Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hair shirt

Hair shirt       

Wool gave Sufis their name – 
desert ascetics in their harsh prickly robes.

I wear my own hair shirt these days.
O how it pierces, bites and stifles!

Where once they went unnoticed, taken for granted
comes now the stings of my arrogance,

sanctimony and self-satisfaction, my disdainful envy,
the rash flaunting of my cleverness

and my own vaunted exceptionality. 
O how now they chafe and bind when in retrospect

I compare my past (and current) sad posturing,
my feeble cloaked disguise

to the mute humility and renunciation
to which I so achingly aspire

and view so unequivocally as the next
fated stretch of the path set before me.

O child of God, self-knowledge is always painful
yet ultimately liberating in its prickly impracticality.

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