Phillip Medhurst

Wisdom from a Gnostic Sage

Tag: nihilism

Lament (2)


We came. We paused. We went. We had our say.

And whether night or day, it makes no sense:

Our toil receives no lasting recompense.

The arbit’ry division of the days

As hours, minutes, seconds; and the ways

In which these segments must be spent; and how

We should be happy and fulfilled; who bow

To, who revere; and where we are consigned

To at our death: all these make chains that bind

Us. We embrace these shackles, since the free

Must for themselves define what they must be:

What “happy” is, and what should make them sad,

And wherein dwells the good, and where the bad.

Night brings no rest unless we lose ourselves

Inside a dream-world where our psyche delves

Into those wishes unfulfilled, beyond

The grasp of nightmare’s reach, a pond

Beneath whose surface deep desire thrives

Without diminishing our thwarted lives;

A magic chalice where all beauty lives,

Which takes from no-one, ever – only gives

To all, and none must beg: its grace

Wells up to all, and all can find a place.

But dawn’s cold light reveals it full of lies.

Best not to dream when we must close our eyes.



Lament (1)


If I knew what the living of this life

Obtained, I would obtain it. All that strife,

Anxiety and hurt would contribute

To some exchequer full of meaning’s loot

Which, plundered from the stinking hold

Of death, would help me to pay off, all told,

Those bitter creditors who lay in wait

At each day’s wakening – not to this state

Of ignorance, bankrupt, without defence,

To give up hope without a recompense.

For once I rose, then fell. Again I rose

And staggered to this path. This one I chose,

To leave a trail (which will be overgrown within

Another lifetime) – not that I begin

Anew: my marks and tracks haphazard fell

Throughout this forest floor, which scarcely tell

Of feet that trod this way. For no-one cares.

Each too in isolation, lost, each fares

Towards a light too briefly glimpsed, before

A rush of wind removes what we just saw –

If not imagined. Then, sometimes, we look

To see if we can scry within the brook

From which we drink an image of the stars.

Instead, the canopy of boughs, like bars,

Blots out the sky, an ever-growing lid

Built by our past mistakes – nor can we bid

It stop. It grows and grows. The image of

The light which we remember up above

Gets dimmer as we go. And so our trail

Bequeaths no thing of value, and we fail

To teach to those who follow a true way.


Black Hole


Not in control,

A big black hole

Drives me on:



I thought I sensed

Some thing beyond –

Surely non-sense

For only no-one


Rules this world,

Until it’s rolled

Up like a scroll

Inside that hole.


And did I see

A face look down? –

No: space-time ripples

Feigned a frown.