A long story

body of water and green field under blue sky photo
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So, as they used to say,

The sons of the Early One

Made the sea and the sky –

Why

No one knew,

And, with the hint of a smile,

By the night’s melody,

They made even all the winds that ran, playing,

Along the shore.

But after a long while,

Things needed a shuffle – a toss or a turn,

So, they brought about a long churn

Of the sea – and the rain

Fell, then all curled up

Like the crinkles of a leaf in the fall,

And the Wakeful One closed both His eyes

And slept and will waken again one day

To a whippoorwill’s call,

Or the pinyon jays’ cries,

But the most ancient Holy One, beyond the beginning,

Is always, in the sleeping and the awakening,

Within and beyond the day and the night

Of Evermore.

After a while though, when no one was looking

The dragon of yore

Crept

Up onto the earth and arose again,

He who believed in nothing at all,

And stalked the whole land –

Shredding

And tearing,

Causing hurt and howling too

With a horrible hiss,

Over the smoking sea,

Scattering the sand,

Until he tumbled into the dark Abyss,

And fell down, down

And then soon

After, there was peace

For the startled curlew,

So, all the big ones and the little ones and the long sea, rolling

All closed their eyes and slept

In the comfort, deep blue,

Of the dark for a while,

Till stars sailed adrift in the ever-wandering skies,

Over the lake of the softly singing, glad-winged geese,

In their feathered gown,

While the gold cup

Of the moon

Went sailing on in her cloud-ringed light

Along the bright rim of the brave sky.

**

By Sharon St Joan

© Copyright, Sharon St Joan, 2022

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

Please visit the website, https://forestvoicesofindia.com. You can sign up for the newsletter too!

Tatenen, the Exalted Earth God — Iseum Sanctuary

The god Tatenen (Ta-tenen), whose name means “risen land” or “exalted earth,” represents the Earth and was born the moment the primeval mound, benben, rose from the waters of chaos. He also symbolizes the emergence of silt from the fertile Nile after the waters of the inundation recede. Tatenen was the god of vegetation, the […]

Tatenen, the Exalted Earth God — Iseum Sanctuary

Micro-season: “The Mountain Stream Freezes Over” — Naturalist Weekly

We are at the end of the micro-season, “The Mountain Stream Freezes Over”. This micro-season is the second part of the mini season Major Cold. We celebrate this season with poetry and an investigation into the importance of the earth’s fresh water system.

Micro-season: “The Mountain Stream Freezes Over” — Naturalist Weekly

Heh and Hehet, God and Goddess of Infinity — Iseum Sanctuary

Before the world was formed, there was a watery mass of dark, directionless chaos and in this chaos lived the Ogdoad [Ennead] of Hermopolis, four frog gods and four snake goddesses of chaos. These deities were Nun and Naunet (water), Amun and Amaunet (invisibility), Heh and Hehet (infinity) and Kek and Kauket (darkness). The water […]

Heh and Hehet, God and Goddess of Infinity — Iseum Sanctuary

Wadjet, Supreme Goddess of Lower Egypt — Iseum Sanctuary

Wadjet is one of the oldest deities in the Egyptian pantheon and a greatly respected protective goddess. She was worshipped beginning in the Predynastic Period (c. 6000-3150 BCE) and by the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150-2613 BCE) was the supreme deity of Lower Egypt. Wadjet was the daughter of Re and featured in one of […]

Wadjet, Supreme Goddess of Lower Egypt — Iseum Sanctuary

Smelling Intelligence — Coyote Yipps

It’s a good time to sum up the little I know I know about smelling, having just seen this yearling, below, throw his nose up in the air and keep it there many long seconds as a dog and walker went by about 50 feet away: he was obviously gathering information through scent. The dog […]

Smelling Intelligence — Coyote Yipps

Gengen-Wer and Weret-Hekau – Creative Energy and Magic — Iseum Sanctuary

A very ancient creation myth tells of the primordial creator deity, Gengen-Wer, who took the form of a Nile goose to lay a golden cosmic egg from which hatched the sun, divinely personified as the sun god Re. The god’s name originates from “honker” (gengen) and “great” (wer), so he is Gengen-Wer or also called […]

Gengen-Wer and Weret-Hekau – Creative Energy and Magic — Iseum Sanctuary

Do you see the wind?

eagle in flight
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The sage brush nods her head

In deference to the sun —

Quite —

Juniper branches wave,

Exultant.

Tiny, brave

Plants rustle in delight.

Did the flock

Of goats startle at the ringing

Of the bells of dawn?

The bald eagle,

With downbent beak,

The first of the season

To return,

Sails — her white head held

High,

Sky queen,

Jubilant,

The stars all gone.

Ravens call

Sparkling black in the air

At the spare

Skeleton

Of an eon past – or maybe yet to be.

An urn

Cools in the quick-running stream.

While, off the coast below,

The gill

Of the fish, finned,

Shines in the magic of the rolling sea

Waves fall

And gleam,

Snow-

Tipped in the path of the fierce wind dragon

While Meenakshi looks on

From the shore,

Sea-shelled.

Fish-eyed Meenakshi

Who danced long ago in the sea

With blue dolphins —

She came ashore

Then from the wandering sea

By the coconut palms, in the wind-deep roar,

Whose fronds bend and bow.

No.

No one sees the wind now.

No one has ever seen

The wind,

Yet the wind is there,

All around, everywhere

The living spirit who enlivens

The earth, who brings a confidant

Day; Vayu – God of the wind,

Just as the Holy One,

Who is never seen at all

Anywhere,

Nor ever heard to speak,

Except in the echoing thunder,

Yet, with nothing said,

Gives

Breath to all that lives,

Including the tall

Red

Rock –

Ancient pillars standing,

Mountains,

The strong frame of the earth, awake

By the lake

Of wonder,

Of bumblebees and lilies,

Under the moon

And the sun,

And the eagle’s wing,

In the wind,

In the wind

That runs soon

Through the open door

In the rain-blown rock.

***

By Sharon St Joan, November 2021

© Copyright, Sharon St Joan, 2021

If you like this poem, you might also like this website, Forest Voices of India https://forestvoicesofindia.com

The book Mystic Universe by Ashish Dalela

rocky cliff above rippling water
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In his very fascinating (though just a bit incomprehensible) book, Mystic Universe, Ashish Dalela outlines many very intriguing concepts. I actually really love books that are incomprehensible, so that’s not meant as a criticism – and the reason the book is quite challenging to understand is very simply that a lot of it is written from the perspective of ancient Vedic knowledge, which really isn’t easy to convey in modern, western terms we might be used to.

Sometimes understanding requires that we hop into a different time and space – a different world — and that’s not always easy to do. A world that may be truer, but that we are not familiar with.

One thought that I found quite profound is his idea about the globe and what is shown on it.  When we look at a globe of the world and turn it round and round, we see continents and countries, like the United States, India, Kenya, Ecuador, the UK, Italy, Slovenia, Thailand – all kinds of countries and their capitals and major cities – all important places where people live.  Well, that’s okay, but that isn’t the real globe as it really is.

The real earth is quite different and what it actually shows, in reality, is forests, rivers, oceans, mountains, deserts, lakes, plateaus, plains, and meadows. If we were to show the real earth as it really is, on every globe, then perhaps we could get our priorities straight and stop putting all that is human first – and all that is of the world of nature pretty much out of the picture altogether.

It is a fascinating concept. Of course, being human, our first thought is to think that is quite a silly idea; we feel we really do need to know where Los Angeles or Nairobi or London is – and we really do need to see a road or a flight path that will take us there. But maybe, after all, it might just be more important to see the location of the last forests on earth or the majestic mountains or the seas where the great whales swim – and then we might have a deeper understanding of where we really live – and less of an impetus to destroy the planet and more of a wish to feel a sense of love and reverence for Mother Earth.

Ashish Dalela has written many books – all fascinating. This one is Mystic Universe, An Introduction to Vedic Cosmology. It’s available on Amazon.

By Sharon St Joan

© Copyright, Sharon St Joan, 2021