[ I should note that this is from 1997, at the worst of my illness.]
Seven red temptations have I felt:
Of seductive bitterness at the edge
Where I begin to descend into clinging
Fog, turning light grey, dark grey, black.
Of relief as I return to my sweet abuser.
Of the bright taste of alcohol
After years of brown sobriety
Even knowing I will descend
Into the dull inferno
From which I may never rise again.
Of the orange adrenaline of flirting
With a woman I could in fact sleep with
At the risk of my comfortable marriage.
Of playing poker with the rent money.
Of taking a hit at a party because people
I don’t even like expect me to.
Of calling on the coldest spirit I know
To take down him
Whom I believe to be my silver enemy.
These temptations are my violet demons,
Real demons in my deafening inferno.
Although I do not want to feel them,
I cannot pretend they are not there.
They may wait, or they may sleep,
But they will never leave.
I know the Sidhe may call me at dawn
Or at midnight: I know not to answer
Until my name is called three times.
But my bitter demons attack meUnexpected at mid-day, disguised
As what I most desire.
Then I must give up pride,
Reach out for an angel: they also
Walk among us disguised,
Or invisible, guarding our freedom.
To defeat my colorful demons,
I must drag them into the light,
Own them, recognize them as myself.
If I do this on my own, I’ll be
Overwhelmed by the blackness within me.
To stand against the storm, I must
Have help from other sufferers,
Angels, Gods: whomever I can trust.
There’s a reason for churches.
Zarathushtra had a point:
I am the pungent battlefield
Where good and evil wage their endless war.
Observe my lunar craters, shells
Of buildings, stumps, decaying corpses.
If someday there is peace, I hope
To rebuild my blue acropolis,
Kneel in the ivory temple,
Light a green candle,
Pray to be safe, and loved, and useful,
And then, perhaps, ascend
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