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Posts Tagged ‘light’

Soundtrack


 
 
Sometimes another person knows our heart
so well they offer us a song that becomes,
at least for a moment, our anthem.
In that moment, listening to lyric and melody,
the entire body re-attunes to life,
each cell turning not only toward the music
but also toward the giver,
and we are led deeper into that strange
and beautiful grotto of our heart
with its mosses and echoes,
a place at once strange and familiar,
and the song becomes a shining remover
of darkness, its light bouncing on our inner walls
until we relearn who we are—
the light of a million suns.

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for Sherry
 
 
All it takes is one moonless night
to realize how grateful I am
for those who bring light to the world—
I am thinking of my friend
who travels with lanterns
and hangs them from doorways
wherever she stays.
How she brings long strands of fairy lights
powered by tiny batteries
and then passes them out like party favors
so people might wrap themselves in the glow
and know themselves as carriers of light.   
How today she mailed me a photo
of me and a friend doubled over laughing
with a bright pink stickie note flashing “favorite!”
so that even the mail luminesces.
How, even in the darkest of hours,
she brings her gift for seeing good in others,
and she beacons, she candles, she moons, she stars.

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for an hour we danced
in the tiny kitchen
and sang with Dolly,
our voices braided
like eager vines,
and for that hour
I smiled and swayed
and I felt such spaciousness—
like a lost girl in a fairy tale
who has walked through dark woods
and arrived in a glade
with sunlight streaming
and flowers and bird song,
and though she’s still lost,
for this moment she’s safe,
not only safe, but happy,
truly deeply happy,
and when she reenters
the cold, dark woods,
as she must,
a bit of the shine
has twined into her.
Even now, I feel it,
the radiance,
how it shimmies
just like we did
beside the old oak cupboards,
how it glitters in the dark,
how it moves.

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For a Moment


It’s the kind of night I wish for a firefly.
The fact that they don’t live here
doesn’t stop me from wishing.
Is it so wrong to want some small proof
of light in the darkness?

What I really want? Proof of miracles.
Proof of life beyond life.
Oh world, you’ve given me proof.
And I want more.

Perhaps it would be more poetic
if I could find my own bioluminescence—
even a metaphoric inner light.
Instead, I find my own wanting.
Hello wanting.
Hello wishing for something that isn’t here.

Because there are no fireflies,
I conjure the memory of fireflies.
Because there are no fireflies,
I sit in the darkness—how vast it is.
How full of dignity. How humbling.

I sit in the darkness until the darkness
scrubs me of me, until the darkness
feels like a proof for miracles,
until infinite space rushes in,
until for a moment
I forget how to wish for anything but what is.

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There is a light inside the light,
   a light that ever burns.
     It’s easy not to notice it
when it’s surrounded with other light,
   but it is there, shining.
     It is, perhaps, like a candle
lit at noon in a sun-bright room—
   almost imperceptible, and yet
     to the one who lit the candle,
the light it offers
   is so much more than photons.
     It requires trust to receive
the light no one else can see,
   this light that weaves through
     the light of the world to reach you,
this light that shines for you.
 
 

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September Night




The mountain air forgets to be cold,
and my daughter and I walk in the dark
beside the river. I almost can’t see,
yet thanks to starlight,
we step over roots, over rocks.
There are moments,
even whole chapters of our lives,
when we understand how the smallest
bit of light makes a difference.  
Tonight, we are laughing,
singing as we go.
Trust, too, is a kind of light.
In this dark moment, it is all I see.

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I find myself storing up on light
   the way picas store summer grass—
     leaving it out to dry
       in front of their rocky homes.

I store light in poems,
   in photographs. I stand
     bare skinned in the sun
       and store it in memories.

There will be a day five months from now
   when I will desperately want to remember
     how it feels to stand naked
       in the field, held by the warmth

of the sun. So I stand naked in the field,
   and if I were a pica, there would be
     in front of my door a stack
       of golden rays and a dozen

long and sun-drenched days
   and the scent of an almost rain.
     I know the winter is long. I remember.
       I gather more light, more light.

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There is comfort in knowing
that every year
since the earth was made
there has been
a longest day of the year—
a day when half of all life
wakes to an abundance of light
and then in that moment
of greatness leans again
toward the dark.
There is comfort in knowing
the light comes, the light leaves,
the light comes, the light leaves,
comfort in knowing
all the light that is
reaches toward us,
whether we can see it or not.
It is simply a matter
of staying out of our own way,
and if we can’t do that,
well, that is what patience is for.

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It’s tiny hexagonal ice crystals
in the earth’s atmosphere
that create the bright halo
around the moon.
Think of it,
so many scraps of borrowed light—
so that I shine
becomes the song
of something
with no glow of its own.
Just because its science—
refraction and reflection—
doesn’t mean it’s not a miracle.
Just ask anyone who, for a time,
has lost their own light
then receives it from another
who received it from another,
and soon they find themselves
part of a radiant circle of light
where before
there was only ice.

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On the Upward Swing




Barely a waning crescent,
the moon still shares enough light
to travel over two-hundred thousand miles
in less than two seconds.
It shines through the bedroom window,
its glow an ephemeral silver quilt.
It takes only the slenderest curve
to remind me the shape
of the whole. It takes only the barest
suggestion to know the enormity
of what is missing. Thank you
for these small proofs.
It takes so little momentum
to swing the pendulum
toward trust.

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