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My Close Encounter with Evil (this summer)


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Dear virtual diary, I have a veiled confession to make... Amid the countless blessings, something happened this summer. Something so dark that I cannot speak of it, directly — perhaps, my closest encounter with Evil... Let’s just say that I spent a month in New York, not too long ago, covering the trial of a cult leader and, to my shock, found uncanny echoes with my own life! I will attempt, here, to elaborate further and unburden myself.

What saw me through this difficult time was the support of family, friends, prayer, work and the stubborn belief that Justice & Truth prevail, even in the bleakest of times... Also, gradually, a strange acceptance that this horror was necessary, somehow, for my development. If I paid attention and did not fight, I might even extract something good, healing and possibly transformative from the poison.

As I understand it, poetry is an expression of the intolerable. Through it, one can confess in code and attempt to articulate what is unutterable. Undergoing this spiritual challenge, I turned to poetry for solace, as a form of prayer, to overhear my higher self.

Below, are two poems of mine that hint at this destabilizing incident which has shaken me to my core and tested my mettle. Thank you, Steemians, for listening with an open heart and I hope you and loved ones stay out of harm's way. _/|\_

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Visceral

The watering holes are contaminated
animals stagger, wounded and wounding
strangling fierce and bewildered keening -

there is word of a stranger in the village

spreading like lengthening shadows
spilling into once safe, sunlit spaces
splotchy-blotchy, blemishing news
as expected as a natural disaster

all is wet with fear of the unknown
sky and earth quake and thunder
survival simplified to a difficult equation
under the dictate: overcome or perish

transcendence has become a necessity
no time for tears or breathless incredulity
time to summon powers once bragged of
submit to be tested as man and superman.


Holy Mess

Overnight, your once blessed existence
might reverse course
become an alien thing
and you stand accused
of unspeakable crimes

Never mind, you are innocent
of these base horrors—
as Kafka says, in his Trial,
‘Guilt is never to be doubted’

Be grateful, then
there are still dreadful sins
in our fallen world
of which you are blameless

Now, tell me, how will this crucible
change you? Then show how this
unasked-for crisis is
blessing, allow it to assist
the birth of your longed-for self

Thank God, for this Holy Mess —

©Yahia Lababidi

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Art by Francisco Goya


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