Friday’s Poem: Lux in Tenebris (Light in Darkness)

Sliver and orb, flash and streak,

rising and flowing across the earth

the quality of light is migratory,

transitional, dynamic as it pervades

our lives like breath, like heartbeats.

Omnipresent as every human need

and rife with potency, nobler than imagined

it spills over rotund or knife-sharp horizons,

an unstoppable beam inside thickets of dark.

It arrives as torn lace aflutter among branches,

shifts and skips between arms and legs

and rides manes of wild horses,

flicks ears of wolves and sleek-backed snakes

as sunlight ’til moonlight ’til starlight joins life to the finish.

The body cannot keep it from coming, nor forget

even in grief, even in blindness.

Light lays itself down, follows us faithfully

then embroiders worn edges of shadow.

Such volume of light in cup, in heart, in hand

has no form to define as it sizzles and dances

but here comes warmth and illumination

that arise from the deep of all mother-father eyes–

but, too, rests itself on mossy log and feathery bloom.

It roams alleys and walls of the city when few are watching.

Suffuses even the cave and recess no one wants to find.

It wends its way to tenderness of lovers’ fingertips,

and skin how it glows, it gleams in pulse of stars,

shimmer of moon and sun let in by window or fissure.

The earth, air, water know such wiles, how magic accumulates,

what means a spot of luminescence at play on brook, leaf, stone.

It changes what is seen, becomes a compass for a map of movements,

a truth telling, a magnification of vagaries of life.

This force is a constancy of inarguable beauty,

a mystery and surprise in the midst of aching and

creating, and in our welcomes, our refusals.

Seeking or not, there is always lux in tenebris

born in homes of the cosmos, released to earth

and still working, undeterred by tremulous times.

May we be bearers of such light,

and brave bearers of life.

(Apologies for accidentally posting two Spotify.)

Friday’s Poem: A Call to Spring

All photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

The vast drape of land calls us,

its undulation of tilting trails and spread of green

over density of earth teeming

with unseen things. There is genius

of growth beneath while horizon’s blue

offers a new comfort of light, empty of rain.

Today it is a genial drama, spring’s arrival,

and to be a witness is to feel the spirit stir, rise

with a deepening breath that carries

silken perfume of cherry blossoms

that startle the air with innocence

and shy resplendence.

Friday’s Poem: March Anticipations

It’s what we long for, lushness sparking the

dailiness with dollops and spangles of vibrance,

a rustle and sway of green-crowned trees

that will lift our heads and plants that give forth

a carnival of blooms so we lean forward, bend our knees.

The desire is for wintering to be done, the shadows obscuring

city and country to be subdued or made ghostly luminous.

But inside our flesh, we can be anything.

Inside the in-between-ness of now,

there is winter, there is autumn

and summer and spring, the blood and spirit

our testaments to time’s wisdom, hearts thumping

to rhythms this planet and beyond offer up.

Or so it seems as I awaken at dawn and sense

possibilities of celebration– even as prayers slip from

my lips to guide and protect, hold all close to the center,

manifest in everyone’s life the brazen powerhouse of love.

A gauze of light filters across the nesting room,

touches my fingertips, arms, face as it beckons me.

I rise up limb by limb. Beyond my window is brash azure

of March, stark branches potent with buds,

birds rattling the morning with musical events.

I can wait for flowers to strew more joy

but run downstairs to you sipping espresso,

and to my berries, bagel and vanilla chai,

a Friday unlike yesterday, its bouquets of abundance

made of hidden wonders, of laughter like spice.

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To hear me read this poem aloud click on the podcast below. Thanks!

Saturday’s Poem: Ardor

In youth I believed in ardor

but not even once in roses,

their showiness too sweet

and hues refined, dainty or unreal,

their lives taxing everyone

with the care they demanded.

Hothouse flowers, a pampered lot,

made for show and selfish delights.

And those thorns.

Who would love a flower

that hurt you, drew blood

when one–quite enamored–reached for it,

and with deep fragrances that lured

the admirer into danger disguised as elegance?

Trillium or marsh marigold beckoned me;

forsythia, tiger lily, cherry blossom, wild violets

and those iris whose drooping, near-translucent petals

hid heavenly wonder, yet held

a tenderness that begged for protection.

But the truth was, how much

the rose bush reflected my life.

All the years I sought magnetic attractions,

cultivated or bound by no rules and thriving.

How much attention staying alive took,

the most desired moments being the most costly.

There were threats of harm amid sumptuousness,

enchantments that became tiny pieces

staining pathways as I slipped away,

just making it out alive, the random beauty in ruins.

It was many bruised roses, too few trilliums.

I still believe in ardor’s mystery

if not now seeking it on purpose.

Roses do grace my life along the edges,

tidy rows that bloom under nurture of other hands.

No longer hunting for what is not there–

there is plenty that is–

I wander among light or weighty scents

and often find rainbows, happy even,

as if I belong here (though ever an outsider),

a ballad seeker and lullaby singer

so perhaps at times useful;

a colorist who fills up days in swirls of ink;

a woman on missions with arms held out

despite sudden punch or cut;

holding fast to beauty while binding wounds

and finding a flurry of petals floating to earth.

They shift in their smallness,

and soften under bare feet to make living

even more than expected,

like random plenty amid austerity.

I can, it seems, now be struck silent by roses.

I cannot, it seems, put aside ardor,

nor it, me.

Friday’s Poem: Walking Among Them

To be in winter slumber.

To wear musky scent of moss,

find dark soil as a good cushion,

branches a furry canopy,

a united gathering for all occupants

by a rippling, rasping creek.

To be not moved.

To be not alarmed by disastrous

feet tapping messages, cries flung

across dirt–fugitives locked under lid of sky.

To sense one prayerful human.

To bear sharp arrows of need,

such arms embracing ancient forms,

water, bark, lichen as sustenance

to each and all famished ones.

To inhabit a deeper soul like rock

in repose, beauty and succor of the ages.