Meditation on Darkness

A poem by Judy Bebelaar, Bay Area poet and educator

Farmers carry lanterns to cows 

sleepy in barns before dawn.

Ambient light makes stars and planets disappear,

though they are still travelling the old sky roads,

carrying their rocks— 

some with circling moons over their shoulders.

Dark is beautiful and dangerous.

It is not in baryonic clouds.

It is not antimatter.

But dark energy, dark matter are nearly everything. 

And all that we can touch or see,

all we think we know,

only a tiny fraction of the universe. 

The rest, mystery.

Is darkness those instincts we call animal, 

inexplicable eruptions of human cruelty:

Lord of the Flies, Beelzebub,

the perverse desire in those three bored boys

who wanted to see someone die?

Or the Jim Jones order to kill the children, babies first?

What I really wanted to write about was

the beauty of dark far from the city

full of swimming stars, shimmering crickets,

and sleep, that other form of dark that matters,

how it heals us, 

makes us think in metaphors,

lights up the paths in our heads,

and helps us find the way,

or lose it for a while.

© Judy Bebelaar

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