Sunday, April 6, 2014

That Central Sun

Spring pear blooms, with blooming peach trees behind, in Judy's orchard.  This year they came in March but survived several frosts.


A THREAD OF LIGHT VI. September 8, 2013

... The jewel in me,
the fire I have hidden all these years and
guarded, like Prometheus hid the fire
he stole for naked, hungry man, in
a fennel stalk–the fire is safe.  And
my suffering, like his, punished for
sharing with mortal man, a god’s prerogative:
fire: my suffering did not destroy the fire.
The fire is still safe.  I felt, though, how,
as I returned, in thought, to all those
years of being devoured and restored, as
he was–chained–and eaten–but not
destroyed–how I was losing something.
I was losing my hiding place. The fire
was showing.  It was in the bush,
but I knew–I don’t know how–
that it was safe.  Inside this ugly
rock that had clasped a precious stone,
I had been safe, my burden safe;
what I carried; what I was.  And then,
a knocking, breaking; a shattering
of that ugly rock–the rock loose–
and my tears flowed because of the
pain of what I might lose!  I was ready
to fight to the death.  But the pain
instead was a release, and the jewel
which had been mine, had been me,
which I had nearly died to save, to get
through all the dangers, lay in my
hands, yellow–and catching in its
facets, light: the yellow light of the gods,
the light that gives the day, every day,
that gives the spring, every spring;
that takes the grey and brown of winter,
the death, the outside of rock, the leaf
protection, all of it, and releases green,
yellow in its first eager intensity,
and in certain lights, ever afterwards,
when seen and held lovingly, aloft,
lovely always with yellow light.
Susannah, Teach Me to Love/Grace, Sing to Me.  1985. pp. 38-9 

The fears come and go, but I keep
walking past them, through them,
finding again that central sun in me
that casts out fear.  I called it a
jewel thirty years ago.  Many names I’ve
given it: Deep Self, God, My Inner
Voice.  It’s always there, steadying me,
helping me hold on when my spirits
bottom out, when I wake afraid in
the night.  I see it everywhere:
in the perfectly ripened fig that is so
fragile and luscious I have to eat it
on the spot; in the morning glory vine
that has crept up the back porch
railings and now gives me its welcome
with multiple pink trumpets; in the
spider lilies’ carelessly flung rosy 
whiskers suddenly there at ground
level under the high stalks of the 
yellow and orange cosmos suns.
In the hens running across the 
orchard to see what I’ve brought 
them, and if it is afternoon and I’ve
come to weed, they stay and circle 
nearby. If I’m there, they believe
something good is about to happen,
and it does, because they companion
me.  I may feel alone, but this
inner sun, this jewel in me, this
yellow light won’t let me believe it.


Look closely and you can see the pears.  Photo by Mark Schmerling


  1. Such beautiful and inspirational poetry you write, Judy. I think we both have an inner core that helps us not only survive what would devastate others, but helps keep us balanced and keep on going.

  2. Thanks, Gloria. I'm glad you like it. I agree, that we both have that inner core that helps us keep going. A lot of aging people get depressed, and I understand why better now, but somehow the good stuff lifts me out if I get down-hearted. Judy Hogan