The Prologue

All Quiet on the Western Front
Lydia Nolan
December 14, 2009

Outside it’s pitch—
—Cold, too.
I hear those routine sounds outside—and inside:
The occasional car, a howling coyote, wind...I hear it all out there.
It’s past midnight.
I think to myself: The Christmas lights! They’re still lit on the patio!
I tip-toe in the dark, pass the slider, and out to the patio floor.
I see the dangling lights—
“It’s past midnight, you out there!”  As if somebody’s listening...
No one else hears me whispering but coyotes, the wind. . .
I say just as loudly, looking up:
How do I reinvent my Self? It’s nearly over!
No answers from deep within the sky—nobody’s listening...
I'm tired. The stars wink, curious.

Now I have an audience.
The stars come closer.
Just for a moment, their eyes intensify—
I look intent at them through the chill of winter.
Clouds threaten to cover the skies,
Snow will be coming, beyond midnight
The moon is wearing a cloudy shawl—
An enchanted moment calls for someone to caress me now...

I let go. Tears flow
And my desire to mirror the model leaves me.
I long to inspire of my own, instead,
Quell self-loathing for a change—
Show confidence to anyone interested—
Fill myself up again, with loving kindness.
And my inner voice whispers: don't ignore our breathing—it’s honest. . .
Don’t brush away the tears with the wind, I promise—
I’ll keep us: you and ME here, alive—

All’s quiet on the western front tonight— that’s all there is.
Quiet—Go back to sleep, I hear myself say.
Now, the stars smile. They yawn for delight.
Everything will be better in the morning light
The sun will make everything warm again—
Go back to sleep

Still, looking out, it’s pitch, and attractive with the Christmas lights.
Now the sounds I hear are whistling winds;
Coyote howls, dog growls, shaking trees—
The wind and me....and
My knight and shining armor of a soul,
And midnight passes warily.
Courage wrestles Fear,  
I look up and see the stars sway softly
Bullying the snow—the wind, the animal sounds—
Trying to make a safe place for me—
Whispering: seek out your that place your long for
Your integrity—

I left the Christmas lights on after all—yes: like a boundary.
They sway in the wind; they flicker, but they don’t fall.
The winds try to entice them—
The moon starts fading in her light—
How do I reinvent my self? I try again, for an answer.
Now is coming daylight, I say
If all my youth and years have passed me by
And here I am—and I’m tired.
And the world is a dubious place.
There are no roads between the tall trees—
They disappear into the forest beneath the mountain side.

The stars come forth again; intensified.
And chased the snow away, for good.
They smile and sparkle at me:
Don’t worry, He will light your way; God is your light from now on.
Is God the Sun? I whisper as I wipe away my tears—
I admit I never really think of God as the old man,
Or a physical body, at all:
I think of the still small voice— as when I was a child—
And tonight: to listen to the stars, the winds, the skies, and flowing trees
I am by myself, this late, dark night— I welcome the breeze.
I realize I hear God again, as when I was a child,
And I feel free of Fear—
How do I reinvent myself?
You just have, my dear— 


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