When it’s very still
and my soul’s at rest,
I see shadows nearby,
waiting patiently.

An ethereal background
hovers . . .
seemingly through them.
As if a thinning fog.

Shadows of people,
all of them gone.
But here they stand,
their profile or back to me.

My brother, leaning in.
My father with wavy hair.
My mother, skirts lifted,
swaying to music I strain to hear.

Time intrudes and eyes focus,
reality presents itself.
Wedges its way into my mind
until I question what I saw.

But everybody sees shadows
on bright sunlit days.
They dance beside us,
follow, or lead the way.

So who is to say these shadows,
appearing to me when I am alone
are not at least as real
as those we see on sunny days?

Perhaps these shadows also lead me.
Quietly waiting.

I’m hosting Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and folks are invited to post any poem of their choosing. These photos taken this week in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod….and they got me to thinking about shadows.
Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

37 thoughts on “Shadows

  1. rivrvlogr September 19, 2019 / 11:32 am

    I have shadows that I like to think lead me.


  2. Glenn A. Buttkus September 19, 2019 / 3:11 pm

    Lovely, touching, rife with metaphysics. Dimensions within dimensions, figures stepping through the veil, portals. They are all real to me, and are evident within my own home. Some call them ghosts–we call them visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 19, 2019 / 3:51 pm

      Yes. And yes again. Exactly.


      • sarahsouthwest September 19, 2019 / 3:54 pm

        though your shadows here cast light, I think, not shade.


  3. kanzensakura September 19, 2019 / 3:18 pm

    Great photos. I think I have shadows that are beside me as well. Beautiful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 19, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      Thank you, Toni. Glad you enjoyed.


  4. kim881 September 19, 2019 / 3:52 pm

    Your shadows are so soothing and reassuring, Lill, and you’ve captured their personalities so clearly in few words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 19, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      Thank you, Kim. I do feel their presence at times….and yes, it is always a soothing presence.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sdtp33 September 19, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    Beautiful poem, Lilian, those close to us never really leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 19, 2019 / 4:44 pm

      I so agree….they remain in our hearts and they seem to “pop up” in places that remind us of then,,,,,or when we hear a certain song….or just when we’re sitting still.


  6. Misky September 19, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    I occasionally find myself glancing up from whatever I’m doing, as if something has caught my peripheral vision – something not quite ready to make itself known. I blame it on another birthday coming up.

    A lovely poem, Lillian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 19, 2019 / 4:45 pm

      Glad you enjoyed. I find visitors in my dreams…when I am half awake and half asleep. They seem so there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bearmkwa September 19, 2019 / 4:25 pm

    Oh, I really like this one, Lillian. It has a good flow and deep emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 19, 2019 / 4:46 pm

      Thank you!
      PS: I took the liberty of copying the link to your poem that you put in the chat and posting it to Mr Linky for you. I’m so sorry you had such trouble. Hope you will join us again and that next time Mr. Linky will be more amenable to you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Vivian Zems September 19, 2019 / 4:38 pm

    Shadows can mean what you want them to mean. I’m glad that the shadows you see represent your loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brendan September 19, 2019 / 5:06 pm

    Yes. How sweet and lingering.


  10. Truedessa September 19, 2019 / 7:02 pm

    I definitely feel shadows lurking from time to time.


  11. Mandibelle16 September 19, 2019 / 8:03 pm

    This is beautiful Lillian. I enjoy your discussion of shadows, especially as you write in the more “ethereal” realm as memories of loved ones gone, perhaps the past sliding into the present. What’s fascinating to me is how you say these shadows are as real as the ones when we walk outside — on the beach in the sun or otherwise. That physical shadows and the shadows of memories are one and the same. Lovely thoughtful piece!


  12. mhmp77 September 19, 2019 / 8:42 pm


    So who is to say these shadows,
    appearing to me when I am alone
    are not at least as real
    as those we see on sunny days?

    Every so often one gets blessed with indications of good tidings in ‘shadows’ appearing during odd times of the day. Shadows have been known to appear even in dark nights without lights.



  13. Nan Mykel September 19, 2019 / 8:51 pm

    Especially moving, when you listed who the shadows were.


  14. Bodhirose September 19, 2019 / 9:40 pm

    I do believe that there are many “shadow” people nearby who guide, support, are there through that ethereal veil but with us just the same. Wonderful poem, Lill.


  15. memadtwo September 19, 2019 / 10:31 pm

    I too believe our ghosts are with us…the presence often felt rather than seen. But sometimes the light catches them for us momentarily. (K)


  16. pvcann September 20, 2019 / 9:28 am

    The many shadows of life, real life, a contemplative invitation.


  17. navasolanature September 20, 2019 / 6:17 pm

    Oh, have just been talking about loss and then the presence we can feel at certain times of those we loved who have passed on.


  18. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar September 27, 2019 / 9:11 pm

    Who is to say, indeed! Oh, I adore this. There are moments I swear I feel the presence of my Father-in-law sitting at my kitchen table. I feel like I should hear his voice, hear him laugh. Seriously, the whole “leaning in, skirts lifted, the wavy hair”… so powerful!


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