Vanishing enlightenment, when skin is traded
for immediacy of Instagram appreciation, as
teens collect emoticons, enslave themselves,
exchanged in viral chains, and for another
hundred likes they sell their seventh veil, thus
bared they understand too late that fame is
bright, a flame for sure, but afterwards is ash.

Vanishing enlightenment, when human worth
is a commodity and nature’s beauty seen as cash.
When scriptures read as law, and consciousness
becomes distractions, when a statement is
a toddler crushed under a rushing truck. When
draconian measures are considered as a proper
tool to teach enlightenment. When messengers
are killed or jailed, and poets are imprisoned.

Vanishing enlightenment, when walls replace
the borders, when guns and razor wires’ used
instead of reason, when trying hard to comprehend
your neighbor’s view is seen as treason, when
elections is a choice of lesser in the worst
when views are traded for percentage in the polls,
and facts are sold as part of the commercials.
That’s when we need renewal of enlightenment.

Slave Market With The Disappearing Bust Of Voltaire by Salvador Dali

Slave Market With The Disappearing Bust Of Voltaire by Salvador Dali

To find inspiration for Karin’s prompt on market at toads, I went wikiarting and found this image of Dali. The vanishing Voltaire I converted to vanishing enlightenment, and then this poem wrote itself. I will also link up to Poetry Pantry tomorrow.

41 responses to “Enlightened?

  1. We definitely DO need a renewal of enlightenment, Bjorn. It seems we are moving into the Dark Ages again, as so many dark forces seem to be at work everywhere on our planet. And scarier still, some of them disguise themselves as good.

  2. We are due for a huge cleansing… A rebirth of spirit and brains that will hopefully leaves us feeling, seeing and understanding better. The world is such a mess at the moment, and like your poem suggests, it seems that the only ways out of the mess are doors that lead towards place barely less pestilent.

  3. Hi Bjorn, a little empathy and focus would definitely help! Focus most of all, and stepping back. The whole poem is compelling, but I found the part about the teens especially so–they do seem so eager to give up so much for so little It is crazy and sad. Well done, thanks. k.

  4. Trading sanctity for blood and soul is definitely timely and necessary, glad you took the task. Thanks for sharing

    much love…

  5. Wow. So much in this poem. Vanishing enlightenment indeed. I pray constantly for sanity, reason, caring to return to the world. I am starting to lose hope

  6. There is a lot to digest in this essay, Bjorn. What a troubling world we are living in. One of the things that scares me the most is that the media is forming opinions, twisting reality oftentimes, making our choices for us. In a sense, we are no longer informed or really free.

  7. Agreeing with every line and point made.
    There needs to be a second enlightenment. Maybe its happening? Really with all the tools at our collective disposal we shouldnt be the mess we are. Its inexcusable.
    But there’s a certain beauty, about a crashed car…a planet. And of course we arent the only ones on it.
    Great poem Bjorn.

  8. A very timely poem. The ideals of enlightenment may appear to be receding. Fascinating how you worked from the prompt and the words wrote themselves.

  9. and for another hundred likes they sell their seventh veil… certainly an inspired poem Bjorn.. you took on a tough subject and yet your poem flows beautifully…

  10. Wow, that first stanza reveals the masks of social media, Bjorn. Obsession is the ultimate reason I guess.

    The next stanzas are reminders that we need to find ways in making our world a better place to stay not only for us, but for our future generation.

  11. Bjorn, you make the clarion call in the strongest possible terms, the image of youth selling each veil until left exposed, the toddler beneath the truck wheels (unbearable)… we seem to have left the age of enlightenment behind us, and the darker ages are rolling in again.

  12. vanishing enlightenment was there, is there and unfortunately will be there…modern times in this perspective have been sketched so truthfully…the poem is a documentary of our times indeed Bjorn…the word ‘renewal’ adds light to this darkness….

  13. We certainly do not live in an age of enlightenment – sadly – each image and connection conveys the darkness and gravity of the world we live in – beautifully combined with the painting also

  14. Sadly we are becoming irrelevant in this world of greed and hate. Either we are the means for other in making their fortunes or the tools of governments to fight unwinnable conflicts. We have elections that provide power to the ones that don’t represent the majority. We are in dire trouble.

  15. Yes, we desperately need enlightenment in this world, but so few are seeking it!

  16. We need a new sense of enlightenment, but many are blind and do not see the light.

    This part scares me Bjorn – with our election growing near..a sad reality
    when elections is a choice of lesser in the worst

  17. Vanishing enlightenment indeed. This is so well expressed, Bjorn. I especially resonate with human worth having become a commodity and nature’s beauty cash. The global consciousness is so distracted, we do need to return to depth of thought and feeling.

  18. Yes, we have made a very bad bargain of substance for style, of something for nothing, and now we get to see all it means to be on the losing end of buyer’s remorse. Great writing, Bjorn,

  19. Wow! This is so Good! I resonated with the images you create, especially “for another
    hundred likes they sell their seventh veil, thus
    bared they understand too late that fame is
    bright, a flame for sure, but afterwards is ash.”
    loving the neighbor as treason. Oh! May enlightenment replace materialism, may life replace the ashes.

  20. Your poem may have written itself because sadly it’s an expression of our collective consciousness. We are all seeing the vanishing of enlightenment. We live in dark ages.
    The painting inspired you to write what we all feel.
    A true poet paints truth, and that’s what you did.

  21. Indeed we need to go back and look again….enlightenment is needed and a better understanding that love matters in this life because the messages I am seeing are tragic and sickening. Well penned again!

  22. The best advice I could help with would to ‘know where to be tolerant.’
    Enlightenment covers a lot of areas, we pick our poison. You dealt with three majors in a thorough way. Thank you. They are on my ‘worry list.’

  23. the politics of greed and hatred are starting to take over. the points you made are so valid. the abuse of social media, human trafficking, bigotry, and disturbingly, viewing authoritarian rule as the way.
    perhaps enlightenment is the only way.

  24. So many wonderful lines in this, Bjorn – though “fame is
    bright, a flame for sure, but afterwards is ash.” really reverberates in this day of instant-selfie aggrandisement. It would make an awesome cellphone ringtone, I think, perhaps prompting senders of ill-advised posts to “think”.

  25. A new enlightenment is in order. Instead of treating them as a commodity there has to be compassion and tact. It can then counter the sufferings and conflicts that are happening now!


  26. Yes. Yes. Yes! Said aloud as I read through your poem, Bjorn. Only through putting down our devices, paying attention to others as unique beings-not commodities, to nature – feeling compassion and really knowing, understanding our world will any of this senseless violence stop. Powerful and needed. Thanks for sharing.

  27. This poem is packed to the rafters with current issues that show the shallowness of today’s culture and the definite need for enlightenment.

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