Thursday, January 6, 2011

I have given all away

and now what remains

is the the darkening sky

and the cold earth--



and if a Light shines

beyond this earthly hell

who can receive it

but those who love

the darkening sky

and the cold earth?


I have given all away

for the renunciation

that gains all--

is that willful?

does that very desire

disallow all

because it is poor excuse

for greed?


if a Light shines...

if a Light shines...

this will also be resolved--

the All being beyond

what is and isn't--

all given away

received finally



Content (c) 2008-2011 Philip Milito.

4 comments:

Russell said...

Phil, I really like the idea of embracing the world/hell as, it seems, a path of redemption. This rings true in many paths, and although foreign to the "me me me" mindset, is doubtless a valid path for many. Suffering is inescapable, so why not let it do some good, if it can? C.S. Lewis tackles this in "The Problem of Pain," but David asked, centuries ago, why good people suffer and the wicked prosper. You don't attempt an answer, but I think you're embracing the reality, and that's an inspiring start. Thank you for sharing this poem. ~Russell

Philip Milito said...

It is an absolute affirmation to hear the comments of someone who 'gets it'! It IS wearisome to find that so many people consider the sad 'facts' of conditioned creation as 'negativity', as if mere positive thinking or a happy wish could change the One's inevitable mandate. "You must sin to reach salvation", as the old saying goes, but, by the same token, "The more sin has increased, the more grace has been caused to abound." Many thanks for this, brother.

R. Clay said...

Phil, today a friend told me about a billboard he saw on the side of the highway, coming in from Philly to NYC.
It was a large, totally black billboard, with old (pre-Hitler) German type. He speaks German fluently so he had no trouble reading the message:

"It's only a matter of time."

There was nothing else, no sponsor, no indication of what person or organization paid for the billboard. It may be part of a movie campaign, or something else... who knows? But the message sent chills down my spine.

"It's only a matter of time."

What is only a matter of time? And the contrast between "matter" and "time," between the physical, material world and the cosmos, has always been an unsolved mystery, a story to be told.

I am matter, but oh, so much more! And so are you, dear bro. Your thoughts, your words, are more of time than of matter. Yet, continuing the play on words, your poems "matter." They not only invoke the reality of matter, of the problems of the material world; they also are meaningful, they matter to me and others, as expressions of truth, warning, weariness, hope, and depth.

No one truly knows how much time our matter has, but we all sense that time matters, and that whatever our own "it" is, it is linked to a timeline that we cannot much bend or even end-see. Yet poets are always trying to see the end from the beginning, and this God-like attribute, this quality of looking past the real or imagined limits of the material horizon, is richly evident in you, Phil. For this I am most grateful.
Yours in the word written with the thorn dipped in the vein's ink,
~Russell

Philip Milito said...

Russell, your penetrating words almost leave me nonplussed--to hear such appreciation after so long stumbling alone, with little or no comprehension or, worst of all, the patronizing half-smile of "Oh, that's very nice", makes me feel as if I'd been seized with vertigo. Many thanks for the love and friendship. Time and eternity, spirit and flesh of one substance--these are indeed the greatest mysteries--but it IS a conditioned creation we inhabit, and an ultimate choice will have to made at that cumulative point--seize to matter and pass away with it--develop the spirit and rejoin the One, 'saved' as it were. I hope when that dreadful day finally comes I and mine will be strong enough to make that choice--strong enough to wish it for all others as well, since we are, after all, one in that divine substance.
Peace, love and whatever else gets us through the night. -Phil