12/16/2013 04:56 pm ET Updated Feb 15, 2014

Things Dark and Light

It seems the purpose of story is to lead us back to what matters and to show us how everything is a part of something larger. And it seems the story of our individual lives keeps showing us how we all go together and come together, once we put down our stubbornness. It seems our individual story helps us work out our relationship with all things dark and light. It helps to remember that without darkness or shadow, it would be impossible to perceive depth. Without dark and light working together, we'd lose all depth perception and be lost in the flatness of the surface world. Living our story and working with dark and light helps us perceive depth. This poem tries to understand these things more deeply.

Things Dark and Light

At first dreary meant blood-stained.
And glad meant honest. An angel
was an attendant spirit. And home,
well, no one knows what home means,
which is why there are so many stories
of journey.

Truth is we create the words we need.
Like shovels or ropes, we gut out small
tools to help us to our feet and on.

Always looking for the wheel or its
equivalent to free us from the burden
of living a step at a time, when that is
the point: a step at a time.

I dreamt last night that the raven met
the dove and they realized they are one.

So now, I wonder if all things dark and
light are simply looking for each other.

A Question to Walk With: Can you describe one aspect of your character that is dark and what it asks of you, and describe one aspect of your character that is light and what it asks of you?

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.