“Mara at Midnight”

This moonless night

As sightless stars dance blindly

On this obsidian lake

A solitary figure stands

Motionless upon the shore


Against the inexorable waves arrayed like armies on the surface of the waters

Pulsing, moving in the futility of an eternal attack and retreat

Endlessly advancing with wave upon wave of kinetic fury, and yet:

Inexorably repelled, retreating.

Here, at the intersection of the irresistible, I stand.


I stand at the frothing edge of this great sea, on the precipice of this churning void, this onyx cauldron that centres my world

I stand along waves that roll to measure my days with the blind pulse of each sightless wave that brazenly storms the beachhead, retreats, and advances again.

I stand while waves assail me, waters bury me, and surges advance in savage defiance of the inexorable force that repels their invasion.

I stand alone. Or–so it seems. In truth:

I stand allied with the universal elemental that scribes the circles of the stars, commands the motion of the waves, limits the fury of the tides, and forges the fulcrum that defines my space between waves that advance, relent, and return again.

I stand defiant against the storm inexorable.

In the shadow of the universal elemental, I stand—for now at least. For now.


Above, eternal stars applaud.

Silently, of course, applause that twinkles just enough to know, enough to show

That I am not alone against the waves, that I, too, belong within the Elemental.

Under the empty gaze of fragile light that hovers above these ancient waters, I baptise myself




And then, I hear the silent singing of the Spheres.

Their anthem greets me, and now, I understand. I am not alone.


I stand

In communion with the expanse above,

In solidarity with the emptiness below, and

In intimate union with the fury of the waves.

Yes, I stand alone but unlonely.

In joy, I give thanks, a gift of gratitude to the vacant expanse above

An offering of praise, a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the blackened void below

Alone, but unlonely, accosted, but unyielding.

I stand defiant

And embrace, and give thanks

For the expansive emptiness above

For the surging darkness below, and

For valiant, triumphant unyielding life,

I give thanks

And still, I stand—for now at least. For now.


(Doug Ferris, August 2021)

(Photo Credit: “Orion’s Nebula”, Courtesy of

Bradley J. Dibble, 2021, Used by Permission)

Published by dougferris.ca

Doug is a writer, musician and educator living near Toronto, Canada. He writes about the sacredness of everyday experiences and about living a life of spiritual faith in the 'postmodern' 21st Century world. After a a 25-year career in education, Doug has been approved as a Candidate for Ordained Ministry in the United Church of Canada, a uniquely Canadian Protestant denomination in the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist traditions. Doug is in essential agreement with the UCC statements on doctrine, which he sees as being in substance agreeable to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. Opinions expressed on dougferris.ca are his own.

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