Being from Nothingness: A Poem

Reading Time: 3 minutes

by Will Deatherage, Executive Director

Part I: Nothing

It made my heart race round and round
Yet held me sturdy like a rock
It twisted in me like a sword
It pounded to the wooden clock

Each step I lost more of myself
Like shattered glass from chandeliers
Yet in each piece I saw my face
So I found more in ev’ry tear

It pierced my side reminding me
That I was very much alive
It quietly surrounded me
And whispered “You will not survive”

I could not see but I could feel
Like gravity it dragged me down
Like rags soaked in the finest wine
The precious water made me drown

A world of light is held by that
Which lurks beneath a wishing well
The stars at night are set ablaze
By that which fuels the depths of Hell

The matter dark hidden by light
Surviving ev’ry king and war
Expanding through the universe
Eclipsing what was there before

And from the depths of space at night
Emerged a predator so cold
The cosmic void that seemed so far
Came from within my wilting soul

I tried to run, I tried to hide
From that which caused my heart to beat
I tried to drown it out with noise
Until I fell from aching feet

I turned around and caught a glimpse
Of shadows shrinking on the wall
‘Twas then I saw my greatest fear
Was, in the end, Nothing at all

Part II: Something from Nothing

‘Twas Nothing that seduced the girl
To fall under the devil’s spell
She took a bite from being’s fruit
And down the well her chil’dren fell

‘Twas Nothing that compelled the man
To grab the stone of idols old
And kill his brother in cold blood
Since glory was worth more than gold

‘Twas Nothing that incited man
To sleep with gods and dream of heights
He built the towers, conquered lands
Reshaping all to show his might

‘Twas Nothing that reminded him
The rock that killed could be a tool
To make a creature out of gold
For worship by his fellow fools

‘Twas Nothing that gave him the task
To build the weapons, drugs, and toys
He played with nature like a god
When all along he was a boy

The devil smiled as he recalled
The first time man enjoyed the taste
Of Nothing from the tree of time
That he chopped down and laid to waste

Do idle hands yield idle thoughts?
Or is it time that forces us
To cling to fruit that gives no life
And plant a garden of our lust

If Nothing kills then Nothing’s just
For we embraced it like a crutch
And now our world defined by time
Depends on Nothing’s harsh, cold touch

To look, to smell, to taste, to grasp
What isn’t there, what isn’t real
Yet seems so real to human minds
Thus Nothing gives Something to feel

Part III: The Death of Nothing

The Nothingness would not concede
To human hands that were so weak
Enslaved by sin and death and pride
Perception fogged by visions bleak

The only thing to save mankind
Was that which Nothing could confine
The only thing to wipe our tears
Was that which Nothing would define

But out of darkness came great light
Emitted from a shooting star
Transcending what was never there
And we beheld what once was far

While Nothing threatened kings and queens
It could not snuff the star that brings
Its essence into mankind’s realm
Where Nothing cries and Nothing sings

The cosmic shadow cast about
By sin and lust for fruit of gods
Was dashed away by that pure light
Which moved so fast that time did pause

And on that day the Earth stood still
A cross, a man, a God, a nail
A moment that defied the pull
When Nothing tried and Nothing failed

It swept away the matter dark
It rose up from the wishing well
It took the apple from the tree
Escaping from the grasp of Hell

And now each week that time stands still
With body, blood in bread and wine
The fruit that we could never find
Is freely given to mankind

Before the tree, before the cross
As I fear pain and death draws near
He softly whispers in my ear
“Nothing is gone when you are here”

To Martin

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