To Light the Dark

Across the miles
and hours of time
we connect on lines
invisibly woven
throughout the earth
and to our thoughts.
I speak to you
in your sorrow,
to what is broken
and may never repair.
Our bodies may be scarred
but wounds do heal.
To make the muscles work,
the nerves continue,
we build a fire
with the plans of our construction,
release our designs to smoke and ash,
begin anew with unmarked tablet.
Amidst the pain and grief,
the lost and never to be found,
there is this flame to light the dark,
dissolve the way we’ve held the world
and guide us into tomorrow.




photograph by Patrick Orleman


16 Responses to “To Light the Dark”

  1. Norm Smookler says:

    Beautiful piece, Don, and nice to tangibly feel your optimism on your 70th birthday. Happy Birthday!

  2. Jay Schwartz says:

    Happy Birthday!!! But how old would Dove be ( in dog years) ?

  3. T Johansson says:

    A little birdie blew the whistle…

  4. patrick Pinson says:

    Beautiful! Happy Birthday and welcome to the 70’s

  5. Ravenstalk says:

    I/We shed shed the layers of our human skins to continue our emergence into Grace ~ Thank You for Inspiring ⚡️⚡️⚡️

  6. Eric says:

    Thanks for the rich birthday gift!

  7. John Albright says:

    Life continues to deal the cards we play, and you have beautifully captured our inspired response to that. Never quit.
    Happy Birthday, Don

  8. Robin Haysom says:

    Don I don’t think you will ever know how this poem speaks to me at this moment in my life! Thank You and Happy Birthday, decided to open your poem as a tribute to your special day and it was like it was written for me….we connect on lines invisibly woven…thank you 💕

  9. David Rogers says:

    To dissolving the way we’ve held the world – Happy Birthday Don.

  10. Doyle Banks says:

    Happy Birthday. May you enjoy many more in good health and sound mind.

    And may we continue to enjoy the blessings of your earthly presence.

    Thank you for this poem. It speaks to me of the sacredness of mourning…putting our grief into action, into response rather than reaction.

  11. David Banner says:


    Don…Happy Birthday and what a great poem….

  12. Pichay says:

    I visited the Gilbert Islands in the central region of the Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii via documentary film. Kiribati Atoll has a population of about 30,000, and self-governing. Scientists are predicting that it will be the first in the world to flood with rising sea–in about 2047. Just 29 years.

    “…there is this flame to light the dark,
    dissolve the way we’ve held the world
    and guide us into tomorrow.”

  13. David Barnes says:

    Another exquisite step along the pathway, another one for the Ages. How I love your poems, Don. You give it all away so freely, and so it has all the more value to me, and in the world, because of these leaves falling along a river of generosity that endlessly flows. Thank you.

  14. Rose Meeker says:

    A touching poem. The last 5 lines are especially potent! Thank you for your vision, my Friend!

  15. Don,
    I’m glad you keep on writing poetry!

  16. Lon Heath says:

    The flame, reduced to embers,
    Will yet encourage our breath
    And burst forth again.

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