“Astral Bodies” by Shepherd King


Your dawn foams red in

blushing, dancing waves, teasing

the flesh of the day.


Shafts of light from your

golden bow pierce clouds and crown

the sakura sky.


Heaven-helmed, you hold

aloft the spiral spear, the

shield-wheel of the stars.


The cloud-veiled crescent

grail of your smile overflows

and phantom rains fall.


Your jade skirt sprouts from

mudslide mountain thighs, smearing

earth with afterbirth.


Dogs and serpents feast

on bone-pale flesh, nursing blood

from your rotting breast.


Compassion burns and

blossoms forth, fragrant on the

thorned cross of your heart.


Your torch reflects the

parchment sands, unfolding the

face of time grown old.


The dharma shines through

diamond eyes, sparking rainbows

on your lotus feet.


Your cosmos swirls like

pearls of milk on the quickened

waters of the void.


Scattered ashes dust

your tongue; their grave-dance feeds the

hunger of the night.


Crescents crown your star,

your void; the earth, your womb—your

footstool is the sun.


Brooding, you ascend;

your dawning wings enfold the

egg.  The universe.

About the Author

Shepherd King is a philosophical naturalist and occasional Pagan based out of Austin, Texas.  When he’s not expounding the virtues of theological noncognitivism or translating Sanskrit, he can be found meditating in his favorite field, writing bad sci-fi, and wishing he had a dog.

3 Comments on ““Astral Bodies” by Shepherd King

  1. This is beautiful!

    I’m a little confused by the ordering of the astrological symbols, and some of the text references elude me. For example, why “bone-pale flesh” for Mars?

    Nevertheless, this is mystical and awesome. 🙂

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