Live Within the Ambiguity

June 21, 2020


We search the margins of the world 

for a returning voice. 


We ply, in the deepest parts of the night, 

for starships to carry us, born upon the 

winds of magic, to deeper resolve. 


We long for the credible voice, 

for the echoes return, 

for the whisper of light, 

for dawns reassuring. 


We take part in mystery, 

often only in words, 

sorry substitutes for 

matters of the heart. 


We live for the silences of 

the inner worlds to break. 


To make known our vague 

and aching miseries, 

our arching fears, 

the trembling question, 

the extended sadness. 


We wish for a resolved chord, 

Drumbeats that will not fail us.

Smoke from fires, from rocky 

plateaus, set far out in the 

distant hills. 


We suspect silence 

and absence. 


We live within the cold science of 

sound barriers never breached. 


But words too deep for words 

are attended. Eternity listens. 


Barriers have been broken by 

the velocity of our pain, by the 

dizzying speed of our desperation. 


The moon’s dark side 

vibrates in anticipation 

of the light. 


The night hawk whispers 

to the wind gracing its 



walks on columns of air, 

suspends within the silences, 

courses through wilderness 

shadow, and divides the 



Great Longing, occasionally 

we hear the church bells 

from outside our window. 


But words can be irregular things, 

vague attempts to describe 

the mystery 

of what we feel, 

what we seek. 


Perhaps enough to say we 

are witness to the Reaching, 

to the Inexpressible, Within. 


Knowing such Undefined Eloquence 

is better Known by One who 

translates into purest language 

this broken and stammering tongue.




John A. Bragstad is the author of two books: Compass Season and Nature's Poetry of Life. Both are available at Amazon or in local Grand Marais bookstores.



"Live Within the Ambiguity" is taken from a upcoming work still in progress: Surviving Solitude in Style: The Psychology of Being Alone in Real Time.


Special thanks to Pixabay for these arresting images.

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