Theater of Shadow and Light

In darkness

I knew I could reach

the light

if I could be 

the night: that empty,

that immaculately quiet.


A crisp and sunken moon

knows how it's done—

she quivers in the

touch of pines and

floats on star love and

one slow-turning 

frame of eternity,


and so safe,

like an angel, from

this angry little world

I sacrificed another one

of my lives to . . .


until I remembered,

I never age,

I just begin again,

and there's always one

more beginning. Just ask

the mumbling ghosts 

on the river,

casting silk,

reshaping moons,

doing what creators 



so I might 

as well try on 

something impossible, 

remembering how I once

believed existence 

in this world was a

tragic carnival—

ghoulish laughter, 

circles of loss,

an ingenious trap— 


till I began again.


Some say Rumi's teacher

died for the privilege

of loving him—

oh, to love so much

that losing yourself 

is gaining it all . . .


I could fly apart

in this freedom,

in this shell

of dark purity,


showered by messengers

of light, I allowed,

at last,

through the floor

of Heaven.


Die again,

they say,

die once more,

and be born.


Patricia Joan Jones


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djtj's picture


I found this poet in a round about and back to the beginning way.  While looking through your work I saw the Instagram link . There I saw a poem that said it was from this poem. So back i come and find this lovely poem in its entirety.  NIce images nice flow I never know as you do how to critic except this speak to me.  Nicely done and i love the Instagram poem format.  I will visit there as well.

Quivers in the touch of pine Nice


patriciajj's picture

First, thank you for visiting

First, thank you for visiting my Instagram feed. Instagram is fast becoming my favorite platform for my work, although I still love all the talented and encouraging poets here. Thank you also for coming back here to read the entire poem and leave such beautiful and supportive feedback. Coming from such a fine poet, that means so much! 

Cascade's picture

I believe that your spirit is

I believe that your spirit is reborn in every poem released from the root cellar of your being. I know that mine is reborn every time come here, Patricia. I love each and every one of your poems.  They elevate me. They remind me of what really matters...of what I value, and who I am. They feed my heart... truly. Your words are a wonderful gift, I charish. I just want you to know that.

patriciajj's picture

You make me feel like I have

You make me feel like I have completely fulfilled my mission as a writer, that even if I never write another word or share anything again, I have tasted true success which is defined by how much joy you've brought to others. I'm deeply, endlessly grateful for your exquisitely expressed analysis which validates my theme and purpose. And you, too, are an inspiration! You never fail to stun me with your word sculptures. 

allets's picture

Renewal As Reincarnate

So many parts wear out and need refurbishing which only addresses the surface. Renaissance has distinction of a do over, wiser, shell-shed, ready to greet anew the moon , the stars, and Sol. The transition is the bear rider. To begin again - slough off the last incarnation and return a new model with no erring or mistake scarification. If only.  ~(:D)



patriciajj's picture

Thank you for that amazing, I

Thank you for that amazing, I mean, stunning perspective on my work. It means so much. My deepest gratitude. 

Januarian's picture

The spiritual center of the

The spiritual center of the poem is in the second stanza, and in your splendid metaphor about the moon.  The lines that follow are an unfolding of that slow turn of the frame of eternity, or, else, a tracing of that frame as it turns.   A delicate clockwork movement propels each of your lines into the next one, in a conversational tone that engages the cosmos itself as it speaks to us of mysteries most people do not attempt to contemplate much less study and describe, as you do.  As I read through this, I found myself constantly reminded of T.S. Eliot's poem, Burnt Norton, the first of the Four Quartets, not because of anything as trite as quoting from it or imitating it (your poetic work is far evolved beyond those things), but because the cosmic reach of your greatness is very much like his was.  Your verbal abilities are at the degree of greatness where mere superlatives become unstable and fall apart; at that point, the careful reader is compelled to make comparisons in an attempt to locate this poem, or any of your poems, on the ever expanding scale of your tremendous achievement.


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patriciajj's picture

I'm going to have to invent a

I'm going to have to invent a new word for gratitude, because I honestly can't express how much your grasp of my vision and your support has meant to me. Thank you for such a priceless and brilliantly expressed analysis. And again, thank you. 

Januarian's picture

While I admire, and always

While I admire, and always will admire, the superlative quality of your poetry---and I just can't say enough about it---I also secretly envy (by anticipation) the scholar who will write the first full length study of your poetry. And I know this is going to happen in the future, someday and somewhere.  I am sure that, in 1914, an awkward graduate philosophy student, at Oxford in England, and a discontented insurance lawyer, in New York, were not anticipating that their poems would someday COMMAND whole English departments and multitudes of doctoral dissertations; and yet, we now know that this really happened.  The same is in your poems' future, and, like I said, I do envy the scholar who will write the first explication of your work.


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patriciajj's picture

My appreciation reaches

My appreciation reaches deeper, higher and wider than I can express. I wouldn't be surprised if some of your stellar works live on in posterity. My far-reaching gratitude . . .