I think that, to anyone who’s been through the darkness, these poems speak for themselves…
The darkness is real. It’s tangible, it hurts and it can destroy. Knowing that these times can lead to a greater appreciation of the other times – knowing that they can make us better, stronger, more radiant – doesn’t necessarily make a scrap of difference when the darkness descends. In fact, everything we once knew has a habit of disappearing into that darkness and being swallowed whole…
But when even the slightest glimmer, the tiniest pinprick of light, penetrates the pitch that sticks to our soul and stops our eyes, when the stars begin to come out, it’s sometimes possible to catch a glimpse of this:
We need the night to see the stars and, whilst being smashed to shards again and again hurts like crazy, every time, the shards reflect more bright and every crack lets in - and out - more light.
Whilst journeying along the path of dreams,
or flying high on Summer’s gentle breath,
I’ve sometimes, frequently, it often seems,
been flung to Earth with all the force of Death,
My spirit torn to tattered, bloody strings,
reflected in the shards of broken soul
that lie around me, glinting, dangerous things,
each one an echo of a shining whole
And every time, I gather to my heart
the pieces that are every part of me
and step once more into another Start,
another path, another flying free
and every time, the shards reflect more bright
and every crack lets in - and out - more light.
Sometimes, so to reach the rainbowed core,
the pulsing heart where life is at its best,
the rest must first be flayed and opened, raw,
the naked treasure flowing from its chest.
And so with shards of my own soul, I cleave,
and paring bone from marrow, mind from thought,
undress myself and then, ethereal, leave
to journey to the place where life is wrought
And gather, as I go along my way,
new flesh, new thoughts, new ways of being me,
new music in my ears, new games to play,
new ways to fly, new freedom just to be
and all the pain of paring, still I bear
and know that when I feel it, life is there.
Ruth Calder Murphy is a writer, artist, music teacher, wife and mother living in London, UK. Her life is wonderfully full of creativity and low-level chaos. She is the author of one published novel, “The Scream,” several books of poetry and one or two as-yet unpublished novels. She is passionate about celebrating the uniqueness of people, questioning the unquestionable and discovering new perspectives on old wonders. She is learning to ride the waves that come along—peaks and troughs—and is waking up to just how wonderful life really is. You can visit Ruth and view more of her art on her website here, or on her Facebook page. Her latest book is available on Amazon here, and here.
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