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Thoughts on Suicide

Now watch black curtain of night fall:
The fight to stay alive
With hope long gone
And faith, no frantic flailing can revive,
Is destined to be lost or won
In the loneliest prison of all:

Dark spirits cell,
The solitary confinement
Of the soul;
With no refinement
Save the burning coal
Sent straight, apparently, from Hell;

The one relief
A tiny patch of blue
Above the head,
Remaining true
And holding off the dread
Of non-belief.

Night brings no soothing sleep
But only the cold fear
That clutches at the heart
And comes so near
It paralyses with an icy dart
The watchers of the deep;

But worse than solitary pain -
The silent bell
That heralds Prince of Darkness,
Grand Inquisitor of Hell
In all his fearsome starkness,
Dragging sin-forged chain:

With three-pronged goad
He probes your secret soul:
Its morbid fears
Its lack of goal
Its private tears;
And prods you down his chosen road

Like the playground bully who,
Your fears manipulating, tried
To goad you to the brink
Of madness or to suicide
And somehow made you think
The notion came from you.

Frozen now in limb, with life
Fixed on a single thought -
Like sacrificial victim that on altar lay
With no deliverance sought -
By an executioner who cannot slay;
He hands to you the knife,

And in a honeyed voice
Plays on the inner ear,
Puts his transaction:
Only you can kill your fear
With one swift final action -
Your sovereign choice.

The Arch Tempter speaking ad libitum
Puts his case supremely well:
For you, peace from his goading;
For him, another soul in Hell;
As for your foreboding
That you may discuss ad infinitum.

Deft in deceit he will present
A picture of your death,
All wreaths and roses
And respectful relatives with bated breath
Nothing that decomposes
Or exposes souls descent -

So clever to portray with glowing eulogy
And interesting detail
The death, the tokens of bereavement;
As such, we hail
His great and glorious achievement
Of showing you the only scenes youll never see.

Yet mesmerised by pictures
Of this easy heaven
Reached by the road of suicide,
You eagerly digest the Tempters leaven,
Ignoring Galileans warning that the way is wide
To accommodate all who would avoid His strictures;

But with the knife suspended
Like the sword of Damocles
Above your head on single hair,
Something brings you to your knees
Perhaps a long-forgotten prayer
That your misery be ended;

And in that second-split
The patch of blue
Enlarges; a chirping sparrow
Brings new life to you,
Who have escaped Hells harrow;
And up in Heaven angels cheer a mighty hit.

But still in life the poor in spirit
Go, forever begging bread,
Serenitys elusive crumbs to glean;
And like the ransomed dead
Will never tell the living what weve seen;
And yet, Kingdom of God we will inherit;

For Christ the King our ransom paid
And with His body and His blood
On altar laid
Has stemmed fears flood
And good from evil made;
And tells us, Do not be afraid.

So when the dark night of the soul begins
With descent of that black curtain
Be reassured the ransom is already sent;
Deliverance is certain;
Because His death, the curtain of the Temple rent;
In His new life, we claim our liberty from sin.

Believing the sealed nature of our fate
Emboldens Satan and  now pace Blake! -
Puts all Heaven in a rage;
For stone walls do a prison make
And iron bars a cage;
But only we, the spirit can incarcerate.

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