Do Not Be Afraid

Today’s prompt from Robert Lee Brewer is to write a scary poem. I’ve been meditating on angels and guardian spirits in recent weeks, and this morning’s rosary prayer walked through the Joyful Mysteries, beginning with the Annunciation, so Mary, and then Shepherds, and then Saul, came to mind.

Do not be afraid

says the angel,
and proceeds to
blow your world apart.

You know that when the angel appears,
no matter how joyful the tidings,
your life will never be the same.
You’ll face the scorn of the village
for daring to accept the angel’s calling.
You’ll risk losing your sheep
as you run off into the night
to seek a baby in a barn.
You’ll fall from your warhorse, blinded,
into the filth of the common streets.

If you take up the story the angel hands you,
you will bear the weight of the world
within your own body,
you will gather lost and wandering souls
instead of the sheep you left in your fields,
you will need to abandon your self-righteous quest
and risk your own life in the service of Love.

Do not be afraid, the angel says.
Step into the doorway of the labyrinth.
Journey into the darkness.
Walk through the valley of the shadow.
Gather at the Gates of Life and Death.
Be a presence in the enfolding dark
for lost and frightened souls to draw near.
Weave your songs and prayers
and magic spells into a shining cloth
of hope and transformation.

Gratitude List:
1. Angelic messengers
2. The journey
3. Owl feather
4. Rain
5. Ice Cream
May we walk in Beauty!

“It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.” —Leonard Cohen

Denise Levertov:
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.

I have seen
The fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes
found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched–but not because
she grudged the water,
only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
The fountain is there among its scalloped
grey and green stones,
it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen

“Remember that day in the woods
when everything was so dark, so dreary
and you were so terrifyingly alone?

How can it be that these are the same woods
and you the same soul
and everything shines so,
and everything is filled with life?” —Beth Weaver-Kreider

“Acquiring problems is a fundamental human need. It’s as crucial to your well-being as getting food, air, water, sleep, and love. You define yourself–indeed, you make yourself–through the riddles you attract and solve. The most creative people on the planet are those who frame the biggest, hardest questions and then gather the resources necessary to find the answers.” —Rob Brezsny

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