Past is left behind like a frozen piece of concrete;
Future ahead is spread out like a giant misty sheet.
The parted Past is of us a part; Future, still transcendent.
Invisible Future yanks us out of Past’s grave-like sleep;
It pulls us to its infinite bosom of possibilities deep.
Death is a terror to those who have failed to be transcendent.
The flesh cleaves to the dust to return to the dust;
The spirit reaches upward to the starry sky:
Ego shall fade, so shall every pulsation of lust;
But, the wise shall shine like the stars of the sky.
THERE’S A BEGGAR sitting by the gate called Beautiful,
And he needs more than just silver and gold;
The priests scoff by,
The rich walk by,
The people throng by,
The children ask why
This beggar’s sitting by the gate called Beautiful.
There’s a preacher coming to the gate called Beautiful,
And he ain’t got any silver or gold;
But, he won’t lie,
And, he won’t shy;
For, he’s the kinda guy
Who’ll just stop by
This beggar sitting by the gate called Beautiful.
A priest gnarls by,
“Wretched beggars defacing the Temple!”
A vendor calls by,
“Come, you fella! Got any change of coins?”
A youth rocks by,
“Hey dude! Got good style ha; keep on rockin’!”
The beggar’s not listenin’,
He’s eyes are on the preacher transfixed;
He stretches out his palm for alms;
The preacher grasps his arm,
“Silver and gold have I none,” he says
But what I have I give to you;
In the name of Jesus of Nazareth,
Rise up and walk, I say to you!”
Boy, he jumps up and dances,
Cries, “God’s power touched my bones!”
The crowd cast baffled glances,
“Wasn’t he a cripple a while ago!”
What a pulpit, O Master Carpenter,
You grant a fisherman who left his boat!
See how he blazes one fiery rhetoric,
One sermon wins 5000 souls!
The priests get angry,
The captain is mad,
They run down in hurry,
With Sadducees sad;
They all are sayin’,
“What happened’s very bad!”
They put them in prison,
They drag them to court,
They warn them “Listen,
“Don’t ever preach this sort!”
Ah, don’t show them your paperguns,
They ain’t some timid blokes;
They’ve seen their Master risen
From the dead to die no more!
Such were some events one day by the gate called Beautiful,
A beggar got more than just silver and gold;
The priests still cry,
The rich still sigh,
The people stop by,
The children ask why
There ain’t any beggar by the gate called Beautiful!
WHEN the gentle sky sobs her tears,
You paint your bow and calm her down;
When some distant flower has lost all cheer,
You spray your colors and remove her frown.
Your inverted smile on heaven’s face
Reflects on earth with boundless grace;
We’re filled with bliss, with hopes of tomorrow,
When on the sky, we behold your rainbow.
You beam your arc over sunshine and rain,
And pass sunny pleasure through the prism of pain.
See, little children, they jump and dance
When they see rain notes on your colored staff.
Everyone’s great, or so one feels.
If no such feeling, can anyone live?
The desire to rule is not very bad, not at all.
To have dominion was man created.
But he can’t even rule his own spirit.
A slave to passion, a slave to the world,
Unruled passion, kings of destiny – but still slaves,
If one can will, but one can’t.
I’m better than most, better than all.
If none such feeling, won’t I continually fall?
Vainful ego, vain contentions,
‘I’ must prevail, ‘truth’ not.
Imagination, warped reality, self’s own construction.
Ego (I) spins a world of its own:
Everyone has a world of his own.
Where world’s agree, favors arise.
Where world’s collide, wars arise.
Worlds are egos, Egos wear masks.
So are all agreements, masked.
Behind the veil hides the unknown, which ego finds not.
And falling forwards,
Faces the world behind its mask, created by the world.
And the world wears masks.
But it has its own world, its own understanding.
Yet behind the dynamic – flux of these worlds
Lies the unknown, static, stately, still, who knows?
It sees its face in the mirror of its world
And sees the mask.
It takes it for its face
And so takes its world for its face.
Therefore, worlds are egos, I say.
You never see the truth; for truth is itself masked.
But remove the mask
What remains is the unknown.
The mask is better than the unknown.
And where one is unsure of the truth,
There teachers prevail.
And the teachers wear masks, give masks.
‘This thing cannot be known, except it were given to you by the Father.’
‘Lord, search me and try me.
Send forth thy light and thy truth.’
© Domenic Marbaniang, 31 May, 2007
The copters up grinned as down dropped the bombs –
“How easily have we humanity erased!”
“No, it’s not we but they who pilot us
That have first erased humanness from their own hearts!”
The copters bladed away as bullets ripped the air –
“Metal kills metal as men kill men!”
“No, metal is lifeless, men are alive;
Only metal kills men and metal alike!”
“So, these men are as us without mercy or shame,
What made them so lifeless, what power what name?”
“Fear, anger, hatred, and doubt
Are the negatives that deaden their hearts.”
A little girl below (running with her brother in arms):
“Cry not, my brother, my little dear doll,
The copters will go away and with it all noise!”
“I want my mother, I can’t see her around!”
“She is now in heaven, and sees us here down.”
The girl cries…
“O mother, O mother, we’re left all alone,
We’re left with no mother, we’re left with no home!”
The copters returned with more anger and ire,
They poured all their fury in brimstone and fire.
The girl ran for shelter with the toddler in arms,
The bombers rattled after unaware of this all –
For, as the smoke and the dust rose into the sky
The eyes of truth were curtained.
The next morning, a Priest wails:
“Why God, my Master, did You all this allow?
O terrors of darkness, what else you seek now?”
“This history is yours. It’s you who’ll write
The story of man devoid of His God.”
“The story is sad… it’s still You who allowed –
the guillotines, the gas chambers, the fiery clouds!”
“If it was I who should have governed the earth,
Then why create man to have dominion on earth?
These are your inventions, your wisdom, your resolves
That drive these divisions, that compel these discords.
It’s you who for religion hate each other and all
And become more repulsive in the eyes of God.
It’s you who for your mission of justice for all
Give in to the religion of violence and harm.
It’s you who for riches of this fleeting world
Have exploited your brothers, your own flesh and blood.
And, shall I not requite this faithlessness of you all
Who abused your power while stewards in My house?
I’ll return your violence into your bossom,
Your withdrawal of justice, of mercy and compassion.
For, the end of all things will surely come,
Men shall be judged for all they’ve done.
For, what could be rewarded unless it were done;
But, you’ve chosen hatred and love you’ve shunned.
O, turn now from evil, turn now from shame!
Turn from judging each other by some name!
For your hearts are fashioned all alike,
But, evil is a venomous viper that strikes;
So, beware and make amends, make peace with all first,
Cease from all violence, from treachery and lust.
Then, shall righteousness spring forth from the ground
And bless you with assurance of glory from above.”
The little girl comes in between…
“God, I see Your answer is so true and so wise;
But, we’ve lost our mother, we’ve lost all we had!”
“You’ve lost not your heart, my daughter,
You’ve lost not your child-like faith.
One day and sooner after,
The world will get a bold shape.
Then, you shall reign in glory
Over princes, rich and strong,
And they who are now stronger
Will then be proved wrong.
Keep this heart of yours as innocent
As I’ve made it with my heart;
I’ll return to give you justice,
I’ll come back with my reward.”
Then, GOD vanished into thin air;
And, the copters bladed through the air again.
© Domenic Marbaniang, Anthology of Poems, 2010.
This lightning blue has the blues dispelled
From darkest heavens, with a peal of discord;
Then, shimmering while the crackles distill
It recoils to strike in rhythmic chord –
How variant are the lux and the buzz
Of tributaries branching from this river of light!
Socrates despises the beaming daylight
Where the value of light is distinctly nill;
Socrates delights in the thundering night
When the cries of the day are blatantly stilled –
The pride of man is quenched by a thud
Of this spark ignited by heavens dismayed.
We’ve looked in the dark eyes of this cultured maid
And have seen these watchers keep the time;
We’ve seen the blaze of God’s sparkling blade
And have seen its angle never depart –
Oh Lord, how magnificent are Your works,
The dawn is Yours and so the dusk!
“The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about….
The lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook.” (Psa 77:17,18)
“He covers His hands with lightning, and commands it to strike.” (Job 36:32)
During our walk through the course of this life
This one thing we often realize
That the world is made of fools and of the wise,
So opposed as darkness is to light;
Thus, also does Proverbs all people classify
As those who love truth and those who fact despise:
But, calamity and destruction are in folly so disguised
That only the wise can through wisdom them identify;
Yet, the key to wisdom is not hidden but is openly testified:
The fear of the Lord is wisdom summarized;
The irreverence of God is folly maximized.
Each stroke of Your blood wiped away a stain off my canvas,
Each stroke of Your blood wrote my history anew:
One stroke after the other fall over this surface,
And paint a picture thought by You!
Lord, help me live a life worthy of Your sacrifice
And shape me after Your choice !
The eye salve went a missin’ and, boom, blew sunshine out of sky.
But, it left this hope a lingerin’ that it’ll come back by and by.
The world needs one beautifier, this cooler of vision and eye.
And, tho’ the world grow sorer and indifferent,
The eye salve will beauty testify:
This eye-salve does hope certify.
“anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” — Jesus Christ, Rev.3:18
The sun lifted his arm to hide his reddened face,
The winds ceased and the earth jolted in confusion;
The universe blackened; history was blotted out.
The One who held this vast universe by His power
Now hung motionless in body on the Cross —
That cursed pole obliterated by His crushed frame.
Puny little powers had wielded powerless hammers
Driving nails, lifting Him up for all eyes to see
What salvation God ordained through this cursed tree.
Two thieves for company; few friends, more foes
Waited, as time fled, to watch this end;
Time did end; history choked.
The quivers quivered as bitter arrows were disengaged;
Sin rattled against that Love immutable and true:
O Mockery, you had never so hatefully grimaced
Than when He prayed,
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
One sinner cursed, the other his sins confessed
And sought a hope this world never knew;
Glory shone from God’s battered face,
As to him He said,
“Verily, you’ll be with Me in paradise today, I say to you!”
Then, from those torn lips flowed words of sealing
A woman whose breast He leaned on
To the disciple that leaned on His:
“Woman, behold your son!”
“Son, behold your mother!”
And, darkness covered the land for hours three;
Chronicles and almanacs wriggled in disbelief;
Time dropped her hands all mystified,
As He cried,
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
What pride mars the hearts of sinful mortals,
Their evil enflamed by their wishful desires!
One blinded man whispered, “He calls for Elijah!”
Another mocked, “Now, he needs help.”
We plunder our lives for goods of godless pleasure,
We plummet our souls into hell’s horrendous grave;
Then, we look at the Crucified Savior,
And whisper to ourselves, “He needs help!”
The agony was over, the agony released;
He knew it was over and felt the peace;
Then, He said, “I thirst!”
Lord, I was the cause and the reason why You thirsted.
The liquid that most composes this earthly sheath
Was drained from Your veins to wipe my shame;
You thirsted in order that I may never thirst again!
They lifted to You that venomous vinegar
To burn Your lips, to blunt Your pain.
You turned Your Holy face in refusal,
Your thirst was quenched when You quenched my shame.
Then, He cried “It is finished;”
The Law and the Prophets brought to an end in Him.
One Act of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Nullified religion, culture, and every human whim.
The wisdom of the wise in their wallets,
The power of princes in their pockets,
Let forever be confined:
He’s done with these, I’m done as well;
I’m crucified to the world through Him.
The old is blotted out, history has changed,
The transgressor is no more; see, there this saint!
Man no longer has works; these are acts of the Cross,
From where alone flows each disciple’s works.
What cry now rends the heavens and the earth!
What voice echoes through the corridors of space!
“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!”
The only Obedient Son died to live again!
The veil of the temple was torn asunder,
The earth quaked and the rocks were split;
His material case broke open; the path of heaven was paved.
The centurion fell to his knees in wonder,
The crowd beat their breasts and cried;
Silence! God hangs motionless, the penalty is paid.
As the sacrificial lamb brought to the altar,
As the sparrow over running waters slain,
He poured out His boundless love and drenched me with grace.
Lord, what is passion and how much zeal’s enough?
Your Passion displayed passionately the ultimacy of love.
The world’s fully obliterated, it’s only You all now!
© Domenic Marbaniang, April 1, 2010