By Alan Altany
Lethal gateways to mortal demise,
the Seven Deadlies mock divine love,
sneering at all godly virtues
with a tolling of pure disdain.
Pride is an egocentric spinning,
a centripetal conceit of fierce
hubris, contempt for God’s
blazing acts of ultimate humility.
Envy is the devil’s finest resentment
leading to the living of constant dying,
a perpetual blaming and craving
that voids every remnant of charity.
Wrath’s wild rages expose renegade
emotions, like feral mustangs pounding
the earth with abandon, having none
of the Crucified Christ’s merciful patience.
Sloth discloses a mediocre body and soul,
too sedated with ennui to care for anyone,
languishing in vain idleness, so spiritually
lukewarm as to preclude fruitful diligence.
Greed generates a fantasy lure for
ever-elusive satisfaction and powerful
pleasures that disorder and spurn
all the gracious good found in generosity.
Gluttony is eating, drinking, drugging
beyond the pale, where self-stuffings
create gods out of ego-addictions, leaving
no room for tolerating any temperance.
Lust’s deluded seductions are many in
kind, base desires with no intimacy, a
full immersion into transient carnal power
without the moral dignity and courage of chastity.
Yet all the Deadlies are divinely forgivable
and lose their dreadful odors in sorrowing
repentance where scars of awe-struck
healing descend from the virtue of God.
Alan Altany, Ph.D., is a septuagenarian college professor of religious studies. He’s been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance worker, small magazine of poetry editor, director of religious education for churches, truck driver, novelist, etc. He published a book of poetry in 2022 entitled A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred. His website is at https://www.alanaltany.com/.
'The Seven Deadlies' first appeared in A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred. It has been republished here with the author's permission.
Alan's previous work on Foreshadow:
Grunewald's Crucifixion (Poetry, September 2022)
Habit of Being Wise (Poetry, October 2022)
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