A Special Poetry Selection

8 Mar

by Alice Shapiro


Glow- ing
from the inside.
Smile-less, a face that knows no smile
is the true heart.
I can feel the shiver
of love
in visual silence, as if it were a blinding light
searing heat into my skin, erupting like July explosions
illuminating the unfathomable


 At midnight as I wake from dreams,
horrors that encumber peace,
distant roars from racing cars emerge
from out the stillness, and pull, thankfully,
at my attention.
Where are the chirping birds, familiar sounds
to recognize its morning? No sun, and so
it is time to turn to darkness and the bed
again. Recoiling from the tasteless prospect,
water splashed on bleary eyes,
I trudge toward waking fully and sit erect.
Deep inside, and still asleep, a portion of me balks
at midnight that to start a day is futile.
A tragic fear pours its message down into
the light, and resistance owns the night.
I fight it. I reason, pledge to try
all the while staring at a blackness
that beckons plain to weariness.
Lost between two worlds, I think.


 It is the deepest part of night.
Resisting the exit from sleep,
eyes swollen shut,
still half within a dream,
Nature calls.
It takes some while
to transition
from sedentary rest
into just enough awareness
to sense the danger of retreat
back to the pillow.
So, the trek begins from bed
in the moonless dark.
A hand extends,
an eye’s substitute
to navigate the path ahead—
past armoire
past door jamb
trembling, reaching for
the blinding light.
It is within this faint condition,
business done,
that comes another invitation—
the lure of sinking back to
dark oblivion,
by the pen.
Into the unseen dawn,
scratches on a page
a journey won—
one more day on Earth,
one more sun.

Alice Shapiro wrote these poems specifically for a reading at Borders Books in 2009 with the theme of “Vision” and were read in Braille by Destiny White at the event. In these poems, Alice tried to capture some idea of what a blind person might “see.”  These poems were published in her  second poetry book, Life: Descending/Ascending.  Alice is the author of 3 poetry books and one play which won the Bill C. Davis Drama Award.  She currently serves as Poet Laureate of Douglasville, Georgia.


One Response to “A Special Poetry Selection”

  1. Donna W. Hill March 9, 2013 at 11:41 AM #

    Powerful imagery. This reminds me of an old guy who talked to me at the chiropractor’s yesterday. His brother, a vetrinarian, went blind at 62 and never made any adjustments – just didn’t want to live after that. Fortunately, I know some older folks who threw themselves into learning nonvisual skills and are living happy, productive lives.

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