom.

15. I am uplifted in thy heart. My every instinct has become the echo of thy heartbeat. My life dances to the rhythm of thy pulse.

16. Think not to hide from me, O belovéd One, in thy grotesqueries. I see Thee behind thy mask. It is thy lovely body which I love beneath these motley veils, this midnight comedy; for there is none other than Thee to my eyes, my taste, my touch.

17. Strike! O, take me now, in an instant. Strike! with the passionate strength of thy love to overwhelm this silly thought I have of Thee, this struggling artifice. Flood the channels of my nerves with the lightning current of Thyself.

18. Take me, O husband! Draw me up unto Thee, O monarch of my soul.

19. Claim me, O wife. Let thy veils open & thy veiling mists part to admit me to thy Mystery, to the unexplored wilds of thy being.

20. Delight with me, O child. We are playmates for eternity, awakened from our chrysalis to the Truth of ourselves, twin companions in the innocent dance of ecstatic love.

21. Burn me, O flame. Thou art the breath of my Belovéd, the body heat of Her embrace, the passion of His seeding.

22. Thou art the entire universe of love, of delight, of joy. Let me be also thus to Thee, o coiled light within me, o wingéd snake which embraces me. In the Light and in the Night, let me be the vehicle of thy love — yea, let me be the vehicle of thy Love.

(from The Book of Folly)
December 10, 1996

     Thy breeze upon my face
          startles me awake, alert, alive.
     Thou hast startled me alive, O Belovéd,
          Thou hast startled me alive.

Moving, flowing, going
     never still,
Thou art Breath
     that taketh my breath away,
Movement that leaveth me still,
Creative Light
     that doth stun and blind me,
          suspended in a brief eternity
          uplifted ’pon thy might wings, and
          upheld within thy Silence.

June 10, 1996
With gratitude to Lola Wide-awake, the Key of Delights, who lives in the House of Sorrow.

Babalon! Thou inmost Fire,
     Scarlet consuming Flame-Song of my Soul,
Strong lover to thy pyre’s desire,
     Call me and claim me and control!
I pray Thee sate thine appetite,
Devour me in thy womb of Night.

I.N.R.I. — renewed by Fire,
     The Phoenix slain and born at dawn.
Each life-pulse doth thy Love inspire;
     Into thy cup my life is drawn.
I pray Thee sate thine appetite,
Devour me in thy womb of Night.

Erect, I open to Thy will,
     O Lady in whose clutch I nestle.1
Now let this Sacrament distill
     The Wine within thy sacred vessel.
I pray Thee sate thine appetite,
Devour me in thy womb of Night.

1 Or “wrestle.” It depends upon the occasion.

Undated (c. 1980)

Thou! One! All! Naught!
Infinite Mother whose Name is inscrutible!
Be Thou adored!

My Will, which is Thine, be realized,
     O Thou who art both Earth and Heaven.
Fulfill the needs of our Flesh
     That we may devote our Souls unto Thee.
Lead us each to embrace, by love under will,
     Nature’s equilibrating Justice.
Lead us to experience all Thy boundless possibilities
     And thus deliver us from restriction.

Oh Thou!
     Who art the Kingdom!
     In Whom is given all Power!
     Who hast the Secret Glory!

or, Something From Nothing

September 23, 2001

Longing women worshipped
     worshippers’ law.
Desire, rejoicing, glory,
Prophet proof
     kisses judgments
     under body-bride supreme,

March, 2005

O silent seed of flame
     We call upon thy Name.
O resurrecting fire,
     In Thee do we aspire.
Thy golden solar force
     Illuminates our course,
And in thy trumpetís blast
     We come awake at last!

Serene and strong uplifting song
     Unfettering our spirit,
In love and will, aloud and still,
     Thy goad implodes us near it —
     Renewing all who hear it!

August 4, 2006

Daughter of Venus,
Lion-like in passion’s height,
Thunders ecstatic.

Voice leads the lion,
angel space from naughty words —
hot and happy night.

Waking up I heard,
“Intimacy is freedom.”
Of course! (I'd missed it.)