As their consciousness grew thinner,
So the eagle scanned the mountains,
‘Til it spied a pair of antlers,
Saw the stag to bear the spirit.
Folded wings became an arrow
Tipped with plumes of golden feathers.
Startled though the stag was, doubtless
Is the soul that leapt unto it.
By the silver moon of Mani
Did the stag with spirit wander
Cross the deep green emerald forest,
There to find the Shaman’s body.
By the campfire, dying embers
Glowed just like the sun does setting,
Wakened by a moth, the Shaman
Tapped his drum to reach the sages.
Piled he high upon the fire
Dried up leaves and tinder-branches,
Blew upon the peaceful faces
Of the sages smoke, while dancing.
Lifeless seemed the ones before him –
‘Saw the Shaman, none were breathing,
But were bathed in light of silver –
All around them stars were gleaming.
Speaking next, a bearded poet,
Stroked his chin and touched the symbols
Woven on his woollen long-coat:
Winged heart, the moon and lone star.
“Heights are reached by native mystics,
Yet the greatest peak of learning
Is our own, and few have reached it;
Sufi spinners rise by turning.”
“Here upon our cloud, unknowing,”
Sighed the mystic Christian fathers,
“We see how all souls are growing,
Ever upward, past the dawn-star.
“Darkest night will never capture
Those who walk beneath the lantern
That was set by Christ. In raptures
Have our Saints recovered phantoms.”
“Mani of the Moon, the Mirror,”
Spoke his priest. “A silver sliver
Of the lamp which lovers worship;
Shines the light on true believers.”
“Brings to mind the Bodhisatva,”
Spoke the Buddhist, “of compassion.”
“From the Eastern land of ancients,
Where the bowl of Earth was fashioned.”