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

Beyond the gray doorway

snow covered mountain
Photo by Trace Hudson on Pexels.com

Beyond the gray doorway

The snow waits and listens,

While wolves tilt their ears,

Waiting too,

Till voices sing,

Voices of the angels,

Who, some say,

Do not exist,

But who – nonetheless –

Are more real than we, than me;

For they are Your beings,

Dragons of kindness,

Fierce winds of power,

That hold back the tumult of chaos

Til storms still and furies cease,

Til destiny shelves

The stealing shadow

Into the fading abyss

Of nevermore,

Thereby dispelling fear,

Then, while a silent, silver snow

Alights

And slips among the junipers,

Footsteps unseen

Lead the way

Along the jagged cliff face,

That winds on and on to the valley

Of peace,

To a far country,

To Your ever-sacred path,

To Your forest

Of the peepal tree,

Where the magic fawn

Awakens,

Child of enchanted herds,

There

Rise the flowering birds,

Beyond, in flight,

That call

In the dawn,

In the trailing mist

Of lace,

On wings of blue

And green,

With Your voice of light,

Beyond the star-ringed tower,

Clear,

Ascending,

While not so far away,

The waves fall

Against all

The rain-rift standing rocks of the immortal sea.

Written December 17, 2020

© Sharon St Joan, 2020

The bells of Shiva

rainforest during foggy day
Photo by David Riaño Cortés on Pexels.com

Beside the stones,

The rain

Intones 

The song of the evening star;

There lies the derailed car

Of arrogance

Fallen, still

In the hour of reckoning.

Mother of the Rising Light

Not far away,

As they were wont to say,

But near,

As the breath of moonbeams. On the horizon

Of unmarked time, the stray

And wayward galaxy,

By a kind fate,

Has escaped the dreary, dismal chain

Of bondage,

That lurks at the sharp edge

Of being.

Every light,

Every shining.

Here the beginning

And the ending

And the beginning anew;

Here the enduring flame,

The bells of Shiva

That ring long

In the never-ending 

Standing

In cool water where

The summer crane

Slowly goes,

At ease

Among the lilies,

And, on high, the hawk will view 

The Himalayan snows.

Abaya mudra,

Fear not.

Though the wraith

Of this current world feeds only

On lies,

Deception,

And distain,

Across the unwise

Plot

Of terror,

With no faith

And, seeking stolen redemption,

Finds bitter loss.

But look to the spring sleet

Shimmering on the raven’s wing.

See the unseeable, cloaked in mist;

Now how to remember to walk through

The fires 

Of truth and through

The spires

Of nevermore

On feet

Impelled by grace.

Atman

By the fence post of wood

By the boundary

By the old, unpainted gate,

Stood

Waiting.

No time, no space.

You know they covered over

Gobekli Tepe

To prevent a desecration

Of the Holy Light

That never dims,

That is known by no name.

Grace

Of the One,

The Green Heart of the forest, deepening,

The One who spoke earlier,

In the still air,

Or,

In clouds rent

By winds that toss

The tree limbs

Of the dawn that awoke — though not yet.

The silver-sailing moon knows

The primeval bones

That hid

An intent,

Unbidden, but not unwise,

Bones that slumber

In the rustling sighs under the leaves on the floor

Of the grove,

Buried, but not forgotten,

Silent,

Sacred.

And now – after a time, with the passing

Of the sunset

Beyond the darkened road,

Scarred and malevolent,

All is changed, rising,

When the geese 

Fly 

Anew,

Bright-

Winged, here

By the bent

Hill 

Of the green-toed

Mountain of peace,

Sent,

Just there

In the sparkle 

Of the dew

To awaken.

Listen

Hear only the bells of Shiva

In the silence

Beyond the dissonance

Of this world, only the bells of Shiva

Ringing in the ever-drifting rain,

Singing.

Written in the spring of 2020.

© Sharon St Joan, 2020

The raven’s walk

On a half-lit day

Rain-rent

And clouded

The raven sipped the gray

And bitter brew

Of the sacred yew

And walked alone –

Where

No one could tell –

In a country no one knows

His footfall

Made no sound

On the hollowed ground

In mist

Enshrouded

There he went

Until the sun

Tossed her gold net

Of flowers

Around

The crystal goblet

In the cathedral

Of enchanted hours

By the tall forest

And tolled the bell

Of rainbows.

Written around 2003

© Sharon St Joan, 2020

Photo 4888 © Denise Mcquillen | Dreamstime.com

In the forest of tigers

tiger walking on green plants during daytime
Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

In the forest 

Of tigers

Moonlight tumbles across

The enchanted lake.

Death and life pinned

In the tiger’s paws

In her jaws,

In her wide, clawed feet.

The silent

Shadow that can never be understood

Stirred 

In the tree

In the murmuring wood.

Ancient beings walk free

In their domain

Awake

In the pounding rain

Until the sun returns, majestic one,

In the living flowers 

Of the earth,

Or in the thick mist

Clasped by the mountain

In the wind of time.

Yet, 

Even the dissonant 

Dust

Of gray, pedestrian powers

Seeps into the furrow 

Of being

Deluding perception, inflicting loss,

Eclipsing 

Reality 

With soul-bending lies that deny

The great ones,

That bring about death and distrust.

Yet,

In the end,

May the dust be as it is meant to be,

Footfalls of the tiger go 

Undeterred

In the bells of sunset

Until truth turns and the moon rises in another far-off clime

In a brighter, radiant night

In the light

Of Shiva’s trident

In the sky.

By Sharon St Joan

© Sharon St Joan, 2020

Kamakshi’s Light

landscape photography of waterfalls surrounded by green leafed plants
Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com

In a meandering land of mystic moons,

At the waystation 

Between the worlds — unremembered, translucent,

Walking, not yet understanding,

Beyond the shifting sand dunes.

At the crossroads by the river

Of fish glimmering, shimmering,

In a sliver 

Of moonlight

Waits a boat of mist,

In a time that is no 

Time,

In a place that is no place,

We walk before the dawn

In a land of gentle grace,

In a land of stars and mist,

As we climb a tilted rise,

There ahead a mountain looms alone,

Home of fir trees, of summer’s moss,

And winter’s cold,

Of crystal stone,

Eclipsed in silver wings of snow

Of thrice-weathered rocks,

Of beings old

Older than the earth – from long before,

Of grandfathers that go along on a bent cane,

In the time that never was – sure-footed, wise,

Beyond a fog-inducing year 

Of history 

Come unpinned,

In a land that will wait,

Just past the wooden post of the gate,

There, where an angel’s footstep shone 

On the dark 

Valley floor – benevolent,

And be waiting, for the dawn that breaks, 

Transcendent,

For the golden eagles to lift into the clear sun,

Once more,

Into the deep blue,

To fly,

To cry,

To lift their sky-

Engulfing intent

In awakening days

Of lakes

And the white, waving wildflowers,

The rose-enchanted nettles,

That sing songs of ancient powers

In the cool wind

Anew,

Where Kamakshi,

The black, opalescent one, ringed in every mystery,

She who is mother of the forest,

Of springing deer

And sparkling fawn,

Of flocks of horned lark,

Of the long-billed curlew

Who tiptoes across 

The water’s edge then turns to glance

Again at the light-calling pinion jays,

While Kamakshi gathers up her winged petals

Of joy – anew,

Now to dance 

In the bright-

Singing rain.

By Sharon St Joan

© Sharon St Joan, 2020

 

The white moths of time

full-moon-over-trees-in-winter: publicdomainpictures.net

 

The white moths

Of time listen

To the silken threads of the moon glisten.

Indeed,

Perhaps it is time, not the world

That needs

To end?

For the world of men

Has dimmed,

Grown cold, like Mars,

And is no more.

Only the sting

Lingers,

The bite of ignorance past.

In the mists of Scotland,

There is hidden magic.

Where did Agni go when he went?

He fled away across the hills

Where no one could find him,

And left the land bereft of warmth.

But he did not truly

Go,

And the moonlight,

Amethyst,

Falls on the whole lake, dreamed in snow.

No one has gone,

Only the gray wraith

Of doom

Who cursed the morning

From the chill tomb.

No one is lost

On the sharp footfall

Of the descent,

Because the eagle watches

Through the ice-clawed

Storm.

The rain still

Slips

Down the rock-ringed hill.

The eyes of the deer recall

The face of sunshine, and the breath

Of the seas that sing

On the shore

Where the fingers of dawn

Awaken the sky.

The flowers of the sun

Beckon

The dragon,

Silver-pawed;

Black cows stand

In the peace of the meadow.

The calf trips

Through the tall grass.

Trees grow their leaves.

The shy

Calico cat leaps into the valley of tulips.

The frog calls the rain.

The white

Horse is the moon who wanders.

The raven is the night,

Daughter of Shani,

Born of the cosmic

Egg, the feathers of the yew,

The elbows of the eon.

Who guessed

That owls live in the stones too,

And Europe’s

Neanderthal;

The rags of clouds, of cloth

Unfurled,

Fly to where, who can tell?

In the river sails the incarnate trout

Of golden gill.

By what temple did you used to rest,

Your wooden bowl in hand?

Who lit the lamps for you

When the moon went out

And time fell?

Would the rain come again?

Broken branches

On the Great War’s trenches,

The snow was too heavy.

The dancing of branches,

The singing of stars,

Time to go north,

Fleet deer of spring,

Gone with the white-crowned sparrow.

In whose soul does the lily dwell?

Is the deer the eternal grace of the forest?

 

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2019

 

Photo: publicdomainpictures.net

 

 

 

Rainmother

 

 

Rainmother photos1160-1239959315PjNp -publicdomainpictures.net

 

 

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

 

Forest;

 

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

 

Stand still

 

From world to ebbing world, eon to eon;

 

Long-needled pine

 

Trees grow

 

Under the pall

 

Of the sky, beyond the silver hill,

 

Down to the core

 

Of the earth below.

 

Who tells

 

Each star her sacred place?

 

Rainmother – you stir

 

The simmering pot

 

Of beginnings and endings,

 

Eternal soul,

 

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,

 

You bring

 

The radiant, bright

 

Bowl

 

Of peace.

 

Rainmother,

 

Friend to the mystery of becoming,

 

There appear the enchanted geese

 

Who seek solace

 

From the harsh sea-winds and the coming night.

 

Soon,

 

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,

 

Given,”

 

Only the lone,

 

Clear call

 

From the rock-ringed shore

 

Of worlds that were

 

Before.

 

Shot

 

Downriver,

 

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,

 

Rain-pooled,

 

Rushing

 

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

 

Photo: publicdomainpictures.net

 

 

 

 

Poem: Cliffs of snow

raven-silhouette-and-storm-clouds public domain pictures.net

 

 

In the beginning

 

And the ending

 

And the beginning

 

Stand unbroken

 

The chimes of the mists

 

Of evermore, where the raven,

 

Black king of prophecy,

 

Of shining forests,

 

Greets

 

The rain and the sun,

 

And awaits

 

His mate

 

On the juniper heights,

 

Hearing the humming croak

 

Of the frog in the creek

 

And all the crowds

 

Of tadpoles

 

That awoke

 

In the sands,

 

In the sparkling rains.

 

Later,

 

The wise

 

Long-eared owl

 

Walks in the snow,

 

In the midnight of winter,

 

Silent,

 

As she has always done,

 

Remembering the bubbling lakes of spring

 

Where crystal flowers flame

 

In the sunrise,

 

Where Ganesha’s smile

 

Illuminates

 

The fateful dark; where the coyote’s howl

 

Sings a lullaby, a gentle

 

Enchantment, laughing, sly.

 

Where the broken bridge

 

Of time bends along

 

The rushing waters of the gorge, transient,

 

Leaving.

 

Yet the presence of eternity remains

 

In the eyes – at once meek

 

And brave – of the young cottontail.

 

On a silver-winged hill,

 

Under a bright cowl of numinous clouds,

 

The ravens

 

Call

 

Still

 

In the trail

 

Of the rains

 

0f a distant day.

 

Until

 

The gold feet

 

Of the setting sun

 

Run

 

Over long roads through the juniper trees –

 

Through the scattered scrub oak.

 

White cliffs, gateways to eternity,

 

You who bear the scars

 

Of rain and winds and storms, who

 

Give earth blessings,

 

Who speak silently through

 

Ancient seas long gone – where you were born,

 

Through awareness beyond our own,

 

You talk with the stars

 

From a far ancient country, long worn

 

Away,

 

And yet to be again;

 

When

 

You recall the song

 

Of the mountain bluebird

 

Who had no name

 

The song no longer heard,

 

Sung long ago,

 

In mystic nights

 

That left no trace.

 

Now, after a while,

 

Tall,

 

On a high ridge

 

The pine tree

 

Stands,

 

Unafraid, in the ice and snow

 

Singing still,

 

Under the haunting moon of grace,

 

A moon of many petals,

 

Beyond the tides that rise and fall,

 

On the plateau above, he stands

 

And writes with fire in the sky

 

On a clear and wind-swept day.

 

 

©Sharon St Joan, 2019

 

 

Photo Credit:

https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=261251&picture=raven-silhouette-and-storm-clouds