Posts Tagged ‘darkness’




My child, I say, you need not fear the night—

its unlit corners, rooms of dim unknown—

the darkness helps us learn beyond the light.


But mom, how do I know that you’re alright

if I can’t see you? I feel so alone.

My child, I say, there’s goodness in the night.


The dark erases any lines we might

have drawn, makes all the world appear as one.

The dark helps us to see beyond the light.


But mom, I don’t feel safe without my sight.

What if there’s monsters, spiders, things that groan?

My child, I say, there’s kindness in the night.


You feel how darkness holds the whole world tight?

Embracing every human, creature, stone—

the darkness helps us reach beyond the light.


It hugs us all, despite our wrongs, our rights,

inviting everyone into its home.

My child, I say, you need not fear the night—

the darkness helps us love beyond the light.

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night, don’t end so soon—

so many stars

yet to wish on

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We used to sing

You are my sunshine,

sang it like

a children’s song,

all glitter and wing.

That was before

we knew

how dark it can get,

sky without stars,

night without moon.

Even the brightest songs

can be sung in a minor key.

That is no reason

to stop singing.

That’s the time

to ask someone

to dance, please,

slow, your bodies

practicing how

to make light.

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One of the rooms

in the longest night

has an empty chair

and an open book—

and in the book

is an empty page

full of light—

if you read it

long enough

you might forget

what an hour is,

or night,

forget all stories

besides this one,

older than scripture,

where everything

is possible.


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Darkness lands in my lap

on all fours, curls up and purrs—

I learn to miss

its weightless weight

when it leaves,

learn to be more still

so it will stay,

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for Barbara Ford



We sit on the couch in the low lamplight

and talk for hours about the heart,

its longing to know and be known.

I watch your hands as you speak, how

your long fingers dance. And sometimes,

my eyes catch on a moth amusing itself

at the edge of the room, content in shadow.

We are both well aware that pain

can also be a blessing, that just because

something is not going right doesn’t mean

it is wrong. There are problems

we will never solve, but tonight, it is not

about the solving of things, it’s about the feeling

of them, the willingness to lean over the edge

of the well-lit world, the thrill of fluttering

in the darkness together.

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Making Light



Fumbling in the dark

with the matchbook

grateful my hands

are experienced

with making flame—


part of me fears

using them up

part of me knows

it’s what matches

are for.

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power out—

an invitation to fall in love

with darkness

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In dark times it is sometimes hard

to speak of joy—not because


it doesn’t exist but because

of the guilt in feeling it.


The dark clots our arteries,

it keens in our ears, floods the streets.


Still, my friend sends me a word—

wushdan. It’s pronounced like swush,


she says, not swoosh. Wushdan.

I say it aloud, and the syllables


hush my tongue. It means,

she says, “heart awareness,


conscience,” as in a practice

of inner discipline. Wushdan,


I say again, as if to speak a word

is to know the secrets harboring


inside it for centuries.

The root, says my friend, is wush,


which is Persian, means joy.

It feels as if someone


has slipped me a piece of chocolate

in math class during a test.


Or as if, while reading

the headlines of war I look out


the window and see the big brown eyes

of a doe looking unwaveringly


into mine. And I put the paper down

and watch out the window


until the light is gone.

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One Last Thing




Let us lace our words with light—

the fragrant light we carry in our flesh.


Even the darkest words can be said

with light, can be spoken with a seam


of radiance, spoken as if the whole world

depends on us finding that inner shine


and sharing it.

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