I see him tread a craggy path
Over dark hills, outlined against the sky,
In a flapping cloak, and his sardonic eye
Gleams with a joyous wrath

And he lifts his arms and behold
A flight of birds all gold
In the sunset carrying dreams,
Strange dreams from out of Africa and Spain,

Then in a harsh voice he spells the sun
And leaps and dances on its crimson touch
Casting distorted shadows on the moon
New risen.

I see him flinging out his cloak,
That swells and swirls like thick smoke,
That rushes outwards and expands
To engulf the houses in all lands.

Now, naked on the highest peak,
He pauses with both hands above his head,
He laughs and flings them outward with all his might
And above a million stars upon the night.



The night, a huge black panther flecked with stars,
Uneasily allows the warm west wind’s caress.
The moon, disastrous golden banner, slightly smiles.

Off-stage, an orchestra complains of Love.
Center, a sad-faced page in clown costume
Danses slow, stately circles.
A werewolf, left, sings raucously,
A horrible small song.
While right, a vampire, fondling a skull,
Is also smiling.

Alto saxophone in the orchestra (sings),
“My love, my love, my love.”
Werewolf (sings)
“Oh moon, oblique and smiling sinister,
Oh, bloody promise in the sky,
Oh, beautiful dancer mine,
Betrothed, beloved –“
(He howls)

(Saxophone) “My love, my love, my love – “
(Werewolf) “Rot flesh and go down Kingdom
To a sunken, jellied sea
Where black stars and wicked women
Reel in infamy.”

The vampire, smiling still, regards the skull,
Which vocalizes in a rich, deep baritone.
(Skull) “Believe me if all those endearing young charms, etc.”
The ape continues dancing
(Werewolf) “O, night of stars that coruscate like semen spated in the womb of night –
O serpent women smiling sinister –
O, lovely dancer at the feast to be –“
(Saxophone) “my love, my love, my love”.

The Garden

The Garden

There is a garden where Death has gone to sleep…
Dark Death like a pale tired boy nods dreamily,
For he is enamored of her and doth keep
Her luminous blossoms forever from decay.

There in the dusky day, in the dim air
Dreams, like the disturbing notes from a secret song
Shimmer and float between beauty and despair
In an ecstasy no hear endured for long.
And to this golden garden all lovers come.
Young lovers, happening on eternity
Where dark Death sleeps and dreams, there venturing some
Are briefly raised beyond desire or pity.

Raised to a pitch of beauty unendured
By faint mortality, where sobbing shakes the
Garden’s subtle silence, that immured
Sleep, from which inhuman labyrinth
Death awakes.




The summer thunder chatters in the west
As though
The ghost of Caesar’s iron legions go
Behind the hills.

The ancient oaks are shadowy and still,
The mistletoe
Subservient in the argent of the glow
Of moonlight, waits the golden sickle’s will.

The woods await the thaumaturgic tune
That called the old gods beneath a younger moon,
And will await until the gods come back.
I know
They will return, who, going, left the slow
Still circle broken and the altar black.



Subtle and amorous
Lamia sings her love song on the evening
As is heard the alien, dubious song of the night bird
Or the purr of the lioness
In the dim, lambent dark
Or the soft disastrous word
Of murder
Following the extinguished spark
Into nothingness.

All while the subject of her languorous caress
Dreams darkly dreams
As voyaging Deathward, the transfigured Swan
Sings splendorous, sad things
Drifts deeply down and meets, with folded wings
The jeweled night
Or as the noon bright, desert sun dreams down
Into the smiling, upturned remanent of a face.

A Knife is beautiful, a jaguar
In motion is the embodiment of grace
And slowly in the quiet house in evening
I dream afar,
Seeking forbidden things on a black star
While, throatily Lamia sings
Her strange caress.

As strums the stirring croatali
As the leopardess doth sing,
As does the vulture, strident cry,
So does Lamia strum and sing and cry
As wanton as the setting of a star
In an ensanguined sea.

Dear dreadful dark,
Lean over me and press
The curtain of your awesome tenderness
Against my mind,
Mother of stars, the secret of your vast maternity
In the infinity
Of the deep scented terror of the night
As echoes long
Lamia’s doubtful song.


Witch Woman

Witch Woman

I hear your voice low in the dusk
Like the notes of the harp player
That carve the still air
Into a sensuous and subtle imagery of sound

And my senses are drowned
By the scent of oleander and the musk
Of the datura dimly shining in the dark,
While your voice troubles the still air,

And I recall
An ancient garden and a secret call
And your slant eyes and your red hair
Engender dreams of days beyond despair

And under your sorcery I fare forth
To fabulous lands and meadows green with Spring
And caught on the gossamer web of evening
I behold incredible things no poet ever told.


Songs for the Witch Woman and other Poetry

The following poems are from “Songs for the Witch Woman”, a collection of poems Parsons wrote to his wife Marjorie Cameron from 1949-1952, and Cameron continued to illustrate after his death. The collection was published in 1975, and again in 2014.

Included in the Archive’s collection of Parsons’ poems are two others, I Height Don Quixote, I Live on Peyote, published in the Agape Lodge’s publication “The Oriflamme” Vol 1, Iss 1, Feb 21, 1943; and the unpublished poem The Horned Moon.

Get it here on Amazon

Songs for the Witch Woman:

Witch Woman


The Fool



The Garden



Under the Hill








Farewell, Unknown

Passion Flowers

King David





Night Song

The Witch House



Other Poems:

I Height Don Quixote, I Live on Peyote

Horned Moon