Tarot Poems – #19 – The Sun


Here is the other companion piece – The Sun.


by Helen Iacovino

I    The Sun
In the midst of the shining light we dance
           In the midst of the dancing light we shine

The light shines
& we dance.

Its warm droplets sway
us with their power;
its music is like birdsong
to a goggle-eyed fish.

Like fish we look up
at the glimmering sun–
through the garden’s leafy ceiling,
through its murky surface water.

The rays that reach us are
nectar on our skin,
& our bodies drink.

The light shines
into the garden’s centre,
into the clear blue pool

around which we see a ring
of 13 dancing bears.

II      The Dancing Bears
“Where should this music be?
                     …sure it waits upon
                                  some god o’th’island.” The Tempest I ii

As young cubs, we
knew well the songs of birds
& of the winds that swayed the poplars
& sometimes our paws would tap
to their varying rhythms.

But now this alien lute, like an airy stream,
chimes through the trees
& tinkles over rocks,
purer than the chirp
of a thousand birds in chorus,

& like the piper’s children, we feel
our furry ears tingling.
Our paws reach out; we find ourselves
reared on 2 legs for the first time,
teetering, wobbling, but following
that magnetic sound, the lute in the trees

which throws its notes
like a fine net over the forest–

& free within that net we dance,
with music as our only master.



by Helen Iacovino

From its cave-cocoon the caterpillar
must be born into the land of sunflowers,
& feel the rays of a newer morning.

Pleased & pudgy, from the garden path
we watch the flowers
climbing up the high wall.
Their golden petals are turning.

Like elves we dance in the garden;
in our circle we make our circle,
hands joined, feet circular.
The dancers of mid-day awaken.

Biting a small hole in the cocoon,
the caterpillar crawls to the top of the wall.
The sun’s flat lands spread out beyond.

The sun warms the top of the wall;
the garden was shady & cool.
The radiant green grasses awaken.

In our ears echo
the songs of the bees outside,
the song of the serpent sunning.

Slowly our eyes lift up
to the soft glare beyond the wall
& feel the rays of a newer morning.

Feel the rays of a newer morning–
as golden petals are turning
the dancers of mid-day awaken.
The sun’s flat lands spread out beyond,
the radiant green grasses awaken
to the song of the serpent sunning–
feel the rays of a newer morning.

Tarot Collection – Published by North Wind Press


jester-office-MB900290560Here is a link to my collection, “Poems From the Tarot,” as published by North Wind Press on their website:


The site also features Tarot artwork by Mary Bennett.  One day Mary and I were talking, and when she discovered that I had written Tarot poetry and I discovered she had created Tarot artwork, we decided to collaborate, and this web publication was the result.

Also from the site, here is my statement about this poetry collection:

Tarot is a way of knowing, and a way of seeing and understanding the world. The 22 Major Arcana represent cards represent a journey towards self-realization, starting and ending with the same card, The Fool – after which the journey can begin all over again.

My interest in the Tarot began some years ago.  After participating in a Jung Society workshop on Tarot, I decided to begin meditating on the Major Arcana cards, and then to write a poem about each one.  In a fascinating and unexpected way, each card opened itself up to me and led me on a path into its world.  Some were more difficult to approach than others – but this is to be expected.

I favour Jungian interpretations of Tarot as a rich symbolic system, a system of images, and a springboard towards being more in touch with the unconscious and the collective unconscious – where a wealth of images and archetypes reside and float up.   This realm is also accessed through dreams, myth and folk tales.  In a world without fixed answers, where, in fact, none are expected and we are responsible for discovering our own truths, Tarot is a part of that search and reflects that search.  It is non-linear and non-rational; it is open to interpretation and cannot be pinned down, but this quality is what makes it dance. It is a pathway to the unconscious, and provides glimpses of the inner wellsprings that we all look for and gives us a sense of the unity of the cosmos.

Currently the cards I am most drawn to are The Hermit, The Star and The Moon.  These cards are about inner knowing, focusing on the internal life.  This, too, will change – at different points in time, different things speak most ardently to us.  In writing the poems, I allowed the characters or images on the cards to speak and to reveal themselves; many of the poems are written from the point of view of the character on the card.  This collection has at least one poem on each of the Major Arcana cards, and a few cards have two or three.  It also reflects my Unitarian Universalist world view ( http://www.cuc.ca    http://www.uua.org)

Poetry is a calling.  I recognized many years ago that I feel called to crystallize the explorations of the spirit in words and images, and offer this as my contribution to the world. What I am attempting in all my poetry is to explore these realms, let it resonate with the reader or listener, and to communicate through symbols and images things that everyday language cannot easily express.

© Helen Iacovino