Category: Poems


 

 

 

ID 4545510 © Dbpetersen | Dreamstime

 

Listen, and hear

 

Within the moon the silent flight

 

Of white

 

Crane

 

Feathers,

 

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,

 

Who

 

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

 

Paw)

 

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

 

 

 

Mahadeva

© Jsuspence7cc | Dreamstime

 

Ender of worlds, you who are

 

The moon-winged light

 

Glimpsed through silver clouds that recall only

 

The music

 

Of the rain

 

That hums

 

On the dry branches of the scrub oak,

 

You who are the soul

 

Of the juniper trees and the wind-waving sage,

 

Re-awaken now your lands of magic,

 

And so,

 

Unmask the deeper, greener forest

 

Of long ago,

 

Abode of the forgotten fairy folk.

 

Young Ganesha watches from among the red-encircled blossoms

 

To hear anew

 

The clear

 

Ringing chimes

 

Sound, that the dust of a crumbled age

 

Is gone,

 

Swept away and cast

 

Asunder

 

On the gusts of the great

 

Gale,

 

That peace may settle ever after

 

On the blue-

 

Belled petals

 

That gather in an opalescent bowl,

 

A glimmering, crystal grail,

 

Far

 

Beyond where the ragged hulls of iron ships

 

Were set adrift on a tired sea.

 

Soon the haloed star

 

May bless the night,

 

And the coyote

 

Sing her laughing song again

 

In the darkness, beside the shimmering gate

 

Of a time beyond times

 

When

 

At last

 

The long-toed crane

 

Dips his beak

 

Into the cold waters of the creek.

 

Then,

 

Mahadeva, Shining One, Dispeller of fear,

 

May the swans, who know, and have always known, all things, sail

 

Ever near

 

Before the bright, sky-clad boat of the dawn

 

Climbs

 

On through the echoing waters of a many lilied mist.

 

© Sharon St Joan, August 2017

Photo: © Jsuspence7cc | Dreamstime

 

 

 

 

dreamstime_xs_49418853

 

To the one who lived among the hills,

 

Unseen,

 

Now your voice has become an echo

 

In the distant mist.

 

You have gone

 

to other worlds on star-bright

 

Wings of snow,

 

To that far mountain

 

You call home, where white-

 

Throated swifts soar

 

In the shifting clouds,

 

Where silver chimes

 

Ring

 

In the rain-cloaked ravine

 

And deer nibble

 

In the frost-green

 

Stillness,

 

Where crowds

 

Of petals

 

Fall

 

From the nagalingam tree

 

In ever-present peace,

 

And the wind brings

 

Gales of blessings from across the wandering sea,

 

Where geese

 

Climb the sunlit stairway of the morning,

 

And the langur monkey

 

Sings lullabies to her children

 

In the foothills

 

Of times beyond times,

 

Where the Gods of the forest

 

Listen

 

In the dawn

 

To leaf-told tales

 

Of nevermore

 

And long before.

 

© Sharon St Joan, April, 2017

 

Photo: © Ronnachai Limpakdeesavasd | Dreamstime.com

 

 

dan-ross-dreamstime_xs_80456482

 

Did you ever wander

 

Among the winking

 

Cobwebbed nooks

 

Of times gone by,

 

Among the darkened, wind-shifting streets,

 

Or else leaf through

 

Broken backed and faded books

 

On the forgotten shelf?

 

Or peer at a copper plate

 

Of unremembered scripts

 

Of ancient deeds

 

And hero tales long left

 

Unsung,

 

Or drift among those lost stone gods,

 

Their noses knocked asunder

 

By mortar fire

 

In some unmentionable war,

 

Or, through rain that falls in opalescent sheets,

 

Seek out temples entrenched under

 

The thick jungled trunks of time, of seeding pods, and twilit weeds,

 

Or visit deep in crypts

 

Where rest the tales, in a lost urn,

 

Of eons flown,

 

Of higher, rainbowed hallways in the sky

 

Where gods and beings once had shone

 

When trees were worshipped,

 

As they ought to be,

 

When holy rocks

 

And elf

 

And giant

 

Roamed among the crowds

 

Of shimmering lilies in the mist,

 

Where deer run free

 

And hummingbirds hover

 

In the half-lit glimmer of the dancing dawn

 

On those wildflowered ilses – still untouched, radiant –

 

Or have you

 

Heard coursing hooves ringing

 

Through the starbright forest

 

Of a green-mossed eternity,

 

And did you ever gasp

 

To glance back

 

At the paltry present time that seemed

 

So suddenly all awry,

 

So shorn of grace?

 

Look now – a poor cut-out,

 

A false façade,

 

A parody concocted of every chemical,

 

Torn metal,

 

And toxic dust,

 

A humdrum bar-coded day,

 

Bereft of meaning,

 

Meant to squander,

 

And nights of mechanical terror

 

That grate

 

Against the soul,

 

Though all quite scientific and practical,

 

Of course.

 

Did you ever find the present world a little lacking?

 

Cars chrome-bright, junkyards of rust,

 

Oil wells bubbling

 

And spewing out the oddest orange river,

 

Computer graphics jingling a frantic caper,

 

Medical mirages, ill-inducing potion and pill?

 

War-cratered skeletons

 

Of cities loom at the edge of the shattered rim,

 

Lies and lies and weary doom

 

And here comes death – grim and dreary –

 

Tripping after.

 

A clanking alleyway

 

Where the faltering march

 

Of the bedraggled lout,

 

The troll,

 

Plunges on and on

 

Into the dank and danker

 

Cellars of caustic confusion

 

(Where now the shack

 

On the hill

 

That slipped

 

Into the mist

 

Where strangers from a far star

 

Sought shelter?)

 

Did you ever watch that oft-trod stairway

 

From the first magic light of stars, fall

 

Down, down into the iron pits of delusion,

 

Of nowhere at all,

 

Where darkness dwells and nothing more?

 

And did you ever wonder

 

When will the thunderclouds gather again

 

And the wind fiercely roar,

 

Dragon-winged in snow

 

And sleet,

 

Spilling rain

 

Across the open plain

 

Like the glad-running,

 

Unshod

 

Feet

 

Of the wild horse

 

That once gleamed

 

In the sun,

 

Rain clouds like the enduring face

 

Of an early people

 

Brave, eagle-hearted,

 

Who will walk again

 

To the quickening drum of wisdom?

 

Now will the improbable one

 

Who speaks with unforked tongue

 

Return,

 

Followed by those who shake the sleep from their eyes

 

In the wan,

 

Uncharted

 

Light of a new

 

Day?

 

When

 

Will the wind blow

 

A wind to make way

 

For the gods of yesteryear

 

To unclasp

 

The hold

 

On the windowed arch,

 

On those most ancient rocks

 

That climb like towers

 

To the sky,

 

Who bring back the innocent ones,

 

The cottontail, the whimsical sage grouse, the fox,

 

The juniper stand,

 

The pinions,

 

The cry

 

Of the killdeer,

 

The wild flowers,

 

And the coyote who dances in the gentle moonlight,

 

Her song

 

Unheard

 

So long

 

Yet ever remembered,

 

Bright

 

In the mystic night,

 

So old, and gone

 

And yet to rise again

 

When the winds call

 

Alone on the stone

 

And grass-blown land?

 

 

Written in October, 2015

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2017

 

Photo: © Dan Ross / Dreamstime.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

elisa-bistocchi-dreamstime_xs_58504324

 

When the great ones return

 

Carrying magic in their wings

 

Then only the white teeth

 

Of the concrete kings

 

Will glimmer

 

In the pool of death.

 

Nothing else will sleep

 

On the stone,

 

No one slain,

 

But only

 

The echo of lies,

 

The din of malice,

 

Shed and gone,

 

When the green waves rise,

 

Bearing the emerald throne,

 

The majesty of the deep

 

Will deliver

 

Those long forgotten

 

Hooves of the innocent

 

To ride

 

Again on the mountain height,

 

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 masks of terror,

 

Only the mirrors of untruth,

 

When wolves dance on the hillside,

 

And tigers growl

 

In the blue

 

Dark,

 

With bright eyes that burn

 

Along the holy way

 

Of the night,

 

When spirits return

 

In the white magic of winter,

 

Triumphant,

 

On the howl

 

Of the winds of joy, the songs of sunrise,

 

In the victory of the horses of fire and snow

 

That break

 

Unstoppable, across the broad plain.

 

A storm to leave in its wake

 

Only the stillness

 

Of the lily of eternity

 

Waving in the sunlit rain,

 

For the truly living do not die, they say,

 

But only the walking, dissonant

 

Dead,

 

Only the soulless

 

Patterns of dismay.

 

Only the clouds ashen,

 

When the cosmic, winged mother

 

Gathers the wanderlings,

 

The flocks

 

Of garbled geese

 

And their errant goslings,

 

Among the trees of twisted juniper

 

And the radiant

 

Rocks,

 

Bundling all her children,

 

Into her many-storied home of peace

 

By the green-banked river

 

In the haunting bells of dawn.

 

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2017

 

Photo: © Elisa Bistocchi / Dreamstime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years of snow

cliffs-in-snow-one

 

Years of snow

 

 

Rains unspoken.

 

Do you remember

 

Diaphanous wings

 

Who knew only the mist

 

Through many–stranded years of snow

 

On the hill

 

Of the ringed dolmen,

 

The omniscient crow

 

Who hid high

 

In the sky-

 

Tossed towers,

 

In the moss-meandering forest

 

Of the great bear?

 

That was the world then,

 

The reality,

 

The flowers

 

Of dawn,

 

The eternity,

 

Emerald rings

 

Of the sycamore tree.

 

Gone,

 

Gone on the smoke over the brown hill.

 

Who now will bring

 

The buckets of songs and all the laughter,

 

Faint, so far

 

Away, yet ever near?

 

Where?

 

In the opalescent eyes

 

That peer

 

Through

 

Deep-green bowers,

 

Who

 

Know

 

Only the mist,

 

Only the flight

 

Of the dawn-winged petals,

 

Undaunted,

 

That settle

 

On the lake-footed land where

 

The goose plays still

 

With her snow-bright

 

Children,

 

Her flock that sings

 

Beneath a star

 

Cluster,

 

All the while, when

 

Blue-

 

Sailed ships

 

Slip

 

Into the shining seas of the night,

 

Ineffable, haunted.

 

 

© Sharon St Joan, text and photo, 2016

 

 

 

matabum-dreamstime_xs_58438808

 

Green-winged sight

 

Born of sea-

 

Water, boundless.

 

A sun’s ray,

 

True,

 

Wind of sands.

 

To see the graceful stone-lit lands

 

Beyond the grumbling darkness,

 

To find the moon who spoke

 

Beyond the black, billowing smoke,

 

To never turn away,

 

To ride,

 

Through the night

 

Until the geese call in the first light,

 

To dance

 

In the unsung mystery

 

Of juniper trees that bend

 

Atop the cliffs, harrowing,

 

By the wandering sea

 

Of green translucence,

 

To walk on through storms that whip,

 

That wend

 

Their way along the mountain tip,

 

To go

 

Straight into the wind’s breath

 

Of the tiger’s night,

 

Into the widening

 

Jaws of death,

 

Into the mist,

 

Of the blue

 

Dawn at the farthest

 

Edge of the forest,

 

Before time awoke

 

Is ever to follow

 

The son of the wind, unfaltering,

 

Into the brave beauty

 

Of his song, unending,

 

Swan-bright.

 

© Sharon St Joan, September 2016

 

Photo: © Matabum / dreamtime.com

Coyote

 

© Dhprophotog | Dreamstime.comdreamstime_s_40757480

 

Coyote, with mystical toes,

 

Silent as the footsteps of time,

 

Weaving through the mist-encircled forest,

 

Elusive she goes,

 

Shaman, angel, fey,

 

Spirit from the lands afar,

 

Outcaste, magic-bent,

 

Otherworldly guide,

 

You step from stone to stone,

 

Through the stream, moon-bright,

 

Where blue-singing

 

Fish glide

 

Through petals whispering in the night.

 

From milky way,

 

From star to star,

 

Among the clouds,

 

The shrouds,

 

Of worlds, broken.

 

You walk on,

 

Nose-intent,

 

From the darkness to the light.

 

You climb

 

The hillside

 

Where rocks ponder and raven-spoken

 

Rains ride

 

On moon-painted winds among the echoing

 

Songs of spring.

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2016

 

Photo: © Dhprophotog | Dreamstime.com

Mgkuijpers:dreamstime_s_38378907

 

You who are the wisdom

 

And the treasure – on the hill where bells peal

 

Life and death,

 

Death and life,

 

Birth, rebirth,

 

Or freedom

 

From the ever-grinding wheel

 

Of strife.

 

Gentle,

 

Brave,

 

It is you who stay,

 

Who live deep in the dens of the earth,

 

In the rain-dark soil,

 

Breath

 

Of all being,

 

You who stay

 

When all has left

 

Fled far on the crane-white wings that shimmer,

 

And you too who encircle the stars and the moon,

 

You who glimmer

 

Like the lily,

 

Soul bereft

 

That hisses of the ending soon.

 

You flow

 

Coil upon blue-hued coil,

 

Your hooded heads sway,

 

You know all

 

And yet nothing,

 

You sing the call

 

Of the lakes of eternity

 

On the silver wave

 

In the night of falling snow

 

And the peace of the dawn-pale petal.

 

Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2016

 

Photo: © Mgkuijpers | Dreamstime.com / Arabian cobra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Weblogiq | Dreamstime.com

 

Where do the wind beings live?

 

Beyond the noon-

 

Bright country,

 

Beyond the stars, glimmering,

 

Beyond the tired, trafficked city,

 

Unencumbered, they live in the mountains that give

 

Peace, among the lilies of eternity,

 

By the wandering white petals of the moon

 

In the forest of flowers where

 

Only the wild ones talk

 

And where the wind beings walk

 

By the shell-encrusted shore,

 

There the red-tailed hawk

 

And the northern harrier,

 

Gray as the sea,

 

Fly through the air,

 

To reclaim their destiny,

 

In lands swept clean of the paltry ploy

 

Of thought,

 

And the detritus of crumpled litter

 

Of the corrupted that crawl

 

In the grime

 

Of the sound-dinned

 

Corners of the mind, strangely-wrought.

 

Arise, Hanuman,

 

Son of the wind,

 

To toss

 

Aside all the devils of time,

 

To unseat the wicked, wailing,

 

To thunder

 

Across

 

The waves, ever-crashing

 

Of the sparkling, emerald sea

 

Of nevermore,

 

To lead all soon

 

Back to where the wind beings live

 

In joy,

 

Among the rain-blackened rocks where

 

Only ever call

 

The dark ravens of light, sea-echoing.

 

 

Written June 12, 2016, © Sharon St Joan

 

Photo: © Weblogiq | Dreamstime.com