?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Poem: "Fading Recollections of Hell" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Fading Recollections of Hell"

This poem came out of the March 2013 crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from ellenmillion.  It also fills the "chance" square in my 12-2-12 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by janetmiles.  It belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.


Fading Recollections of Hell


The angel who had been a devil
was losing his memories of wickedness.
He did not know why it was happening,
only that it was and he could not stop it.

He could no longer recall
the exact sense of infernal energy,
lost in the elusive shimmer of grace
that shone just beyond reach of his wings.

He could not remember
the teaching of the deeper evils,
carnal knowledge of sins
giving way to the embrace of virtues.

There was no exact pattern to this selective memory loss,
no way to predict what he would lose next or when,
as his mind gave way like the thin skin
of his leather wings turning to feathers.

It all came down to chance, random and erratic,
what would go and what would come --
gluttony giving way to temperance as hunger eased,
wrath smoothing into patience as he grew more calm.

There was nothing for him to hold onto
except for the priest who had become his friend
and the flickering ghost of faith that intruded
again and again where there had been only distrust.

It was hard to let go of the shadowy parts of himself
even as they thinned to transparency,
fading recollections of Hell and deviltry
become no more than dim mirages of the past.

Yet there was nothing else for him to do
but give himself up to the light that engulfed him,
remaking himself in the image of his strange new wings and
the chance that presented itself whether he wanted it or not.

* * *

Notes:

The Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues exist in balance with each other.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

3 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 26th, 2013 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
A friend's father died a few days ago, after a long decline, and I've been attending shiva services at her mother's home. And in the Ma'ariv (evening) service tonight I was struck by the resonance of a familiar image with this series.

This is from our Reconstructionist prayer book, which represents the name of God in the Hebrew with many varying epithets, which I've transcribed in all caps here:

From
Hashkivenu / Divine Help
in Ma'ariv / Evening Service

Help us to lie down, DEAR ONE, our God, in peace, and let us rise again, our sovereign, to life. Spread over us the shelter of your peace. Decree for us a worthy daily lot, and redeem us for the sake of your great name. Protect us and keep from us enemies, illness, sword, famine, and sorrow. Enfold us in the wings of your protection, for you are our redeeming guardian. Truly, a sovereign, gracious and compassionate God are you. Guard our going forth each day for life and peace, now and always. Spread over us the shelter of your peace.

Blessed are you, COMPASSIONATE ONE, who ever guards the people Israel, and all who dwell on earth.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 26th, 2013 08:08 am (UTC) (Link)

*hugs*

>> A friend's father died a few days ago, after a long decline, and I've been attending shiva services at her mother's home. <<

My condolences. It's kind of you to sit with them.

>> And in the Ma'ariv (evening) service tonight I was struck by the resonance of a familiar image with this series. <<

Wow, that really does match, especially "the wings of your protection." I have tried to portray the Divine in this series as mysterious, numinous, ultimately benevolent.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 27th, 2013 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hugs*

"mysterious, numinous, ultimately benevolent" I see in this series, and it doesn't surprise me; but the alar metaphor, while I'd just been reading these, struck me... Well, you coulda knocked me over with a feather!
3 comments or Leave a comment