POEMS: Eros MutatusTo the Red Cross WorkersReflectionsA Prayer at PentecostTo My GrandchildrenA Modern OdysseyEphemeridsBernini’s DavidSocrates’ ExhortationTed Kaczynski: UnabomberTo DanteA Faustian BargainAt the CrossroadA Modern Eden Is the Bible BeltThe Third TemptationPrometheos Revisited


Through Self's Veneer: Poetry by Robert J. Nolan (drawing of two heads in profile facing each other)


A Prayer at Pentecost

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh;
and your sons and daughters shall prophesy.”

                                                                      Acts 2:17

“Thou canst not tell whence [the wind] cometh
and wither it goeth: so is everyone that is
born of the Spirit.”

                                                                      John 3:8

       The wind does, indeed,
bloweth where it listeth,
but just whose voice are we to heed?
Surely not those tongue-speaking ecstatics,
delirious, Born-again dogmatics,
who, arrogating to themselves
what the meaning of the Cross is,
forswearing all mystery
and giving in to Gnosis,
have consigned, in their doxology,
the rest of the world to obloquy.

       So what good does it do to pray to God?
Petition, first, to those fanatics,
tongues aflame with Pentecostal canard
and burning with apocalyptic fire,
to bank their fervent desire
to witness (or hasten?) the end of the world.

Renounce your Manichean paradigm,
reject all Bibliolatry,
embrace the tension of suspension in time,
and rejoice in your moment in history;
for in spite of all you’ve heard or read,
before His fabled Second Coming,
you and I will be aeons dead.
So cease your futile efforts at dumbing
down Divine Providence,
certain as you seem to be
to know when time will meet eternity,
and be content He’s come just once
(isn’t that all that we should need?).

       Let us, rather, make His choice
by listening to that still small voice
that celebrates the effort, not the End,
that finds its tongue through those who heed
its purifying call,
which burns away the trivial,
dissolves negation and denial,
disintegrates all absolute assertion,
consumes the Ego and completes the Person.

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  Through Self’s Veneer


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  © Robert J. Nolan, 2010