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.
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)