Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reason for love

Reason for love  

There’s no reason for love.  
Get used to it.  Go ahead –

work up a few doddering explanations
for your unruly behavior.

Something to make you linger longer
outside the charnel house.

The trick is that love is never sure
and is thus impossible for the wary.

But what if this time, you ally
with someOne besides your timid self?

SomeOne Who might, perhaps, strip you
of motive and prudence, and at the same time,

stir you to sacrifice
all you know and think you are

for the simple reason
that there’s no reason not to,

nothing worth holding back or onto
and nothing else at all worth doing.     

O child of God, cast yourself without cause
into that ultimate, impenetrable mystery.



The dhuni

The dhuni        

In the queue snaking to the fire pit aroar,
permanently blackened by sacred ash and soot;

the rhythm of handclaps and the mounting litany
of Baba Hu, the sun descending and a murmured prayer,

everyone clutching their latest, most prominent distractions . . . .
Pilgrim!  Don’t leave the dhuni in Meherabad! 

Carry it with you everywhere you go,
smoldering, heart-hungry for the sandalwood

of your hewn desires as you turn the mind away
continually from its habitual ego-nurturing

and toss the gathered parings
onto the flames of holy remembrance.  O pilgrim!
 
Every thought not about Him or the task at hand
is an encumbering desire – fuel for the fire.

O child of God, do not abandon the dhuni to its extinction,
eight thousand miles away from your heart.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Persistent honesty

Persistent honesty            

The monk’s cell is spare, bare
except for solitude.  Plenty of that

which I have shouldered
outside these walls my whole life –

marked by it, encapsulated, enisled.
Is it everyone, I wonder, or just me?

Much like I wonder if there is not,
at the heart of everyone,

where the self stands naked
before its own illegitimacy,

an inherent antipathy,
yoked with a desperate longing

for That which is True;
That which is Whole –

the solitude of the monk’s cell
and our impenetrable selves

merely the lonely, persistent honesty
of every beating human heart.    

O child of God, the self is built
of fallacy, reclusion and alarm.


Needlefish

Needlefish             

One truth I’m onto this late in life,
gleaned from research and abstractions:

Truth cannot be found
sifting through the ashes of maya;

mulling over the minutia of illusion;
polishing a tile to make a mirror.

It’s not the sought-after needle in a haystack
but more like a needlefish

a creature totally at odds and impossible
to the area of search.

To grasp the True from the false, hands must be empty –
our hands too small to grapple with both.

This is my sole discipline and duty,
the whole rest of my life to devote

toward the allowing of illusion, by grace,
to slip through my tremorous fingers.

O child of God, you spill words onto the page
knowing they can never tell the truth.