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Posts Tagged ‘shadow’

on the brightest day
the shadows steep darker—
winging through them
on imperceptible wind
a white feather

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On a Clear Day


The way the field holds
   the shadow of the cottonwood,
      this is how life holds me.
 
Holds me, no matter my shape.
   Holds me with no effort.
      Holds my darkness and knows it
 
as weightless, as transient,
   as something that will shift,
      disappear, return, and shift again.
 
It never says no to me.
   I am still learning to trust life, to trust
      no matter how I show up, I will be held.
 
Trust that my life is not a problem.
   Trust that as much as I am the shadow,
      I am also the field.

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My Son’s First Word




He pointed at the grass
beneath the cottonwood tree
and said “dado.”
Shadow? I asked.
Not ball, not mama,
not cat, not dad.
Shadow.
Already at one,
he was aware of both
what is and what isn’t here—
how sometimes the light
is intercepted.
After Finn died, I dreamt
a young boy taught me
how I could help my son’s
transformation by
guiding his energy
through the shadow
of a total eclipse,
a golden corona flaming
about the circumference.
All night, certain I was awake,
I pulled luminous swirls
through the dark center, and
Finn’s energy disappeared
into the heart of the shadow,
into the light beyond.
A shadow is nothing,
of course, which is to say
it is also everything. The way
my life is now steeped
in the shadow of his life,
the way the shape of him
follows me everywhere I go.

*

this poem has been published in ONE ART

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Communion

Now, when I am alone
I am never alone. I walk
outside or get in my car
and reflexively say hello
to my beloveds no longer here,
calling them by name.
I love to say their names—
like singing a favorite song.
I love to tell them about
the bald eagles this morning
carving the sky above the river,
about the carrot soup
I will make for dinner,
about how my ears, my mind
and my arms miss their voices,
their opinions, their touch.
During the day, they are
my shadows, always
attached, but silent.
During the night, when
I am part shadow,
they welcome me
deeper into the night.

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Shade Loving




Bless the astilbe, the hellebore,
the hydrangea, bless the lobelia,
the bright impatiens—
it is no small thing to grow,
more notable still to grow in the shade—
to not only grow but to flower,
to bring color to the dark.
I take it to heart, the fuschia hanging
in the shadow, cascading
deep pink bells all summer long.
Oh tough beauty, teach me
the art of thriving in regions
where light is scant,
where light is not.
Teach me to bring to the world
the beauty
I wish to find.

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One Irrational Fear




inside this trembling woman
her own shadow
wildly distorted, flexing

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May I not only see my own shadow
but may I let it wrestle me
the way an angel once met Jacob
then wrestled him till dawn.
May we scrabble and scrap
until I am trembling, exhausted,
until the shadow dislocates what I think I know
about how to move through the world,
until panting I beg it to bless me,
cling to it until it gives me a new name.
I want to know everything
I am capable of—the destruction,
the ferocity, the benediction.
I don’t need to know the weather.
I just want to know that I can meet
whatever comes, even
the darkest parts of myself,
and learn from them,
then limp into the daylight
toward healing, toward wholeness.

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Better Half


After midnight, the shadow
is with me drinking tea—
mint and lemongrass.
It doesn’t mind a spill.
What’s a mess to a shadow?
If there is a question
that must be asked,
the shadow doesn’t speak it—
no, it understands, perhaps,
the only reason
to ask a question is to let
the universe know  
a willingness to not know.
The shadow doesn’t worry
about what comes next.
That’s the concern
of the flesh. When I sleep,
it untethers itself
from my breath and slips
into the night. It doesn’t curse
the light for bringing it back.
It simply joins me as I
do whatever I do,
stays close to me,
like a dream, like a friend.
 

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One in the Woods




crooked staves
aspen shadows on snow—
our attention the song

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Learning

Today the shadows

teach me to love

what is dim,

the sweet respite

of obscurity

when the sun

is too much

and a tree

yields its shape

so that I might slip

my clumsy heat

out of the bounds

of the vertical world

and find instead

a cool dark pool

on the ground,

as if I’m a boat

that has discovered

at last

a slim calm eddy

in which I might rest.

This is perhaps

the way we start

to meet our deaths—

sliding into the relief

of these dark, quiet

channels.

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