The Rising of the Light

Thank you patient listener
as I unfolded
a worn map on the floor
reflecting on the journey
somewhere almost lost
in the labyrinth
of this crazy time

Some of the time in a quagmire
of commitments and uncertainty

At others venturing briefly
into other people's worlds
- places of energy and doubt
bringing insights,
taking wisdom or friendship

And at times swept high on eagles wings
or talking through satellites
to glimpse affairs far beyond my realm.

The way is hard
like climbing winter crags
through wind and rain
treacherous in places
pitches and traverses
that most would shun
here and there meeting others
gripping slimy wet rock
with frozen fingers

And for it all
so richly rewarded
by stunning moments
on a small alpine ledge
of short grass
the eagle’s eyrie
a chamois grazing peacefully

The wind drops
the clouds break
the sun pours gold
across the lower ridges
and distant valleys
Rare privilege to see
a thousand miles
for moments
before the next storm
howls in with sleet and driving rain.

What is this quest?
No summer hike for sure.
This is more like
crossing the Alps
on foot
in a time of war.

But then
this is a time of war.

Meanwhile the people
in the sleeping villages below
go about their daily chores
hiding from the rain
stout doors to keep out the storm
dare not ask
why the Gods strike thunder and lightning
high in the mountains

If only they knew
the demons
that are poisoning
the wind and rain and snow

If only they knew
that the demons
are just other mortal souls
If only they knew
the strength of love and joy
the power of collective will
the treasure of sharing
the richness of each other's cultures
to weave a tapestry more rare
among the life of nations
and the power of the shout
that says

Deputy demons cowering now
among the crags
as we - the once hunted -
find our wings again
and turn at last
from prey to predators
to seek them out.


There are demons in us all
perhaps we need our dark side
to drive the light
the quest to rise above them
to tame their hate and fear and greed
to harness their gift for mischief and craft
into a purer energy
connected with the sky beyond

Thus empowered
the tired warrior
grimed with battle
and the journey long
wakes in the dawn
shakes the sleep from his eyes
collects his load
and rises
alpenstock in hand

The cinders of the night fire
kicked into the ground
he adjusts his pack
and looks up
to the soaring crags beyond.

The hunt goes on.
And as the sky turns light
in caves and huts
in humble homes
and even in the towns
other angel warriors for peace
men, women and children
ageless, timeless
begin to stir
and do the same.

From the eyrie
I see this stirring spread
as the world turns
and the dawn moves
from land to distant land
dozens become hundreds
thousands become legions
as mankind awakens
from the 20th century spell
of wealth and power.

At last we know
our quest
and now we know
that we are not alone.

The winter sun smiles again
It has been too long
since mankind
took truth in hand again
and set out
to cleanse the land
and purge the powers of the night

Alas the gods have become demons
decadent and ruthless
in their material power
that as always corrupts - absolutely.

How many empires
has the patient sun
seen rise and fall?

Every giant has to fall
when grown too tall
too big for his boots
and forgets his humble roots

Every bully
is scared to death inside
lest someone calls his bluff
and he becomes a victim again

And as each broken god
is overgrown by his or her inner demon
their mortal powers
become a perfect delusion
as the last spark of Light dies
and the true energy of life
is lost to them
become a clumsy empty brittle shell
that will crack at a touch

So do not fear the human Gods
they are more mortal
than the humblest child
dangerous - yes very
for a little while
but not for long now.

This feels like a new dawn
the coming
of a brighter light
stabbing through the darkest night in history

This feels
like a good dawn
a different kind of fight
where there are no victims
only vanquished
where the worms turn
on the mole
and tickle him
with a feather
until he rolls on his back
helpless with laughter
and promises
to become a vegetarian!

This feels
like a different kind of dawn
a different kind day
a different kind of time
where there is
a different kind of night
just a gentle rhythm
between the joy and zest of life
and tranquil sleep in a calm twilight
safe in the love of friends
shadows banished
by a small blue candle
an amethyst of inner Light.

Pick up your load
it's time we moved
to seize the day.
There is a peace to be won!

Afon Claerwen,
28 November 2001 - early in the Afghan War

Top Peace Index Home

page added 28 March 2004