There was a time
when you could tell who was a deity
simply by whether or not
they had a halo.
From shimmering aureole
to just a hint of glowing nimbus,
there was simply no mistaking
you were in the presence
Ah but which particular divinity
sort of depended on what page
from what book you were using to
anchor your current metaphysical
As halo haberdashery goes,
the deity on the far side of the room
might just be Ra or possibly Horus.
Could also be Apollo or better yet, Helios.
Any assortment of baby faced putti or
sword welding cherubim.
Might just be Louis the Fourteenth,
but in his case that was less divinity
and more narcissistic Sun King
what with all celestial bodies
rotating in mass about his egotistic ass.
From worship of Sun to pantheon of
Sun signified shimmering bonnets,
you knew you were in the presence
of somebody oh so special.
And yet it must be noted that
over the past one thousand odd years,
reports of neon noggin sightings
have significantly dropped.
What was once sacred
slides into mythology.
Nowadays, if you see someone
walking down the street with
a halo atop their head,
there is almost always a wire involved.
Whoa but it would appear that
true halos have sadly gone obsolete.
And if such is admittedly the case,
what suitable signifier of divinity
supplants our current visual requirement
for designating that most worthy of veneration?
I submit for your approval
the common white lab coat.
Ah yes… well…
I imagine you are in less than full agreement.
That that which denotes science,
from general practice doctor
to genetic engineer,
holds no symbolic power
worthy of devout reverence.
Perhaps you’ve come to the conviction
that white lab coats hold no sway
in your embrace of spirituality.
In that case,
retain the halo,
ignore the wire
and let your faith prevail.
But if you’re a lowly rat or
bred for experimentation,
what is the man in white
if not absolute godhead?
I read that a lab biologist
had taken a group of mice
and made them all alcoholics.
Because he could.
he would pluck a random
out of the mass of its
stupor soaked brethren and
force it to go cold turkey.
Because he could.
And the mouse goes into withdrawal.
The mouse gets a tad depressed.
And here the man in the sacred white coat
performs a “man in white coat” experiment.
Upon placing that alcohol deprived mouse
into a tall beaker of water,
he soon observes that it makes
no attempt to swim.
That the mouse would rather sink.
The report said nothing of whether he’d
therewith reach into the beaker
and save the drowning mouse.
Nothing of whether he
returned it to its cage and
gave it back its booze soaked life.
Well, we want to believe so,
for that is the way we’d like to perceive our gods.
That everyone whose head
dips below the water’s surface
Saved whether they desired it
would call this
But the mice…
©08 Jack Hubbell