Time For Light

It is time for light
to tip over and spill
into the darkness.

It is time for light
to transmute darkness
into shades of blue —

from midnight to aqua,
robin’s eggs (fragile
and lined with cream when

they drop, crack, break
open, revealing
curves of accidental

blue in whatever grass
cradles them, wherever
they fell). In this time

before light, we have ice,
cold and hard as stone,
but where we find light

mingled with shadow,
there is water pooled,
pooling, warm as skin,

and we are to be
naked in it, as if
it is safe, as if

it is a holy place,
as if we float
on a radiant

silence. It is time
for light to move through
the membrane dividing

what is seen from what is
unseen, unobserved,
unwitnessed. Water.

There it is, and we are
to walk into it
as if we have no plan

to return, as if we don’t
know where is the shore
and what it means to be

living. As if we are
alive right now, here
in the dark and cold.

As if entering
water means something.
What, I don’t yet know.

As if water has
never carried hurt.
As if we were not

already drowning
in these fresh waters.
There is light, and water.

We are, no, I am
to be naked in it.
As if no one ever

forced me into water,
or under water,
as if no one has

ever forced water
into me. It is time
for light to tip over

and spill like oil from lamps
unlit and lined up
against a wall painted

white, but still in shadow;
spilling like oil from
a lamp on fire, pouring

the burning, fire running
like water along
a crevice, the line

between dark and light
(day and night, black and white,
blade and flight, wound and fight).

There is a thread of blood
in the water, in the
fire, in the light. It is

time for light to tip
over and spill red
along the edges

of dawn, shivering
as if we are stepping
through a mirage into

water, or into Spring,
or into waking, or
into day. It is time.

5 responses to “Time For Light

  1. One of your best. There lies within this poem a vital truth about meaning and reverence, untouched by dogma or stigma. The poem itself is a sort of light, all the more so because it gives off ineffable meaning.

    • I am so grateful for this comment. You know how sometimes an author or artist will struggle to see their own work. After posting this last night, I went to sleep thinking this was one of my worst. I almost unpublished it. So thank you for seeing value in it, and sharing what you see.

  2. This is indeed one of your best poems. Great piece for both Christmas and the Solstice. I like the notion of being invited into the water by the light. (Perhaps it us because I finished grading yesterday and get a chance to relax for a day or two)

    • The Solstice was indeed on my mind, and all the many different cultural and spiritual celebrations of darkness and light — Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Shab-E Yalda, and any others I don’t know about. The water and fire are, of course, the cleansing and purification traditions — baptism, mikveh, spiritual bathing. But my mind is circling both the opportunities represented as well as the risks and challenges, and the sheer physical reality of the world here, now, as it is.

  3. Pingback: Poetry Blog Digest 2019: Week 51 – Via Negativa

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