The Smiling Face of Darkness [poem]

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I know what darkness is.
I’ve seen its face.
I’ve run my fingers through its hair
to see if it was real
and so it is (but yet is also not).
I’ve also touched its broken nails
when it shook me by the hand
(a slithery secret handshake
with the scales and skin of rattlesnake)
while smiling all the way —
a smile I know so well —
(it takes me for a fool)
a grimace straight from hell.

I’ve seen it on the lips of many vain impostors
on this testland earth (and not just on their mouths
but in their very hearts) for darkness seeks to rule.

And dark is at its most effective
when it masquerades as light —
a shinyclean and smart disguise
(I’ve seen that tactic too).
The angels which are here to help
and hasten in this world what’s right
are not alone in the incendiary fight;
and even though a soul can know
what really sits and rules upon the throne,
permission has been granted
to another breed (and not just one)
to test the mettle of our faithfulness
and generate more grace in us
and make us stronger than the sun
if we will stand and never run.

Once I stood before a fast approaching tram while
vain disincarnate voices whispered christlike in my head:
“Yes, throw yourself! Why live amongst this darkness
when you could be soundly dead? Why still pretend
to be at home upon this filthy globe enrobed
in specious greenery and subtle schemery?
Have done with it once and finally for all
and bring this sanemask madness to an end instead!”
On hearing that, I stood exactly where I was and
let that that bloodless train remain unstained
and reached my destination unashamed
and undeterred (discerning when the dark
has poisoned any rogue internal words).

And now I bring myself
back to the drawing board of brain
and start anew
with nothing in my mind but
patience, resignation, perseverance
and a reckless screw-the-devil love
for everything I say and think and do.

And if the dark should ever cease
its vain attempts to extinguish all my fire
I’ll know with cleanly round sereneful certainty
I’ve sold my soul and laurels too —
denied my birthright
and my calling to be here in life for you.

For all is not just light upon this groanful sphere;
and those who tell you otherwise
have never looked within themselves
or they are working for the other side
or through their prideful lack of vigilance
and foolish wilful ignorance
have then become a sullied mouthpiece
for the thieves who pull their strings,
control their words and thoughts and actions
on their secondhandish ride.

However (and ironic though it seems),
it’s only through our gold-refining, life-defining
struggle with the dark that we are subsequently
lightfilled, spiritedly-bountified,
honed into perfection, cleansed,
set free and wonderfully purified.

And here’s the holy truth about the darkness
that you fear: It will, in time, completely disappear,
collapse in on itself, for it is unsustainable
and doomed to self-destruct; and, seeking only
to destroy, it must, in time, destroy itself.
The dark is only here so we can see its void
and know it has no substance in the soul
and learn to overcome our fear and then
allow the light to fill the hungrythirsty hole
within us all created by our fall into the flesh.
For only love and light can last and darkness,
when it’s been exposed, will have become
a distant relic from our evolutionary past.


© Alan Morrison, 2016

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