ON THIS DARK NIGHT
On this dark night one by one together or alone may these words find your windowsill like whole notes and night birds and say something soft and kind to the singing-master of your voice that’s lost the heart to raise it again in praise of the art that you’ve made of your life. You may be looking through a starless window right now but it isn’t a starless life that misses the light. Shine. And give your eclipses equal time. You don’t need to seek the eventual forgiveness of the dark when it hasn’t committed a crime. Don’t accuse yourself of an innocence that’s still strong enough to be hurt by the things you’re open to. The tree stands out in the field to greet the lightning knowing in that one moment of contact there is so much bliss in kissing the head of the cobra you realize how intensely you live when you run the risk of being destroyed and you’re not. Hasn’t it always been so with the lovers of the world who divine something in their nature that transcends its contradictions heresies and conventional convictions with the rarity of their own humanity? You are not flotsam. You are not jetsam. You are not salvage scattered along an impoverished coast that lives by stripping the dead of their lifeboats. May these words bury the drowned sailors with gold earrings dangling from their earlobes like small planets in orbit and whisper something mystically intimate over their graves. The hunter home from the hill. The sailor home from the sea.
We antagonize our lives until one day they turn the darkness around on us and surprise of surprises savage us as if we worked harder than we needed to to deserve it. We punish ourselves prophetically for things we haven’t done yet. You can hear the air raid sirens of the future screaming in bedlam from wherever you are on the earth tonight. The angels are assigned to painting the plague-doors and the banshees get to howl at the windows like death masks come to fit their faces to the original. It’s not so different from now. Even what we’re living right here this moment came with a warning yesterday that we didn’t abide. That’s how you get to the other side. If you’re a great spiritual warrior you build a bridge like the Canadian Army in