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when were you born ¿

Light streaming through clouds in the Inner Hebrides
inner hebrides, november 30, 2017 · ben wolfe

filling out a form
i was asked
when were you born ¿

there was no room to answer,
i was born a thousand times
yesterday alone

i am being born right now,

do you not see the blood ¿
do you not feel the contractions ¿
can you not hear
the endless mother-cry of
healed and broken joy ¿

— december 20, 2007

my anger came back

photo: ben wolfe
photo: ben wolfe

my anger came back —
the bastard moved into my basement :
he wants to tell me my story again

can i be a patient friend ¿
let him say his peace ¿
open my hands, like a priest
saddled with a self-absorbed parishioner
and say :
“tell me about that” ¿

i need him to stop his complaining
he had me on the run today
i got nothing done today,
i was just jerking around
letting him pull my strings

maybe if i listen
maybe if i can breathe my frustration away

and hear what he has to say

the bastard

will go away

— September 11, 2005

 

In a Dark Time

(by Theodore Roethke)

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood —
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks — is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is —
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

shadow work

Kintsugi

i am emerging into wholeness
through shards of brokenness,

i seem to long to watch me
nearly-not-survive —

i dodge life-ending fragments of my past
in bullet time

i am the actor,
i trained the actor,
i am the finished scene

i am behind the camera, watching me
not-knowing what the end will be

— September 25, 2008

 

i hope that i will someday see

(with apologies to ogden nash)

i hope that i will someday see
that every they becomes a we

indeed, unless the theys all fall
there’ll never be someday at all

— Oct. 23, 2008

 

Circle Limit IV