My Fundamental darkness

IMG_9721by Jenny Leigh Hodgins 2007

What is it that holds me back

From fulfilling my full potential

From seeing my own value

Why do I hide myself in the shadow

Why can’t I let myself feel

The joy of winning a victory for me

What barrier is it that blocks my way

What silences me from having my say?

YOU! Darkness, Devil of defeat

You clever, slippery, tricky sneak

You ugly robber of my life!

You appear when I am too tired to fight

You fill me up with fear and doubt

Your silent voice grows to a shout

You take from me my energy

You make me think I am empty

YOU! Hindrance arising to block my soul

You drain my heart with a leaking hole

You seep into my dreams at night

You steal away my clear eye-sight

You evil, creeping, smoky cloud

You train my mind to live without

You knock the wind out of my song

You make me believe that I am wrong

Ha! I know what you are, you fiend!

I recognize you now—I am awakened

Your plots, your sly and ruthless schemes

Are sent to squash all of my dreams

But I have a weapon you cannot beat

A sword of faith, a glowing lance

A silver beacon that shines bright

When I dig deep to bring out my light

The battle is raging between you and I

Your negativity rolling over me inside

But no darkness can survive the sun

Once I tap my strength—You’ll run!

In fact, I should be thanking you

For in my struggle to defeat your attacks

I polish and purify my entire life

Raising my potential from here inside

I sing and dance and celebrate

Your existence truly validates

My journey is completely correct

In reality, this is perfect!

There is no way for me to actualize

The vow* I made in the distant past

Without engaging in this constant war

Against the darkness I abhor

So throw me your loop,

You scary, devilish fool

For I am standing solid in faith

This challenge is one I gladly take

The final joke will be on youIMG_7458

When you see that your true function

Transforms my very heart and soul

Into the purest kind of hope.

*The vow referred to in this poem is the one of Bodhissattvas of the Earth, who according to Nichiren Buddhism, promised to take on challenging karmic conditions in this lifetime in order to show the proof of each human’s potential to overcome such circumstances and reveal his/her innate enlightenment. For more information, see:

Nichiren Buddhism