A poem jumped me today in the busy thoroughfares of my daily routine. Unawares, it crept up in my soul in three exclamations: “O darkness! O deception! O death!” The antidotes followed immediately on my assailant’s heels: “Light! Truth! Life!” And the following sonnet was conceived.
Like many of the Old Testament psalms, this sonnet wrestles with the harsh reality of a world peopled with flawed human beings, some more intentionally so, in need of redemption. Rather than focus on the glaring failings of fallen man or the seeming spread of darkness, deceit, and the sudden crippling terror of death, I too found myself repeating, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:5-6)
Sure, we can choose to point fingers, or put up more and more barbed wire fences to protect us in our deep trenches, or even keep our heads “safely” stuffed in the sand. We can yield to anger and rage and cease to see the other as a human being, however distorted he or she may appear. But what life is there in that? I’m not interested. Rather, “Oh praise the Source of life and truth and light / whose victory has set all things aright!”
The Light, The Truth, The Life
Vincent H. Anastasi 2020
O darkness drear, aphotic depth’s despair
where wrecks bestrew the swarthy ocean’s floor,
the Light uplifts me to propitious air
on luminescent wings to freely soar!
O deception, velvet tongued courtesan
sweetly gouging eyes – cold betrayal’s kiss,
the Truth restores me to the faithful hand,
while mending sight and sound in candor’s bliss.
O death, fear’s father haunting unsure days
to slay with safety all who seem alive,
true Life emboldens timid fragile clay,
embracing risk to do more than survive!
O praise the Source of life and truth and light
whose victory has set all things aright!