Sunday, February 11, 2018


Nigredo -- I learned this morning --
is the dark and necessary melancholic phase
of the alchemical transformation,
whose release of its dark powers
awakens beneficent forces
which inevitably give rise to a new dawn.

There are, of course, reminders everywhere
of this dark process --
in the words of the sages,
"We must die to be born again,"
but also in our cities --
the tenements that degrade into slums,
and are later resurrected
to become trendy town homes --
in our forests, in our vineyards, and our gardens:

the trees and vines that lose their leaves,
rebirthing in the spring to later
shower us with fruit;
the rose bush that I prune myself
rewards me with a multitude
of blossoms in the spring...

yet still -- it's hard to trust
when it's happening to you,
and to those you love,
and to your country;
when the machinations of the powerful
set us back a hundred years
and the laws of the righteous
are overturned to harm the very souls
they were designed to protect.

Here, in my studio,
a nigredo of my own:
I stand and hurl black slashes onto canvases,
attempting to express
the dark forces in my soul;
my grief at what our country has become.

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