Randy Weeks

Published on February 20th, 2021 | by Randy Weeks

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The View From The Balcony: “The Teacher Named Darkness”

The Sundown Cowboy, self-proclaimed Poet Lariat of The Balcony, was deeply impressed by the work of National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda S. C. Gordon at President Biden’s inauguration, and was inspired to pen the following:

Only a year ago
we stepped into the abyss —
a tunnel, barren of light —
this generation’s congregational
dark night of the soul.
Some of us crept at first,
blindly bracing ourselves
against the cold walls
of the cavern as we stumbled
through the pitch-black labyrinth
of an enemy unseen and unknown.
Some bolted with abandon,
pushing others away —
shoving them to the rocky ground
and trampling them like wild stallions —
an inhumane human stampede —
not knowing, not caring
who was maimed along the way.

Motherfathersisterbrother,
auntunclenephewniece,
oldyoungstrongcrippled,
friendstrangerenemyally,
saintsinnerpriestskeptic,
richpoorhhomelessimprisoned,
blackwhitelatinoasian,
gaystraighttransgenderedqueer,
doctorlawyerindianchief,
ditchdiggercarpenterseamstressfarmer,
soldierfirefightermediccop,
artistsingerauthoractor,
chefserverbussercashier —
all of us crammed into
a diabolical dragon’s lair,
none of us knowing
what the creature was
or even what it looked like.
All we knew was that it ate
and it ate and it ate — US —
we the people!
The terrorizedscaredashell people,
the WTFisgoingon people.

Then someone lit a candle.
A tiny flame it was,
but it mattered.
As other candles began to glow
we stumbled still, but not as often.
We trampled still, but not as madly.

Flickers of light in the void
give us hope,
and hope gives us courage,
and courage gives us strength,
and strength will bring us through
this shrieking black hole.

We still walk a path
strewn with rocks and branches
and ditches and bodies,
but as we fight
we stand more upright,
emboldened by every life
that is saved,
every helper that is raised.

We will not escape the night,
but we shall emerge from it,
battered, beaten, and weary,
yet still standing, still breathing.

We must heed the darkness
and what it can teach us:
that life and health are precious
and that our relationships matter more
than all our possessions,
that we are not invulnerable
and that none have guarantees
of health or food or housing
or even life itself,
that we must give and receive help,
that we must honor one another
and practice kindness toward all —
especially to the unkind.

Let us forget not the fallen.
If we do not want to be o’ertaken
by a viscous shroud of doom,
in remembrance of those lost,
we must build a better world,
void of hate and bigotry,
filled to overflowing with community
and unity and acceptance
and reverence and care for each other.
That is something we can do.
That is something we MUST do.

…and that’s the view from The Balcony.

Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Life Coach. He can be reached at randallsweeks@gmail.com.

The View From The Balcony: "Messages from the Spirit World"
The View From The Balcony: Ruling Rightly – Ancient Wisdom

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