What angel is this who has chosen me,
She, who tangled her truth in my dark roots
Then swam down in dirt where worms wait
To devour me… and yet, I fear nothing.
Let boasts not supplant Truth in my heart,
Reader! Know this face, once made up, hides
The fractures that allow light to escape
For darkness to continue its work — after-all —
Darkness does great work.
At night, when cold buds close to gather
Strength for the bright day, shadows
Persist like envy to strike down the angel
Before beauty becomes terror I cannot bear.
I need this.
The angels, the roots, the darkness, the terror
I need all of this to wrap me like a grave
Awakening inside my heart a pulse that does
Still long to beat even knowing what awaits.
This poem is a revision of a first draft posted last Month at FullBeardLit.org. This poem began like much of my recent work as a response/reflection upon reading Rilke’s Book of Hours. Over the course of this week I will be drafting a post that discusses the changes I made through the crafting process. I would like to give a shout out to our Barista, Donna, whose comment affirming the power of the line “darkness does great work” was critical in choosing the title. This speaks to the direction I look to take Go Dog Go Cafe in the upcoming months, to evolve an aspect of Workshop into the Cafe. More to follow.
S Francis began writing poetry as a teenager in New Hampshire and kept at it throughout a 27 year career in the Navy. During that time he found homes for poems in Scholastic, Powhatan Review, Skipping Stones, Portfolio, and the Virginia Pilot as well as having a collaborative poem shared in Christine Ray’s brilliant Myths of Girlhood. For a year he actively blogged as Sailor Poet and co-founded the Go Dog Go Cafe. Following his retirement from active duty, he has begin pursuing a writing career in earnest, has resumed blogging at fullbeardlit.org and is now the managing editor at the Go Dog Go Cafe.
(C) 2020 S Francis Fuller