I love the early morning best
Me, my shadow and the Beloved.
Just the three of us
And the trees and the birds
And the sky and the deer
And the earth and the water
And the sun and the moon
And the fire and air

The Shadow is not dark
According to Bruce Bode
According to Robert Johnson
According to Joseph Campbell
We put gold in the shadow
When we are small
And frightened and young
And want to please those
We depend on
We put gold and filth
However filth is defined
In our shadow
And drag it around
Attached to our feet
Wanting to cut it off
Wanting to deny it
Wanting to be rid of it

And some people are there still
No matter how old they
Still fight their shadow
They will not let it come to consciousness
They will not examine it
They deny it and project it

On others who become their enemies
Oh, for an enemy that they
Can project on and who projects back
What a relief as the shadow is embodied
Is recognized and named and hated
And cast out and slaughtered
Scapegoat gone

For a few days we run lightly
No shadow holding us down
Virtuous as air
Knowing who the enemy is

The devil returns with seven more
And our shadow suddenly is heavier
More horrible than ever
We catch a glimpse in a mirror
Of how we acted
Their shadow their devil
What we embodied
We see our own horror
Reflected in their eyes

I call my father once
And say people are afraid of poems
Why? How can this be?

Poems are magic
Says my father
And terrifying

They are not, I say
They are communication
Stripped to bones
There is nothing magical about them

You say that because you are a poet
Says my father

And most people aren’t
And I am forty and realize
That not only is it not true that
Everyone wants to write

But the core is that
Everyone is a poet
I know in my bones
That everyone can write poetry

As my mother knows
In her bones
That everyone can do art

As my father knows
In his bones
That everyone can make music

And it is not magic either

We are a stubborn lot
Aren’t we

I know Beloved
In my bones
That everyone can own
Their shadow

That everyone can be
Can be loved
Can love themselves
And others perfectly

I know Beloved
In my bones

I know Beloved
Not in this lifetime

And still I love the mornings
Me, my shadow and the Beloved

Connected to everything


Sweet Honey in the Rock: In the morning, when I rise

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