~A painting by a patient
of Dr. Carl Jung

I fall drowsy reading about
persona and shadow

imagine a canvas and paint box,
the choice of ruby salamander
at the core.

Flames emit dazzling light, fire sprite.

Demon, disadvantaged,
can’t believe my soul

risks swimming,
green flames rising,

escaping vapors morph as children:
all my past lives, past ancestry.

Demon mounts night
toward a blue star, mass confusion
borne on summer’s air.

In tempera, I encase him in the round

contrast self-immersion,
my inner refuge

wet birthing lotus
crimson center at rest.