Light's Bright Lies

Tonight I leave the white electric hum
of streetlights, those killing globes that cause
moths their last thrusts of faith and delirium.
Dumb believers, starving for light, the gauze
of their dead wings covers my fingers with dust.

“Gauze” is a great word to describe a moth's wings. – Olivia Ezinga, age 15
The image of these violent deaths is unexpected and a unique way to bring the reader into the poem. – Patricia Schlutt, age 15

I've learned from them a daring trust
in darkness saves a life. Tonight I leave
the tease of light's bright lies—
that led me, by its touch, to believe
I see. Walking through a dark field, my eyes
give in. Behind their lenses, in absence
of light, another aperture opens—the same sense
with which I watch in every sleep a life
inside my life take shape—as if another light

I love the connection to dreams here, and the idea that not only can we see, that is perceive, even with our eyes closed, but that we may perceive things more clearly as well. With our eyes closed we can better block out the interference of prejudice and social stimuli and instead look inside ourselves for a more authentic concept of truth. – Kyle Austin, age 22

goes on beneath: a ship's lamp scanning reefs
that reveals a cave once lost to sight.

This is an eerie yet uplifting thought, and the simile of a ship is one that captures the idea and makes it accessible to everyone. – Patricia Schlutt, age 15

In that world shines a silver streaking eel,
the real light, that burns by what it feels.

This poem strikes a chord in every true naturalist’s heart. It makes you want to wander outside and stargaze for hours and hours. His description is so perfect and sets the poem in a sort of picture frame. As a whole, this poem is absolutely perfect. – Raegan Flikkema, age 16
Those who starve for light may think that is not what they’re hungry for because they may be eating the shadows such and not the actual light. This said, it’s the artificiality (“white electric hum / of streetlights”) that is leaving us disconnected and not feeling wholesome. The poem’s progression is remarkable. The pace and tension appropriate to the delivery of the last few lines and the last line allows the silence that ensues to seem even more profound and noticeable. – Zachary Tomaszewski, age 21
The speaker makes an effort to leave the “tease of light’s bright lies” and opens himself to a new world, that of darkness. He feels as if he watching another life, like a ship’s lamp revealing a cave once lost to sight. This poem is an eloquent way of explaining that it’s important to see with more than just your eyes. - Rachel McGuinness, age 18
It is interesting to think about light “lying” to people, letting them believe they can see in the darkness, when really they are not using their nature sense of sight at all. This poem makes the idea of “trusting” artificial light seem dangerous and deadly, like it is to the insects attracted to it. – Kara Madden, age 23

Robert Fanning, from The Seed Thieves (Marick Press, 2006

Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.