After a while

rock formation
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Tall,

To the sun

And the moon they rise,

Pillars

That hold up the land

Of the stars,

In the early morning

Of time.

Where the chime

Of butterflies

Rings in the mist

Of clouds,

Where the horses of the wind climb

Archaic hills, peace settles,

Free from the shrouds

Of thought bewildered.

When the grinding wheels

Of the rattling cars,

The careening cart,

Of the manic race of beings that never stops

Have stopped, unspinned,

And fallen down

From the lofty wall,

Their memory lies

Quiet,

Dimming,

In the cheerful company

Of ghosts,

In the sooted

Shambles of empires

Cast

Under the snapping heels

Of fate.

Then

The coyotes

And the ever-knowing raven

Will run again

In gladness,

Across the red rock sand.

The wild hills, free now,

As the lilies

Of eternity

Who bow

In the wandering wind

By the bright

And undiscovered

Sea.

After the horns

Of many winters

Have fallen silent,

The husk

Of time

Discarded,

The aspiring rose will lift

Her head again

Among the rocks, resilient,

In the ice-enchanted

Spring.

The wind will sing.

Stones

Will shine, blessed in the twinkling

Emptiness

Of night.

The crow

Hops

In black

Clouds that inhabit

A sky of joy;

Coyotes laugh last

In the dance of the dusk,

And the ancient,

Earlier folk

Walk

To take back

The sacred mountain

Stolen

So long ago,

Now that the age of the unholy

Will be ended and done,

Gone

On the smoke

Of the fleeing mist.

Under a delicate crown

Of forest

Leaves, mice play

Among their catch,

The silver

Trinkets of the dead,

And talk

A while of feats of yore.

Herons glimmer,

One-footed,

On the green, tree-

Shouldered river.

Such an ill wind

That blew

Into the bones

Of the soul

Of men,

And stayed, corroding

The core

Of history,

Such a grim, unseemly game,

Like thorns

Lodged in the heart,

But when the scales fall

Away,

One by one by one,

Then

In the end there are only

The plain, rain-lit,

And the rose that flowers anew,

The innocent petals

Of nevermore,

And the farmer’s boy

Who whistles

In the strawberry patch,

By the lop-sided shack,

Where the corn stalks grow,

His blue

Hat adrift

On his head,

In the town

With no name,

Where the raven rules, with the snow-

Winged geese.

The sun holds the empty bowl,

Blessed be his ashen fires.

Agni, the one

Who returns

All

Back to the beginning.

Set the burning

Lanterns

Out and wait

In peace,

From within the rock and mist

To hear a killdeer call,

To sail away

To a far and luminous shore,

Known so well from long before,

On the flaming ships of dawn.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Winged One

shallow focus photo of swan on body of water
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Ever ancient one,

Winged One

You who sail

Beyond the chime

Of the wind,

Who enfold

The rings

Of magic beings,

You who fly

Between the lands of the stars,

Who know

The heart within all things,

Even the patterns on the tossed jars,

Of years swept out to sea

By the glinting rush of rivers,

You who climb

With the innocent

Feet

Of the flock

Of goats on the worn hill,

Who shine as the whispering of pale

Gold

Flowers,

As the fleet

Dance of the sacred waters,

Among the holy stones at daybreak,

Pure being,

Winged soul of time

And eternity,

You are ever the light within

The gathered shawl

Of the deepening sky,

Ever the wind set loose on the lapping

Indigo

Lake,

Ever the echo

Of the silver swans whose call

Sings

Still

Within the lily

Of spring

Through the open

Window

In the rock.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

A request: How to help India during Covid:

First: Go to forestvoicesofindia.com

and sign up for the newsletter – to stay in touch

and receive news.

Second: At forestvoicesofindia.com,

you can give to help. The donate button is

on the right.

Third: Please send this message to a friend

(or to all your friends).

Peace, many blessings, and thank you!

Forest Voices of India

A message to the earth…

photo of sea turtle
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels.com

Thank you for being our home. Thank you for your sacred beauty.

May your lands be blessed and released from harm. May your oceans and waters be clean and safe for all the beings who live within them. May your forests grow tall, and your wild lands be green and filled with life. May your rocks, cliffs, and sacred mountains tower in majesty.

May your life and your spirit be healed that you may be strong and well – that your children – the birds, the animals, the plants, and all peoples — may live in peace and wellbeing.

May you be freed from oppression, tyranny, and the hand of death that you may be well once more, as nature intended. May the forces of the harmful shadow dwindle, vanish, and be gone – returned to non-existence. May the phantom demons of hate leave – fallen into the abyss, never to return.

May the beauty of your sacred spirit fly in the wind on the wings of birds, run with the swift feet of the four-legged ones, and swing with the gentle, waving branches of the juniper trees.

May all your life and your sacred spirit be blessed, honored, revered, restored, and whole.

May the sun, the moon, and the stars bless you with their radiant light and their presence.

May you rise again in joy, power, and magic, in this age and in the age that is to come.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Unique opportunity to attend the virtual Asia for Animals Conference, 2021

mt fuji
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In normal years, to attend the Asia for Animals Conference – which is always lively and dynamic – you’ll need to spend several thousand dollars and around 15 hours flying across the Pacific.

This year however, due to the pandemic, you can stay in your armchair and pay $20 to be part of the virtual two-day AfA Conference – which is a good deal.

Well, it’s really a two-night conference, from the U.S., due to the time differences.

Speakers

Jane Goodall will give the keynote address.  Other speakers will be well-known animal activists from China, Nepal, India, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, and other Asian countries. The conference will be in English.

The 2021 Conference will be put on jointly by Blue Cross of India and FIAPO (the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations). Dr. Chinny Krishna, one of the founders of these two organizations will give the opening address.

Around twenty sessions and panel discussions will take up highly relevant topics.

One session will focus on building an Asian movement to end live animal markets and the wildlife trade.

A panel discussion on Spirituality and Animal Protection will include Dr. Nanditha Krishna, well-known author of many books on animals, the world of nature, and Hinduism – along with Manoj Gautam from Nepal, Wolf Gordon Clifton of the Animal People Forum, and others. The traditions of many Asian countries go back 5,000 years or longer – so there’s quite a lot to cover.

Jill Robinson, of the Animals Asia Foundation, who has led the struggle to free bears from bear bile farms, will speak about the cat and dog meat trade.

Other sessions will feature – fading out the use of animals in tourism, the role of a plant-based movement, and the role of children in animal rights advocacy. Sessions will also focus on farm animals, wild animals, and companion animals.

Asia for Animal Conferences have been held every year and a half since they began in 2001, twenty years ago, in the Philippines. Animal advocacy in Asia faces challenges – as is the case everywhere in the world. The animal movement in Asia is led by remarkable people, who set an amazing example, marked by a high level of energy, enthusiasm, courage, and perseverance.

You can view the Conference program here: https://www.asiaforanimals.com/conference-2021

Scroll down until you see the schedule. You can see the times in the left margin. “IST” is Indian time.

photo of a turtle underwater
Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

Time Differences

The time difference between U.S. Mountain time (Utah time) and IST (Indian Standard Time) is 11 and a half hours.

This means that, for U.S. attendees, the conference does not start on April 24, instead it starts this coming Friday – in the evening of April 23, at 10 pm, Utah time –  or 12 midnight EST.

To convert Indian time (IST) to Utah time, subtract 11 and a half hours.

If you’re not much of a night owl, you may still want just to stay up for one or two events – or if you’re a morning songbird, you may want to wake up for two or three early morning events, starting at around 5 am. Or, you may be completely captivated and want to watch the entire conference – for all of both nights.

In any case, whatever you can watch, it will be fascinating. It will give you an insight into the dynamic work of Asian animal advocates, who stand up for the animals in Asia – and it will be a lot easier than flying across the Pacific for 15 hours!

How to sign up

Go to this link  https://afa2021.eventuresindia.com/register

But first do this: Before registering, you are advised to call your credit card company and notify them that you are about to make a foreign purchase. These days, credit card companies may block your card for making an “unusual” (i.e. foreign) purchase. If you call them in advance, there will be no problem.

Registration for the two-day conference is $20.

Relevance to wild lands

All efforts to save the earth’s animals (both wild and domestic animals – and ourselves too) depend on the continued existence of wild habitat, which means wild lands – which means renewing the earth. We all live on the same earth – one earth.

******

We look forward to seeing you at the AfA Conference this Friday evening!

Blue Nile

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

The long-lapping waves of the blue Nile

Light

The far

Land where Anubis once stood

In the doorway open

To the skies

Beyond,

To the bright

Belt of Orion,

While

The rays of Ra were shining

Down from within the sacred wood.

Soon, the feet of blue jackals

Walk the way where flames and flowers sing,

And the kind, knowing eye

Of the cobra

Lies

Awake

Now on her nest of petals,

Wisdom snake,

The horses of the wind run by

On the river with fair flags flying,

While the desert lion

Gathers her strength,

Until she springs

From the song-shadow.

The tree, the deer, and the birch wand

Of bark

Sent within the patterns of the snow-

Gods are held up high

By

The Annunaki, by Shiva, by

The distant Celt,

And yet, always,

Dakshinamurthy will remain and be there walking,

To wend his way

Along

The length

Of the star-intended lane

Watching still,

Through the forest of mist

From the farthest

Hill,

Friend, in the night of ancient owls and petals fallen in the dark.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

A request: How to help India during Covid:

First: Go to forestvoicesofindia.com

and sign up for the newsletter – to stay in touch

and receive news.

Second: At forestvoicesofindia.com,

you can give to help. The donate button is

on the right.

Third: Please send this message to a friend

(or to all your friends).

Peace, many blessings, and thank you!

Forest Voices of India

Swan of climbing wings

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Swan of climbing wings,

Below

Slips by

The hour of the rhyme of time unraveling.

Raindrops.

Where now will the footsteps of the ancient ones tread?

On the moon – the dark side?

On the mountain height?

The unbecoming,

Unarranging,

Unimagining.

Aloft, Hamsa – you who ride

On the mist, undeterred

Through the red

Pillars of the sunset

Through the cliffs of darkened flight,

Do you see –

Or have you heard

Such a string of mis-imaginings?

And yet

The old one saw the donkeys

On the winding streets of Egypt

Among the catacombs and the crypt.

For a long time,

She rescued them.

Fly now to join the birds in the clouds,

Only the clouds,

Gray over the medieval rooftops

Of the crags above the lost towns.

Crowds

In dusted cities,

The mind gone

Astray,

In disarray,

Betrays

The darkness

And the quiet,

Until only the mighty wings of the sparrow

Understand

The patterns of the falling snow

And go on to a newer, older land,

Found by grace.

Become then the white-crowned sparrow,

Only the sparrow who flies

Toward the face

Of the dawn,

Only the gull who rises, who cries

In gladness,

Over the wintry bay,

Free,

Beyond the misted, ethereal rooftops

Crowned in pointed hats of snow.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Within the snow

Within the snow,

Eternity.

Within the tree-topped circles,

Flocks

Of red-winged blackbirds

Singing silver reeds of song.

Beyond the words,

The clear

Bright

Voice of the moon speaks,

The voice of all that is and might

Have been.

Above the long

Waves of the ever-turning, white-pounding sea,

Seagulls

Seek

Peace.

Rains

Run by the crease

In the page

Of the dusted year.

Beyond the clouds of storms, of bursting rifts of light,

The bitter winds of jagged rocks.

Beyond the thought forms, tumbled, broken,

Remains

The peace of the One

Who is only

There in the deepest mist

Of the great forest

Beyond the many worlds that come and go,

Within the heart of basalt rocks,

Within the soul

Of the jaguar and the tadpole,

The lily and the dandelion,

Within the black night

Of wonder

And the snow

Falling on the juniper

Branches and the flowering gold sage

Of eternity.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Swan of climbing wings

Swan of climbing wings,

Below

Slips by

The hour of the rhyme of time unraveling.

Raindrops.

Where now will

The footsteps of the ancient ones tread?

On the moon – the dark side?

On the mountain height?

Aloft, Hamsa – you who ride

On the mist, undeterred,

Through the red

Pillars of the sunset

Through the cliffs of darkened flight,

Do you see,

Or have you heard

Such a string of mis-imaginings?

And yet

The old one saw the donkeys

On the winding streets of Egypt

Among the catacombs and the crypt.

For a long time,

She rescued them.

Fly now to join the birds in the clouds,

Only the clouds,

Gray,

Over the medieval rooftops

Of the crags above the lost towns.

Crowds in dusted cities,

The mind gone

Astray,

In disarray,

Betrays

The darkness

And the quiet,

Until

Only the mighty wings of the sparrow

Understand

The patterns of the falling snow

And go on to a newer, older land,

Found by grace.

Become then the white crowned sparrow,

Only the sparrow

Who flies

Toward the face of the dawn,

Only the gull who rises, who cries

In gladness

Over the wintry bay,

Free,

Beyond the misted, ethereal rooftops

Crowned

In pointed hats of snow.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas!

green mountain with waterfalls on misty day
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a happy and stress-free day! May we take a moment to be grateful and count the blessings in our lives! May we remember to be kind and to focus our thoughts on light and blessings for the earth and for all her creatures. May all the animals be blessed with peace and well-being, as well as all the plants, the trees, and all the features of the earth – the rivers, the oceans, the forests, the deserts, the rocks, the mountains, and the clouds in the sky. All are expressions of the life of the universe — not inanimate objects, but expressions of cosmic awareness and transcendent beauty, which we too are a part of.

Peace and many blessings,
Sharon