Light – Bernadette Miller

I want to write of the light

but I do not know
whether words can illuminate
the way it hangs
upon branches and bird wings
and broken things
returning beings to beauty.

Can words spin substance
from sunshine and decay?

Can words cajole
celebration from night-weary
birds?

Can words warm surfaces
of stones and sorrows?

Can words reveal richness
in mundane
and battered
things?

I do not know.

But if we would write
a tomorrow
which is wider than wounds
we have worn,
we might wield words
like benedictions
and remember
blessings
within brokenness,
beginnings
within endings,
and beauty
within all things.

Light

Ah, a poem that speaks to my love of words, my continuous search to find words to express all that I long to say.

The poet asks us if words can mend the brokenness and sorrows, bring forward the richness and celebrations, illuminate beauty. I do not know, she answers.

One could argue that words are just words and have no power. But that has not been my experience. In my world, words can save you, slay you (in the best sense), can show you another world. Especially when they are poems where words can move like small birds, taking shape on the page and in our minds and hearts.

Her last stanza speaks of the possibilities within words: a tomorrow wider than wounds, benedictions, blessings within brokenness, beginnings within endings, and most of all, beauty within all things.

This is what I see and hear in the poems that fall into my heart, the creation of beauty in a battered and weary world. Light for us all.

14 thoughts on “Light – Bernadette Miller

  1. Dear Jan – thanks for introducing me to this lovely poem, and for your insights that words do in fact act as a sculptor’s hands on our human clay. Our bird song, perhaps. Much love – Mary Lou

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  2. Oh Jan, yes, what a poem. I has half way thru the alliteration of it when I had to go back and begin reading out loud to feel how the words felt on my tongue and the sound of them in my ear spilling together over the edge of each line like rippling water. ” But if we would write
    a tomorrow
    which is wider than wounds
    we have worn,
    we might wield words
    like benedictions
    and remember
    blessings
    within brokenness,…”
    Just let your mouth get around all those Ws and feel what happens when they become Bs… feel what happens in the body as it vibrates to the sound of consonants.

    “Can words spin substance
    from sunshine and decay?”

    Indeed they can.

    thank you,

    Wendy

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  3. What I so love about the words in poetry – is that they point to what I feel and sense and yet I don’t have the words myself. Its such a gift to have someone place the words in front of me.

    thank you for this. Margaret 613-725-6941 h 613-795-9879 c

    “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”

    – Thich Nhat Hanh

    >

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  4. The last line of that poem is a keeper… or a great writing prompt for a sweet healing blessing where one has landed — IN THE LIGHT!!

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  5. I love the beauty of this poem Jan. Somehow it touches me deep inside.
    I also read it through and then read it aloud and breathed it in.
    This poem, as are each of your shared poems, is truly a gift.
    Thank you, Lisa

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