The Greatest Truth

While searching for truth
You seize and open
An entire series
Of ever smaller
Cubes and containers,
Like Chinese boxes
Each holding the next.
You find inside each
A cherished premise

Exposed as a canard.
Each premise subsumes
A more basic one
In a direct line
To the ultimate
Finally you stand
Before the smallest box
And the greatest “truth.”
Only opened upon
Your arrival at life’s
Last second—
There you contemplate
End or beginnings,
And you just might see
A wondrous threshold,
Or the ragged lips
Of an earthen maw,
And the oblong box
You thought was too small
To serve as abode
For all that is you.

About Steven M. Sloan

Prof. Steven M. Sloan is a scholar, teacher, and poet who has been widely anthologized, as well as widely published in poetry magazines, journals, and newspapers. He is a graduate of the University Of Wisconsin – Whitewater (where he was a member of the Editorial Board for its poetry publication: The Muse), and is also a graduate of the University Of Wisconsin – Madison. he has done many different jobs including college prof., factory worker, swimming instructor & lifeguard, as well as working in cancer research. He is the author of Multiple books or pamphlets of poetry & remains committed to the art. The editor of Columbia Publications has said of him that he is, “a talented poet” whose work, “touches upon many topics and emotions,” and that, “his imagery is characteristically spectacular, as well as thought evoking (Lana M. Wegeng, Editor).” Dana Minor, Editor of the poetry journal: Sublime Odyssey, has said that, “Sloan has a definite capacity for ringing phrases.” Ester Cameron, Editor of The Deronda Review, & The Neovictorian, has said that at their best his lyrics, “have almost a 17th century quality, like Lovelace, Herrick, or Suckling.” He currently lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


The Greatest Truth — 4 Comments

  1. Great; I’ve read your posts too much. Now when I post I have the urge to write poetic responces. It’s like the song I can’t get out of my head! Thank you (not sarcasm).

  2. Donna, thanx for the comment. The version of my poem that appears on the site is not a full text version. It was truncated under the advice of the founders of the site so that it was not as negaitve. I wrote it in a really negative period of my life, when I became disillusioned with my religious beliefs. I had been a very devout catholic. The full text version was designed with short lines and more of them to mimmick the narrowness or “straightness” of the grave itself. I wrote it and revised it for over 10 years, and it was published elseware in paper peotry journals. If you would like to see the full version let me know. My true love thought the same thing that you did, about my negative attidute of life being a series of progressively larger disiluusionments. Perhaps too negative, but at the time I conceived it it was emotionally true for me.
    Best regards,

  3. To Samuel Skinner, I’m glad you like the work, it was one of my first attempts at non-lyric poetry, and I worked on it for over 10 years. The form of the poem here is shorter under the advice of the editors of the site because this site’s philosophy is to be more positive, and I respect that. If it inspires you to write new poems as a response or exploration of its themes, that is what I was hoping for! I have always believed that the impulse to create beauty is a natural one, and I have endeavored, even when writing about ugly subjects like death or corruption, or violence, to do so with as beautiful turns of phrase as I am capable of. The world of big cities with all their filth, and shattered concrete and stained brickwork makes me yearn achingly to ad something of beauty, however small, to the substance of the universe.
    Best regards,

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