The following are poems written in celebration of Luminescence themes. All the authors have given permission for poems to be used in Luminescence services.
Glenda Nowakowski, Member of UU of Santa Clarita Valley
(Note that there is one stanza for each candle.)
Alone I trudge through the darkness
Hope dwindling by the hour.
A glimmer in the sky calls to me.
It's too dim to be the moon. A star?
Stars travel in constellations.
Where are its brothers and sisters?
Where are mine?
I follow the flickering beacon.
As the darkness lifts, I notice
I am part of a crowd of travelers
All with their own needs and desires.
Are we all headed for the same destination?
A friendly voice calls, “We're taking a break.
Care to join us?”
We sit by the side of a pond.
I look into the water, the face that stares back
Cannot possibly be mine.
Haggard and careworn, so little to show for it.
I can't believe I've strayed so far
From the path I thought was mine.
No more self pity, time to move on.
We laugh and share stories
Bathed in the soft glowing light of dawn.
The ghosts that haunted us in the dark
Show themselves to be but shadows.
Faces once lined with worry and care
Shine again with anticipation
Of the better days to come.
We have arrived! Kindred spirits
Welcome us with embraces and smiles
The beacon shines bright as day
Illuminating the new world we seek.
Our efforts may not bear fruit
Until after we're gone. But that's all right.
There are more on the way, and we'll greet them with love.
©2015 Glenda Nowakowski -- Permission granted to utilize this poem during the celebration of a Luminescence service and for audio and video recordings of the reading.
Luminescence Poems for Each Candle by Rev. Mark Belletini
(Note that the Sources and Principles are echoing throughout each poem.)
Light before us, sign the light beyond us:
Alpha Centauri, Rigel, Deneb, Antares, Tau Ceti.
Great lengths of time condensed into small flickers in the night.
Great wheel of stars that is our home,
you move yet we don't feel it.
You are bright, but our city lights too often blot you out.
Illumine, oh living sign before us, the pathway to humility,
that we may know we are on the edge, not at the center,
that we may know our limits, and turn from all self-congratulation.
Light before us, sign the light around us:
Dear friends and beloved family members,
teachers and those who affirm kindness with their lives.
Let their stories unpack and embody wisdom,
let the memories and insights they share with us
tether the ages past to the present.
Illumine, oh living sign before us, the pathway to community,
that we may know that we are not alone even when we feel like it,
that we may know our interdependence as one with our life-breath.
Light before us, sign the light beside us:
those strangers we have not met, but only see
from the corner of our heart.
Let the possibilities for refreshment and surprise
they represent open any closed off wall we have built,
and bid the fears that bind us back to remove themselves.
Illumine, oh living sign before us, the pathway to vulnerability,
that we may know that we are not yet complete,
that we may know the path does not end because it curves.
Light before us, sign the light that gleams in the eyes of poets and prophets
Rumi and Mirabai, the Son of Mary and Siddartha, Olympia Brown and Gandhi,
Shakespeare and Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, Sojourner Truth,
Black Elk, Ban Zhao, Gabriela Mistral, the vast company of multinational wise.
Let their insights enlarge our own with challenge and inspiration,
and draw us toward depth, not the surface.
Illumine, oh living sign before us, the pathway to gratitude,
that all may know they share the gifts of all wisdom, everywhere, every when,
that all may thank the sacred ground from which the present moment grows and blossoms.
Light before us, sign the light within us:
the wisdom so often stronger than external shoulds and don’ts,
the lean, lean silence inside us that nevertheless speaks and even proclaims.
Let the faithfulness of our inward intuition be our anchor in stormy weather,
and our steadfast comfort when the babble of the world's thousand voices
confuses us, crosses us, yanks at our serenity and pushes our buttons.
Illumine, oh living sign before us, the pathway to confidence,
that our faith is placed first and foremost in ourselves in order
that our faithfulness to the primacy of justice and love might be rooted in our native strength
Written by John Cooper, Member of UU of Santa Clarita Valley
The emission of light that does not derive energy from
the temperature of the emitting body, as in
phosphorescence, fluorescence, and bioluminescence*
I used to think about
the qualities of light and dark.
Is the beginning and final essence in the universe
total light or complete dark?
Does light make heat or does heat make light?
Oh, when I was young I loved to think
about such things.
Now I think that complete and total light would be painful
and absolutely dark sounds frightening.
I've never been drawn to the hot lights of deserts
or to the cold black of a starless night.
Rather, to twilight colors, to in-betweens.
Sureties make me unsure.
When I started to understand my heart
I knew that light can be without heat, the light
that touches your innermost job
is the soft and golden light that comes from
a lover's smile or the waves
of the sea gently lapping an inviting shore.
An Elemental Need
Written by Barbara Cogswell, Member of UU of Santa Clarita Valley
An elemental need exists to mark
the changing seasons, to assemble
sing, begin again, be joyful for any reason
let us initiate a moveable feast
synchronized with earth’s rotation
celebrate family, community,
our place in nature, life itself
cultivate a state of mind like a calm
steady light, a luminescence
created without heat or rancor
balm for human eyes fatigued
by tarnished tinsel, fat elves
greed and empty boxes:
may it be a beacon to those
who wander lonely in the dark
Written by John Townsend
Submitted through LuminescencHoliday.org website, March 17, 2016
through dark waters,
The taper steady
A forward lamp
that foretold brightness
prophets and sages
here and now.
Written by John Townsend
Submitted through LuminescencHoliday.org website, March 21, 2016
of the mind,
the furnace hearth
on the highest peak
in darkest night
of frost and cloud,
the ancient sun
The good given,
that good received,
through the dells
Written by John Townsend
Submitted through LuminescencHoliday.org website, March 26, 2016
a lit circle.
unto bright circle
all dark spaces,
the furthest star