Shadow’s Convention


A glosa woven with a verse from John O’Donohue’s poem

For the Unknown Self

“It works most resolutely at night
As the poet who draws your dreams,
Creating for you many secret doors,
Decorated with pictures of your hunger”

It begins, gentle tinkling tones
as Gods and Goddesses gather –
this their nightly author’s convention
a showcase for elaborate plots
always unwritten, briefly glimpsed –
fluid lines streaming blessings and plight.
Behold the Shadow’s space, at once
hallowed and profane, demanding
discernment of dedicated light.
It works most resolutely at night,

says the God of Security, whose goal
it is to marshall and parcel all one desires and fears
in cinematic wrappings, poised for discovery
exploration, awareness, perhaps even integration.
Nocturnal cops and robbers, angels and demons
writhe together, their compelling schemes –
horrifying terrors and joyful reunions –
collectively commanding slumber’s energy,
“Wake up now! Examine these puzzling themes!”
As the poet who draws your dreams,

describing future’s past
and history’s present
I’m suggesting your waking attendance
hang with my nightly verse. Give
All That Is a voice, movement,
visibility. Generate from Shadow’s spores
a life centered through focus and insight.
Know this: an utter cosmos
of unknown-knowing offers nightly tours
creating for you many secret doors

to all desire, in this life, or any other.
Now, follow your award-winning monsters
with the dedication of dark to night
and day to sun. Resolve to unpack
treasure where Shadow casts
over nightly adventures torn asunder.
For this is where alchemy transforms the slick,
the slime, and the scare of Your Shadow into gold
powered by those mighty nightly sails down under
Decorated with pictures of your hunger.

© Lori Fleming, 2014


2 thoughts on “Shadow’s Convention

  1. elainestirling

    What a tremendous guide you’ve chosen with whom to glosa. In this week when the veil between worlds is thinnest, your words, supported by the poet and author of Anam Cara, feel like the map and guide we’re all looking for, and are afraid to ask. There’s so much courage in your verses; this reader feels braver for having read them. (…and what a photo to go with it!)

    1. Bridge2Vision Post author

      I feel like I’ve been tearing at that veil the past few days after a bootcamp-like week of interviewing, acting out, and dancing doggedly with dream monsters and heroes. One would think the idea of true alchemy, occurring when an “evil” shadow within has been brought to light and integrated, should be much more accessible to humans than the fabled turning of lead to gold. That said, there are times I’m taken with how going within feels an inexplicably more consuming (and hence productive) version of alchemy. 🙂


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