The Return

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When the great ones return

Raining magic from their wings,

Then only the white teeth

Of the concrete kings

Will glimmer

In the pool of death,

By the cool urn.

Nothing else will fall on the stone,

No one slain,

But only

The bitter echo

Of lies,

And even

The pot

Of tattered tales

Of yore,

All misbegot,

Will be shred

And gone.

Towers overturn

When the green waves rise,

Bearing the emerald throne,

Then the majesty of the deep,

Will cast off the oppressor,

And deliver

Creation

From its gray-nodding sleep,

Long bewitched in the chronicles of error.

Now the nimble goat

Slips her tethers,

To skip again on the grass-enchanted height

Beneath

The boundless skies,

At one with spirits of the living tide.

The throat

Of the lion of wisdom

Will rumble anew;

The rain

Of Indra will crash from

The chariot of thunder,

When the forests reawaken to reclaim the earth.

Nothing will be lost then,

Only the mirror of untruth

Will crack and shatter,

When wolves dance on the hillside,

There where tigers roam, growling

In the darkness;

Their bright

Eyes

Burn

Along the holy way of the night,

When spirits return

In the white magic of winter,

Triumphant,

On the howling

Winds of joy, in the songs of sunrise;

In victory, horses of snow

Sweep,

In stride,

Across the broad plain.

Leaving in their wake only the stillness

Of the lily of eternity

Waving in the sunlit rain,

For the truly living do not die,

But only the walking, dissonant dead,

What is will be

And what is not

Has never been;

The leaves are one with the eternal tree,

Where peacocks,

Two,

Watch intently in the blue

Mornings.

Beyond the rim of history,

The great winged mother

Shakes the dust of opals from

Her feathers,

Gathers

Her wanderlings,

The garbling geese

And their errant

Goslings,

The trees of twisted juniper,

The moon-radiant

Rocks,

And all her children,

Into her many-storied home of peace

By the green-banked river

In the haunting bells of dawn.

© Sharon St Joan, August, 2013

 

Photo: © Conorwaldock / Dreamstime.com

 

 

Who then?

 

Alnus_incana_rugosa_leaves,re-sized

 

Which leaf were you then?

 

When you glimmered amid

 

The overrunning roses

 

Of the tree of life?

 

The gold one, or the gray?

 

You see, you don’t remember, do you

 

So

 

How

 

Does it matter now

 

Your name, your well-mapped nook,

 

Your page in the bound-up book

 

Of the war-clad notes of drum and fife?

 

Or are you merely,

 

And really more clearly,

 

The crew

 

Of sun-capped fairies

 

Dancing on the eyelid

 

Of the sleeping cow

 

Who drifts away

 

Into dozes

 

Near the curious, fish-inhabited brook,

 

Along the skylit, dappled trees

 

Of the green draonflies’ day,

 

Or else even

 

The light

 

Stepping of the coyote’s toe

 

On the white

 

Skipping patch of winter snow,

 

All within the cosmic flower,

 

At the raven’s lightning hour,

 

Of the ringed serpent’s ever-radiant garden

 

Of the night?

 

© Sharon St Joan, July 2013

 

Photo: Quadell / Wikimedia Commons / “English: Alnus incana ssp. rugosa — leaves.”  / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.”

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

 

 Photo:  © Dreamframer | Dreamstime.com

Woven of the Wind

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Where will you go

Now, little pigeon, pearl white and black jet?

Will you perch on the petals

Of the moon

And peck at tufts of cloud and raindrops?

Will your wings be woven of the wind

And your eyes of starlight hewn?

Will you fly with pigeon angels

To a faraway flowered land

To feathered friends known

Well from feathered dreams?

Where will you go

Now, little one,

Now that the sun has set

And the new moon gleams

Bright through the mist

Over the tall pines?

Will you pass this way someday again

In a sunlit distant springtime?

Will you nod your head to say hello

And walk with happy feet

Among the snow and buttercups?

 

© Sharon St Joan, written around 1990

Photo: © Aqvamarin / Dreamstime.com

Where now?

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Where now the dark-circling

 

Wolves?  Where the half-haunting

 

Moon?  Where the swift paws running?

 

Where now the mists

 

That rose above the lake

 

In the early spring?

 

Are the spirits all flown to that far country

 

Beyond the black hills of night

 

The hills of indigo?

 

Where butterflies flicker

 

In bright mythic

 

Forests,

 

Where the great raven

 

Smiles in her cosmic

 

Tree,

 

And ruffles her feathers in the cool air

 

Scattering stars across the open sea below?

 

Written around 2009

© Sharon St Joan

Photo: Rackam | Dreamstime.com

 

By the wave of the waters

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Across the shambled ruins

Of empire,

The wild winds

Of innocence,

Shift the sands

Of bitter bones

And the fragments

Of forgotten footprints.

There by the wave

Of the waters of the great

Sea, the barn owl,

Who, of yore,

Invoked

The falling

Stars, flits in moth-dreamed

Elegance

From cliff to cave

In the silvered night

Where the stands

Of singing pines

Await

The bright

Rising

Of the moon, whose cowl

Of fire

Gleamed

In the time before

Time,

From the mist-cloaked

Hill of haunting

Stones.

 

© Sharon St Joan 2013, written around 2001

 

Photo: © Robert King | Dreamstime.

Heron

 

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Heron of grace, blue buffoon

 

Of elegance

 

Stretching his endless

 

Wings over the moon

 

Wading on spider toes

 

Through still

 

Timeless

 

Water

 

Among glass reeds

 

That glitter in a radiance

 

Of emerald beads,

 

Beyond the hill

 

The world dips

 

Under lace of lavender

 

Into the ringed smoke of cities,

 

Fallen and gone,

 

While, in opalescent flight,

 

The heron slips

 

Upwards through the windows

 

Of many lilies

 

Into the open night

 

Of the rain-winged dawn.

 

Written around 1998

 

Photo: Great blue heron. Photo by Gary Kramer, USFWS / “If an image on one of our sites is not restricted and does not say it is copyrighted, then you can assume it is in the public domain.” – USFWS

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

 

Footsteps,

 

(Though nearby

 

Clouds of crystal geese

 

Chime on their snow-spun way)

 

Then

 

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

 

Depths

 

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

 

Paths

 

Over the lake

 

Of the wide sky.

 

Written around 2002

 

Photo: Boris Ryaposov / Dreamstime.com