The Return


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


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


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



Along the holy way of the night,

When spirits return

In the white magic of winter,


On the howling

Winds of joy, in the songs of sunrise;

In victory, horses of snow


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,


Watch intently in the blue


Beyond the rim of history,

The great winged mother

Shakes the dust of opals from

Her feathers,


Her wanderlings,

The garbling geese

And their errant


The trees of twisted juniper,

The moon-radiant


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 /



Who then?




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






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


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,


Where are you in the wandering

Whisper of the canted


Along the rock-cut



When only

Gulls can hear the ringing


Of the soft-belled


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,



Above the northmost hill

The blue Himalaya.

In the winds, you stir


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,



Of your hands.

©  Sharon St Joan May 18, 2013


 Photo:  © Dreamframer |

Woven of the Wind



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 /

Where now?



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




Where the great raven


Smiles in her cosmic




And ruffles her feathers in the cool air


Scattering stars across the open sea below?


Written around 2009

© Sharon St Joan

Photo: Rackam |


By the wave of the waters



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,


The falling

Stars, flits in moth-dreamed


From cliff to cave

In the silvered night

Where the stands

Of singing pines


The bright


Of the moon, whose cowl

Of fire


In the time before


From the mist-cloaked

Hill of haunting



© Sharon St Joan 2013, written around 2001


Photo: © Robert King | Dreamstime.






Heron of grace, blue buffoon


Of elegance


Stretching his endless


Wings over the moon


Wading on spider toes


Through still






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




(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 /