When Shadows Are Long

not just from the autumnal

or from the angle of the sun

as the trees provide a much

larger protective canopy

or when even the smallest

house seems to occupy

a much larger footprint

or when the light appears

to streak across the landscape

rather than bathe it from above


when, for the entire year,

from solstice to solstice,

when I am able to bask

in the shadows of the greats

as their shade grows longer

covering many more beneath,

then perhaps I too can relish

in all of the beauty they created

and find the stirring that

will cause my shadow

to extend to the horizon


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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on October 9, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. What a delightful wish….May it be granted to you…when the shadows lengthen. πŸ˜‰

  2. Great work:)

  3. Reblogged this on Karen Stephen aka Doc Flamingo and commented:
    Stirring yet comforting thoughts for my birthday today. Feeling a bit long in the tooth at 72😏

  4. Inspiring. Stunning. Wow.

  5. I particularly like this one. Fall is my favorite season and I think about why. This feels right, the light, the footprint of home, possibilities. Thank you.

  6. Beautiful. I loved your imagery.

  7. Shadow is the artist of your body. It curves about and follows you everywhere. A loyal companion. πŸ™‚

  8. I so enjoyed this .. Have a lovely weekend John

  9. Reblogged this on ailsacawley and commented:
    Another great one from UU. πŸ™‚

  10. I love the longing and spirit in this poem. Beautiful.

  11. Reblogged this on Lugar Lugar.

  12. Those two lines: “when I am able to bask / in the shadows of the greats”. So splendid. I guess I feel we too often run away from these shadows, feel oppressed, as if they would stunt our own expression. Yet as you so beautifully express, it in their shadows that we can bask, and thus find our shadow. Also really loved: “or when the light appears / to streak across the landscape / rather than bathe it from above” – an angle of light we rarely noticed. Thanks.

  13. Beautifully crafted poem. I go through this everyday in my walks with my dog, Sir Thomas, a beagle.

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