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Posts Tagged ‘darkness’

Why I Stay Up Late




So gently the darkness
curls around the world,
first dusky, then dim,
then lushly black—
so generous, the way
it thickly spreads
the softest of songs
until silence silks
the empty streets
and velvets the vacant rooms—
even this riotous heart
inclines toward quietude

and whatever part of me
that knows something yawns
and the part of me
who falls in love
with mystery
leans more easily
into the ever-unknown

and I meet the starry
grand embrace,
speck that I am,
and marvel
at my insignificance,
marvel at how enormous
it is, this openness,
this gratitude.

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One Devotion

these darkest days

teach me

the light of you

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In Times of Great Darkness

I want to do for you

what the sun does for me—

coax you to come

outside, to breathe in

the golden air.

I want to warm you

and enter you,

fill you with brilliance,

make your muscles melt,

make your mind shush.

I want to prepare for you

luminous paths

that span across deep space,

thaw any part of you

that feels frozen,

find any cracks

and slip shine into them.

I want to intensify

your shadow

so you might better know

your own shape.

I want to encourage you

to open, wider, wider,

want to teach you

to write your name

in light.

Find this poem published in the amazing ONE ART POETRY

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sitting in darkness—

how easily I forget

we are separate

 

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meeting my shadow

every day I practice this—

walking in the dark

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There are darknesses in me,

places I would disregard.

Is it any wonder every year

I plant thousands of tiny seeds

and then wander the garden,

rooting for each as overnightly

they put up rows of tiny leaves.

How easily I forget what is possible.

 

 

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Sumatra

 

 

I want to serve you Sumatra,

the wild, mossy, mushroomy

dark of it. I want to serve you

 

the muted black song in a white cup,

so you can, if you listen closely,

hear the birds of Southeast Asia

 

with their foreign calls,

hear the farmer as he hums

while he picks the coffee cherry,

 

as he removes its dark red skin.

I want to serve you the scent of moss,

so strong you find yourself laying in it,

 

staring up at the sky through

the canopy, laying there for hours

forgetting anything else to do.

 

Will you find there, too,

the hint of old leather, a favorite

belt, a favorite shoe, something

 

familiar to slip into? Dark in the cup,

dark like midnight, dark like two a.m., dark

like the silence that finds the world then.

 

Dark in the cup, like fathomless space

where a small voice whispers, stay awake.

And there, in the cup, the gift of a place

 

where we have never been, but

together, perhaps, we could sip the Sumatra

and visit again and again.

 

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I am afraid of the darkness and the hole in it.

            —Martin Luther, “Luther”

 

 

And when Martin Luther was struck with plague

in 1527, he refused to leave the city, though he trembled,

though he burned. He felt it was the devil’s assault

sent to reduce him with despair. And reduced, he was.

There is darkness so great we lose all sense of direction,

forget even which way is in. There is darkness

so great that even the holes in the darkness are terrible,

cannot be seen as light. And in that terrible August,

the Reformer argued with God. And all that terrible August,

Luther trusted God’s promises. And he told himself,

Pray. Read. Sing. And the darkness endured.

Sometimes, Luther found, there are darknesses

so great we forget how to sing ourselves. Sometimes,

the only way through darkness, through doubt,

is to teach other people to sing.

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and so we rise in darkness

and let our bodies move

without the blare of light.

The house is still and we

are somehow changed

by stillness, changed

by dark. As if we’ve

grown pads in our feet.

As if we are learning

a new silent language

with our limbs, a language

more graceful, more awake.

We find candles. Find

matches. Let the tiny lights

find us. For a thousand years

in Egypt, they wrote

and rewrote The Book

of Emerging Forth into the Light,

a series of writings we somehow came

to call The Book of the Dead.

All the spells were written

to help the dead person journey

through hostile forces

into the afterlife.

And this morning, we

are our only obstacles.

Still, the candles

are a bit like spells,

guiding us with their brilliant ink

toward dawn. There

are no warnings, no judgements,

no naming of evil spirits.

Only this new language

to learn with its syntax

of carbon, it etymologies

of shadow, its phonemes

of coming light.

 

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in the dark

you lose track

of any lines

that say

you are here

and the night

holds you

like a lover

with hands

somehow

everywhere,

and the stars

keep thousands

of secrets

and sometimes

they spill,

and if you have

a question,

it comes to meet you

whether or not

you’ve dared

to ask it.

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