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Dark Night of the Universe, or, Hard To Believe

I am going through one of my periodic struggles with faith and doubt.  Call it end of summer blues, or something more profound.  I have found recent actions by Church leaders testing and trying - my belief in tolerance rubbing against my tendency to become impatient with unkindness and worse.  Then comes news, via the BBC, that the universe will expand "forever" and end up stretched out as a dead, cold, lifeless "wasteland".  If this doesn't sound like a vision of a godless hell (hell being the absence of God), then what is?  Humanists, nihilists, atheists, existentialists - call them what you want - but they are humans - we're all in this strange and frankly disconcerting universe together.  At times its size and complexity inspires (look at the stars etc) - but the ultimate scientific truth is more ghastly and sublime - the sum of everything adds up to an endless nothing, a total nullity.  Of course, the years ahead will first see much else, love, sunlight, 3D television and many pleasures and pitfalls, and poems - but the waiting wasteland at the end of the road is hard to shake off.  Where would God fit into such a universe? Is there another dimension or thirty beyond our own expansive drift into nada?  Is a great benevolence shaping this absolute zero trend?  What hand winds down this clock?  I worry about such things.  I hope there is a haven, a heaven, a future, beyond this bleak frozen horizon.  I am not always sure.  Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

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Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand