Shadow Self

Oh had I been born without
this contrast that settles
deeply about my head
and shoulders.  The same
leadenness that weights
my feet with each step.
I see there is light, for
it glows brightly at times…
for periods here and there.
My heart feels it and gives
a tiny leap of recognition.
Yes, the soul lifts and
begins a whirling of its
energy and a surge of
joy emerges from the dark,
lighting my path.

But would I have become
who I am if not for
the experience of darkness?
Knowing what I know
of the shadow self?
I think not.
Even though…I’m left with a
lingering malaise of
the memories of the pain
inflicted, dealt with,
held onto, lived through and
died through, by lifetimes built.
A blunted gloom lurks just below
the surface…just right there,
waiting for any opening to
show itself and disperse
that light…as if a candle
flame being extinguished,
without warning.

Karin Gustafson hosts today at dVerse Poets and asks us to reflect on “bright shadows” however that may show up for you:



Deep corridors have been
furrowed into this shell
by life’s formidable quest.

Documented and recorded in detail,
nothing has escaped inscription
onto and within this body.

What once was supple, flexible,
smooth and soft has taken
on a stiffened, uncompromising
distinction.  Boundless, joyous youth
has incrementally given way to
become a myopic form that growls
and whimpers its way toward
its winter days.  Its voice raises
in absorbed weariness, as it
grouses and protests its inability
to move with the same grace, and
rebound from hardship as
it once was able. 

But let it complain.
I’m still in residence and
will continue the passage
and honor it as I can for
allowing me this homestead,
this temporary space to
grow and broaden my spirit.

Join Victoria C. Slotto, our hostess tonight, at dVerse Poets; Meeting the Bar–Contrast:

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