Poem of the Week, by David Whyte

The morning after the 2016 election I picked up a friend to do errands. My friend, who is Black, took one look at me and said Alison, what happened? What’s the matter? I looked at his puzzlement and worry with disbelief: What do you mean, what’s the matter? After a minute his face cleared and he said, gently, Oh…you didn’t think he’d win.

The enormity of my own naivety swept over me at those words. My friend silently nodded, then said, in that same gentle voice, But you know that the work continues, right? No matter who’s in charge, the work itself never ends.

Fast forward to this past week, when we are living under minority rule and the decrees of people who think their religion trumps mine. My rage is so deep it’s almost paralyzing. Key word: Almost.

I flatly refuse to despair. Flatly refuse with me, will you? The world was made to be free in, and the work never ends.

Sweet Darkness, by David Whyte

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your home

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

Click here for David Whyte’s website.


Words by Winter: my podcast


  1. Marion Dane Bauer · July 2

    Reblogged this on Just Thinking.


  2. Lady Shamla Rose · July 3

    *Beloved Alison McGhee

    Thank you very much for David Whyte’s poem.

    I love the words, *
    *        “You must learn one thing.

    *The world was made to be free in.”

    I want a Free World. So I began freeing myself from September 1993 by
    doing MAP (meditation, affirmation, prayer) twice daily. What I learned
    from my Supreme Teacher Paramahansa Yogananda. The magic and miracles
    began to flow.*

    *By the 4th July 1994, the above happened.

    I could tell that I was going to bring freedom to our world.

    In love, with love, for love
    Shamla of Shamballa


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