What Shadows Belie (poem)

by | Dec 26, 2023 | 8 Persecuted, Poetry

What Shadows Belie
Marshall Jenkins

In him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:4-5).

The more light shines
in my long memory,
the more shadows

For an evening,
those shadows obscure
recollection of every
morning, as if night 

finally swallowed
the sun this time.
But all shadows belie
residual light:

Nearer the moon, barred owls
see mice glow below
and the insomniac’s lamp
shine far up the road.

During the three blinks
of a solar eclipse,
crickets and tree frogs sing
in anticipation.

Like shadows without,
shadows within
bear witness to light
in spite of themselves, and

light springs from life,
produces everything,
even barren shadows of
every star-touched thing.

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Love Amid Morning Light’s Ambush

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).


  1. Cinda McGuinn

    Marshall, you are becoming one of my favorite poets. I so look forward to your posts. The concept of shadows bearing witness to the light is so true and good.

    • J. Marshall Jenkins

      Thank you, Cinda, for your always careful ready, and it is so good to hear from you, dear friend!


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