Let Go the Shadows (Purgatory)

Who are you—who, against the hidden river,
were able to escape the eternal prison?”
he said, moving those venerable plumes.



Then he replied: “I do not come through my
own self. There was a lady sent from Heaven;
her pleas led me to help and guide this man.

Dante, Pugatorio, Canto 1, 40-42, 52-54

my love,
I saw you standing midst those who in purgatory dwell
singing makeshift words of another’s conjured rhymes
lies that evaporate before entangling hearts and minds
what you still pretend to be yesterday and tomorrow
as a child clinging to hopes from mommy borrowed
the thin shades cannot survive your heavenly skies,
not a million could survive the power of your light
to lead you to where you know you are called to go
to be brave enough to pass through your own shadows;
for the reflections of others will never keep you close
the shadows that follow others when they leave you
what you mistake for love just ’cause it hurts the most.

Shadows of Mighty Sunlight

the world will never reflect the truth about you;
not even its delicious praise will closer reach,

the flattering confections they refuse to give you,
until you’ve digested the derision that they teach;

for there are two kinds of comedy: one of salty wit
and one of vicious jealousy, the mother of resentment

who’ll feed you till your body’s too heavy, too dense
for feeling love or knowing joy in every circumstance.

for the devil only deals with those who love to need,
and those who need anything make love only with devil

such cheap and easy rewards you will willingly accept
as long as your surrender seems a step above the rest

still, you were born not of this world, but into it
as low shadows are born and grow in surface sunshine

they ebb and they flow in temporal aspect and petty slight
till dissolved when clouds gives rest to mighty sunlight.

Forgotten Way

have you never noticed the sunlight struggling to reach your eyes?
whatever you stand behind, it shimmers openings betwixt the sides
rocks burning, skyscrapers steaming, sun’s dragon fire breathing
trees soaking in the noontime sun as you seek safety in the shade
for why would you want to feel the hot desire of youth once again?
so many sunny days have fallen quickly into disappointing rains
and love, O Love!, burned too much of your heart that summer’s day
swift train passing you by disappearing into your lost forgotten way.