The light

Every morning
at about this time
if I’m not yet out of bed
a curious, pulsating light
enters the room

I would like to think
it’s a Muse, arriving
from celestial regions
bearing new and fragile ideas
for the taking and keeping

or that it’s some other
ethereal visitor
out there beyond
my window
the darkness
and if so,
I want to know

but no,
it’s only a neighbor
on his morning jog
right on time,
between four and five o’clock
wearing a mining hat
that casts a bright beam
before him as he runs

I think, there’s a metaphor in that
a meditation, a prayer
before I rise
to face the day
in this present darkness:
Let there be a light
on my head
a means of truly seeing
all that I will encounter

not in the inadequacy of
my own shadow, falling before me
no, let it fall behind me
indiscernible in the dark

and so I watch this soft light
bobbing along my walls
permeating my closed blinds
painting pictures real and imagined
in my mind
while the Muse
(who never really leaves)
prods with a finger
or maybe it’s more of a pulling
or a whispering
or all of these

and I sigh,
throwing back the warm covers
rising to write
while it is yet night

a light
to set the day
and running

Statue, “Quest for Knowledge,” Washington & Jefferson College, depicting a coal miner on lunch break. Photo by “Kathy,” CC-BY.
My neighbor wears a hat akin to this on his predawn jogs.

13 thoughts on “The light

  1. Wow, so beautiful, Fran. I wonder if the jogger with the hat will ever read your poem? I love that you made it into a metaphor and inspiration:

    “to face the day
    in this present darkness:
    Let there be a light
    on my head
    a means of truly seeing
    all that I will encounter”

    Yes, indeed, for me too, please. Lovely poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this part:
    Let there be a light
    on my head
    a means of truly seeing
    all that I will encounter

    I can relate to your story. A runner often wakes me in the summer. I can hear their feet running past the house when the window is open. It always makes me think I shouldn’t waste the morning lying around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have me chuckling about the guilt the runner causes you, Lisa – but, maybe you need your rest! The first time I saw this light, I was alarmed: what on Earth could be causing it? I was amused, and a bit relieved, to discover the source. Thank you for your thoughts 🙂


  3. Thank you for the morning meditation on light to set the day’s intention, Fran. I found this piece comforting as I sit at my desk with a long to do list of important tasks.


  4. You had me thinking of all the lights it could be… airplane in the flight path above your window, a lightning bug caught in the grips of a spider’s web……I’m glad it’s a runner. But oh, it was fun thinking of all the other possibilities.


  5. I was in a different time frame, thinking the bobbing light might be the dawn interrupted by moving branches of a tree…but no, you are an early riser, like me. And now I see that we have both written about darkness, about seeing things clearly so as to do something about it, bringing our own light to shine and dispel that which is troubling. A Muse in a miner’s hat–whoda thunk?


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