Tag Archives: light

Rainbows and sunshine: tanka

This note may be dark,
but it reflects the weather.
Besides, too much light
fades color from everything.
What a gray world that would make!

Rainbows and sunshine
do not help the whole world grow.
There must be dark storms
to fuel life at its deep roots,
build jungles out of deserts.

Seeing only good
is merely self-hypnosis;
dark and light exist
in equal measure out there.
Why persist out of balance?

05 JUN 2017

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Eclipse: Shakespearean (English) sonnet

There is no time to lose, soothsayers tell us;
Make hay! The sun will shine just for a while,
and once it’s gone, the world will turn to rust,
deprived of motive power, warmth, and style.

All things depend on endless solar power,
that radiating energy that fuels
the moments of our lives, the days and hours,
the actions of both conqueror and fool.

While artificial light may serve its purpose,
there is no life without organic heat
extending far beyond the simple surface
into the core, where being’s heart must beat.

Such darkness none on earth have ever known
like what will come when the sun’s fuse has blown.

1 JUN 2017

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Don’t Kill the Siren: sapphics

Now whose voice is singing out words of warning,
as the low light, glittering, slowly fading,
starts to flicker tenuously, letting darkness
silently swallow

other points now wavering on the shoreline?
When those bridges crumble for their reasons,
will they turn the oceanside’s brightness inward,
quietly shifting

all their burning energy from their borders,
glowing in the after hurt, slowly dying,
letting outside travelers lose their bearings,
careening wildly

on the rocks that litter the lightless beaches?
Are new voices learning the ancient lyrics?
What will guide the innocent ships to harbor
without that howling?

18 MAY 2017

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The fainter stars

I wonder if the fainter stars,
those not more distant but less bright,
their fuel perhaps reduced by age,
the entropy that comes with time,
feel they burn just as brightly now
as once they ever did.

Do they, confined to shrinking space,
expend their last remaining years
reflecting inward, on the past,
where once they outshone all for miles
and lit even the darkest skies
with brilliant rays and fervent heat?

If so, that may provide a clue:
why old stars fade with memory
and seem to slip away in shame,
neglected as both power source
and lesson for the young white dwarfs
who do not yet know of the dark.

I wonder, when the light grows dim
and will not give much warmth or glow –
for older fuel is often best.
Green wood is wet behind the ears
and fails to catch without some aid,
while dry and brittle kindling needs
the slightest spark to raise a pyre.

So sad if those much fainter stars,
those not more distant but less bright,
their fuel perhaps reduced by age,
the entropy that comes with time,
feel they need not burn just as bright
as once they ever did.

03 APR 2013

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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

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Dreams and Light

Each day I wake, my head crammed full of dreams
that reach into my conscious life unasked,
defining how I perceive each new task
by tearing at reality’s worn seams.

From dawn to dusk they push and pull my mind
in strange directions, seeking some release;
new tangents form in patterns without cease
and with their ebb and flow, seek to design

the life that I too often see as dull,
its colors faded out to browns and grays,
mere repetitions of some useless rite.

Of moments too soon gone, my life is full;
and on these fleeting chimeras, my days
oft lose their edges and fade into light.

02 JUN 2004

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By Candlelight

that is
and slowly
a song that
echoes so
in the
flicker of time.
Like the side
of a candle
at the edge
of your vision,
the sound of
my voice, its
fragile refrain,
seems to draw
your attention
as it waxes
and wanes.

16 MAY 2003

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