Only someone who knows darkness
Knows what to do with light.
In winter’s long nights the botanical garden
Exfoliates a fiery rainbow:
Linear scintilla ablaze
With terrestrial constellations.
Electricity itself cannot be seen,
Even in broad daylight—
Much less at night, strung streaming
Through Christmas wires,
Suspended across lily ponds,
Duplicated on dreaming waters,
Wound about the leafless trees,
Flashing, dancing merrily.
The masterminds of this display
Deserve our commendations.
Technicians of light need darkness.
But what do technicians of darkness need?
To be proficient in darkness,
One needs to extinguish the light—
Not only hours after sunset
When the crowds have gone home,
But in the blinding eye of noon
When the garden is fully seen.
Only someone who knows light
Knows what to do with darkness.