Monday, February 12, 2018


by a contemporary man-poet friend, C. N., whose insights and literary expressions I highly respect. He wishes to remain anonymous. 

In past centuries, poets were predominantly men. Why do we by and large not hear the strong male voice in poetry today? Perhaps it is there but we don't recognize it—gifted men are writing prose with poetic style that sings to the ear. Let's applaud it wherever we come upon it, as it does below.

(Leona's note: I had just finished reading Saint Mother Teresa's COME BE MY LIGHT, The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta.” A bittersweet saga of a classic mystic whose anguished heart and mind were tested and purified by an intense, lengthy trial of faith. I closed the book with the desire to remove my shoes on holy ground, to walk softly and listen to God whispering through her mysterious dark root season to keep pressing on toward the Great Light in the Beatific Vision of God.)

“…I need more of the night before I open eyes and heart to illumination. I must still grow in the dark like a root not ready, not ready at all.” Denise Levertov, Eye Mask
I am in love with poetry. I adore poetry as one of the great spiritual guides in my life. I write poetry. I love poetry because of its ability to say much with so little, its deep spirituality, it intimacy and delicacy, to fill and to empty, to flourish and fire, to capture the deeper truths I want to embody in a crisp, concise way. I too must remain still and rest in the dark, like a root not ready for the world and all it contains. I must gestate longer in this womb of God; much like the Christ child in Mary, I too need more time in the darkness before I come to fruition.

Many people shun and even fear the dark; God reminds me that many good and wonderful things happen in the dark, more than just things that go bump and boo in the night. Fauna are out and about in the night where they find their sustenance. In the darkness, all manner of vegetation and flora take root and cling to the Earth like a babe to a breast finding life in the suckling darkness;
then so lovingly and compassionately turning from what they received in darkness to fill and feed those of us who walk in the day.

Darkness is a good thing. It is not something to fear, to run from, or to see as negative. Darkness is necessary for any authentic spiritual growth. In darkness come dreams, fantasies, hopes, inspirations. God spoke in the days of old and still does speak in the dreams that come in the darkness.

I need to go deep into the dark like a root, so that God can water my soul, give me the tenderness of damp, earthy shadows where I can remove all pretense, drop my skin and shell to the floor like old rags, and lick my wounds and set them free to roam in God’s healing freedom.

As a dark root, I let God touch my selfishness, my anger, my chards of rage, my fears, self-pity and my resentments. In the darkness, God heals me, nurtures me, molds me, and breaks me, loving me back to my humanity. Perhaps I too am still not ready for the illumination and blossoming that will happen in the day. 

I am in need of quiet, willing rest in this darkness, the emptiness of gestation where the Divine Love is always with me. I must be content to wait while growing in this sacred darkness, a little holy root of God. His timing is perfect for me to emerge from the darkness into the beauty and fruitfulness for which He destined me.

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