Essence before Existence: A poem

A mind like a maze, for a poem about essence
Wellcome Collection/Creative Commons

When I was young, the universe

Was vast and I

Was a microscopic element

Wandering the long labyrinth of life.

Conformity meant comfort,

Like the smell of home

That dissipates as you disappear.

They told me about where I came from

And taught me my existence

Like it was the determinant


Of my fate.

But you abdicate

Your pride and your status;

Trade your objectivity for


Your optimism for


And now their prayers and preaching

Are blighted by insincerity.

Why are we affixed on sin,

Like mortal motives are only the prey

Of covetousness and gluttony and pride?


But beauty is mortal

And I see it now,

Not in the depthless, deceitful demands

Of existence,

But in the development of purpose

In an ambiguous universe where I,

A wayward wanderer

Pursue my true essence.

Molly Nolan is the Weekender editor. Contact her at [email protected].