Angels and Demons- A Poem

Illustration for John Milton's Paradise Lost by Gustav Dore (1866)

Illustration for John Milton’s Paradise Lost by Gustav Dore (1866)

In ancient days the world was populated with angels and demons
When the world was smaller and the universe more mysterious
The veil between the ethereal and the corporeal was thin
As curses and blessings invoked the spiritual movements
That controlled the fate of feast and famine, friend and foe
And the seasons played out the conflict between good and evil.

In the modern world of demystification we sealed the veil
Exorcising both demons and angels to their own realms
Expanding the world, shrinking the universe, segregating the spiritual
As we removed the mystery and magic from the world
Clinging to the illusion of security and the myth of progress
As we became gods knowing the difference between good and evil
Resided in our own hearts and interpretation.

We became the angels and demons that populated the world
Our actions at times gracious and at others truly monstrous
Yet when men become angels they all too often become killer angels
Seeking some devil to subdue or oppress
Some demonized people to cast out of our heavens
And perhaps in the arrogance of becoming our own gods
We neglected the demonic reality of our own possession.

Neil White, 2013

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