Sunday, February 5, 2023

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.

Monday, January 30, 2023

An angel-less God

An angel-less God                                                                         

Into the snowdrift I fall backwards
to make an angel, but

gazing into an endless sky –
the stars’ glitter,

the moon’s silent shifting,
cold earth against at my back,

I feel suddenly under the thumb
of an angel-less God,

overwhelmed by the travails
and duration of my soul’s exile

and how many more
arduous journey’s stretch before me

‘til the promised quenching,
rest and reunion.  Then,  

You hoist me to my feet. 
God’s shape, You say, is this shape –

pointing to the impression
my body has left in the snow. 

O pilgrim!  Our portion of infinity 
spans but fingertip to fingertip; 

the duration of our vigil measured 
by the heart's brief, pattering flurry.

Union may be far away but, God is close at hand --
nearer than our own clouded breaths. 

O child of God, surely angels hover everywhere
in the realm of Benevolence Eternal.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Finding grace

Finding grace                                                                                   

Mehera asked, years ago, why You chose
so barren a place for Your ashram

(and Your Tomb) ... landscape of dust 
and thorns; scorpions, cobras and kraits.

Then, My lovers, You said,
will come only for Me ... nothing else.

These days, You’ve turned
much of my world into dust and thorns --

a bleak, prickly terrain
devoid of sustenance and satiation,

rife with scrapes, stings and venom,  
so that each day, I show up ... only for You

and when side-tracked, return ... only to You,
as the friendly ground shrivels

and the periphery grows wilder,
more and more, finding grace

in the isolation and disparity,
in eccentricity, disillusionment and despair.

O child of God, rejoice when your life becomes a Tomb
in the desolate region of a strange land.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

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.