Thursday, June 14, 2018

The shelter

The shelter    

There’s a shelter, rain on the roof,
wind in the trees the only sounds.

And your own breath.
Let the storm outside rage.

Hard to find and keep, this shelter -
a hidden niche in a valley

deep with loneliness, habit and fear;
false assurances, reckless promises;

the urge for artificial light.
In here the new life begins,

a different journey - the outward,
the known discarded - trusting someOne,

someThing other than yourself,
shrugging off the weight of the world

and reaching out a hand
to be led wherever truth may take you.

A small room where you trust
because you no longer care

and give yourself over to the steadfast shelter
of the only permanence you have ever met.

O child of God, Meher Baba said,
take your stand on the truth within.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Terribly far

Terribly far                   

Lord, you have guided me,
(tugged by the sleeve) – this dream-figure

I loosely inhabit, yet cling to so firmly,
plowing through the minefield of another

stepping stone, planting and reaping as necessary. 
You’ve known all along where we are going

while I haven’t yet a hint, only lately being given
a dim sense of direction and purpose –

drawn from the woods onto a vast plain.  
I am to leave in the shadows my timepiece,

the paste of my jewelry; papers of identification,
a neat pile of shoes and clothes; then slicing deeper,

to flesh and bone, thoughts and passion
as I pare down to become lighter than wind,

my fate part and particle of the whole agenda –
across to those mountains and the ocean beyond,

becoming inevitably my Self, loosening
a proprietary grip on this dream

and the tiny, absurd yet persistent
misconception of who I really am.

O child of God, you have stumbled a few steps closer.
O how terribly far you have yet to go!

The deep, deep hammer

The deep, deep hammer                                                                             

He’s teaching me another language –
the One Who came to awaken.

I run to spread the news and quickly learn
no one else speaks it; even I don’t know

what I’m talking about – the resemblance   
to sheer gibberish dispelled only

by the deep, deep hammer,
anvil and stirrup of my boxed ears,

by the throttled pipes of my throat, by my heart
beating under His heel, at His mercy, and faith.

A very thin stitching holds my world together.
Ambiguous and elusive – reaching for a word suddenly

unpronounceable; just as well, for it has lost all sense,
come to a thousand shades of meaning –

one thing this moment, another the next. 
I’m being taught a language where I speak

only by listening, dismantling as we go
the definition of every word I have ever uttered.

O child of God, faithfully say your prayers
and with all your heart listen to the silent Christ.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Climb through the ropes

Climb through the ropes                          

I can almost grasp it in my bound hands.
How the sword must slice itself into pieces.

And blood must be used – to wipe away the blood.
First, you are a boxer in the ring and then,

the referee between the two and then,
an intimate spectator expected to absorb the blows

without wince or cry, bruised and bleeding
at the violent end of a leather glove yet also

from a nosebleed seat just over the county line.
Yes, I can almost grasp it,

as it slips through my gloved hands  
unencumbered of any defensive pose,

facing the impossible with a daunted inadequacy,
rushing forward to catch the punishing blows

and offer a bare, bloodied neck    
to the melded shards of the original sword.

O child of God, to resolve the soul’s intrinsic quandary,
courage and forbearance must climb through the ropes.