cloud arrow bb - March 11, 2016s

author’s note:

The value of a human being can
be measured by what he or
she most deeply wants.
         — Rumi (trans. C. Barks)

To that I say: we all seem to deeply want heaven.  But how to get there—that’s the problem.


Some believe
in heaven you can smoke
as many cigarettes as you wish
without any harmful side effects

but why would we crave tobacco
or any other pleasure?—
how could this velvety ice cream
match heaven’s relentless love?

The best angels
of Beethoven’s nature
would be but a cicada cacophony
compared to the celestial choir

and the starry brilliance
of Van Gogh
would dim to dull
beside the eternal sun.

We wouldn’t pick
cocaine’s kick
over heaven’s constant bliss

that is, unless…

such perfection
overwhelms us:

the flood of light
becomes much too much
soon after our arrival
and in desperation, we jump

back down to Earth.

We then try to escape
the pain of our fall
by blocking the memory
but still sense the loss
and so, pursue those things
that hint of the ecstasy:

a myriad of substitutes
we’ve found or invented—
many or most
actually quite fine

but even a dozen together
can’t completely satisfy.

So eventually, in desperation
we look to heaven again
then fight to lift
ourselves back up

but when (after much effort)
we again reach
that exalted state
we feel overwhelmed
just as before

and so, once more
kick ourselves out.

So many trials we must endure

we finally accept
that this Earth will never ever
be enough for us:

we must find the strength to bear
that which seems to be unbearable

we must give ourselves up

we must surrender to the inevitable.

When will I—when will I
when will I allow
the torrential light to devour
all that I’ve imagined
myself to be?

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog