I can live with
I live within it too
You can have me and
I can have you but
many are the parts of us
that cannot be reached
Touched upon only in
Crumbling like pillars
slowly as the years build
stories told and held
do not hold up well in
We try to escape,
the both of us,
the glaring truths of us
I think I think more about it
than you do
I think you
not a worry on your
I know from how
easily you fall to sleep
cow-licked head on the
pillow then you’re out
I think you must care
little of me
could watch me
come and go
I walk backwards
when I walk away
from you
You do not speak
You withhold and smile,
…as if you’ll never die
and there is the difference
in you and I
You care not of the
Care not of
Only fantasy
Lazy, sleeping
guard of my heart
Unaware your power?
What would it take
to get you to put
up a fight?
You prioritize
your trees
your meat
your greenery
Would would it take
to prioritize me?

You can keep
your shadows
if that’s what
concerns you

of my

of my

2 thoughts on “Shadows

  1. Hi Terah. Your line here on walking away backwards is great, that will stick with me for a long time. My comment here though has to do with another of your poems. After a week in my Shang-ri-la, reading dead poets, Emerson, Lao-tsu , Solomon and Frost among others, I sought a living one, Van Dusen, and was reading back through your poems of this year. I came upon one from January I believe, where you had ended with a line something like ” I surrender, here I am”. I should go find the poem now and make sure I quote you right but am afraid I will lose my place here. I commented something like ” Me too, of course”. But I was startled by your reply. You asked if I could answer your prayer. I had missed your reply back in January. An aside here. I find internetial communication something like homing pigeons. Questions and replies flying around in the air and you always have to check the dovecot to see if one has a message on its leg, and I am always wondering if someone has shot a bird with my comment or reply. Anyway I first want to thank you for keeping me serious and honest and not letting me get poetically trite or cute, I think that is a bad habit of mine, and even challenging me by putting me on the spot. So do I eat my words or not? I feel your poetry is so much from your heart, how else would you see it as a prayer?, that it would be a great disservice to you to in any way be flippant in my comments. So I have spent a week here mulling over your question regarding my comment. It is a bold statement to maintain that I am in the same place of surrender as you. How could I possibly know that for real? From reading your poetry I guess, because I still feel that my statement is true and I am striving here to not in any way shall we say qualify it. My immediate response of course was that the prayer wasn’t to me so how could I answer it. I sang that old hymn, I Surrender All, and thought about what surrender is and what it isn’t. It is not an acceptance of our helplessness at the mercy of the status quo, the modern paradigm. Our Savior never surrendered to the religious or political authorities and He died victorious. His sacrifice was not a surrender, I think this comment reflects my reading this winter of a Blake poem, The Everlasting Gospel, but He led a completely surrendered life. So I tend to see surrender as an acceptance of the place we find our self in the paradigm of the day without accepting all of that paradigm’s assumptions. But oh, how I wanted to answer your prayer. Even knowing that I really probably didn’t understand what you were praying for much less who you were praying to, and I, cowardly or wisely, avoided thinking about some of your other imagery in the poem. I am thinking here of a red slip ( was that a full slip and how much lace did it have?) so to some extent the poem will have its way with me. So with all those thoughts chasing each other around my brain, one day this week I put a CD into the player, The Grand Dominion Jazz Band and Come Back, Sweet papa, I have been singing their song The Bear Missed the Train for my granddaughter Ruby, and when I heard their first cut on the album, Flat Foot, an instrumental, I heard the words of your poem. I pulled the pickup into the backyard where I could open the doors and here the music while I read the poem. I liked that and went out and danced to the music around the backyard for a half hour or so by myself with the dog watching and wondering and the cat grooming herself, I do admit here that I kind of pretended I was dancing with you,after all it was your poem. But a combination of the words and feeling of the poem and the ragtime beat of the music seemed right to me and I wondered if and felt like this could be the way I could answer your prayer. Now if I were a little more adept at this internet medium I would fix you up with a link to the music even. My daughter Sarah said she found it on the internet and Ruby is dancing to the bear song. That little girl loves to dance. So the best I can do for you here is to tell you to find that song and dance your heart out and mam, would you do me the honor of pretending I’m dancing with you? Be careful woman when you start throwing that lasso around, you don’t know what you might catch or trip up. God Bless you and keep up the good work.

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