The gift of forest Gods

green trees
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Mist-ringed towers drifting

And the snow petal

Remember the forest Gods

From long before

Who ruled all lands then.

It was exactly

Very, very long ago

When

The rains buffeted

The clouds in the sky

And much has happened since –

Betrayal,

Forgetting,

Diminishing,

Lessening.

The bitter knife of the wind prods

The memory;

Only the great-horned owl recalls,

And his friends.

Those Gods have gone to far worlds – away

And often hid,

To universes little known –

And yet they are not far,

Still here, alone,

While winds obey,

Because there are no moments now,

No distance,

No separation,

No illusion,

Only the reality,

Only the howl, laughing,

Of the coyote

Whose fur shines white in the moonlight,

Whose awareness is keen,

Like the eyes of the star.

Perceptions of snow –

Past worlds, wooded, green

The one true past is here now –

In the pinecone

That whistles in the January

Wind and in the juncos and white-crowned sparrows,

Who hop within the whiffs

Of the snow flurry,

In the winds of gold that fly

From the setting sun that falls

Behind the cliffs.

Gone now, the noble cow,

Wandering home in the mists,

Eternal mists of snow,

Of times that were and are

And are again to be

When the Gods guard the way,

To protect the sacred, snow-enchanted day

In the deep forests,

Now and yet again and evermore.

***

By Sharon St Joan

© Copyright, Sharon St Joan, 2022

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