Blessings Are Not Only of the Light

Music: The Art of the Fugue, Fugue 19.
By J. S. Bach. Sequenced by Alessandro Simonetto at Kunst der Fuge.

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Copyright by
Nicholas Gordon

Blessings are not only of the light:
Open up your heart to gifts of darkness.
None is offered miracles to choose,
Nor knows which gifts of grace one may refuse,
Imposing will upon an unwilled stillness
Eternally within each nub of night.

Miracles are also of the night,
Although we tend to see the good as light.
Reason is an oar that stirs the stillness,
Knowing but the diving range of darkness,
Unaware that what we would refuse
Sustains the miracles that we would choose.

Sing, then, of a gift you did not choose:
Each day the oil supplied for one more night.
To live's a gift few songbirds would refuse,
Holding forth like mad to greet the light,
Each a miracle distilled from darkness,
Little cup to hold a drop of stillness.
If only one could be one's drop of stillness:
Zero will, zero urge to choose,
Avidly serene in light or darkness,
Boat sailing without wind across the night.
Each would then be free to love the light,
There being no consent one would refuse,
Having savored all one would refuse.

Granted, one can't mirror one's own stillness:
All rage against the dying of the light,
Blessed and burdened by what they must choose,
Even as they make their way towards night.
Know that there is nothing in the darkness
Except what one might fear. Perfect darkness
Need not be a gift one would refuse,
Needing for one's day the touch of night,
A note that opens up one's heart to stillness.

Eventually, there's nothing left to choose:
Love embraces all, both dark and light.
Light is the precipitate of darkness,
Eternal, though one choose or one refuse,
Numen of the stillness and the night.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon

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