Infernality, In, On, And Around Lake Fire: A Speculation

I do not know much about the processes

in that place called the Lake Of Fire, in Scriptures;

or, as I call it, Lake Fire;

and not being much of a theologian,

I do not propose to speak with authority---

which is probably very ill-advised---

as to the processes by which it operates.

Having never been there, and not intending to visit,

much less reside, I can only speculate;

my precedents are Dante's Inferno;

and Book One of John Milton's epic, Paradise Lost

(which was, by the way, the very first poem

I wildly, almost obsessively admired---

through out the duration of my senior year in high school).

I suspect that those who float on, or sink into, Lake Fire

are not aware of the presence of any other,

for that would be, even there, a sense of companionship,

a goodness undeserved by those who have reservations there.

I accept Uncle John's assertion of the darkness

around the lake despite the flaming and fusion going on.

They tell me that even extinguished stars stil generate heat,

although they produce no light---perhaps Lake Fire,

although never to be extinguished,

might also produce a similar effect.

I suspect the temperatures will have the capability

to convert hydrogen, through successive phases, to iron;

but that will not be comparable

to the internal heat generated by the remnants

of hatred, envy, greed, and general unkindness.

These will fry, bake, singe, sear, roast, and stew the

suffering entity (who has, remember, no knowledge

of any other presence in that terrible place;

for even the least hope of some kind of, even tortured,

fellowship will be like the drop of cool water

that the rich man, there, once begged from Father Abraham);

and, being internal, this particular phenomenon will have

a virulence more exponentially terrible than the worst

possible for of cancer, or other disease, imaginable;

relentless in its unwavering, unrelaxing, unbearable persistance---

and yet neither consuming, nor damaing, its hapless victim.

And this will occur, say, several million times

during each and every nanosecond of awareness

through what will seem like, at first, seconds, minutes, hours;

then days, week, months, years, decades, centuries,

millenia, epochs, lifetimes of stars and galaxies---

but all of that just an immeasurably miniscule fraction

of the interminable eternity during which Lake Fire will conduct business.

I think you---to whom this is address, although others may read it---

will find your ignition point is the thoughts that most enrage you;

for example, that photograph you have always despised:

two beautiful adolescent boys, long-haired, shirtless and barefoot;

their baggy jeans faded and soften by many afterwear washes.

The photographer who depicted them have placed them in a rural setting

on some small parcel of land bisected by a shallow, narrow creek,

over which some planks, as a bridge,have been placed and secured,

and on these they sit, their feet just barely above the water,

as they kiss and caress each other with ardent abandon.

To one side of them is the yard occupied by the cottage,

the water pump, the garage building, an iron trellis, and a huge tree;

to the other side is a wildflower meadow, and a walnut forest beyond it.

On the trimmed lawn, their toes and soles have become grass-stained;

beneath the summer sun, their bare torsos have become tan;

and in their hands enclasped, and their mutual embraces,

friendship and a bit of erotic attraction have become love.

 

This is what will detonate your inimitable rage,

and this is will make the external conditions of Lake Fire

of far less torment to you than your own self

for the duration . . .

                                       occuring, say, several million times

during each and every nanosecond of awareness

through what will seem like, at first, seconds, minutes, hours;

then days, week, months, years, decades, centuries,

millenia, epochs, lifetimes of stars and galaxies---

but all of that just an immeasurably miniscule fraction

of the interminable eternity during which Lake Fire will conduct business.

 
Author's Notes/Comments: 

The first line of the poem was inspired by the first line of T. S. Eliot's poem, The Det Salvages.  I have derived this infernal speculation from several sources:  primarily the Scriptures, especially 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation; and, secondarily, The Divine Comedy; Canto One, The Inferno by Dante; Book One of Paradise Lost by John Milton; The Hollow Men by T. S, Eliot; and, on postpoems, fluid_form'a poem, "fallen."  I am indebted to each of these sources, especially the Scriptures, for the material they have provided for my poem.

View starward's Full Portfolio