Tag Archives: symbolism

Night

She.
She has no face and no name.
She says nothing.
When she greets us she brings quiet.
When she is here, we are calm.
With her, we heal our pain.
With her, we heal one another.
They use her to hide.
They use her to stoke fear.
We use her to plan.
We use her to fight.
We use her to listen to one another, to touch one another, to know one another.
She is our guide.
They are afraid of her.
They cower beneath her twilight.
They shield themselves from her depth.
They falsify the sun and moon and boast of their great and powerful light.
Their light flashes and blinds, fractures and burns, makes the false appear true.
Her darkness comforts us.
We embrace her.
Above us, above all, she obscures us.
As we hush her rituals go on slowly: the sound of the airplanes, the smoke of the pipe, the blinking of the fireflies, the stardust of the Milky Way, the steady solitude.
It is the hour of slumber, and she is awake.
She unites all creatures under her protective spell.
She offers us comfort;
She offers us shelter.
They offer us nothing.
An olive branch.
An empty promise.
A pretty corner in the history museums
In a space dark enough to match her color but never her power.
We say no, thank you;
We will return to the shadows on our terms.
We are home.
When she leaves she takes our refuge with her.
Light knocks at early morning’s door,
But we no longer hide under cover —
We know she will return for us.
And when she does she opens her arms wide
To embrace us once more
And inspire our uprising.
She carries with her the winds of change,
Thunder and lightning, united fronts under her watch.
She is our strength, our shield,
Our sanctuary.
We were born of the night.
We live in the night.
We will die in her.

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The Villa

Someone was always ringing the doorbell these days. Usually on Tuesdays Carl could barely go fifteen minutes without the resonant tones of the bell going off, and he would hasten to the door to let another guest in. Mondays were often busy, too. And sometimes the place could get crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, especially in the springtime, when the weather improved and the leaves started budding vibrant green again.

Carl had known by now to have pastries prepared all day for the influx of visitors he expected on any given day. They were always hungry and usually took a cookie or two with a guilty look on their faces, muttering that someone else would probably need the cookies more than they would. But Carl always shrugged and told them it was fine. They nibbled at their snacks nervously, eyeing the other guests with suspicion and shame.

On this particular Tuesday Carl was especially tired. There was a strange lull in visitors that afternoon, and more than an hour passed without the doorbell ringing once. Carl lounged on the couch in the living room, the front door of the villa 15 feet diagonal from where he sat now. In the break in guests arriving, Carl made the mistake of blinking his eyes for longer than three seconds, and before he knew it he awoke again to the suddenly harsh tones of the doorbell. He swung his feet to the floor with a thump and stood with a creak. The doorbell rang again, twice in a row; Carl sensed the urgency of the tones beyond the door.

“Just a minute!” Carl shouted hoarsely, then cleared his throat. “Hold on! Don’t leave!” With soft stockinged feet he paced quickly to the entryway and swung the door open, fearing that his visitor was too anxious and had already left. When his eyes focused Carl looked straight into the eyes of a sweaty middle-aged man with a worn hat ring around his forehead; the hat itself he wrung nervously through his fingers, bending the brim back and forth. His eyes changed to an expression of relief when he saw Carl open the door.

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