Light my face and light the flesh of my flesh

illustration of a sun shining over many tiny details that form the composite of a bird and a landscape, in yellow and red hues
Art by Kristina Closs

Devotional (after a Muslim Prayer)

by Philip Metres

Light my face and light the flesh of my flesh,
Light each my eyes and light inside my sight,
Light the light that makes me light in the bones,
And in my hands, light, and in my loins, light,

And light your light before and behind me,
Above and beneath me, light to my right
And light to left, light to my enemies
Who in the moral dark will use my light

Against me, light the dull swords of my ribs,
The thick fist within, light the blood-hot rooms
Pulsing there, light the gates when they swing wide
To the stranger, light more light on my tongue,

In the light, light more light, in the black, light,
and when it’s time to snuff this wick—light that light.

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Even this late the bones of the body shine

Here’s a beautiful winter solstice poem by Mark Strand (1934-2014). Wishing you a 2019 full of love and light, dear readers.

“The Coming of Light”

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.

and you will fall into another darkness

A spare yet intricate poem from Mark Strand (1934-2014) that has been open in one of my browser tabs for weeks…

mark-strand

“The Dress”

Lie down on the bright hill
with the moon’s hand on your cheek,
your flesh deep in the white folds of your dress,
and you will not hear the passionate mole
extending the length of his darkness,
or the owl arranging all of the night,
which is his wisdom, or the poem
filling your pillow with its blue feathers.
But if you step out of your dress and move into the shade,
the mole will find you, so will the owl, and so will the poem,
and you will fall into another darkness, one you will find
yourself making and remaking until it is perfect.