«

Nihil Humanum

[ 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 me

Unexpected 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

Into Purgatory.

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook: