Saturday, January 21, 2017

Cabbage leaves

Cabbage leaves                                                                             

Under a cabbage leaf, Father said
and the son believed him. 

He loves me too much,
the child reasoned, to tell a lie –

rousing the wonder of a rimy, autumn garden,
naked infant curled among the stalks and stems.

Thumbing now through God Speaks
and other unspoken words You left behind,

I wonder how many cabbage leaves
are enfolded among the bright pages.

Not that it matters.
It was never about hard facts with You ...

but the gentle whisperings and gestures
of a son’s trust in his father, a father’s love for his son.

Inscrutable tales that quench,
yet prod and fire the groping soul

towards the coming of age,
when mind and tongue shall be stilled –

when Truth shall thoroughly own the man
and the child shall be no more.

O child of God, trust in the love of Meher
where all contradictions are reconciled.

(from Spoken For)

The brash parrot

The brash parrot                                                                              

Inside a cage of bones, the brash parrot
waddles on its perch, a voluble green flame

shrieking and squalling, much to the delight of some
and, to others, dismay ... for so addled

and vulgar a creature to be declaiming,
in shrill mimicry, the Master’s wisdom.

But, those who consider the parrot’s words
mere exploitation, fail to grasp the true stature

of its wee, clamoring heart 
which, from the first encounter, registered

the import and majesty of the Master’s words
and forthwith caught fire, dedicating

its rather ludicrous, inadequate
apparatus of being to the continuous praise

and celebration of the Master’s perfect Truth
to anyone who will listen.  The particulars

the parrot may not fathom but the great gist
of the tale, its heart knows and owns ... and tirelessly repeats.

O child of God, speak with the impeccable authority
of your own unshakable faith in Meher Baba.

(from Spoken For)

Friday, January 13, 2017

The bruising rose

The bruising rose                                                                          

You told the story of an innocent woman
accused of adultery –
tied to a post in the marketplace,

everyone who passed required by law
to cast a stone or some filth upon her ...

which she endured with a noble dignity;
her daughter was brought forth, throwing

not a stone nor filth but, a simple rose ...
and the mother shrieking in agony
as it brushed her cheek.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,
You told the crowd in another marketplace.

You, of course, could have cast that stone,
but You have come down, bound Yourself

among the stones and filth
of our marketplaces to endure unjustly

the fateful punishments of being human
and to weigh in Your innocent hands

the culpability of each stone-and-rose-wielding
patron, each laboring, fearful heart.

O child of God, the Beloved is ever merciful.
Protect Him from the bruising rose of your infidelity.

(from Spoken For)

A torch for You

A torch for You                                                                                

Become hopeless, You say. 
I’ve invested all the hope I have

in the One whose shoulders
bear the weight of multitudes;

the One entrusted with the Mandali’s souls –
Mani’s guileless adoration, for example;

Mehera’s unworldly devotion;
Eruch’s plea:  Don’t let me down!

Love makes no demands
but promises invoke certain expectations.

Faith is blind in the end,
but there are flares along the way.

I look to those burned-out, love-ravaged souls
who carried to their graves, a torch for You

and the silent assurance and authority with which
You accepted their immeasurable sacrifice.

O child of God, you are a lover of Meher Baba!
What wondrous company you keep!

                        (from A Jewel in the Dust)