And sit with the dark

In response to Stand in the Light by Elizabeth Rimmer

And sit with the dark, when it comes.
Smell the wax and the wick –
watch its small orange tip
glow brighter then fade into black.
See the ghost of its flame
on your eyelids. Be led
by the flow of your breath.
Feel the pillow behind
and the hard bed beneath you.
Let them support you. Be still.

And sit with the dark and observe
the shapes you don’t see
in the light. Untangle yourself
from your mind and instead
inhabit your gut and your heart.
Listen, and hear the unwanted sound
of a late lorry rumbling past.
Open yourself to a sense of the space
that’s holding you quietly now.
Attend to the silence. Be still.

And sit with the dark and absorb
the force of a longing for light.
Don’t reach for a match – or a switch –
or a gun. Darkness will never
extinguish the light.
This planet rotates.
Daylight will come.
So sit with the darkness. Be still.



Helen Evans runs Inner Room, a project that creates space for people to be creative. Her debut pamphlet, Only by Flying (HappenStance Press, 2015) was shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award.