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June 20, 2022

Lent

By Dan Mulhollen

I've walked a long way
in these pilgrim's robes.
From the promiscuous sunset
Through the nothingness
of the frigid black night.

I've lived in vaulted passages;
cloistered,
sequestered for too long
Waiting for the warmth of spring.

In magical ecumenicism
I've sipped tea
underneath the cherry blossoms,
Strolled through the bazaars
where incense hung thick in the air.

I contradict myself;
a pilgrim,
a monk,
someone familiar
with the four corners of this sphere?

Of course I do
As we contradict each other,
We exist in our personal universe;
Each self-sufficient
each incomparable.

Yet in mature calm,
We find understanding
A secular mutual-respect
for our fellow human beings.

We persecute ourselves enough anyway,
to require any external inquisitions.
We build our own dungeons
construct our own torture devices,
and willfully strap ourselves into them.

The hair-shirt crowd is there already,
self-loathing
self-pitying;
addicted to the lash
of their narrow self-image.

Yet others like cart-horses
wear blinders
No reflection
no introspection;
Finding scapegoats
for their failings.

But somehow we find balance;
Imperfection being the mark of humanity.
We can neither climb
to the tallest peaks of our intellect,
Nor be submerged
to the lowest abysses of our insecurities.

So in self-examination
We take this pilgrimage.
Passing the ancient monuments
our mind reveals to us.
We climb our own Golgotha,
Crucifying our ego
Hoping to see something valid
through this mess of memories
blurred by emotion.

The graveyard nears.
We pass the tombstones,
the vampiric trees,
We block those realities from our thoughts.

Fear engulfs us,
the sepulcher approaches.
Now we will find out;
if we have learned one damned thing
and the stone is rolled away.

Article © Dan Mulhollen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-02-22
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