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Invitation to Poetry: Light & Shadow

Welcome to our 36th Poetry Party!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections. Add them in the comments section and a link to your blog (if you have one).  Make sure to check the comments for new poems added and I encourage you to leave encouraging comments for each other either here or at the poet’s own blog.

ADDED NOTE: Mister Linky is acting kind of funny and not loading properly and slowing down the loading of my blog, so for now we’re doing this the old-fashioned way and posting the poems and links in the comments section.  Thanks!

Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog if you have one and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post)

On Friday, June 5th, I will draw a name at random from those who participate and send the winner a signed copy of my book Lectio Divina: Contemplative Awakening & Awareness.


The Poetry Party Theme: Light & Shadow

11shadow  by you.This week’s theme is in honor of my dear friend lucy with whom I co-facilitate a monthly supervision group using the expressive arts.  For our session last week she invited the participants to go on a little photographic journey exploring shadow and light. 

I decided to take some of the time to engage in the exercise myself. It was a brilliant day and so shadows abounded.  It was fascinating to follow each invitation to the next, noticing where my attention was being drawn. I took a lot of photos of shadows of various things (and I’ll post some of those later in the week) but the image to the right remains my favorite. My own shadow image holding my camera and a beautiful tree.  I continue to sit with what I notice about these two shadows in relationship to each other and the illuminated space between us. Summer shadows have a darker intensity and can reveal the shape of things.

In the brilliant light of days growing longer, what do we encounter in the shadows that may have been hidden to us before?  What do you discover in the interplay between shadow and light?  You can write your poem directly in response to the image, or allow it to be a jumping off point for your own musings on the theme.


© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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35 Responses

  1. Inward journey
    approaching darkness…
    Discovering light.

    Witnessing holy essence
    through self reflection.

  2. O Divine Artist,
    whose brush creates for us
    this perfect blush of burgundy,
    these shades of green;
    inscribing a delicate calligraphy
    of light and shadow,
    balanced each to each
    as if to say,
    Even a shadow can be beautiful;
    even a tiny patch of sunlight
    can reveal a moment of pure joy…

    Let your divine artistry echo in us,
    that what we paint or draw,
    sing, play or dance —
    with pigment, voice, or instrument;
    through body, pen or camera —
    that each uniquely rendered song of dark and light,
    of shadow, shade and flame,
    may allow some fortunate observer
    to see the spark of divinity that ignites us all.

    (NOTE: This poem goes with an image; they are posted together at this address:

  3. We, were shadow and light,
    our passion, like blackbirds in flight,
    we should have known, we would never get it right.

    We were the melding of opposites,
    logic’s antithesis,
    Time, ceased to exist in our bliss.

    You call me at night,
    standing in the shadows somewhere,
    I can no longer infuse you with light…
    I feel the weight of your despair.

    I pray that you get stronger,
    for it is your battle to fight,
    and it is so cold without you…
    from this pain, there is no end in sight.

    Let the night come,
    and swallow the light of this dream.

  4. The Invitation

    i speak
    for myself
    inviting you:


    i am the discarded
    deemed less than
    untold treausre
    unnoticed and

    i am the texture
    of you, landscape
    i am the pieces missing
    in you, kaleidioscope

    i speak
    for myself
    inviting you:

    say welcome.

    1. Hi Carolyn

      thank you for your poem. It touched me. I have written a two year accredited course in Australia and would like to put your poem into Unit 8 Shadow Mask course notes. It will be acknowledged and referenced. Please let me know if you are happy for me to go ahead. best wishes Vicki

  5. Thro’ the wood the buzzard glides
    silently from tree to tree
    On the canal the darting shadows resolve themselves into dragonflies and damselflies – alighting only for a moment

    Shadows big and shadows small
    Shadows quick and shadows slow
    Shadows dark and shadows light

    Shadows also in the mind
    sometimes of a frightening kind
    Shadows follow through our lives
    Shadows of things that might…
    but shadows also that might not

    Shadows big and shadows small
    Shadows quick and shadows slow
    Shadows dark and shadows light

  6. This topic reminded me so much of the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

    From Child’s Garden of Verses

    I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
    And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
    He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
    And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

    The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow–
    Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
    For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
    And he sometimes goes so little that there’s none of him at all.

    He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
    And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
    He stays so close behind me, he’s a coward you can see;
    I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

    One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
    I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
    But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
    Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

    But I did write my own little one.

    Shadows grow and shrink
    as the world goes round
    Shadows from the sky
    drop upon the ground
    All things have a shadow
    this i have found
    Also all these shadows
    fall yet make no sound

  7. Shadow People

    our hearts dwell in shadow
    as do our brains
    and all, all
    our miraculous body organs

    every red drop of blood
    that blesses us with life
    dwells in shadow

    embrace your shadow
    we are shadow people


    shadow people

  8. Diane, thanks for these lovely words, such a senses of expansiveness here that I just want to breathe into.

    Anita, thanks for sharing this image in response, I love both the photo and the title.