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STILL LIFE AT DUSK by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

 I spent most of my life longing for light and running from the darkness... 

Yet one evening, while standing on the red rock cliffs behind our house, I noticed that the shadow of another cliff was coming to eclipse my own shadow where I stood. It was marvelous watching my shadow disappear into the larger shadow! So marvelous, in fact, so thrilling, that I ran home to the east so that I could experience it again and again and again as the sun set beneath different land forms. By the time I got home, I had been eclipsed perhaps eight times.

What was the thrill of this? Well, I think that it was in part due to a new attraction to darkness. I spent most of my life longing for light and running from the darkness. This newfound curiosity about what had once scared me brought so much freedom, so much openness.

 I have been recently drawn to the work of Rilke that also explores the darkness. For instance, this first line:  You, Darkness, that I come from, I love you more than all the fires that fence in the world ...

Why not try a little shadow swallowing of your own at home ... It was so fun, so powerful.

(To hear Rosemerry recite her poem, click on video) 

Still Life at Dusk

It happens surprisingly fast,
the way your shadow leaves you.

All day you’ve been linked by
the light, but now that darkness

gathers the world in a great black tide,
your shadow joins

the sea of all other shadows.
If you stand here long enough,

you, too, will forget your lines
and merge with the tall grass and

old trees, with the crows and the
flooding river—all these pieces

of the world that daylight has broken
into objects of singular loneliness.

It happens surprisingly fast, the drawing in
of your shadow, and standing

in the field, you become the field,
and standing in the night, you

are gathered by night. Invisible
birds sing to the memory of light

but then even those separate songs fade,
tiny drops of ink in an infinite spilling. 

Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer “is a chanteuse of the heart,” says poet Art Goodtimes. She served two terms as the first poet laureate for San Miguel County, Colorado, where she still leads monthly poetry readings, teaches in schools, leads writing workshops and leaves poems written on rocks around the town. Her most recent collection, The Less I Hold, comes out of her poem-a-day practice, which she has been doing for over seven years. Her work has also appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and in O Magazine, on tie-dyed scarves, alleyway fences and in her children’s lunchboxes. Visit her website here for ideas about writing, and to read her daily poems click here. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


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