In These Dark Hours

Gnarled bark and twisted branches
tangle in the gray sky.
I lose touch with the turning,
the language of wind in the trees.
When we rode in tall grass
the earth was all we knew.
Now I pray upon a wooden altar
that the sun may rise and shine upon the people.


My clothes are soaked in forgiveness
that my family be unharmed.
I have not loved enough
but there’s still time.
I scrawl these words on ragged cloth,
sending them far on the wings of crow.
May they reach you in these dark hours
while we keep faith toward dawn.



photograph by Albion Butters


















Reading of “In These Dark Hours” with music by State Symphony Capella of Russia


8 Responses to “In These Dark Hours”

  1. We MUST keep faith until the dawn…it is coming!

  2. Lloyd Meeker says:

    There’s still time, to love more. What a gift…

    I keep the faith because the story is not yet over, although I no longer make or ask for promises.

    Life is good.

  3. Ed Haimes says:

    Hiking in Colorado high country I have always been impressed by the gnarled and twisted trunks and branches of tree line flora. Once the symbol of resiliency and ability to survive extreme harsh climate, the White Bark Pine is threatened with extinction. Found as high as 12,100 ft. and can live up to 1,270 years, climate change, fungi, and beetles are overwhelming this sacred tree. May my love and vigilance find a place on earth resonating with others, to alter the course set by mindless greed. There will always be time for greater love, until there isn’t. Thank you Don, for today’s meditation.

  4. Tom Figel says:

    Don, the “twisted branches” are a strong image in an arresting poem. I enjoyed Ed Haimes note about the White Bark Pine and its imperiled state.

  5. Veronica Lim says:

    Don, your choice of music is perfect in these dark, turbulent times – the Russian origin, the a cappella sound of human voices raised in peaceful, holy harmony. May our hearts remain open to the coming of dawn!

  6. James Kevin Daly says:

    Don, Love the dark stuff. Fear, quiet desperation, and confusion. Everyone touches it sometime; but as your poem implies it can not be a way of life or direct our actions. A lot of people can’t seem to get off the endless merry go round of hate and fear. They need a poem like this to get on the good foot. Well done.

  7. Chris Dalengas says:

    Very nice, Don. I liked “My clothes are soaked in forgiveness.”

  8. Jim O’Malley says:

    Hey Don, my first comment on your website definitely resonated with me and how I know you raw and uncompromising I didn’t expect anything less Thanks from my soul.

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