Before the moon will write

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Gone

Now, the cloud-wandering

Of the winter night,

Before the moon

Will write

Her comments

Across the pale

Rock

Invoking

Those untraveled moments

Yet to be, when soon

The silver, ambling feet

Of quail

Will flock

To greet

The sky-winged

Innocence of dawn.

Written around 1990

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Before and Again

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Do you hear

The standing stone that sings

Again, as it did in the shining days

Before time eclipsed the starstrands

Of eternity?

Closed now the crypts of concrete flowers

Papered

With the dead photos

Of gray kings

Winding up their own

Long, white-wintered

Year.

But out through the windows

Past the gates

Lie far, fair lands

Of bright bells

Which ring,

Triumphant always

As the sunlight and the shadows

Fall

Along the hawthorne tree

There the mist encircles the hills

Where the great-pawed panther dwells

And gaily plays

Gathering spells

Amid the wildrose bowers,

While red-winged blackbirds call

Forth anew those long-lost

Powers,

The angels of ancient hours

And goldfinches fly, exultant, like petals tossed

And blown

On waves of rain showers,

And, out there

The king of apple blossoms waits

For the day of spring

Holding moonbeams in his hands.

Written around 1988

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Stars and rivers

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You are,

And you become still,

The white star

Cast in the slivers

Of the ashwood tree

And the Black Madonna

Who swings on the gold swing

Of your rose-ringed car,

Carried through cities old

As the emerald wings of time,

Unbent.

Where are you in the wandering

Whisper of the canted

Tide

Along the rock-cut

Ghost-shelled

Shore,

When only

gulls can hear the ringing

Echo

Of the soft-belled

Singing

And the murmur

Of the many-lilied morning,

Of the waves that tiptoe

Back into the sea?

Forest voices, green-mossed, among the damp sod,

There you unfold

The unsuspected peace

Of the day

Of clouds,

Of gray

And wind-boned shrouds,

Of rain, from where bands

Of brave geese,

Hurtling,

Climb

Above the northmost hill

The blue Himalaya.

In the winds, you stir

Beside

The ever-present,

Southern rocks of Arunachala,

The mountain that is God.

The quick-footed magic,

The dragon-bright beauty

Of the cosmic

Dance of Nataraja,

And the truth of all that ever is or could be,

All are held

Then and now, and evermore

In the starsent,

Moon-enchanted

Rivers

Of your hands.

©  Sharon St Joan May 18, 2013

Hanuman, you are there

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Hanuman,

Eyes of the green-rolling ocean waves,

Eyes of the beauty of peace, blue

Essence of being,

Your world is true.

Then, we knew you before,

And remember you from when this earth began.

You ride on the wind,

Through the star-

Bending branches of destiny.

Your heart braves

The upheavals of all that should not be.

You – the soul of all being.

You are the iron-gray rocks of eternity,

You sing in the sky;

You shine, effervescent, In the sun.

You walk in the moon-winged, far-raining

Night of gossamer petals.

You fly,

On bright sandals,

Hanuman, son of the wind,

Soul of eternity,

Near the hawk, sharp-shinned,

Hovering to scan

The long, winding shore.

Where

Would you go, Hanuman?

There, in the great-souled trees of all-being,

Among the startling leaves – green in the spring.

Always, you are there.

Never far,

Always there,

Hanuman,

Son of the wind.

Always there.

In the sharp wind that runs by the circling sea.

© Sharon St Joan, June 2021

Hanuman, son the wind

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Hanuman,

Son of the wind,

Forest-eyed,

Sent to free

Entangled innocence from rusted snares,

From the bitter clawhold of Ravana,

To guide the gold-winged butterfly,

The shy, dawn-eyed doe,

The nagalinga tree

Of skylit flower,

The brave host of bears

On the oak-hallowed hill,

The bright-songed messengers, in flight,

The belled, meandering cow,

The redwoods of ancient girth,

The moon-

Finned

Minnows

Of silver gill,

Out from the chasms of desolation

Of a world gone awry

Back to the far, far

Reaches of the beginning – before ever time arose

Back to the shining lake of the mountain height

Hidden unseen in the green land of the star

Where mists of joy run

Like horses on the white river, wide,

Where the spring cactus unfolds gold and red.

A day to bring the innocent out, away

In the boat of the canted bow

That fled

Across the storm-bent sea

In the gale-churned hour.

Do you remember your flaming brand

And the fire that went up to swallow

The iron-souled city of Lanka?

Hanuman,

Savior of the innocent, hero-son

Of earth and star,

There  –  hear the call of the raven chime

From the canyon of ill-kept time.

Soon

Hanuman,

Son of the wind,

Breath of the earth.

© Sharon St Joan

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Winged One

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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

The feet of Shiva, dancing

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In the far

Times

Of the winds forsaken,

Remains the now.

Nothing.  No one.

No time.

No space.

The ship’s bow

Cuts through the open water, choppy.

No crime

Of destiny.

No mistake.

Only

That golden-footed deer

Who leaps from the star

In the heavens

Into a bright meadow

Of sunset

Lilies,

In those more

Sacred gardens

By the crashing sea.

In leaving behind

The tapestries

Of maya,

The flames of un-becoming,

The fear

That lies

Like thin ice, narrow

On the fragile lake,

One may find

The Presence,

The paintings of Kailasanathar

Effaced by centuries – long slipped away,

Yet

More

Vibrant still than ever before

When their black orchid eyes

Gleam in the night of the soul,

In resonance,

Beyond all paths of being,

Beyond the impending end.

The sky-bright day

Of Brahma

Closes now.

The birds of light have fled,

Yet

Nonetheless

The worlds awaken

In gladness,

To rise

Anew

Once more.

That which cannot be

Will be.

The cloth spun

With no thread

Becomes the diaphanous gown of myriads of stars,

The one

Pausing in the mist

Becomes the tumbling Ganges

Falling on the forest

Floor.

The bells toll.

The undoing becomes the being

And the white-crowned sparrow

Hops from world to world, leaf-green

By the bough

Of the plum tree

Along the cliffs askew

In the deep river gorge below,

While far away,

There,

At Chidambaram, where

No one, it seems, is watching,

Only the enhancing magic screen,

All begins,

The beginning, the ending, and the beginning again,

Ever near

By the clear

Moon-winged grace

Of the feet of Shiva

Dancing.

© 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

Blue Nile

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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

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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