Write a poem about darkness, within or without — physical darkness or the dark night of the soul.
Out of whatever we have been
We will make something for the dark.
If a man wishes to be sure of the road
he treads on, he must close his eyes
and walk in the dark.
Saint John of the Cross
– Robin Becker
How neatly the world divides
in half after sunset in Wyoming.
All the loneliness
sinks below the plush, dark
silhouette of buttes and cottonwoods.
Into the huge, light sky rises
Hope, our best intentions,
You do not know the woods
Til you’ve wandered them at night
I go there at dusk
So my eyes will adjust to the slowly dying light
I hug the lake when I practice this
I’ve learned to step my feet high
The dressage of navigating rocky paths,
In this I must resemble some awkward horse
Half prance, half stumble
I never bring a light I would forget to see the forest,
My friends do not approve of this
They mention coyotes and the psychopaths, the mother bear
They’ve never been out here
Felt the heat the stones hold long after the sun’s gone down
Sat so quiet they could hear the hiss of bat wings
Watched the path grow luminous beneath their feet
I’m always startled when I reach the car
Looking back over my shoulder
The woods so black now
It seems impossible I’ve just come through
It’s best to practice darkness
A little each day
One year it lasted months
And I was not ready.
In this dark I rest,
unready for the light which dawns
day after day
eager to be shared.
Black silk, shelter me
I need more of night before I open
eyes and heart
to illumination. I must still
grow in the dark like a root
not ready, not ready at all.
…the candles flutter on the stairs of your voice
gold in the dark…
To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest in cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently
Dark like me —
That is my dream!
Leave a comment