Excerpt for Before I Go by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Title Page

Writings by Sha’Ra On WindWalker

(in collaboration with Sha'Tara EarthStar)

Copyright (©) 2018 Cocoons to Butterflies Publishing

Published by: Cocoons to Butterflies Publishing

Chilliwack, B.C. Canada

Cover picture: Christer Rønning Austad

All pictures found on

Space Picture: ESA/Hubble

I hope you enjoy these writings. Feedback is welcome.


Title Page


Alpine Meadows

Before All Ends

Before I Go

Born Killer?


Is Death a Door?

Death Of A Spirit

Death Of An Earth Angel



Fair Trade?


Ebb Tide

Giving Your Life

In The Wind Blowing

Window Of The Spirit


The Consequences of Ignorance

Of Tides And Of Seasons

Why Leave Earth?


These books contain a form of free verse poetry, opinions based on observation, and some humour and imagination, engaging the heart as well as the mind. A critical look at many current issues intriguing and plaguing man. Spirituality, interaction with nature and environment, social changes, dwindling resources. Well worn issues now, indeed. But the poetry and other works in these books gives this subject a different perspective. I daresay that here we can find a "higher" vantage point from which to look at ourselves within the cosmos.

Who knows but some of the ideas in the books may get you inspired to do that thing you always wanted to do, even if this comes in a very small way, to make your corner of this world a better place to be in. Who knows but you may realize your little corner is a really nice place to be in after all.

It's all about life, if at times expressing life "outside the box" as the saying goes.

1Alpine Meadows

Dry, bare, gray skeletons

remain in the alpine meadow;

stand bowing down to the rocks

to become the soil, the womb

of sweet-scented new life.

Their last moan can be heard

in a warm gust of wind rising

from a sun-sparkled river

entrenched in jade-green walls

far below this wind-swept crest.

Protected by a rugged rocky ridge

green trees stand at the edge

starkly contrasting the blue/white sky.

I feel their roots reaching

for blessed waters

from streams gently moving

deep within the living rock.

Sparkling dew on wild flowers

reflects a million coloured suns

and beyond this pleasant canvas

bare rocky peaks thrust upward

marking the visible horizon.

Softly, a gentle breeze speaks

to my jealous soul, my hungry heart.

My tired mind pauses in awe

at revelations of beauty, of serenity

awakening my natural senses:

Finally, here, I can let go

the gray skeletons of a past that’s gone

and release myself to bliss;

finally I feel I’ve found

my own door to paradise!

Before All Ends

I see those who rape the earth,

and rob the sea of its life;

who hunger to condemn the innocent

and lust to enslave the weak,

unmindful even of the dying.

While the over-abused world

hovers on the brink of death,

but before all ends in darkness

I stand at the edge of the sea

and beseech Gaia, the Earth Mother

to remember the day in eons past

she brought life to the planet.

To Gaia, goddess of earth

giver of life.

Before I Go

Before I go

before I leave

I wish to thank all the friends

I made

exploring the river.

First the river

for carrying me

wherever I wanted to go;

then all that lives by it

without and within:

the fish and seals

for their frolicking,

 -pure enjoyment of life -

the birds on shore and water:

how many kinds?

Vultures, eagles and hawks;

ducks, loons and grebes;

herons, kingfishers and jays;

crows, ravens, gulls;

finches and happy chickadees;

sparrows, wrens and warblers:

migrants of early fall.

then, yes,

even motorized fishermen

whose ways I do not share

who responded warmly

when extended the hand

of unfeigned friendship:

I thank them all and then

the sun and wind

the clouds and rain

and passing thunderstorms

the foamy waves:

the kaleidoscope of life,

and thanking them all

I wish them well

hoping I left no trace

of my passing there

save love

from Spirit who holds it all.

Born Killer?

In a lonely darkened alley,

a killer's obsession is set free

savagely, pointlessly (so it seems)

upon the innocent (the victim).

A suspected felon, hunted, he runs

breathless, out of his mind, out of control,

he runs in fear: so it must be

on a remote, primitive world where God's law

still states: vengeance is mine, and eye for eye

and tooth for tooth, and all shall pay the price!

Many say the killer is deranged, mad

and should be put to death when found.

But I wonder, seeing as they're the same ones

who prepare for war and start them,

who daily starve the weak

and steal from the innocent...

Who can I trust to learn my truth from?

And I wonder, maybe there's a spiritual level

where one still needs to understand,

by actual experience, this urge to destroy life;

whether murderer or General, Banker or Scientist...

I must reason his action,

for my friend provided the sacrifice

while fate let me

experience the horror of the moment.

I need time to meditate,

to consider every facet of the truth,

forcing myself to understand

reasons beyond reason

why certain things transpire.

We all have the ability to murder

but some have moved beyond that level,

though still at times

indulging in acts of violence

toward others.

I hold no anger towards him,

only love and compassion

for I realize his pain at this moment

is much greater than mine could ever be.


What is compassion?

Is it a feeling?

Something one does for someone else?

Simply a virtue seen in those

one would call good people?

Perhaps that is how it manifests

when we observe it;

when we try to practice it

but that is not what it is.


is a language known to all

who call themselves intelligent

sentient, self-aware beings.

Perhaps we could call it

the language of the Universe

from the depths of the Cosmos.

Another way of looking at it:

compassion -

The greatest expression

of Universal love

and on earth, love in action.

Perhaps compassion

was the language of the gods,

those who created the worlds

(and us!)

and perhaps they left it as a choice,

whether we would use it or not.

Perhaps it is that legacy

we lost to the vagaries of time

when the difficulties came

and we chose survival

over love.

If it's as simple as that

how simple it is

to get back into it once more

and make the Earth

dance in joy.

Is Death a Door?

Could death be but a door?

Not an end, not a punishment

but simply a new beginning?

Can we choose to become

as the mythical Phoenix

and rise from our dying?

Or better yet, can we transmute

the energy called death;

walking through unscathed?

Leave the aging and dying

to those who do not know -

by-pass the unpleasantness.

Walk from place to place

shedding inappropriate garments

at the appropriate moment.

We were not born to die,

but to live: this we know -

yet who rejoices at death?

Death indeed is a door:

but how do you open such?

Traditionally with fear.

If this be so, I say it is high time

we changed our paradigm:

Who could say “no!”?

Death Of A Spirit

There's a lot taken for granted, I think

in discussing consciousness, soul and spirit:

that part of beingness conceived as indestructible.

What do we really know, of life, of death,

of that which ceases to function as such in form

assumed to never change?

There is no such thing as 'nothing can'

anything is possible, even the death

of one's own spirit, or life's not choice!

Even God must have such choice,

to be, or not to be, the question must remain!

What of this beautiful earth,

all the life she brings forth and nurtures?

Could she not also decide

to cease her labors, to end it all?

Who's to stop her? The hunter? The fisherman?

The miner? The logger? The Wall Street broker?

The president or general in fake fatigues?

Who else would feel the need?

Death Of An Earth Angel


Sidewalk slick with early Winter rain nor yet icy,

not yet sleet nor snow, undecided

sometime in afternoon

after school has closed

she walks alone under crying maples

by the ancient cemetery so full of old ghosts,

parka neatly closed, head in false fur-lined hood

a soft brown face smiling at life, at

everything in particular,

brown eyes watching natural, guileless

not warily, not yet, not yet

under long eyelashes collecting raindrops.


A human child, perhaps of nine years,

perhaps of ten or twelve, a native child,

perhaps happy in childhood fantasies

quite innocent, still

full of wonder and latent trust

considering an open deck

of life cards not yet dealt,

table not yet filled of card sharks and cheats.

I drive by and I see her again at that time

walking alone.  Smiling.  Of course.


Then she is no longer there:

for the cards were dealt viciously, cruelly

and she lost, not just the hand but the game.

Under a pile of leaves, she was hidden

some days, some weeks later perhaps, found

and I wondered when I heard

realizing it was she, the little earth angel

of sidewalk slick with early Winter cold, wet,

not yet icy, undecided,

of neatly closed parka and head in false fur hood

who smiled at something no one could see

now no longer here to bring it life:


O Earth, thou hast truly been cursed in your ways,

in all your sickened wayward ways

without understanding

for what kind of world kills its child angels?

Can you stop your madness, if for a moment

and answer that One question

for an occupant?


The old man totters to the edge

of the last forest

glancing backwards at the sound

of the howling pack.

Afraid, he staggers and falls in the path

but the young woman, his daughter

reaches for his hand and pulls him up:

together, they walk into the last forest.

In his sleep, the young man stirs,

fear mixes with the anger in his mind;

getting up, he girds himself and runs

towards the edge of the last forest.

He hears the wolves closing in on their prey

and he rushes on, drawing his blade.

He sees the old man and the young woman,

his sister, staggering along

and he turns against the snarling pack:

which, seeing the flashing angry blade

slinks into shadows of night.

The young man knows he didn't come

from a deep love of the old man:

they'd been estranged a long time!

From a sense of justice, then, or

for the sake of the young woman?

He doesn't understand his motives

but the feeling of warmth washing

his softened heart sustains his spirit

as he rides on freedom in the wind.

From some distance ahead

comes the pounding of the surf

and he guides old man and daughter

to the end of the last forest

where a ship awaits to weigh anchor.


As shadows lengthen

upon the ground,

and distant suns

begin to sparkle,

I feel at peace

letting the day

fade out to memories

not regretting

a single piece

of daytime spent.

1Fair Trade?

I dream:

I’m walking down a darkened street

when an angry one confronts me with a gun:

Give me your money and your watch!

But my mind’s not on his words,

nor responding to the threat –

I think, what if I let him kill me

without fear or threat of retaliation?

I feel the bullet rip through my flesh.

I dream:

My body lies on the pavement

a subject of much scrutiny and concern

by various members of the legal fraternity

(I never raised that much interest

in all my living days!)

The gunman is arrested and taken away.

I dream:

As he sleeps in his cell awaiting trial

the gunman dreams his own dream

and thinks beyond base survival instincts

to love, and what would that be like!

He is touched by the sacredness of life

and awakens from his life-long sleepwalk.

I conclude:

A passing that brings such a gift

is not a death but a celebration.

For he is now free to walk a new path:

fear no longer rules his thoughts;

the urge to kill no longer haunting

the shadowy corners of his life.

Was it a fair trade?



setting free


life forms


their symbiotic relationships


their particle state


they may experience life's energy together




ourselves being


a complex

of such,

why do we


Ebb Tide

Yesterday rushes upon me

and a string of memories

- though unwanted -

fill the mind with shadows,

destroying the purity

of today's inspiration.

I find myself plunging

into depths of incomprehension,

and my thoughts are scattered

as leaves before the wind.

Summer is fading to Autumn;

Autumn will be followed by Winter

and the Summer I failed to grasp

will become another layer of memories;

of unused thoughts decaying

as leaves scattered on the ground.

There is no recalling the magic:

the poet I once was

becomes one with the turbulent sea,

vanishing in the ebbing tide.

Giving Your Life

I walk the streets, with tears in my eyes

on this grey and cold October morning.

So much error and terror

on this piece of rock

and here I am thinking

there must be a better way

to interact with one-another.

I think about the concept

of giving your life to save another's.

Were we all willing to do that

(just because it's the nobler thing to do

than to take a life to save one's own)

I think in a very short time

there would be no more killing

because there'd be no need to kill -

no reason to fear the other.

But here's the real question:

Is such a thing possible

given the current mindset?

Given the fear, the paranoia,

the anger and the hate that move so many?

And the rain begins to fall

and I wonder

what good are tears in the rain?

In The Wind Blowing

there is a dance unfolding

the pulsing rhythm

of a gentle tempest

reawakening ancient life

in eroded hills

stagnant valleys

scattered bones

of atrophied minds

have you ridden the wind blowing?

there is newness creating

invisible, discarnate

yet palpable

mother and child

to the probing

the questing, curious, wondering

there is newness

in feeling, expression

prose, poetry, song and sigh

everywhere manifest

a snowdrop through the snow

a blade of grass through concrete

have you grasped the wind blowing?

prisoner psyche

human soul

grey-haired victim of patterned lies

so carefully embellished

so long told

for purposes of death

feel again the eternal

the yearning for life

as it was at first through desire

the spirit

from receding darkness reaching

takes the hand of the wind

flies again

soars again

lives again

loves again

outside your human prison

of false tenets

shattered hopes

discordant thoughts

can you see yourself again

the essential in the wind blowing?

Window Of The Spirit

Chilled of warmth, faded of light

the sun squints his eye

between spectral shadows:

Winter has taken possession,

cast her frigid spell;

the land slumbers under a white blanket

unable to remember

a Spring's distant awakening.

An icy breath catches mine

atop a frozen outcropping

and below, skeletal watchers

surround greying meadows

as the white ocean undulates,

its waves in slow-motion...

Did I come here to die?

Is my time here done?

My body rests; my mind is numbed

as winds and snows drift by,

pelting harsh as desert sand

and as unlikely as it would seem,

I hear music; I hear music.

I am finished, so it feels,

with life within this physical realm,

the time for departure has arrived.

My eyes are opened to a new light,

I see the stars approaching,

as I move beyond the confines

of this world trapped in time

and seemingly lost in space.

But do not cry, you who remember,

for I am not just a memory in your heart

and neither are you: there is a place for us,

for you and I to meet again:

this I know, this you must believe.



my outer light


the soil of earth

birthing new life


in nature's gentle



my spirit


the sun's radiance

the wind's breath

over earth and sea

I journey

I am



thank you!

The Consequences of Ignorance

We're so used to the bad news!

But what of it?

Put the price of fuel up

and traffic on the streets doubles!

Mention that trees are being cut down

at an alarming rate: what happens?

House construction skyrockets!

Air pollution? Greenhouse effects?

Great: trade in the old sedan

for a four by four Sports Utility Vehicle:

get half the mileage at twice the price!

A great sickness

plagues humans everywhere -

not just in “rich” nations -

I'm told that in Thailand

air pollution from traffic

is worse than in Los Angeles...!

What makes people heedlessly enjoy

doing more of what kills and destroys?

Lust, for profit; for pleasure:

poison the land for a higher yield

(tomorrow never comes;

tomorrow takes care of itself...);

imbibe drugs for a higher high!

Consume, consume, consume...

that's what our masters want -

but the question remains:

how do they manage it?

Simple cognitive dissonance:

what the species is afraid of most,

the species will ignore most

and carry on to the destruction of our world

as if we were never told;

as if we'd never heard

what the consequences of our ignorance

will ultimately be.

Of Tides And Of Seasons

A wind blows and leaves scatter, a wind all too familiar;

another wind comes and scents of delicate flowers fill the night air:

and what do they all mean, these strange, strange winds

but that the Earth is changing her seasons and scenery?

Is it any different with those of us tied to her cycles?

As the tides, our cycles can be brief, thunderous even

or they can stretch monotonously through months and years

but of change, that we can be sure    of change we will taste.

We build in valleys; hang castles on sides of rocky peaks;

our brief sojourn walled in and roofed upon and floored under

to keep the sand, rocks and mud from soiling our softened feet;

to keep snow and rain, heat and insects from harming our skin.

In our comfort, do we not often forget this inescapable fact:

that a human life is very short, and not always so very sweet?

Do we not forget to share the temporary blessing of one life

experienced briefly in such flimsy tents we call our bodies?

Late in the night, more often than not, I feel this call;

not frightening, not pleasant; a definite wistfulness unformed.

It is the call of the wild, the pull of the unknown, as if to say:

your time here is almost done, and are you ready for the road?

I'd like to say I do not feel a deep regret, a great sadness

knowing I have to leave, knowing so much is left unseen; undone;

I'd like to say I do not feel a great relief to know this much:

There seems no way I can prevent my boarding this last bus.

In my small way, in my meek wanderings, I learned this much:

life does not consist of being well always, or being rich or right;

nor does it consist of being pleasantly sated, and always satisfied.

Life consists in traveling lightly, freely and finally letting go the string.

There is one last strange wind to blow from the sea, silent as a desert

and only I will taste that wind, and only I will know where it goes to.

It will be the last change of seasons for this body I have called home.

I cannot say I will be sad; I cannot say I will be glad.

All I can say is: I accept.

Why Leave Earth?

As I watch the sun set in the west,

I feel it is time I left this planet.

These people are hopeless;

far or near, the same mindset:

tragedies and horrors

splashed on TV or newspapers

are their daily fare;

without these they feel cheated

of their drama for entertainment.

It seems obvious they love engaging

the endless misery of others

for they need not care:

it’s not




But there’s more to Earthian depravity:

it seems they love being in their misery also,

sharing and spreading

the drama of pain, loss, fear, anger, death;

as if that was what life on earth

was really, and only, all about.

So I’ve decided I no longer fit this picture -

it’s time to leave,

if not physically, at least in my mind and heart -

time to let it all go, to detach from it all

and never return to such pointless pathos.

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