The Promise of Light: The Mind of a Poet

June 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm (The Mind of a Poet)

In my past few posts here, I have been discussing working toward proficiency with imagery–in particular, with having the images of the poem actually speak the concerns of the text…the point of the thing, so to speak, rather than dress it up. As I work with imagery, I am also playing with ways to  express those images and the overall signification of the poem. I have used before–and continue to work on developing–a voice that is conversational in tone. There are many poets who do this really well, such as Adrianne Rich, T. S. Eliot, and Mary Oliver, to name a few. I do not presume to have the art down as they do, but I do continue to work with this aspect of the medium. This particular poem went through many stages of evolution before ending up in its current form. And, it is highly conversational, as well as personal and intimate in its voice. My personal jury is still out on this one; I am not, as yet, sure how I feel about it. But, I do believe it works well enough to post it here. It may, still, be unfinished. I do hope you like it and, as always, welcome your thoughts.

The Promise of Light

 Not long ago, we talked through a darkness
of distance and difficult things, you asked me
if I felt like giving up—you were, I know,
really asking something else, searching something 

deeper. My answer was clear and, at the time,
sufficient; still, I have come to think there are
better ways, perhaps better words, to tell you

why I stay: first, there is the way your eyes
meet mine, the way the color deepens there,
then becomes a golden creamy brown and shines
like sunlight passing through chocolate-colored glass.

There is, too, that certain gaze which flusters me,
scatters my concentration like October leaves—your
kisses quench a longing thirst like a shallow mountain

stream. But, more than this, your laughter fills
the space around us; it moves electric on my skin—your
smile sparks; you ignite me like a wire and I burn.
Greater still, is your openness to life, the many ways

you see the world with interest, like the wonder of a
traveler always in a new place. Our conversation is
a kind companion to evening coffee on the porch.

It is true, as well, that your walk reveals the slight
unconscious sway in your hips, that it thrills me,
breathes a subtle hint of the welcoming I find there;
and, there is your skin—the touch that breaks me open

like Spring breaks the earth bringing forth all sorts
of bright blooming things. However, you should know
I choose you, each day, because of all these things

and more: the way, most days, we move together,
the underlying sense of rightness like dewy sunrise
after a dark night. This is why I remain, why I choose
to stay and risk—it is the promise of a coming of light.

NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.


  1. Scintillectual said,

    Okay. Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Your poetry never fails to move me—to reveal the raw honesty of your feelings. I love the promise of a coming of light. My world has felt dark these days indeed and I know you cling to that promise where I have begun to shy away from it (Carol Ann: do NOT go into the light!). I’m terrified of the light for darkness has been a cold yet comfortable friend for many a long year.

    Remain. Stay. Risk. Then come to me to be with me, not just as my friend, but as my lover, my Anam Cara, my forever.

    I release the log. I’m grasping the life vest. Pray I don’t sink us both in my flailing about.

    Yours always and in all ways,
    Sweet Scin.

    • androgynonamous said,

      Dearest love, it means so much to me when you like a poem on its own merrit, but even more when you can hear in the voice things that I might be saying to you and you are moved…that you appreciate my desire to write poems that stand are their own, but also speak to our life, means so much. As T. S. Eliot said, “these are private words spoken to you in public.” I know from experience the comfort of the darkness; but the light is beautiful, warm and kind indeed. I know too the fear of the light and lightness, of things we long for and never thought we would have.

      I do, indeed, remain. I stay. I risk. I love. I am here. I feel the growing light. I know the light is in your eyes–as it is in mine–when we are together and there is no distance. I have seen it shine. I have and I will reflect it back to you.
      There is no way that you can sink us. I am wearing my own vest as I hand yours to you. And, I am a good swimmer. I am here. And, I am coming to you. I am coming to bring you home. There has been no wind strong enough to stray my course, our course. I am, ever and still, your friend, your lover, you anam cara…your forever. All is well. I am, now and ever, yours…

  2. Blazer said,

    I am with Scin, it is perfect as it is. You may not consider yourself a master of this style of poetry, but I think you most definitely are getting the hang of it. At any rate, I am digging it!

    • androgynonamous said,

      Thanks, friend of mine. As you know, your opinion of my work means a great deal…if you are digging it, I must be doing something right! I do feel like I am improving in regard to elements of style and form and function. I guess we will see as I get brave enough to submit more poems for publication. I do very much like, however, having you in my corner!

  3. Femme Gender said,

    Please don’t change a single thing. This is perfect. I am so moved. fimg X

    • androgynonamous said,

      OK. I won’t. Thanks so much! I enjoy your readings of my work…and, greatly appreciate your opinion. Hope you two are well and think of you both.

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