An Enlightening Darkness

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." ~ Nelson Mandela

* * * * * * *

The dimming candles are flickering light fixtures
Shadows dance across the walls
Only the brave acknowledge the mixture
The thought tosses & turns in my mind
I roll over in bed, close my eyes
& lose sight of courage

* * * * * * * 

I awake to darkness
Burned out candles
My room, reverberating 
With a crescendo of impending doom
Illuminated by the lunar light
From a crescent moon
It is night

* * * * * * *

I awake to light
Twisting inside through the foggy bay windows
Doubt rises with the sun...
But after some time, the rays burn the haze away
& it all becomes clear
My dreams from the night, now in sight
This is my day

* * * * * * *

The fear of failure
To get it all right
Is quite all right
Fear and bravery
Day and night
Only the brave acknowledge the mixture

* * * * * * *

I step outside
& look up at the sky to find
That in the bright blue hue of noon
The sun's shine was combined with the lunar light
Of that same crescent moon

Make the most of those sleepless nights that turn into mornings
Light up the darkness


  1. hey, congrats on the award man! :)

    great poem... only the brave see the light.. even in darkness. a powerful write

  2. fear and bravery are a mixture...for sure...the excitement of stepping out and the fear that it wont work...but that is where we are truly living...

    1. when i have made those decisions in life that truly put me on edge it was mix of fear and excitement which drove them...and also made me truly feel alive....

  3. So good to bring out fear and bravery here. We always hear about the brave, but we don't see the fear that even the brave face and conquer.

  4. So much wisdom in your words Alex! :-)

  5. Nice write, Alex! Well done!

  6. such wisdom in this piece!! enjoy the rally!

  7. Very nice! Something to think about in those lines.

  8. amazing title,

    convincing words, Glad to see you share.


  9. hi alex,
    just stumbled upon
    compliments for the award.well deserved!
    your poetic language is so soothing to read...words like reverberating , crescendo simply create magic,
    read ur bio,surely u'll influence many more with ur writeup
    lots to learn from u...amazing poem
    I'm ur 14th follower


  10. So very nicely written..and a great ending..
    I could feel the poem growing intense with each line..

    Alcina-In fervor

  11. Your imagery really conveyed the emotion.



  12. We should not fear failure, for it is through mistakes that we learn. Embrace each new day as a chance to learn something and a chance to learn to laugh at yourself. Great poem to get one thinking.

  13. You cannot be brave without fear. So many seem to forget that necessary relationship between the two.

    "Make the most of the nights that turn into mornings"

    As a natural night owl, this rings so true for me.

  14. a great first stanza here! the imagery is strong - and the musings too - nicely done!

  15. The darkness and light.. love how you used it metaphorically.. really cool, and great tribute to Mandela...

  16. Great tribute - I like the liquidity of 'l's and reverberation of 'r's in your verses, which seem to point to that mixture of fear and courage.

  17. fantastic
    not easy to be brave
    not easy to admit the mixture

  18. Great tribute indeed, liked the contrast between the two

  19. Excellent capture of what must've been a horrendously trying time in this man's life, yet he still embraced the peaceful solution, he still embraced the light.Though I shared a different poem this week at OLN,I too felt compelled to do a tribute on my blog, called "The Peacemakers." Though not as eloquent as yours, Mandela was such an inspiring man--how could I not? Thanks for sharing this.

    1. You read into this well, Ginny. Thanks for reading my tribute.

  20. Wonderful, Alex - fear and bravery, a powerful combination, beautifully captured here. A very worthy tribute to Mandiba. I love your structure, too - the ebb & flow match the concepts so well. Lovely work.
    I wish you a Merry Christmas, and thank you also, for your support & encouragement of my novice attempts at solo poetry, as well as in my collaborative work as part of OneVoice Poetry. I hope to see you much more in the New Year. x.Vivienne.xxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you for the kind words! I look forward to reading your work & hearing from you. Merry Christmas to you & yours!