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by Alan Harris
Upside-down flowers,
are we not? With stems
rooted upward into the deep?

Your soul, a kindly conduit,
umbilicates your body
into the placental night

that is fathomless and
fully empty of
where and when.

Take away the night? Absurd.
One night minus one night
equals one night.

Afraid of night?
Dread the shadows?
Learn from them.

Shadows tell stories,
emit fragrant meanings,
take you deeper than your feet.

Especially observe inner shadows,
even if they speak no words--
hear them out, and hear them in.

Look beneath shadows--
drop through into wider shadows
and feel safe in full bewilderment.

Afraid of unknowing?
Make your peace with it,
and your days may smile.

When you know definitely,
the vast night will remind you
that you know nothing.

When you wish for powers,
the night may wisely
hold them back.

But to be still with night
may bring you as much truth
as your heart can hold.

Night wants to abide
underneath your day
while you work--

wants to
enwomb you
between days.

Let night have its way,
its gentle way--
soften into its fullness.

Night is the container
of nothing less
than everything.

From the book Knocking on the Sky (1997-1998)

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