By Patricia Saunders

An inner voice

I thought the world was empty
that inspiration was gone 
and all loved ones were lost
until a voice said 
“See the white of the seed.”

How can that be? I thought.
There’s no-one nearby,
not a rabbit nor a fox,
not even a mouse or honeyed bee.
Only a seed lay in my hand
and a forest rustled behind me.
Yet the voice continued, 
“See the green of the pine.”

Who was it that came to end my solitude?
Not the wind because the flying wind was still
not the birds because the birds were silent
not even the darting lizards for they had scurried away
at the faintest press of my footsteps.

And then I understood the whispered sound,
the murmuring pulse that drummed beyond my hearing. 
It was an inner voice, not heard in markets
Not heard in cities or the heat of deserts
where coyotes camouflage and eat dried grass.

The whisper was heard in the depths of my soul,
where thoughts are at rest and emotions forgotten, 
where the world has vanished, and everything 
that is tired and hollow dissolves in the ineffable silence 
of unending peace.

And in that peace lives the white seed and the green pine. 
I have seen them both and I am content.

Love Song

The man listened as the woman sang,
tearing open the limitless sky
and causing a tear to fall
that cleansed her heart of pain
and his mind of confusion.

She sang on and on
and a lace curtain swayed to and fro
as her song, brilliant and piercing,
flew beyond the range of
everything he could understand.

In his mind,
he heard the depth of the song
and the blending of his soul
with the mystery of her heart.
He was happy.

Shadowed Night

Let the night go, I murmur again and again
as darkness passes and the moon moves on. 
These drifting hours will end, and then no more farewells 
but only an infinity of greetings that will melt into one 
and remind me how intensely I remember every tone of your voice. 

Behind my curtains, titian light creeps through the gap 
that separates one pale silk from another, 
and rouses me to the fading embers 
of the shadowed night and an approaching day 
that holds so much promise and such strange happiness.

In the restless hours of waking,
I shall find your words in every curve of space, 
and every line will melt when they are heard. 
Even the dawn, vibrant as the roseate sky, 
will catch the echo of your voice and imprison it 
in the endless motion of rippling stream and supple leaf.

Oh, let the night depart so I can find you again 
in the placid lake and the peerless rose.

Moon love

That night, in that bewitching chill, 
I fell in love with the moon.
It glowed so charmingly, it filled my heart 
and followed me along the snow-covered street 
as I gazed through frozen eyes at the fires 
in the homes of strangers, 
and the warmth that I wanted to hold in my hand 
for a hundred years.

Only I knew that the soul of the moon 
had entered my soul,
and that we were meant to be together, never apart.
Divided by space yet joined 
by a blending so awash with happiness
that hedges, fences, the arctic night 
and the cold, cold dawn
were ignited in melting air and blazing dust.

This happiness of mine, 
this hidden ecstasy and heightened adoration.
This burgeoning flame, 
this spreading warmth of union,
wordless in its intensity, its spirit, 
and its scorching exhilaration,
burned the wintry street in a deep 
and fervent love that whispered in the dawn, 
“We are one. We are love. We are eternity.”


The lanterns dance in rainbow brightness
warming the moonlight and bathing the trees
in a thousand colored lights that cannot rest
as the wind blows and the branches buckle.

When winter comes, will the lanterns 
still flicker in the sleepless night?
Will they light the shrouding darkness
and bring the traveler back to home,
to hope and a lover’s embrace?

The lanterns swing and sway,
ready for the meetings and the mysteries,
ready for the glittering sky and the hovering hawk
that points the way to a waiting heart 
and a new beginning.

Patricia teaches Vedic philosophy at Maharishi International University in Iowa. She has published many poems in online journals, the latest being Ariel ChartQuail BellMulberry LiteraryLiterary YardRue ScribeRemington ReviewDiscretionary Love, and Academy of the Heart and Mind. An interview with her was published in the Summer 2022 edition of Mulberry Review, and a poem of hers is included in the Remington Review 2022 Anthology. This anthology issue is a special anniversary anthology of selected poems from the past five years and is designed to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Remington Review. Patricia’s nonfiction book, An Antidote to Violence: Evaluating the Evidence, was published in 2020 by Changemakers Books and is a bestselling book for Changemakers Books and John Hunt Publishing.

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