The light of butterflies




ID 4545510 © Dbpetersen | Dreamstime


Listen, and hear


Within the moon the silent flight


Of white






While stars ring like bells in a sky of snow.


Did you know


That the moon is hollow


And it chimes?


Now, past clouds of bitter rain,


Of weathers


Sullen in the jagged wind,


At a sharp bend in the long road,


Shines the light of butterfilies beyond the shards of the dark,


The spark


Of grace, as yet unimagined,


A hand of tree bark


Offers peace, abhaya mudra: “Fear


Not,” a message,


Seek and ye


Shall find


All truth


Within the call


Of the star, cloaked in a misted shawl.


Soon, between the bones of yesteryear


Rise the rushing waters to the ridge


Of ending times.


There at the top of the narrow stair


Opens the rock-enchanted desert that will echo eternity,


Shimmering stones,




Sing that the shadow


Has gone, though it is not that the shadow


Has gone, but just that the sun is real and the shadow not, after all,


And so


The holy one, unknown, will walk again on the straight path,


Will hold the innocent deer high in his hand


(In the land


Of the gold dragon who gnashes


Her emerald jaw,


Extending her five-toed




There the brave one walks, placing the sun anew,


Engulfing the burning cities of the mind,


And – casting death at last behind,


Cleanses the earth of ashes.



Poem: © Sharon St Joan, 2017

Photo: © Dbpetersen | Dreamstime




Become the stone


tree near sacred groveIMG_6582


To become the stone,


Of schist,


The rock,


The song




Drifting in the emeralds of awakening,


The clattering bone,


The feet wandering


Upon the sand


Of the wave lost


In the band


Of rain rent,


Long on the desolate


Sand-pipered shore…


To become the fire,


The pyre,


The blessed burning


Of the ashen dead,


From their cindered bed,


Sent into skies unknown,


Is to become


The wind against the flaming gong


To go,


And going, to be gone,


Over the moon-haunted mountain of mist


Where the flock


Of white geese


Wait, innocent,




And waiting and watching,


They become an unbound


Eternity of snow,






Where the one who can never be found,


Hidden still in the fine gold traces


Of the ancient knowing faces


Of the gods of Kailasanathar,


Is always and evermore


Mother of the delicate


Blue tattered rose strung


On the sun-templed tree


Near the climbing windlit towers of the dawn


Of peace.




© Sharon St Joan, photo and poem, 2013





Moon of many lilies


When, in her mystical barque,


The moon of many lilies


Glides across the dream-clad dark,


Her owls in her wake,


Their wings silent as eternity’s




(Though nearby


Clouds of crystal geese


Chime on their snow-spun way)




Out of the rocks


Misted lands


Will rise again


Now that the white-toothed one


Who sat on the throne


Has let slip his staff


Of silver bone


And his recipies


Of gloom


And dread


From his grime-


Grimmed hands


And has slid


Down into the deep




Of the smokened tomb


Of time.


Soon flocks


Of dawn-eyed does will


Drink from the blue spring


As before in the day


When the heron was the rain


And the lion the sun.


Then  on the hill


The coyote will laugh


His translucent laugh;


In the valley


The butterfly


Will flit


To the petal


Of the water lily


To shake


Her orange head


And settle


Into sleep,


Her rainbowed eyelid


Shut in a ring


Of peace


While the moon slips by


On wind-lit




Over the lake


Of the wide sky.


Written around 2002


Photo: Boris Ryaposov /