Tag Archives: darkness

Colors Besides Black

There are some other colors besides black,
I once said upon my exit from the goths;
and yet, when all the world is shades of gray,
where people tend to seek polarities,
how many days are suited for pastels?

For secondary shades, one must be bold
and smile through every hopeful lie and fantasy:
the world is getting better, by and by,
and when you’ve grown up you will understand.

Let white, and even creams, remain reserved
for rituals and those observances required
when we admit collective lack of words
and make up answers to get through the feast.

But black is not just mourning and sackcloth;
it is a practical solution, after all.
When all our lives are spent here in the dark,
what better way to soldier through the days

than in a wardrobe blind men could still match,
and that requires no consciousness to pick.
Think not of grim and stern sobriety,
though these occasions can and do arise,

but of a silence suffering that stands
at the back of the room during the wake.
There are some other colors, it is true,
but none that hide as well as black tones do.

18 MAY 2017

Share This:

Smoke and Mirror: poulter’s measure

The world of late is full of crashing sound and blurry vision,
a thunder crash inside a cloud – lost in indecision.

Some claim that sunshine lurks around the corner, only waiting
for those who dare beyond the haze, past the senseless hating

of those who in the darkness loudly curse the coming daylight
that strips away the fog’s disguise; the night conceals their blight.

To be afraid just draws the darkness inward, more and nearer;
thus hate intensifies and grows – in that distorted mirror

your sense of what should be and how things are is set askew.
You must resist the ease of it. It seems, but isn’t, you.

Some say the world is what you wish to make it: good or bad,
a nightmare or fantastic dream; if so, then why so sad?

Step out into the light and choose a path beyond the din.
Who knows what you will find out there? A new way to begin?

12 APR 2017

Share This:

Dawn Patrol: deibhidhe

Soon the sound that breaks the day
comes to chase our sleep away;
and the darkest dreams night grew
blink from black into lighter blue.

The world, barely recognized
through half-open, hazy eyes,
wakes slow with us, its warm glow
buried below the pillows.

Arise again and don your shield,
the ancient weapons you wield
against the dumb drones that come
reeking of rum and humdrum.

Be conscious now! You must choose.
Do not linger, or you lose
this moment’s span; if you can
still stand, battle is at hand.

Until the sound that stills the day
comes quietly to end the fray,
fight on fearless, king or pawn,
at every dawn, until you’re gone.

23 FEB 2017

Share This:

When It Comes

When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
right and wrong
and that thin line in between.

In the dark,
you just watch for the lightning.
All the rest?
Doesn’t matter what you mean.

Simple truths
in the shadows become complicated:
black and white
both appear as shades of gray.

Choosing sides
beyond sight of the border,
where you find
it don’t matter anyway.

When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
You and me
and the darkness closing in.

In the end,
it becomes uncomplicated:
birth and death
and the sacred space within.

04 DEC 2015

Share This:

The Loudest Sound

The loudest sound does not echo the longest;
the brightest star seems quite dull from afar.
No one can judge true beauty from a distance,
nor hear a nuance from a mile or two.

The greatest deeds are not always the grandest;
the most humble of thanks are never heard.
No one can see much more than they are able,
nor comprehend what lies beyond their reach.

The biggest fool is not the biggest loser;
the smartest mind may lack all common sense.
No one can say for sure which is the wiser,
nor say the one has what the other lacks.

The loudest sound may be a quiet whisper;
the brightest light, the flicker of a spark.
No one can know how truth will come upon us,
nor which of us will lead us from the dark.

20 APR 2013

Share This:

Not Much of Everything

What is belief except a means to reach
beyond the limits safe within our grasp
to learn from the unknown what it may teach?
If in that fertile darkness, courage fails,
as well as our illusions of defense,
what is there but belief until night pales?

Can faith alone provide, as some suppose,
sufficient armor against what we fear:
a deep pervading loneliness that grows
with every hour, behind our cheerful smiles;
a nagging doubt that we are each alone;
that substance fails, and there are merely styles?

It is belief that is our mooring rock:
the tenets that we hold as true and sure,
that mark us individuals, and shock
those who either grasp at fashion’s whims,
or sip from here or there, like butterflies;
the book of life we choose to read, not skim.

But separate belief from life, and it becomes
a rigid set of chains that bind the soul,
that does not fuel, but instead starts to numb
the senses to the underlying truth:
that what we see is only a small part,
akin to how old age is known to youth:

A lantern in the dark, but not the light;
a drop of canteen water, not the spring;
a packet of dry crackers, but not grain;
a piece, not very much, of everything.

18 OCT 2005

Share This:


Listen in the dark, and follow
where my voice leads on, away,
through the woods beyond the hollow
where the cheerful sparrows play
on into the mist that thickens
where the Spanish moss hangs low
on the spreading live oak branches
as we pass, silent, below.

Here the sun makes no impression,
for the canopy is thick;
mossy roots criss-cross the pathway,
mute our footsteps; here, the trick
is to remember without seeing,
gauge by sense of smell and touch,
so that if you feel like fleeing,
you cannot reveal too much.

Listen, can you hear the whisper
of the almost stagnant breeze,
like the faintly fading flicker
of a hair bent on your knee?
Your own breathing now is heavy,
louder than the crunch of leaves,
than the slow lap of the levee
echoing the distant seas.

Listen in the dark, and follow
where my voice is almost gone;
feel your face find the cool hollow
in the air it lingers on.
Listen for the fading footsteps
that leave no trace on the ground,
only soft and silent shadows,
memories lost to sylvan sound.

23 JUL 2005

Share This: