Why heap upon me such undeserved accolades in shades of praise,
When this man is but man, and just as imperfect in all his ways?
Does this human deserve such high appraisal at the heavenly table?
His life is not stable enough to enable him to live to such standards,
And when you truly know him he will show you how he panders
To the pantheon like a prawn drawn from brackish waters unadorned,
Then he will be what he really, truly is as no more than flesh and blood.
From where does evil come, to lurk so deep in the human heart?
From where or whom was born the dark art, this diabolic part?
Why does humanity so suffer, and where is the heavenly buffer?
Why so much sin that begins again and again with no end in sight?
And how do we fight our depraved nature, light our own dark path?
Why so many white-washed sepulchers in endless rows in sight?
And who hears the newborn cries of life as another aged dies alone?
Mark an appeal to the God of mercy amid the controversy of existence
In persistent chase after an answer without resistance, but assistance,
But how shall we know that holy quiesce never having tasted peace?
So comes the Prince of Peace to grant us lease on an eternity of serenity,
And joy without tears, fear, spears of war and battle gear for earthen drear
Holding on for something clear, for someone near, dear to my heart
And in arms so strong, so safe, never wrong to sing my timid song
Along this crowded path, hearing shouted danger ever nearing now
Squeezing panicky people together under heavy weather of rainfall
Drenching each one in an uninvited monsoon to drown out my tune
Yet this melody keeps on flowing from my lips, blowing in the storm
Because you are here, too, where we can love and be so very free
To one day dance round the Tree of Life with no more need to flee
Muse of Peace: Pen some song of serenity to sing over the world, and let the banner of love be unfurled in the hearts of people everywhere
Muse of Love: Yes, and let peace reign without shame everywhere sun and moon shine to pierce the darkness of bitterness, blessing earth like fine old wine
Muse of Wisdom: Open up the Book of Divinely Human knowledge to look once again to lessons learned, to begin again to live without sin against neighbor and friend
Muse of Beauty: Open up eyes of the soul to behold what is noble, lovely and true in this world ever-renewed, and bathe in simplicity without duplicity
Muse of Creativity: Mimic the Creator in creation of what is good and right and delicately appealing, what is understood and bright and genuinely healing
Muse of Labor: Yes, and labor to bring everlasting love down from heaven above in the spirit of reconciliation, cooperation and concord among humanity
Muse of Truth: And never forget or compromise what is truly true even when too few stand with you against the wave of anger, animosity and dangerous ferocity
Thus have these Muses spoken this day, especially in sadness and sympathy with prayers for the victims of two monstrous mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. And may the Spirit of Light and Life and Love comfort their grieving friends and family.
There’ll be no more turning away from the weak and weary
I am here with all power from the higher regions of heaven
To leaven your life with light and life, love, truth and beauty
To fulfill my sacred duty to serve all people with no reserve
And I see your eyes and hear your cries before all love dies
And I know your pain with no gain in life or in immortality
And the seeming banality of your humdrum daily existence
As you persist in trying to find meaning with little resistance
And I’m here for you to do for you what you can’t do for me
To place my hands on your head to make a bed for serenity
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Pink Floyd for inspiring this poem with their song, “On the Turning Away.”
I could not love you more for the love with which you love me
And to be in your arms safe from harm is as precious as gold
And I’m bold in this cold dark world in which I’ve been hurled
With your banner of compassion now unfurled over even me
For me to be all that I’ve been meant to be within the sea of life
So I gratefully bow to you in humility with strength ever new
And I gladly kiss your feet by the coming ocean tides of change
In an ever-changing world that yet remains so much the same
Not to sound too self-deprecating, the whole subject of what it means to be human may have been overly cumbersome for me (or for anyone, for that matter!), and in the end I think I simply bit off more than I could chew. But the work is finished and on the whole I am satisfied that at the very least, this may provide a good resource for those interested in answering the question. In particular, I am pleased with the two-part “Blood on the Rose,” as well as the section entitled, “Indicators Along the Way: In Search of Who We Are,” in which I deviate from a strictly academic path into something more literary, perhaps even poetic prose. Finally, my conclusion, though falling short of a complete answer, is satisfactory and, thus, I’m not at all prepared to revise it … not yet, anyway.
For those who have expressed some interest, On Being Human: A Multidiscipline Journey, is now available on Lulu.com. I anticipate it being available on Amazon within the next couple of weeks, yet I think you’ll get the better deal through Lulu. The price is set at $9.99, but I also included a 10% discount, knocking it down to $8.99, which is as low as Lulu would allow me to go. (Hey, they’ve gotta make some profit! LOL For myself, at least, I’m truly not interested in profit … besides, I’m scarred to death that it just might not be worth it to buyers!) The link to the right Lulu page is provided below. When my book becomes available on Amazon, I’ll let you know! And thank you to all of you who’ve been so encouraging and have expressed a desire to read this work. Blessings to you!