Into the Company of Shadows

Educate our hearts before we speak our minds.
For it is we who keep our shadow company,
not our shadow ours.
I try to catch the latest news,
Lest otherwise,
I become rolled over by it.

And I heard the hiss
Of venomous spinners,

“We must arm ourselves to the teeth…
Kill them all! Bomb them all!”

Such comely pundits,
coated in makeup and gloss,
to read incendiary scripts from teleprompters,
to incite and heap bricks of lead
to tip their side of the scales of Justice.

Smoke speaks before fire,
then soon after comes the flame,
and then the wind of sentiment
to fan the inferno.

But who will speak low and soft of love?
Where are the healing eyes
and empathetic ears of poets past
who dipped their feather pens in compassion
and caressed messages, as
balms for our wounds?

Why do we taint the inherent scripture of mankind
with rhetoric and reaction
by those who seek to study the chaff
and not the wheat of a communal harvest?

Our great leaders have gone softly
into their nights…
battle weary
and brittle by war.

So if a bomb explodes at the Café I plan to visit today –
who will avenge my death
and who to see to the seeds I’d sewn
for compassion and peace?

Pray not these men and women on prime media payroll
and those of privileged wealth
and inherited power
who climb the backs of soft singing nightingales
to cackle the message of crows.
I’m none of these.

I was born of the womb,
and crawled to a walk, and thereon
through forests, and mountains, and shores,
shared with all things visible.

My heart rises and falls and races with beauty
and aches with darkness.
I fade, feeling the color run from my hair
and the suppleness of my skin
to dry and wither.

I watch my children quiver
like green leaves on the lithe limbs of youth –
fearing their fall,
but adoring their verdant energy.

All man is by nature equal
before the rise of knowledge –
and as the kingdom rises within each human being,
who will he take for a sage
and who for a fool?

Lo’ we must focus the light in our hearts
before we speak from our darkening minds.
For it is we who keep our shadow company,
not our shadow ours.

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3 Responses to Into the Company of Shadows

  1. Brilliant message !

    I am also very pleased you are a sage,.. Yes, “our men and women on prime media and those of privilege wealth and inherited power ” have indeed turned their backs and ” climbed on the backs of soft singing nightingales” My question is this? where have our great leaders gone? As Voltaire would say ““Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” and yes, for many of us, not all of us, our shadows are rooted in fear and shallowness. It is much easier to chose the heart and flee than to take a stand in love and compassion. … ” it is hard to free fools from the chains they revere” ~~ Voltaire…. gratitude 😉

    • Thanks Jean – love and compassion are oft seen as “in-actionable” concepts. I’ve seen otherwise. It’s not just “doing things to the world with love and compassion,” I wish that was so easy! But it is about knowing ourselves enough and “seeing the world through the filter of love and compassion.”..

  2. I have also felt the softness of love and compassion, one without the other isn’t life. Just as pain and love are one. No, it isn’t just ” doing things with love and compassion” which will solve our issues, it sometimes requires we stop being someplace else . It’s all part of our life story… trust and allow…