You who flame fire into the dark afternoon,
Who shelter the white-crowned sparrow
Under your wandering wing,
You see how all is gray, in the darkening day,
In the echoing mist –
All wreathed in gray,
Where trees think deeply in the tall
Black-hooded ravens cast rain-running spells.
Gray cliffs tower against the horizon.
Trees far older than the father of the winds and the snow
From world to ebbing world, eon to eon;
Under the pall
Of the sky, beyond the silver hill,
Down to the core
Of the earth below.
Each star her sacred place?
Rainmother – you stir
The simmering pot
Of beginnings and endings,
You rest on the shimmering serpent
Who floats coiled on the pearl-gray sea,
That rises and falls through the many
Bleak winters of nevermore.
Mother of all,
The radiant, bright
Friend to the mystery of becoming,
There appear the enchanted geese
Who seek solace
From the harsh sea-winds and the coming night.
They hear the bells
Begin to ring
Far out on the gathering waves, singing
“Know now that there is no lasting woe,
But only the glad grace,
Only the lone,
From the rock-ringed shore
Of worlds that were
Broken loose once more,
The cold-clogged, ice-bound floes
Of Vritra –
That pale sliver of ill-intent –
There then arise the flowering days
Of flocks of golden meadowlarks;
Beneath the cliffs, the opal-eyed, frog-ruled,
Waters of worlds that are meant
Again to shine;
Fear not – abhaya mudra
Your voice, your name – a flame still and always
In the numinous dark.
© Sharon St Joan, 2019