That our hearts may soar… Poetry for while we are on our knees, that our hearts may soar…
I said it was me who loves you,
who calls you beloved and soul of souls,
but I’m only selling rags and bones,
shouting in the street. I don’t know your glory.
I thought my shouts would endear you to me
but then you stole my cart and donkey.
Even my hat blew away. I have nothing to give you.
Love words are cheap when they’re copied.
Call me an imposter, a counterfeit forger,
a vaudeville performer who forgets his lines.
I pretended to be your lover
so people would clap and you would be pleased,
but who, who made this love?
Your arrow struck me and I fell off the stage.
You, you are the lover, the beloved, the love,
you, you are this sun that burns in my heart.
Pir Elias Amidon
I have made the journey into Nothing.
I have lit that lamp that
Needs no oil.
I have cried great streams
Of emerald crystals
On my scarred knees, begging love
To never again let me hear from
The sound of my own name,
Even from the voice of divine thought
Or see that pen you gave me, God,
In the sun’s or sky’s skillful hand
Anything other than the word —
I have made the journey into Nothing
I have become the flame that needs
Now what need is there to ever
Call for Hafiz?
For if you did,
I would just step out
And when you realize that the Divine Master is in time with you, in a body, with you, burning away with you, then your heart breaks.
There they are with you in the same dimension out of pure love, waiting for you to receive Pure Love, and your heart breaks.
The Divine Master said to the disciple, “What I have been doing is burning away, waiting for you to catch fire,” and that act of immense burning, that act of incessant, endless love, streams out to the entire universe.
It is the sacred act of the Divine Master, the sacred agony of the Divine Master, and when you come to understand that, you will be destroyed.
There are minor destructions, but that is the real destruction.
The thickets blocking your path are the
imaginings that keep you from coming
this Way. All those fears that you will
be broken into bits like a glass bottle.
This road demands courage and
stamina, yet it is full of footprints!
Who are all these companions?
They are the rungs of your ladder!
Use them! With company you
quicken your ascent. You may be
happy enough going alone, but with
others you will get farther, and faster.
Every prophet sought out companions.
A wall standing alone is useless, but put
three or four walls together, and they will
support a roof to keep grain dry and safe.
When ink joins with a pen, then the blank paper
can say something. Rushes and reeds must be
woven to be useful as a mat. If they were not
interlaced the wind would blow them away.
Like that, God joined up creatures,
and gave them friendship.
Don’t worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks, it
doesn’t matter. We have now fallen into
the place where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes rise
into the atmosphere, and even if the
whole world’s harp should burn up, there
will still be hidden instruments playing.
So the candle flickers and goes out, we have
a piece of flint, a spark. These singing words
are sea foam, and our graceful movements
come from a pearl somewhere on the ocean floor.
Poetry reaches out like spindrift to caress
the edges of beached driftwood, wanting!
This song we follow derives from a slow
and powerful root that we cannot see.
Stop all words now. Open the window of
your heart, and let spirit fly in and out.
I said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope
For hope would be for the wrong thing;
wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope
are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought:
For the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.
Love comes with a knife,
not some shy question,
and not with fears
for its reputation!
I say these things disinterestedly.
Accept them in kind.
Love is a madman, working his wild schemes, tearing off his clothes,
running through the mountains, drinking poison,
and now quietly choosing annihilation.
A tiny spider tries to wrap an enormous wasp.
Think of the spider web woven across the cave
where Muhammad slept!
There are love stories,
and there is obliteration into love.
You’ve been walking the ocean’s edge,
holding up your robes to keep them dry.
You must dive naked under and deeper under,
a thousand times deeper!
Love flows down!!
The ground submits to the sky and suffers
Tell me, is the earth worse
for giving in like that?
Don’t put blankets over the drum!
Let your spirit-ear listen to the green dome’s passionate murmur.
Let the cords of your robe be untied.
Shiver in this new love beyond all above and below.
The sun rises, but which way
does night go?
I have no more words. Let soul speak with the silent
articulation of a face.
The way of love is not a subtle argument.
The door there is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling, they’re given wings.
What hurts you, blesses you.
Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.
I can explain this, but it would break
the glass cover on your heart,
and there’s no fixing that.
A man or a woman is said to be absorbed when the water has total control of him, and he no control of the water. A swimmer moves around willfully. An absorbed being has no will but the water’s going. Any word or act is not really personal, but the way the water has of speaking or doing. As when you hear a voice coming out of a wall, and you know that it’s not the wall talking, but someone inside, or perhaps someone outside echoing off the wall. Saints are like that. They’ve achieved the condition of a wall, or a door.
You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.
You have waltzed with great style,
My sweet, crushed angel,
To have ever neared God’s heart at all.
Our Partner is notoriously difficult to follow,
And even His best musicians are not always easy
So what if the music has stopped for a while.
If the price of admission to the Divine
Is out of reach tonight.
So what, my dear,
If you do not have the ante to gamble for Real Love.
The mind and the body are famous
For holding the heart ransom,
But Hafiz knows the Beloved’s eternal habits.
For He will not be able to resist your longing
You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to kiss the Beautiful One.
You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
O my sweet,
O my sweet crushed angel.
The funeral pyre
Where I have laid my living body.
All the false notions of myself
That once caused fear, pain,
Have turned to ash
As I neared God.
What has risen
From the tangled web of thought and sinew
Now shines with jubilation
Through the eyes of angels
And screams from the guts of
Love is the funeral pyre
Where the heart must lay
The clear bead at the center
changes everything. There are
no edges to my loving now.
You’ve heard it said there’s
a window that opens from one
mind to another, but if there’s
no wall, there’s no need for
fitting the window, or a latch.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
If the angel deigns to come
it will be because you have convinced
her, not by tears but by your humble
resolve to be always beginning;
to be a beginner.
Rainer Maria Rilke
First days of spring…. blue sky, bright sun.
Everything is gradually becoming fresh and green.
Carrying my bowl, I walk slowly to the village.
The children, surprised to see me,
Joyfully crowd about, bringing
my begging trip to an end by the temple gate.
I place my bowl on top of a white rock and
Hang my sack from the branch of a tree.
Here we play with the wild grasses and throw a ball.
For a time, I play catch while the children sing;
Then it’s my turn.
Playing like this, here and there, I have forgotten the time.
Passers-by point and laugh at me, asking,
“What is the reason for such foolishness?”
No answer I give, only a deep bow;
Even if I replied, they would not understand.
Look around! There is nothing besides this.
Longing is the mystery
That calls us Home.
Listen for that stream
Which tells you only
Die on this bank.
Begin here, in me,
The way of rivers into the sea.
Inside this new love, die.
Become like the sky,
Your way begins on the other side.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone
suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
Shed this thick cloud
That covers you like a shroud.
Die to your beliefs, and be quiet.
Silence is the surest sign
That you are gone from the past.
Your old life was a frantic farce,
Always running from silence.
The speechless full moon
I am like a heroin addict
In my longing for a sublime state,
For that ground of Conscious Nothing
Where the Rose ever
0, the Friend
Has done me a great favor
And has so thoroughly ruined my life,
What else would you expect
Seeing God would do!
Out of the ashes of this broken frame
There is a noble rising child pining for death,
Since we first met, Beloved,
I have become a foreigner
To every world
Except that one
In which there is only You
Or – Me.
Now that the heart has held
That which can never be touched
My subsistence is a blessed
And from that I cry for more loneliness.
I am lonely.
I am so lonely, dear Beloved,
For the quintessence of
For what is more alone than God?
What is more pure and alone,
You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything,
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall,
and the shivering blaze of every step up.
So many live on and want nothing,
And are raised to the rank of prince
By the slippery ease of their light judgments.
But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst.
You love most of all those who need you
as they need a crowbar or a hoe.
You have not grown old, and it is not too late
To dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.
Rainer Maria Rilke
And in the silent, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know
secret things or else alone…
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to be folded anywhere,
because where I am folded,
there I am a lie.
Rainer Maria Rilke
All your images of winter
I see against your sky.
I understand the wounds
That have not healed in you.
Because God and Love
Have yet to become real enough
To allow you to forgive
You still listen to an old alley song
That brings your body pain;
Now chain your ears
To His pacing drum and flute.
Fix your eyes upon
The magnificent arch of His brow
And allows this universe to expand.
Your hands, feet, and heart are wise
And want to know the warmth
Of a Perfect One’s circle.
A true saint
Is an earth in eternal spring.
Inside the veins of a petal
On a blooming redbud tree
Are hidden worlds
Where Hafiz sometimes
I will spread
A Persian carpet there
Woven with light.
We can drink wine
From a gourd I hollowed
And dried on the roof of my house.
I will bring bread I have kneaded
That contains my own
And cheese from a calf I raised.
My love for your Master is such
You can just lean back
And I will feed you
Your wounds of love can only heal
When you can forgive
Lifts its glass to the sun
Comes and sits on a crystal rim
And from my forest cave I
So I run to the edge of Existence
And join my soul in Love.
I lift my heart to God
And Grace is poured.
An emerald bird rises from inside me
And now sits
Upon the Beloved’s
I have left that dark cave forever.
My being has blended with His.
I lay my wing
As a bridge to you
So that you can join us
To pour Love,
For divine alchemy to work,
A still cup is needed.
Why ask Hafiz to say
Anything more about
Your most vital