by Chris Hoffman

When we close our eyes
we entrust ourselves to the buoyancy
of unknown waters,
and we leave with nothing
but the practiced habits of the heart.

In the outer world we practice
in the costumes of our roles
with the tools of our trades
and all our many strategies
for pleasure, power, profit, or prestige.

But each of us is like a flame
inside a lamp. Our
colored lenses of different hues and shapes,
glass chimneys sooty or clean,
make us shine in different ways.
Sometimes when two lamps meet
the flames in each recognize
each other as the same light.

So do we practice being a lamp
or giving light?

When we close our eyes
each of us is but a candle
with its soft blade of flame
set adrift
in a tiny paper boat
on the vast sea of light.


CHRIS HOFFMANS publications include Cairns (poetry) and The Hoop and the Tree: A Compass for Finding a Deeper Relationship With All Life (prose: ecopsychology and spirituality). More information at www.hoopandtree.org .

This poem originally appeared in Witches&Pagans #23 - Law and Chaos


Tags: poem, wp-23

Additional information