“What will fear drive you to do?” A poem inspired by a random piece of Scripture and the burns I still bear…
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
Loneliness and sorrow settle on me like the night;
no moon or stars to guide me in the darkness of my woe.
Deep in the woods of melancholy,
deep in the woods of fear – who will ever find me here?
I am alone in the pitch black of my mind, in the pitch black of my heart,
desperate in my need to see and be seen.
Here is tinder ready at hand, the shadows and phantoms that haunt me in the dark;
and here the flint rock of my hardened fear, upon which I strike, with terrored force,
my desire, my craving, my yearning of basest urge.
I must fight the darkness of this world and not let it consume me.
I must set fire to the dry and hollow of this place and have it burn.
Sparks fly up from my own flesh – see? I am not alone –
the heat of ash and burning embers are stars and moon of my own making,
I walk in the light of pride, guided by my own burning.
Mistaking the pain for love and the searing for union,
I dance in the flames of self-kindling, chopped up into little bits of fuel.
Conceit and distrust spread the fire all through me,
what doesn’t char and crumble is melting into the ground,
and yet, the monstrous spectres do not burn away – they are in the fire, they are in my hands,
they are in my eyes and ears and nose and mouth, choking me…
I am suffocating in smoke.
Had I only waited…
had I only made my home in the loneliness
instead of burning my way out;
had I only listened for the night sounds, not terrible and creeping,
but, deeper in the forest of my discontent, the voice
of living water running deep, the song of the Source
singing the night… singing the coming dawn…
singing me, who was never alone.