by John Riley

“. . . he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses." Nietzsche

If I am a dark forest whose night
lives deep into the day, turning 
the swamp black and still for
the alligator to lie in wait, coaxing
fireflies to out glow the absent stars,
why have I allowed beasts, magic
and brave, to curl on the moss
and water roots, rest high
in the canopy of thick leaves?
He who is not afraid of my darkness
may find roses. He who must plant 
the flowers may soon retreat to light.