Tag Archives: Remembering

Tonight I Shall let my Heart Speak

(a poem… by Sha’Tara, testing my own darkness)

Tonight, I said to myself,
When darkness has fallen
I shall let my heart speak.

(A moment of madness
or sudden bravery?)

I do not trust the language of the heart,
The language of emotion, of the past.
I do not trust the memories it recalls
How can I ever prove if they be true or false?

Then my heart speaks:
Distorted images of forgotten memories
Swamp my tired mind.

(I regret, too late, opening that door
to an old past disowned long ago.)

Cold dead things arise from foggy depths,
Feelings, thunderclouds beyond the hills:

They say, this is you, oh yes, this is you!
You made us, we are your past and we are!

Oh heart! Accuser, torturer,
Can you not forget?
Can you not leave me be?

(Have you ever heard its laughter,
your own heart mocking you?)

You should not have opened this Pandora’s box,
All alone in the night, in your own personal darkness.
You cannot put us back in there now, however you try,
We’ll hover forever about your worthless mind.

Will morning dissipate these Djinns?


Is the Owl Calling my Name?

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

Moon and stars vie for splendor
in a night sky of long ago.
It was the open prairies then,
icy snow glistening for miles around
echoing the cold crackles of ice sheets
sinking under relentless cold.

Out by the frozen pond
a skeletal cottonwood stands,
stark against the wan moonlight,
the great horned owl on a top branch
repeating his “Who? Who-who? Who!
keeping the answer to himself.

Smoke lazily rises, then settles
losing heat, mantling a straw stack
where the cattle have burrowed
to find their proximate warmth
knowing the late morning sun
will have none to give.

Far away, on the coulee trestle
the coal-fired NAR train rumbles
then lets out its eerie call:
a dinosaur knowing its time
is past and its death near,
a couple of coyotes join in,
“Yap, yap-yap-yap, Aoooo!”

These memories of mine,
what stirs them tonight?
What does my mind know
that it feels so restless?
Is the owl calling my name
beyond the woods, the river
this night? “Who, who-who?”

Is the answer: it is I?
And if it is, is the call
A welcome one? A reprieve?
All those days I have wondered,
Are they coming to their end
As things of earth must?
Do I long for such an end?


(NAR: Northern Alberta Railway)
(There is a belief among the central coast people of British Columbia who call themselves the ‘Kwakwaka’wakw nation, that there is a time when you can hear the owl call your name. When that happens, you are about to die. Margaret Craven wrote a fiction novel, “I Heard the Owl Call my Name” on this belief in the 1960’s – Wikepedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Heard_the_Owl_Call_My_Name)


     The Star Dancer

       I have no recollection of having posted this very short story.  If I did, it would have been many months ago, and “followers” have changed drastically since.  If it is a repeat for you, just ignore, although I have made some edits.  thank you.                                               

                                                               a short story by  ~ Sha’Tara ~

One could almost say she had the characteristics of a winter bird without stretching the comparison.  A killdeer on a windswept dune in December heard only after darkness covers the shores, that would describe her presence. 

Slim of build, almost translucent of skin, she could stand in perfect stillness beside a doorway and remain unseen by those passing in and out.  Generally silent, there was a quality to her voice that demanded stillness and silence.  Not from weakness nor self-pity, her way of remaining in the background was her means of allowing her to observe the world, voicing some of her thoughts little more than the occasional soft word.  She could just as easily remain alert and active for long hours without apparently tiring.  Never was she seen indulging food or drink beyond a body’s basic needs.  Her pleasure, and she radiated pleasure, did not emanate from satisfying carnal desires. 

She was not what would be called pretty, but she was truly beautiful, with the movements of a small wild animal raising its head to look inquisitively at the world; with the velvety touch of an angel.  And what to say of her attire?  She wore no makeup and draped herself in the simplest of styles, in second-hand clothes.  If asked why she didn’t spend more on herself, she’d smile, as if shyly, and shrug.  “It doesn’t go with the innocence of children,” would be the extent of her explanation on the subject. 

Certainly, the innocence of a child would have described her.  She was called naïve by some.  To that she’d reply, “Do not confuse naïvety with innocence.  I choose to remain innocent.  It is my way of counteracting the many grave faults of this man’s world.  Do not make the mistake of thinking I am unaware of what goes on here or helpless to do anything about it.”  Only then did her voice take on the severe tone of the Teacher, a tone of voice loaded with implications which none but the awakened caught.

She was an empath.  Compassionate.  When she interacted with strangers, she mostly smiled and helplessly, they would smile back at her and then at one-another.  All children who met her were attracted to her, that is until the time when their innocence was forcibly taken from them.  Then she faded from their eyes and their memory.  They will not remember her until they get old and tears will roll down their lined faces in realization of what they had encountered; what they could have learned; how much it could have changed their lives.  

There were tragedies in her life as in every life.  Through it all, she brought hope and comfort where none existed.  That was her nature — to give, not to take.  It was as if she gave her own flesh and blood to those in need.  She “fed and clothed” by what she did not spend on herself – that was one of her “open” secrets.  But with each sorrow, her translucence increased.  A dawn would come to finally dim her starlight beyond earthly recall.

It didn’t matter what they called her, I recognized her from times before time.  She was of the Star Dancers; those whose home is the infinity of the Cosmos; who scatter themselves as stardust over myriad of worlds and touch the lives of countless others.  Sadly, yes, some of us get lost and for long periods, sleep in forgetfulness.  Our memories of the Star Dancer are but myths in the conflagration of time that burns within our confused minds.

But she did come.  A speck of dust on the wind, perhaps, but she appeared on our horizon, burning off into the skies like a meteorite. 

What does that matter now that she is gone, you may well ask?  What matters is, she came, scattered a bit of magic stardust and there was joy where none was to be had; there was hope where despair had held sway. 

What matters is, I can now remember and continue to do some of what she began.  How could anyone forget such a passing?  How could anyone mourn?  How could anyone who ever encountered her not make a supreme effort to remember? 


The Memory of Lavender

a poem dedicated to   ~burning woman~

Now everything that is known, or could be known, has a beginning, and nothing can be that does not begin.  There is no thought of ending here, just beginning.

And first, of what can be known of any beginning, there was the Void.  The Void was akin to nothingness, only it was not.  It was other than what we can “reverse engineer” through the past and back beyond our own beginning: we cannot go where no one has gone before.  We cannot return to the Void: one cannot return where one has never been.  We cannot go into the Void for it lies behind us, beyond a veil we cannot penetrate.

We can but look into the future for that which yet may be, but in looking into the past, however we stretch our minds to comprehend, the past remains veiled that lives beyond our own memories, or the memories of those inclined to impart parts of theirs unto us. Soon, give or take a few billion years, we come to remember only in circular patterns and we keep coming back, and back…

We have arrived “here” as evolved and adapted from that which first made us.  We were not always like this, but neither did we simply develop from a material fabric.  We were first made of thought.  Those thoughts were found within the minds of beings we cannot even begin to imagine the majesty, the power, the single-mindedness of.  These creator beings gave voices to their thoughts and sent those voices as music throughout their realms, realms which encompass not only universes but all manner of unimaginable scapes.

Thus from the Void came the Music that formed the Cosmos.  The Cosmos was imbued with Life and given the task of manipulating life in endless arrays of wonders that floated upon the Music of the Void.  Thus did the expression, “the music of the spheres” come into being among the people of this universe because in their beginning they could all hear the music, and they could all dance to it.

Such is my prelude to a greatly distant past life memory that still brings to me a vague and confused echo of the Music of the Void.

The Memory, in free verse poetic form…

If you’d like to try your hand
at understanding Lavender
then you must be very sure
that life is not a game…
You won’t need a reason
just to be alone with Lavender
for her light so warm and pure
will draw you like a flame…
(From Approaching Lavender by Gordon Lightfoot)
I gave myself the name of Lavender
Oh, it was so long ago
in the very first meadow
among the fireflies and the honeysuckle
when no one else had yet awakened
from the dream we had shared.

I stood alone and viewed the world
as it looked before the first sunrise,
starlight reflecting from the waters
rippling gently upon swaying branches
of the as-yet unnamed trees.

In the wild unknown fullness of night
which others such as I still feared
where countless things had not yet appeared
I stepped forth sensing the land’s desire
and finally came to rest upon a hill
lulled by the call of a whippoorwill.

When I awoke from my sleep
the long night stretched forth beyond time
under a canvas of spinning stars
and a soft glow surrounded me:
the land’s open invitation to explore
all the veiled things she had in store.

I rose from my bed of sweetgrass
forever endowed with the fragrance of life,
and the soft touch of the flowers of Earth —
for such was the name of the world I beheld
when I was called to awaken from my dream —
and from the hill gushed forth a young stream.

Many years, long and short, have passed
and Earth, awakened under sun and moon
filled with light-seeking life blossomed wildly,
birthed in rash and spontaneous joy —
but came the starless darkness, and I cried
as in the endless burning so much died.

Though burdened now with cares and sorrows,
my earth body changed, aged, worn, broken —
in heart I remain true to my awakening dream
and still upon a hopeful earth I choose to wander.
I remain the same as on my first night, Lavender
whose breath retains the freshness of flowers
which now grow but between endless tombs.
Oh, sweet Lavender
your smile is like the golden sun;
I’d love to see you laugh and run
as naked as the sea

Oh sweet Lavender
as fragrant as the name you bear
please cast away the clothes you wear
and give your love to me…
(From: Approaching Lavender, by Gordon Lightfoot)