Posts Tagged ‘dark’

One Eventually




arriving in the dark

at my own doorstep

learning at last

to leave the light on

for myself

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astonished how much light

can fill a note so dark—

singing it again, again

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I like the way he leans over the paper,

the way he pulls the black ink


across the page, the matter-of-fact way

he says, “Like this, Mom,


only you don’t have to be afraid

to make mistakes. They usually turn out.”


I want to tell him

his life is like these trees—


that no matter how much

he thinks he’s messed up,


there is no blotch or line

that cannot be transformed


into an opportunity.

Instead, I say, “Show me


what to do next,”

and he shows me how


to shade the sides

with small quick strokes,


the dark lines holding

so much light.



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The Long Marriage

If the night were not dark enough,
not dark enough and too short,
then we perhaps would not
have had the patience to find again
in each other the light,
a tiny light, but still light enough,
enough to draw us close again—
that small light in the other
the only light that can lead us home.

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Who Can Say?

Already the body
is dawn. Before
the eastern glow. Before

the edges of darkness
give up any of their darkness.
It is not that we deserve it,

this light. It is just
that here it is,
inside us, continuing

to grow, the way
plumeria seem to grow
on what looks like dead wood.

But grow they do, with
all that perfume, too,
and all that milky white.

Who can say how
such beauty comes
from what looks

lifeless? But it does.
Your blossoming,
my blossoming.

Crazy how light
it can be,
this darkness.

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In the boat of night
my boy and I float.

There are no oars.
We use our voices

to move through
the waves. But

the currents take
us wherever the currents

take us. It is dark.
We hold each other

as if there is no one
else in the world.

For this moment,
there is no one else

in the world. There is
his voice. My voice.

His ears. My ears.
Our warmth. And

the cold all around.

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I’ll be your harvester of light.
—Sara Bareilles, “Winter Song”

Darling, it is dark.
Here are my hands,
the hidden spirals
in the palms. And here,
from my fingertips,
my forehead, my feet,
streams of photons—
invisible beacons,
tiny energized
increments of light.
From yours, too. Imagine
the lattice we make.
The Buddhists say
we are what we are
only in relation
to what we are not.
This long night.
This darkness. This
thinking we are alone.

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Six Bafflements

it’s the dark, she says
crying, while all around us
the dark, the dark


same moon, same sky,
same woman, same why,
a crow flies by


behind every door
another door, this one
no light underneath


not once does the snake
look back at its skin and say
gee, I miss it


so much beauty
cannot be seen
without the dark


mama, she says,
there’s a window in my head
I kiss her there

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Walk in the dark
and slowly the eyes
adjust. There a tree.
There a roof. There
the hill across the street.
But tonight, too lost
in my own thoughts,
I looked a long time
into the dark and saw
what was not there—
the hulking back of bear,
the gimp of a stalker,
a badger nose.
A squirrel chirped
and I ran for the house.
Everything we fear,
it will find us, will fill
the night with its
empty suggestions.
I make fun of myself
once I reach the lit room,
but the fear doesn’t laugh,
it just walks to the bed
and sits behind the lamp
waiting for a dream.

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Sometimes the night
comes with a quiet,
although the crickets
are riotous.
Although the machinery
in the distant field
makes eddies in the dark.
Even the stars
are ohming in octaves
eight scales below
what the human ear hears
and still, there is this quiet.
I was so busy praising light
that I missed how the dark
will tenderly, slowly, with no song
open the heart. Like tonight.
How first it drains the blush
from the peaches. Then steals
the deep green from the pines,
the red from the rock walls,
the mud brown from the water,
the violet orchids that nearly
bloomed in my thoughts,
until all is gray, then grayer,
then pitch. The pine,
the wall, the water and the woman
all lose their individual shapes
and become one vast dark.
This too is a way to love.

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