Thursday, July 30, 2009

Links To Some Great Meher Baba Web Pages

Ghazals in Remembrance of The Beloved

“True Love is no game for the weak or faint-hearted.”
Only problem is, how do I stop once I’ve started?
Goddamit! Can’t go forward, can’t go back—
Ah, maybe I can try a whole new tack!
Forget it, buddy, there’s no third way.
Either surrender and move on—or forever selfward stand and stay.
Did You have to raise the bar so bloody high?
Demanding nothing less but the extinction of my little “i”?
“There can be no compromise in Love—it’s either full or not at all.”
Maybe that’s why I don’t stand very tall.
Ok, Ok, I want God, but I guess not that much.
That pretty much eliminates me from the whim of God’s touch.
“True Love is no game for the weak or faint-hearted.”
Too bad it can’t be swapped, traded, bought, or bartered.

“Real happiness lies in making others happy.”
No wonder when we’re cruel we feel so crappy!
These wounding words seem to slip so easily from our lips.
But once launched they’re like ill-fated ships
Doomed to wander from land to land
All in search of that one Healing Hand
Which in a moment can wipe away crores of sins
And all the bedevilments we have drowned ourselves in.
A smile, a look, a glance, a word
Can lift and lighten, strengthen and gird
That life so fragile, so easily broken
But healed in a moment by the right word spoken.
“Real happiness lies in making others happy.”
Not a bad formula to keep us from feeling crappy!

“Mastery in Servitude” are the words o’er Your Tomb.
Seems we’ve made ‘em our anthem from womb to womb.
Each time we’re sure we’ve brought ‘em to life
As we begin a new job, or marry a new wife.
It never occurs we’ve not mastered a thing—
Except the art of complaining and procrastinating.
We’ve mastered and served all, but never once You.
It’s always a what, or a whom, but never a Who.
Maybe this time we’ll look up before bowing down
And engrave on our hearts those words that are found:
“Mastery in Servitude” are the words o’er that room—
Yet I don’t recall reading ‘em last I entered Your Tomb.

“The remedy for all ills is to remember Me
Constantly and wholeheartedly.”
Yet there’s so much to distract us from the Name of God:
Sony, and Samsung, and the new Mac iPod;
Spielberg, Scorsese, even Britney Spears—
Just to dump all that stuff could take years and years!
DSL, Broadband, wireless TV—
And You expect moi to forget I, my, and me!
DVDs, and jpgs, and PDF files—
It’s no wonder I can’t recall just one of Your smiles!
PlayStation, GameBoy, 2-way video phones—
These are the “thinks” that ‘round my mind roams.
“The remedy for all ills is to remember Me solely.”
But they’re exactly what cause me to forget You wholly.

“Things that are real are given and received in Silence.”
Sorry…can’t hear the words for all the noise and violence.
Can’t be a real pact without some kind of shouting.
‘Twill take the world time to accept Your words without doubting.
Some kind of hoopla always seems to seal the deal—
And makes that which is false appear so real.
Funny, how the deepest exchanges always make us aware
That something holy’s been spoken, like a hymn or a prayer.
And though no lips had been seen to have moved
A world-sized maxim has just been proved:
“Things that are real are given and received in Silence.”
A new Golden Rule to teach terrorists and tyrants!
They’re wordless contracts conceived in still air,
And they throb with the hush that whispers “Meher.”

Finally, an excuse for those tests failed and taken!
Learning by rote, learning by fear
Never once taught a lesson my heart could hear.
Learning through ridicule, learning through shame
Never once made me repeat the Lord’s golden Name.
Few things were taught, but much instilled,
Like which crimes could be committed without getting killed.
I got through my Bar-Mitzvah through phonetic spelling!
They sure must have bought it; Oy! Such quelling!
They could never have known Real Knowledge lay sleeping;
It just hadn’t been kissed into wakefulness’ keeping.
Where it would bloom in the heart—but remain in the head.

“If instead of seeing the faults in others—“
(Which denies us the pleasure of having our druthers)
“—We look within ourselves instead—we are loving God.”
(Might as well do as the Old Man says, no matter how odd!)
My faults are apparel that so brightly clothe me
They blind me to myself, but not those who loathe me!
Maybe if I blamed myself first before blaming others
I just might not feel like getting in those druthers!
It’s so easy to see someone else as the real S.O.B.
—makes it that much harder to see the real S.O.B.—as me!
I could go on for years, piling up sin after sin;
Digging deeper and deeper the deep hole I’m in.
“If instead of seeing the faults in others—“
I might find I’ve made my enemies my brothers.

“Let God flood the soul. What I am, you are.”
But I won’t know it for lifetimes; that’s really how far
I have yet to go. So many inner miles to travel,
So many inner knots to unravel!
How often You’ve told me, “But you’re already there!”
Gee thanks, God—but just where is there?
Talk about standing in one’s own way!
But until “I” cease to be, the game will still play.
Yet the place I’m standing—You’re standing there too!
Now how can that be—yet You say it’s true.
Actually, there’s no “two” of us there at all—
It’s lifetimes’ tricks for which I always fall.
“Let God flood the soul. What I am, you are.”
Takes a drowning good flood to drown a distance that far.

“Life at Its Best”, a “Guzzle” in Two Parts
(Requested by Ann Conlon)

“If understood, life is simply a jest.
If misunderstood, life becomes a pest.
Once understood, life is ever at rest.
For pilgrims of the Path, life is ever a test.
When relinquished through love, life is at its best.”
Help! I’m way back here, Lord, at the end of the line
Where suicides, murderers, and adulterers recline
On the pillowed softness of their most secret sins
Which they’ve packaged and sealed in bright-colored tins.
I’d deceive even You if I thought I’d succeed,
But my thirst for forgiveness is now the greater need.
Sorrow’s dipped arrows daily pierce my breast,
Putting any possible peace under immediate arrest.
It’s waking nightmares now that give me no rest.

“If misunderstood, life becomes a pest.”
Now there’s an understatement to which I can attest—
Glancing back o’er lifetimes, You can see how I’ve messed
Up a million-and-one chances to by You be blessed.
Though I know right from wrong, better from best,
I’ll say “no” to the good—and to the less-good: “Yes!”
Now glibly do I talk of “the Path” and its tests,
Though I’m unable to endure even its mildest tempests.
The gift of Your Name which I never could have guessed
You’d bestow on me now—surely an unspoken request.
After lifetimes the lessons have at last coalesced:
“When relinquished through love, life is at its best.”

“Repeating My Name is not enough. It should be done with all love
and faith.”
I’ve been doing it all wrong, sharpening memory on a lathe
Powered not by a heart, but by a wandering mind
That sees not what blind faith can only see blind.
I can’t ignite this love; ‘tis You who must give the spark
That will end in a conflagration, and dismiss this dark.
Until then, should I keep saying, “Baba, Baba, Baba…”
As though it were my own personal Kaaba?
One ‘round which I must circumambulate,
Perambulate, but never consummate?
“Spiritual love,” You told us, “is a gift from God to man.”
If it all depends upon Your Grace, why even do what I can?
I could go on for lifetimes, repeating “Baba” by purest rote,
Waiting for my heart to transform it as the most purest note.

“Repeating My Name is not enough. It should be done with all love
and faith.”
In other words, to be so consumed by Love as to become a wraith.
This poor flame of remembrance which I’ve kindled out of bone-dry
Please blow on it gently, if You could, if You would,
And ignite these sparks into a rousing good flame,
Burning all worry into cinders that scattered, spell Your Name.
For over 30 years, I thought remembrance alone was the key,
But remembrance without Love is loveless spontaneity.
Repetitions of Your Name are like a weight-lifter doing “sets;”
Don’t take ‘em as any guarantee of love; don’t place any bets.
I fear I shall spend the rest of my life taking Your Name by mere rote;
Is it too much to hope You’ll turn just one into a single, shining note?
“Repeating My Name is not enough. It should be done with all love
and faith.”
O, when will Your Love turn me into a Love-consumed wraith?

“Before going to sleep and waking up, remember to take My Name.”
What could be simpler, or easier, than to light this daily flame?
He tells us to call on Him every second, every moment.
What could be simpler, or easier, during times of trial and foment?
Alas, for me, it’s never been easy—often, it’s just too mechanical.
Only when remembrance is lit by love, will it become wholly
For me it’s still a trying affair that by Your Grace will come easily.
Until then, I’m afraid, my remembrance will be measly.
Your Name is one beat longer than a stroke or heart attack.
Perhaps ‘tis just this emergency which will bring Your memory back.
Your Name is the in-and-out-breath which keeps all hearts alive.
Without Your sweet remembrance, whose life can truly thrive?
“Before going to sleep and waking up, remember to take My Name.”
Forgive me, Meher, if I forget to breathe in this flame.

“In Love one has to suffer a lot.”
Gee thanks, Baba, but no thanks. I’m not ready to tie that knot.
But it’s not a knot I’m tying, it’s really a cutting through
Of the thousands of knots I’ve tied to everything but You.
Union, I know, is the Goal, and the ultimate prize.
But I don’t care for union, only the flashing of Your eyes.
Union’s for lovers for whom the Game of Love is just a bore.
I want to keep on living just to love You all the more.
Of course, this Love must lead to the drop becoming the Ocean.
But I’m often given to sea-sickness, and have a dread of violent
I much prefer the simple life of loving You throughout the day
Asking, “Which film should I see, and when I can afford it, which
“In Love one has to suffer a lot.”
I guess I’m just not ready to tie that knot.

“Remember Him in every little thing you do—the responsibility will
then rest with Him.”
It’s always the most trivial thoughts that ricochet off mind’s rim.
Before the responsibility can rest with You
I’ve got some serious Name-taking to do!
But I’m forgetting You at a million miles per hour;
Can’t take my foot off imagination’s accelerator—there’s too much
Behind the thoughts that go whizzing by
So fast they’re a blur even to my mind’s third eye.
I’d love to let the responsibility rest entirely with You,
But I’m holding on too hard to my little world-view.
There’s so many ways to remember You, but I’ve forgotten them all
As each new movie or CD makes its debut at the mall.
“Remember Me in every little thing you do.”
But it’s always the littlest things which cause me to forget You.

Have you seen Baba’s erasure? He keeps it in His hand.
He didn’t buy it at Staples, I’m sure you understand.
It’s such a powerful erasure, He uses it every time
We die and change bodies, but leaves the memories behind.
He erases the memory of who we were, and what we did to whom;
Of where we lived, and died, in a grave or garish tomb.
If He pocketed His erasure, and left it all unused,
Think how nutty we’d all be, not to mention how confused!
It’s hard enough to live this life, with all its doubts and fears,
Without having to remember our former, which span a million years.
Thus He carries this erasure, so round from rim to rim,
That we might more easily live this life in complete remembrance of

“I am nearer to you than your very breath.”
But please, don’t wait ‘till I’m just moments from death
To give me a glimpse of Your closeness to me…
I ask just the smallest glimpse of Your Infinity.
I know it would help my love to grow strong
For however many years I have left, short or long.
But even this demand is an insult to Love, I know
Because of a story You told that took place long ago.
‘Twas when You were Krishna, and needed Arjuna to fight;
So You bestowed upon him just the minutest sight
Of Your Infinite Form; clearly, only that Vision would do;
But it still was a weakness, and, You said, an Avataric one, too.
Many a saint has besieged You for just a glimpse of that State;
I can only imagine how long I’ll have to wait.

Your smile’s a benediction, unlike anyone else’s on earth.
My heart informs me it has to do with Your birth.
I’ve tried to measure that smile from one end to another,
Embracing lover and friend, father and mother.
In fact it would seem that the whole human race
Is purely reflected from that singular Face.
I’ve never traveled the length and breadth of that smile
Because the distance can’t be measured in kilometer or mile.
There are wings on each glance or compassionate look
That fly ‘round the world in the moment it took
Each heart to request its Presence right then.
It travels so fast, there’s no question of when,
Nor no question of how, why or where.
The return address is always the same: Lord God, Meher.
When will the voice of asking be stilled?
When by Your Grace, my millions of wants are killed.
When will the winding of my fears subside?
When Your Name and Your Face never leave my sight’s side.
When will the debts I’ve incurred be finally paid?
When at Your feet each one has unconditionally been laid.
When will my lust for belly-full end?
When on something more filling my hunger spends.
When will my need of assurances wane?
When my trust in Your Love wins Love’s sweet gain.
When will worry lose at least some of its grip?
When my grip on Your daaman never once slips.
When will Your Name repeat in my heart?
When it never once ceases once it finally starts.
This little life is passing away as quickly as one, two, three…

“In illusion you may die at any moment. The illusory life has no
But it’s passing away too swiftly, like grains of sand in a glass;
And the aperture hourly widens, allowing even more grains to pass.
One day, before I know it, they’ll all will have fallen through,
Leaving only enough grains to allow one more day with You.
And remembering all my forgetfulness, pain will mount upon pain,
To insure I’ll never forget You, even once, ever again.
But e’en now as I write this, Your Name’s begun to fade
Into images of old movies I’ve played and then replayed.
If I’d only known how quickly this little life would, I fear, end,
I would have given myself such a kick in my fat, rear end,
As to rush Your Name to my dry, parched lips,
And sail me to You on two-syllable ships.

“I dare not care not for My lovers.”
Does this mean He cares more for some and less than others?
Disturbingly, yes. Those who have submitted to the Surgeon’s Hand
Deserve their meals in bed, and around-the-clock care from this Man.
They have willingly surrendered to the Surgeon’s knife;
It is then His responsibility to look after each life.
Oh, the little surrenders count; but those that fall short of complete
Lie just outside the shadow of His dear lotus feet.
“Once your surrender is complete, all actions done by you are not
Which means He’s destroying your sanskaras by the crores.
Basically, you put His responsibility to the test
When your love for Him goes from better, to good, to best.
“I dare not care not for those whom I love, though I let you stumble
and fall,
I take care of you one and all.”

“The time has come when I want you all to cling to My daaman with
both hands.”
I think it would be wise to listen, and make no other plans…
“—in case the grip of one hand is lost, the other will serve in good
It’s as though You were reading the headlines—more than fifty years
Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Saadam Hussein, fanatics one and all;
They’ll be the last to bow their heads, the last to heed Your Call
Which You sent out so plainly, in words unadorned and straight,
They’d dissolve even those hearts that thrive on fear and hate.
This fear they spew as vomit, this hate that nurtures fear,
Is enough to make even the firmest faith up and disappear.
You warned there’d be such circumstances to justify our letting go:
“Hold so tightly, should one hand slip, the other won’t know.”
So when the bombs begin to fall, and the body bags to fill,
Help us hold fast to Your daaman, and be resigned to Your Will.

“Things that are real are given and received in Silence.”
Does a kiss, or caress, taste of lust-making’s violence?
Certainly not. Whether that kiss is short or long,
It’s the absence of words that writes Love’s silent song.
Though this kiss may have occurred more than a century ago,
It persists, Proust-like, in memory’s warm glow.
The beating of breasts and the swearing of oaths
Are mad little cancerous, rancorous growths.
“Drink to me only with thine eyes”
Tells the same Truth, only in corny disguise.
He tells us He’s closer to us than our very breath,
That we might remember Him at the moment of our death.
“Things that are real are given and received in Silence”
Shouts loudest in the face of today’s ultra-violence.

“Any time a person’s thoughts turn truly to Me, I am truly with
Is this really true, and not a myth, then?
Of course! Because He says so, your imagination is free
To see yourself bowing your head on His knee.
Though your eyes are closed tightly, feel the weight of His hand
Caressing you gently, saying, “I understand
The pain and the pity of all you’ve been through;
Know and believe I am always with you.
Keep remembering My Name; say it more and more
And know I’ll be with you, now and forever more.”
If I can recall the dialogue from my favorite film’s scenes
And play ‘em over and over again on my mind’s giant screens,
Why not harness that same imaginative power
To see myself with Him, at any minute, at any hour?

“If you love Me, let that love not be wasted by escaping through your
lips as words.”
Forgive the rhyme, but spilling one’s guts turns His pearls into turds.
“It is an insult to real Love if and when such Love happens to be
deliberately exhibited.”
In short, shooting off one’s trap is strictly prohibited!
You said, “Love sets one on fire, but closes his mouth so no smoke
comes out.”
Thus, not even the quietest “I love you” must not be whispered or
hummed out!
It seems so damned unnatural not to shout one’s love to the world;
Each kiss and embrace is a flag demanding to be unfurled.
How were we to know that speaking it
Meant the same thing as leaking it?
Like a bottle of perfume whose top has been tossed,
No sooner love’s spoken, then its essence is lost.
“If you love Me, let that love not be wasted by escaping through your
Like little Titanics, each spoken word sinks Beloved-bound ships.

“The heart of man has always been the ancient temple for the worship of The Ancient One.”
That You have endured our hymn-singing and verse-reading proves You are really The Patient One.
Because for so long You were not living amongst us as Man,
Incantations and damnations from our mouths ran.
We even hired priests to say our prayers and weep our tears;
We fashioned golden idols to save us from our fears.
We remembered You by forgetting You ‘midst words no one felt.
Yet all it took was just a heart-sigh to make Your God-heart melt.
Your Advent’s been liberally laced with warnings about the empty
right and ritual
Which to us has become so terribly habitual.
There is a clock-work regularity even to Your Prayers and Arti,
I feel as though I’ve stumbled into some spiritual convention’s party!
Can this be happening so soon after Your passing?
I hear the hollow roar of rituals-to-come like some gigantic army

“You should love God in such a way that you yourself are not aware
of it.”
It might be wise to leave this one in Your hands, and let You take care
of it.
But I fear whatever Love You’ve planted has not yet grown;
At least to these lights, the results are still unknown.
What a joke to be known as a “Baba lover”!
If there’s even a drop of Your Love in me, I have yet to discover
Its existence. At the very least, I’m only a Baba follower.
From Your messages, I have been a great borrower.
Maybe it’s better that I don’t know whether I love You or not;
That way I can’t be blamed, stood up against the wall, and shot.
Maybe, just maybe, the seed You planted has actually begun to
If it has, Lord, please shut my mouth so that no smoke comes out!
“You should love God in such a way that you yourself are not aware
of it.”

For this single Truth man’ s heart has been achin’.
Thank heaven, no more chapter and verse
For man to hurl at his brother as a challenge or a curse.
Nor did He need stone tablets, or an ancient parchment skin,
For He’d inscribed His words on hearts—only sleeping deep within.
His breath alone can awaken each lovely, living Word
That needs no human ear to be truly, deeply heard.
He’s been sleeping seven-hundred years just to wake us up!
And He’s aged a brand new vintage, for a brand new Loving Cup.
To hear these words each spoken in “Avataric sound”
Requires no wires to clutter the ground.
All one needs is a tuner and receiver…what audiophiles call “high
Plus a heart-to-heart connection from each lover to the Friend.

“I am not this body that you see. It is only a coat I put on when I visit
No wonder, even in this Advent, some of us asked, “Is it You?”
It was the first time You’d solved this most puzzling mystery;
Now we’ve a clear understanding of our God-graced history.
You sure picked the right century to make Your return;
Seems not even one of Your Lessons had we the sense to learn.
One war wasn’t enough, so we made it an even two—
Not to mention a Holocaust, a Vietnam, and a 911 to suffer through.
Still, You say, the worst is yet to come, but only You know where and
Nor can it be unwritten by the most versatile pen.
None of this could we endure had You not explained it in “God
What treasure upon matchless treasure for the one who truly seeks.
But speaking for myself, the following was the greatest surprise:
Each Avatar in history was none but You in disguise.

“I come for all, but am for the few—”
Who’ve gambled and lost everything of value except You.
How I’d love to count myself among that number;
But instead of growing wiser I’ve gown increasingly dumber
By the hour, not merely by the day.
Do I fool myself that it’s heart-knowledge holding sway?
No, that far even I won’t go;
My heart’s just as dumb as my intellect is slow.
After more than 30 years of knowing You and growing You
I’ve done a piss-poor job of sewing you
Into the dense fabric of my life,
Which can only be tailored by Your Love-sharpened knife.
“I come for all, but am for the few—”
Who have the guts to gamble all on just one Kiss from You.

“Love God to such an extent that you become God!”
Now, be honest with yourself, Karger, don’t just head nod
“Yes,” when you know damn well that the one you love most
Is lounging in a Lay-Z-Boy, sipping tea and nibbling toast.
God, why’d You have to raise the bar so high, the Goal so far out of
Look! I’m reading Lord Meher and God Speaks—under an umbrella
on a beach.
You certainly left no middle ground; even trying scores no points
with You.
It’s “everything or nothing,” stop trying and just do!
“You have to love so much that all this world you see around you
becomes completely unreal.”
Even if I tried 100% for 100 lives, this world would still be the only
thing I’d feel.
Maybe I could take a short-cut, reach perfection through my rhymes.
But I’d need to take off Sunday, so I could read The New York Times.
“Love God to such an extent that you become God!”
Something tells me I’ve lifetimes to slog through—and to slowly

“There is no compromise: either you please yourself, or you please Me in the littlest thing.”
I’d love to become Your bridegroom, but bear only a brittle ring.
Each moment presents me with this simple test:
Will it be You or I that I try to please the best?
Will I surrender to You and Your all-embracing Will?
Or will I surrender to my favorite pain-killing pill?
Don’t bet your dough on me, folks; you’d only lose
To a pint of Chubby Hubby, or a squishy charlotte russe.
We’re all fighting the same holy war: the enemy our desires;
Give in to one, you give in to all; they’re linked by the same wires.
It’s always a constant battle to see which of us will win.
But the odds are stacked against us; in the old days we called it “sin.”

“There is no compromise: either you please yourself, or you please
Me in the littlest thing.”
I’ve pleased myself so long, that pleasing You has a hollow ring.
“Once your surrender is complete, all actions done by you are not
Now that’s a bargain you won’t find advertised in stores.
Takes a mighty big surrender to make You sit up and take note.
Think I’ll call it “The Big Surrender,” sounds like something
Raymond Chandler wrote.
Like a vaccine that’s really gotta “take,”
A down-to-your-toes surrender can’t smack of anything fake.
The recipe for this Big Surrender?
Toss yourself into His blender:
Every fear, every want, every last desire.
(Like those if the world knew, you’d really perspire!)
If it was only as easy to surrender your life as another’s.
(I know some who’d surrender their gray-haired mothers!)
“Once your surrender is complete, all actions done by you are not
What a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to even up those sanskaric

“The really happy ones are those who are always contented with
their lot.”
Unlike me, Lord, always wishing for what I had not.
Like that missing volume of Dickens, the one with the original prints;
Or that rare LP by Gigli, the one in the sepia tints.
Ah, that feeling of completeness when buying that which I had to
No sooner acquired, than consigned to greed’s Twilight Zone.
The happiest man I ever knew cleaned the offices at night.
His face always wore a smile, as though lit by an inner light;
Unlike the bloated executives who worked their twelve-hour day;
Their dreams had long since died, despite their six-figure pay.
That old janitor made just enough to see his family through the years,
With maybe a few bucks left over, for smokes, and a couple of beers.
“The really happy ones are those who are always contented with
their lot.”
All those things I wanted and bought? They’re in storage where I’m

“Let your only worry be as to how to love Me and obey Me more and
Seems my favorite worry is a dusty, old bookstore.
Loving You and obeying You could be my only worry,
If it weren’t for others’ favors, which I’m ever trying to curry.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but their good opinion ‘oft outweighs Yours;
And they’re people I’ve disliked, and deem nuisances and bores!
Excuse the explicit comparison, but my love for You is flaccid.
Even after 30 years of effort, my resolve is way too placid.
You’ve lit enough fires under my tail to really make me to jump!
But it’s always into the arms of Maya, and her gorgeous garbage
Why does it feel like everything You say applies to everyone but me?
There’s a point I’m just not getting, though You’re giving it away for
“Let your only worry be as to how to love Me and obey Me more and
Funny how Madame Worry looks the same old painted whore.

“Never forget for a moment that I am God in human form.”
Not for an Age had the five Perfect Masters held their quorum.
You’d proven yourself to be God not once, but a thousand times;
Answering each lover’s prayer, like a poet shaping rhymes.
Not a single heart’s wish remained unheard or unattended to;
You responded to each one as though You’d forever intended to!
Like the woman who craved the kerchief used to wipe Your brow;
Next moment You’d tossed it to her, though the question of how
You knew who…
Only proved you were You!
Thousands waited to bow their heads at Your feet,
The wish of lifetimes heard, and now Godfully complete.
“Never forget for a moment that I am God in human form.”
Now talking to God and getting an answer is quite the accepted

“The so many deaths during the one whole life....are like so many
sleeps during one lifetime.”
Think of it! Such an abundance of joy-and-strife-time!
Now, we may not believe in reincarnation, nor care for its spooky
Yet we require many births just to realize Who is real.
How fraught with pain and pleasure is each suspended span;
Yet we cling to each life with everything we can.
The road seems forever uphill, the path eternally strewn
With endless toil and tension, degradation and ruin.
Still we beg You for to be merciful, but according to our own design.
Small wonder that to Your will we can never fully resign.
Just think of all those knots You have to untie and then unwind;
And when You begin the work we begged, we think You nothing but

“The sojourn of the soul is a thrilling divine Romance....”
In which Lover and Beloved unite in one divinely inspired Dance.
I take Him to be God, but I don’t take Him at His Word!
When He says, “Don’t worry; leave all to Me,” it’s as if I hadn’t really
Or having heard, not really and truly believed.
After so many years of following You, what can I feel but grieved?
This loving You by fractions is no joke; the punch line really hurts:
My heart is a Heart of Darkness. (Hey, my last name must be Kurtz!)
Oh hell! Who am I kidding? My problem is one of trust.
Very soon the rot will set in, and finally the rust.
That a contrariety so complete should have set up residence in my
Only stops any real progress before it can really start.
No more contradictions, God, at least not this late in the Game.
Either my trust in You is complete, or it’s not worth the name.

Imagine! Taking You to be God, but not taking You at Your Word!
There’s only one word left to describe it—and that word’s absurd!
It really should be easy to leave everything to You.
You not only said You were God, You proved it to be true—
Not by raising the dead, or restoring sight to the blind,
But by becoming our Companion, ever patient, ever kind.
You promised You’d be with us, till we were one with Thee—
Now that’s a hell of a promise—the promise of Eternity.
Yet intellectually knowing this only stands in my own way,
For life’s grip holds my mind in such permanent sway.
It should be easy to stop worrying, and truly “become Yours.”
Yet the slightest breeze can shake us down to our very cores!
You couldn’t have made it easier, saying “Leave everything to Me.”
It was You who said You were duty-bound to set each one of us free.

“Leave everything to Me,” You said, “I’ll never let you down.”
But we never fully believe you, and so our lives go round and round.
“Repeat My Name every second, every single moment!”
That it might become natural in times of trial and foment.
Would that my heart might beat to the syllables of Thy Name.
Would that this was my heart’s sole and solitary aim.
One syllable for the diastolic, and one for systole;
Let no ventricular trick divide my body from its soul.
But even should this occur, let it stop with Your Name,
That I might “come to you,” which has ever been Your claim.
Now, what “come to you” really means, I couldn’t even guess;
Only that it sends me to You, a living letter to Your address.
I must take You at Your word, that Word made God and Man.
And still I find it hard to take Your Name as ‘oft I can!

“Repeat My Name every second, every single moment!”
Is this Thy order? I believe that is how it’s so meant.
“If one had faith in God, what would there be to worry about?”
Now that I’ve found the answer, it’s hard not to loudly shout:
The less we trust—the more we worry.
The more we trust—the less we hurry
Into worry’s waiting embrace.
And we need look no further than one Man’s beaming face.
He can smile down worry with a single gleaming glance,
And stop it in its tracks before it has the chance
To inter us in its tomb of doom and darkest doubt.
But be honest—is worry really something we wish to live without?
After all, it fills our hours with such hair-pulling thrills,
Or falsely calms us down with a chorus line of pills.
“If one had faith in God, what would there be to worry about?”
With full faith in His Name, we could each of us worry rout.

“Once faith is born, there is no question of our existence or our
passing away.”
Then no matter what happens, it’ll still be okay!
Not that I’m being cavalier about God-Man’s reassurance;
I’m just thankful that faith builds Path-endurance.
Still, why isn’t my faith stronger after all these years?
Nothing’s proved lasting, not the laughter, nor the tears.
Let’s call a spade a spade: I simply lack trust.
Yet here I aspire to the high station of dust!
As for worrying—I’ve made of it an Olympic sport.
How could I know I’d be captive in my own worry-built fort?
Distrust and worry: hold on to one and you’ve both in your clasp.
Then how, with no hands, will His daaman you grasp?
“If you have rock-like faith in God and flame-like love for Him,
nothing in this world will affect you.”
And best of all…you’ll have God-Man’s Love to protect you!

“Know that the paramount need, more than Self-Realization, is
simply the friendship of a God-Realized Master—
(No need anymore for rabbi, priest, or pastor).
“—gotten by resigning yourself completely to His will.”*
(No need anymore for penance’s over-kill).
“I am the only Friend who will never let you down.”
(No more heart-shopping for friends the whole world ‘round.)
Still, being human, we need the comfort of true friends—
Not the kind who’d use us to further their own ends.
Only a few per lifetime will do, they of strong blood,
Who bear with you your sorrow when sorrow’s at its flood;
Whose eyes beam your joy, when joy lights up your life;
Whom the fates caste as mother, brother, or wife.
But even the best of friend-ships can be ships that sink:
Only the friendship of a Master can make you God in a wink.

“To love those whom you cannot love is to love God as He should
be loved.”
So He crosses our paths with those whose fists should be gloved.
The kind and thoughtful—who doesn’t have heart-room for these?
Their greatest pleasure seems to be an eagerness to please.
But the sullen, fear-furrowed brows of the eternally grieved
Are never happy, even when their fears are reprieved.
Oh, to find even one love-worthy trait
Requires digging so deep, you’d wind up in Kuwait!
Still, we’re enjoined to seek out and love Infinite God
Who dwells in the hearts of both the clown and the clod.
Because God is Infinite, He plays limitless roles;
And sets up shop in all kinds of souls.
“To love those whom you cannot love is to love God as He should
be loved.”
—like the ones whose push becomes the past tense of shoved.

“One who calls out sincerely to God never fails to be heard and to
receive His help.”
It needn’t be loud—just a silent, soulful yelp
Will do. He will hear you. He’s promised He would.
But trust Him to answer when it suits Him He should.
Ah, trust, that old devil, it keeps on cropping up;
We’ve heard so much about it, it’s all but stopping up
Our ears—until now it points like a finger of guilt—
Straight at trust’s tower that should long have been built
By now, at least one, in our lives lived with Him;
But it’s His Ocean we’re afraid to jump into and swim.
So we stand secure on a beach of warm sand—
Though we can’t feel its pressure, He’s holding our hand.
“One who calls out sincerely to God never fails to be heard and to
receive His help.”
Oh, He’ll hear us all right, when His Name we yelp.

“A blind man needs a staff in his hand; the seeker needs his hand
in the God-Man’s.”
Anyone left not holding His hand is truly the odd man
Out. But holding hands with God is just a come-on;
What He really wants you to hold on to is His daaman.
You’ll need both hands free, in case one should slip;
Then the other is at liberty His daaman to grip.
He’s held our hands for thousands of lives,
While we’ve held hands with husbands and wives.
Only now do we realize how faithful He’s been
While we’ve been savoring each succulent sin.
No wonder on each visit He never fails to remind
His lovers that faith is always quite blind.
Seekers should hold hands with those of the God-Man,
Lest they think of themselves as some sort of odd man.

“It is to live in your hearts and to share in your lives that I have
come among you.”
And history won’t repeat that we crucified or hung You;
This time, while in the body, they’ve come from all corners
Of the world; still, the watchers and the warners
Waited for a Messiah of their own cut and trim,
And as usual, He came, and as usual, missed Him.
How often must He come to convince human unkind
That He’s none other than God, but it’s only the blind
In faith who accept Him unconditionally;
For it’s only the blind who can truly see
The God in the Man and the Man in the God;
The rest are so dazed they can only smile and nod.
“It is to live in your hearts and to share in your lives that I have
come among you.”
Already have the troubadours written and sung You.

“Things that are real are given and received in silence.”
Unlike the gaudy gifts that are cloaked in world’s violence.
Sometimes silence is known to hide its claws
Like a diamond with its dazzling but unseen flaws.
It lies in wait for the guileless ones
Who feel the bullet but never hear the guns.
“You niver hears the one that finally gets yer,
Leastways, its not known to’ve happened yet, Sir.”
Sometime silence wears the saddest of all smiles;
Like the smirk of salesmen, who strut their vacant miles.
But the silence lovers speak is louder than any word;
However softly spoken, their love is always heard.
Greater still is the Silence of God-Man’s total care,
That wraps around each lover’s wordless, silent prayer.

“Oh how completely unconcerned my Beloved is!
I am dying for Him every moment, but He never asks how I am.”
How many times have You told me to remember you, or try!
Then why don’t You give me something to remember You by?
You pluck at my heart-strings, then walk away!
And You clearly grow more indifferent to my plight every day.
For God’s sake, God, why can’t You give me a break,
Instead of continually making this broken heart ache?
Just a wink, a smile, a nod of Your head;
Even a crumb from Your plate, and I’d feel well-fed!
But the more I take Your Name, the emptier I feel;
Or is it just me disappearing, as “I’ become less real?
I die for You every moment, but you care not for my health.
My pain is Your pleasure, my poverty Your wealth.

“The disciple must be able to face the blame or ridicule of the
world as if it were the chirping of birds.”
Praise and blame: are they both not built of words?
Yet words can wound as deeply as the sharpest knife.
As children, this is one of the first lessons we learn in life.
But when God-Man forgives, He also completely forgets,
While we grasp our grudges, and nurse our regrets.
What isn’t learned in one life, is carried over into the next;
The same lessons line up, but in a different context.
To face the world’s ridicule takes real bravery;
One has not only to forgive its scorn, but to forget its knavery.
And even this is impossible without the God-Man as Friend—
Then only His pleasure you’ll find will count in the end.
Sure, the world’s raillery can drag you to the ground;
But what will hurt even more is letting Him down.

“If you love Me, let that love not be wasted by escaping through
your lips in words.”
Or they’ll have as little value as the chirping of birds.
“It is an insult to real love if and when such love happens to be
deliberately exhibited.”
This isn’t the first Avatar to proclaim: Strictly Prohibited!
The trick, you see, is to love Him and not let anyone know.
And if you think that’s easy, just give it a go.
You’ll soon find yourself giving ‘way at every turn:
It’s so tempting to show others how much you’ve learned.
But you can’t tell a soul, that’s the deal,
No matter how restless you might inwardly feel.
On your face you must always wear a bright smile
(Though you’re bursting to tell your wife all the while).
“If you love Me, let that love not be wasted by escaping through
your lips....”
For upon the smallest sigh, the true lover slips.

“Be sane as a saint and innocent as a child.”
Between these extremes many lives can be filed.
The first should be reverenced; the second well-protected.
Only the saint takes lifetimes to become God-selected.
The latter requires only diapers that fit;
The saint needs love’s fires continually lit.
Yet the saint and the child can be formed in one soul;
Though they exist side by side, together they’re whole.
But for us gross groundlings, both innocence and sanity
Are poles apart, while we battle with vanity.
As for innocence, we’ve lived too far from its shores;
And sanity’s been lost in life’s waged wars.
“Be sane as a saint and innocent as a child.”
Only God can cleanse all the lives we’ve defiled.

“What a calamity! What tribulation! What difficulty me heart is
Daily my troubles set my heart foot-racing.
Such was the desperation of my late worldly affairs
That I forced You to respond to my urgent prayers.
Now I pray for a desperation of a different stripe and hue—
The desperation of love which must eventually move You
To come to me in Your glorious Name and Form,
And still in my breast this raging storm.
But please, Lord, do not entirely extinguish this fire,
Which is but a symbol of the one true Desire.
My train’s still at that station where each grief appears vast;
They’re naught but impressions from the stations I’ve passed.
“How can the plight of my heart ever be expressed?”
Especially when each day brings one of love’s desperate tests?

“Spiritual advancement is a succession of one surrender after
But there can’t be a succession until there’s a first from a lover.
Even the smallest surrender requires some kind of thrust,
Like a rocket trying to escape the earth’s lovely dust.
Ironically, dust is the lover’s eventual destination:
Six feet under, or aloft love’s high station.
However, self doubt still holds me in its grip;
Thus can His daaman from my hand surely slip.
“Greater than love is obedience,” but surrender beats ‘em all.
It isn’t who to let go of, but Whom to trust your fall.
If love is a kindergarten, surrenderance is a Master’s Degree.
To Whom else would you dare surrender, if not to Perfect
“The last surrender is the complete surrender, equivalent to the
attainment of Truth.”
Still the last must begin with a first, as age from callow youth.

“Do not worry about anything. Keep thinking of me constantly.
I am the only one that exists, the only one that matters.”
Good, solid oak words when the world your heart tatters.
The words read so easily, yet it’s so hard to live them!
First word and last, there’s a Power you give them.
If they weren’t attainable, You would never would have said ‘em.
That’s when I’m glad I’ve read ‘em and read ‘em.
Except when I’ve preached them as though certain that I
Had brought them to life, which my actions belie.
And to think that I’ve preached them to some new lover—
No sooner spoken, than I quickly discover
That I’m still clinging tightly to the hem of my fears;
What’s taken moments to say, is sure to take years
To live. So I try like hell to hold on to Your Name:
Of all endeavors, is this not the best and most worthy game?

“By expressing in the world of forms truth, love, purity and
(Oh, that this was every filmmaker’s duty.)
“…that is the sole game which has any intrinsic and absolute worth..." worth.”
(Of films that shock and revile, there is no dearth.)
How I love the great films from the nineteen-thirties;
I get so damned tired of the kind that dirties
The canvas of my mind with so much vulgarity.
(Even the sex scenes are such a poor parody.)
There’s an innocence and idealism to the great old flicks—
Goodwill and tolerance instead of visual tricks,
That Laughton and Pickford and so many a great star
Had the great fortune to meet the Avatar!
Perhaps even now in their present birth
They’re playing the sole game which has as any absolute worth.

Why is it so hard to remember You solely?
It must be because I think myself holy.
Why else would I be enamored of my every thought?
It’s a self-spun web in which I’m delightfully caught.
And the marvel is—I don’t want to escape!
This love for myself—why, it’s more like rape.
I ought to be ashamed at such epic self-love;
After so much self-devotion, I’m my own treasure trove.
And this is the weight I wish to place at Your feet!
Only a full surrender could make this one complete.
It’s a grand tug-of-war which I hope I shall lose;
And I will if its Your Name I eventually choose.
May Baba be the sound I breathe with each breath,
That it’s You I remember at the moment of death.

Your statements on drugs should leave no one in doubt.
If you’ve still got some weed left—just chuck it out!
But the most potent of opiates You never mentioned at all;
It’s the one natural substance to which we’re all in thrall.
It’s the opiate of ourselves—and the high that we get
So turns our heads, it’s You we forget.
Our memories, our desires, our fears and our joys—
Life after lifetime, they’re our favorite toys.
We’re our own favorite film, our own favorite book,
One we can’t stop reading, for each page is a hook
That grabs our attention, and won’t let go;
We’re far and away our own favorite show.
Your Name and Your Form are my only hope,
Would they were my addiction, and my favorite "dope."

Forgetting to remember, remembering not to forget
Has become my sole pastime, and my sole regret.
I lose You and find You a hundred times each day
As I forget to remember You at work and at play.
The holidays, lit wonders, a source of joy to all,
Are as dangerous to me as an award-winning mall.
My world is a food court, a department store sale,
Where Your Name is forgotten, not to mention your "hail."
No "Jai Baba’s" are uttered or inwardly said;
God forgive me, but it’s as though to my heart You were dead.
Your injunction to remember You every minute, every hour
Lies dried and forgotten like some book-pressed flower.
Lord, please help me remember, never once to forget
Your Name every moment, or every moment—regret.

Beloved God, help me remember You, in spite of myself;
To discover which is the treasure, and where the wealth.
Each day brings me choices, and not one is easy;
If I thought of the dangers, I’d become quite queasy.
Let’s begin with responsibility, which You said not to shirk;
To do one’s duty, at play and at work.
Ah, but when does care become worry, and how do I stop
This mind from spinning like some out-of-control top?
I can’t parse out concern from over-wrought care.
It’s a tug-of-war always, and the rope’s fine as a hair.
You cruelly set the bar ever higher and higher;
Each failure to reach You only dampens heart’s fire.
The winds of my mind daily blow out the flame;
Till Your face I’ve forgotten, and finally, Your Name.

Think of it! He’s actually offering us each a way out;
A real holiday from worry, if we don’t doubt.
The truth of His promise: If you leave all to Me,
I will never neglect you—while you remain free
To love Me; how’s that for a no-risk deal?
You’ve heard about bargains, man, this is a steal!
And still that old burden remains on my head,
Growing daily in weight, my thoughts lined in lead.
It’s always this heaviness that causes me doubt;
And still He offers me an easy way out.
By continuing to implore: Leave it all at My feet.
Do that, He says, and your surrender’s complete.
He really does want our burdens, but we want them more,
Or we’d long have left them at His threshold’s door.

I’ll be damned if I’ll love You like some limp-wristed lover!
Your breath and Your hair I leave women to discover.
I’d rather dote on your fearsome compassion
That endures such trials as would any face ashen.
Please, I’m not saying that the moon-way is wrong;
But men should sing a more masculine song.
For a guy to sing about Your tresses and curls
Is, to my taste, just too girly-girl.
Now I know this is going to make some people pissed;
Guess I’ll just have to settle for being dissed.
Men and women should love you the way each loves best,
With sighs of love, but no beating of breast.
The truth is, of course, that love has no gender:
What’s male or female about the final surrender?

“I am the only Friend who will never let you down.”
Wish I’d known that ‘afore I tossed my trust around.
But I threw it where it could be stomped on and kicked;
Even in the gutter I never knew when I was licked.
So one day I decided to trust You for the hell of it;
I’d had my nose rubbed in shit so long I lost the smell of it.
You’re now my companion even though I’m friendless.
You hold my hand when the night seems endless.
You’re my lover when love remains a stranger.
You’re my comfort when comfort’s hope is in danger.
I’ve looked all my life for the Perfect Friend,
Only to disappoint, and be disappointed, in the end.
“I am the only Friend who will never let you down.”
Now I know whose always worn that kingly crown.

“It is love, not questioning, that will bring God to you.”
But I keep sneaking in those questions, with a nod to You
That begs, “Just this once, God, is it okay
If I entreat again Your comfort to keep these doubts at bay?”
But You not only let me ask, You dignify it with an answer.
And still these doubts grow like some malignant cancer.
Oh, when will I stop questioning, and learn to unreservedly trust?
When will doubt turn to faith, dead speech to singing dust?
I’ve failed You and failed You, not once, but a thousand times.
They’re more than misdemeanors, pal—they’re crimes.
One day, I know, all my questions will disappear
Into a sea of love no bigger than a single, shining tear.
“It is love, not questioning, that will bring God to you.”
May I never again question, then in quilt, shyly nod to You.

Am I a Baba lover, or a Baba follower?
At best, I’m a Baba borrower.
Am I a Baba speaker, or a Baba quoter?
At best, I’m a Name-saying Baba motor.
Am I a Baba prayer-er, or a Baba pleader?
At best, I’m a Baba needer.
Am I a Baba dreamer, or a Baba doer?
At best, I’m a Baba stewer.
Am I a Baba shower, or a Baba hider?
At best, I hide the smoke, but use too big a lighter.
Am I a Baba pitcher, or a Baba bunter?
At best, I’m a Baba punter.
Am I a Baba reader, or a Baba scholar?
At best, I’m a Baba-spouting hollerer.

Sometimes, it feels as though I’d only just met You,
though I’ve known You for 30-plus years.
But what about all those moments of remembrance, did they
merely go in and out of one of Your ears?
Has even one of those moments found a place in Your heart?
Or was each one just a lame-brained spiritual fart?
When You said, “Remember Me every moment,” were You just
giving out more advice?
Or were You giving out pearls, precious beyond price?
Now I know You were being literal in every sense of the word.
But I lived as though I had never even heard.
I hate that feeling of newness when “oldness” is what I should feel.
And I would, if in my remembrances, there was just a little more zeal.
By now You and I should be the very best of friends.
But too often Maya’s means lead only to Maya’s ends.
Yes, this is the way its been for 30-plus years;
By discipleship standards, not one of Your most distinguished

“I want every lover of mine to repeat My Name with every breath.”
If I could only start doing this NOW, I just might at the time of my
Why aren’t I making use of every single moment to remember You?
Instead of making lists of all the old movies I missed taping but
intended to.
If I had only 15 minutes to live, would I watch a silent movie, or in
silence take Your Name?
I’m afraid I’d be watching the silent movie, now silently, in shame.
Imagine me dying—with only a few precious breaths left!
And here I am watching an old movie—the worst kind of theft!
Once again, I’ve allowed the world to steal my attention—
And I have the nerve to expect a last moment redemption!
I’ve lost sight of Your face and the sound of Your Silence,
In return for the dream and the promise of dream’s violence.
“I want every lover of mine to repeat My Name with every breath.”
If I start now, maybe I’ll get lucky, even in death.

“Love Me.” “Leave everything to Me.” “Always take My Name.”
You make it sound so easy, like a child’s ruleless game.
But just try to succeed in even one of the above,
And you’ll discover how childish is your so-called love.
I’m still in the sandbox with my shovel and pail;
No wonder at adult love I invariably fail.
Yet it’s drunks and madmen whom God loves best;
They’ve discarded the toys the world loves to caress.
Gentlemen and highwaymen, ladies and dames
Who, at the point of a gun, couldn’t name even one of God’s Names.
‘Cept maybe Jesus, ‘cause He did so many a trick
That something of God would to some minds stick.
But I digress; please refer to the above injunctions;
How impossible it is to obey even one of Your instructions.

“Greatness lies in not overlooking smallness.”
Little things, like kindness, have their own kind of tallness.
The world measures greatness with the oddest of rulers.
Champions of saint-love just get sent to the coolers.
Philanthropists have their moneyed rewards:
These the world notes and faithfully records.
The ear that will listen and not give advice;
The friend who does favors without mentioning the price;
The small word spoken at a moment of great loss;
These can’t be measured in terms of mere cost.
A man’s greatest inheritance may be the bestowal of a kiss;
But the world will take little note of this.
“Greatness lies in not overlooking smallness.”
Little things, like a kiss, have their own kind of tallness.

“Your duty is to keep Me constantly with you in thought, speech, and
Thus, in our strides to You, we gain even greater traction.
But it’s not easy to remember You, and yet painful to forget You!
Both only remind me that I’ve never once met You.
Still, when on Your face and form I dwell
I know how very shallow is my own heart’s well.
Ah, how tiny the span of a single life!
The days and nights so incredibly rife
With chaos and emergencies—
And those unmentionable urgencies!
The truth is simple: I simply lack poise.
I’m distracted by the slightest psychological noise.
“Your duty is to keep Me constantly with you in thought, speech, and
Each act of forgetting is a kind of spiritual impaction.

“The time has come when I want you to cling to My daaman with
both hands.”
A good thing to remember when caught in life’s quicksands.
“In case the grip of one hand is lost, the other hand will serve in good
A damn good contingency plan to keep in one’s head.
My advice is: Get a good grip before the day begins
Its hydra-headed games of ego losses and wins.
You think it’s easy to grasp this garment’s hem?
It’s like hunting in the dark for the most precious gem.
In the argot of today, it’s “Hey, man, get a grip!”
But for lovers of the Beloved, it’s “Don’t let your grip slip!”
“Hold on to My daaman, never feel lost.”
Help me remember this, Lord, when by life’s tempests I’m tossed.
“Rely completely on Me. I am always there.”*
How sweet thy assurance, how constant thy care.

Today was a banner day for forgetting You
With plenty of opportunities for regretting, too.
It wasn’t as though I had tried to avoid each one;
My darkness seemed to blot out even Your shining sun.
You’re always “on the job,” Lord; I’m always “taking five”
And then ten, twenty, Lord knows how many lives
I’ve simply frittered away…
Leaving Your remembrance for yet another day.
I’m just trying to balance those sanskaric accounts.
But with each new breath my karmic debt mounts.
I remember You only when pressed
By the awful weight of these debts.
“Think of Me. Love Me. Obey Me. Take My Name.”
Incalculable guidelines for winning Your game.

“The more you think of Maya, the greater is your anxiety and
excitement for its enjoyment—“
Attending to Maya’s charms offers the typical gross mind
full-time employment.
“—and the more the anxiety, the greater are your fears.”
Mine have been accumulating for nearly ten-thousand years.
Trouble is, I want a thousand things at once, but none of them are
What’s a poor drop-soul, so hopelessly lost to Maya, to do?
I want to dig the ruins of history, from Troy to World War One;
I want to devour every author, from the greatest to the unsung.
It’s sinful the amount of money I’ve spent on records and on books;
Seeing them amassed so obsessively always brings astounded looks.
You see how little time this leaves for the study of Your silent
Oh, the precious time I’ve lost in pursuit of worldly reachings.
“The more you think of Maya—the greater your anxiety and fears.”
The true cost of all those books? Uncountable, insurmountable, tears.

“A staunch atheist is better than a hypocritical saint.”
Which is why ‘tis better to be who one is than who one ain’t.
Yet something strange occurs every time we call ourselves “lovers”;
The true self burrows underground, or crawls underneath the covers.
The posturing self comes prancing out where it can show off
its pretty face.
But don’t look in its eyes for honesty; of its like you won’t find
a trace.
To the world I raise my upturned palms;
While my mind swills filth and my voice sings psalms.
I’ve fooled ‘em all: From friends to the Meherazad Mandali;
Yet this was a fool they suffered not just sweetly, but fondly!
I’ve hidden the truth from all but Him because I couldn’t bear
the sight!
Did I think I could pull down the blinds on God, simply by turning
off the light?
“A staunch atheist is better than a hypocritical saint.”
What’s too ugly to reveal is easily covered with a hypocrite’s paint.

“Just a moment before dying, take My Name. Even then you will
come to Me.”
In case I can’t talk, please, I pray His Name you’ll hum to me.
Okay, let’s say I take Your Name when dying, and “come to You,”
what then?
Will I still be able to get The New York Times, or do the crossword in
Will calories still count, can I still have a smoke?
Would it be inappropriate to tell an off-color joke?
Really, Lord, I’m simply at a loss
To know whether or not to continue to floss.
Please, please forgive me for cheapening this most merciful gift;
That even the worst sinner could get such a divine lift!
“But how will you remember Me at the last moment unless you start remembering Me from now on!”
So START NOW, from this moment, don’t hesitate…PLOW ON!
I still don’t know what it means to “come to You.”
So why worry? I just pray, at that moment, I’ll run to you!

“Baba wants His lovers to know that it is very important not to
succumb to lust.”
Of all the rhymes I’ve rhymed, I’ve wanted to write this one least—
but I must.
It begins with the world: Why are its affairs so damn seductive?
It doesn’t help that it puts so much emphasis on the reproductive.
But such is our inheritance from the birds and bees;
It’s those countless animal couplings since we’ve crawled out of the
And why couldn’t they come up with sweeter sounding terms
For all those parts so susceptible to germs?
Well, here’s a cold shower: Just name those parts out loud:
Each one’s a sure-fire erection killer—a kind of verbal shroud.
Shakespeare was right: emptiness always follows gratification,
Yet that never stopped anyone from pursuing his sexual education.
“Baba wants His lovers to know that it is very important not to
succumb to lust.”
Only the hammer of Your Name can smash these desires into dust.

I’ve been seeking oblivion in all the wrong places,
Instead of simply gazing at the place where Your face is.
The look’s always forgiving, but never above
Giving me the occasional, but necessary shove
Usually in the direction I do not want to go,
But You know…You know…You know.
Strong drink, weak drink, a handful of pills
Only gives me the illusion I’m curing these ills.
This always comes from too much thinking;
I sure know where that leads: Thirstier drinking.
You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now
But the lesson’s too painful, so I put it off, somehow.
Perhaps one day, if I’m good, and bide by Your time,
You’ll grant this parched heart a small glass of Your wine.

How the world views failure and success
May appear from Him in quite a different dress.
What the world sees as failure, He may see as gain;
Measured less by sunlight than by pouring rain.
I persist on setting my goals and plans,
Forgetting completely they’re in Your hands.
And when the results are not as I’d hoped
I realize too late that I’d been roped
Into believing once again it was up to me
To achieve the results that were supposed to be.
“Results are not in human hands.”
They lie, as always, in beloved God-Man’s.
“It’s for humans to do, but for God to ordain.”*
Still I hunt the sun, but flee the rain.

Tumbling down in a ruin of days
I run the gamut ‘twixt blame and praise.
While I dread the former and embrace the latter,
Guess which one makes my ego fatter?
Though each life is severed by a breath
I’ve yet to die that deathless death:
The death of self to self’s desires,
Yet I keep on stoking those ego fires.
Only sinking hope and rising despair
Can drive me into the arms of Meher.
The spiritual scales are not measured by gain
But are brought into balance by accepted pain.
Tumbling down in a ruin of days
I must clear the rubble to sing your praise.

If I could (just this once) feel through and through
That I had really left everything to You,
How light would be my burden, how light the load
Of the baggage I’ve carried down this weary road.
Think of the wants, desires, and all those fears
Which have dragged me down these many years.
What a relief to finally let go
Of those millions of strangers now never to know.
Even a ninety-nine per-cent surrender falls short of the goal;
Only one per-cent left means the surrender’s not whole.
You’ve proven Your Godhood to me innumerable times,
Yet I keep on committing the self-same crimes:
Fruitless worries, time-wasted hours
Have wilted what might have been such beautiful flowers.

“When you worry for yourself, how can God worry for you?”
Ah, so easy to say, so hard to do!
My God, what have I been holding onto with a grip so strong?
That You might take from me what’s been Yours all along?
The smallest of worries is enough to undo
That totality of surrender worthy of You.
It seems only intense suffering has the necessary thrust
To drive me to Your feet, to lie as dust
To be blown where You will, by a single breath;
Each want and worry a single death.
For millions of lives have I striven for this goal,
Yet remain divided, instead of whole.
“When you worry for yourself, how can God worry for you?”
He can’t, He won’t, the more worrying I do.

O Meher, You’ve made my life complete;
Now I lay it down at Your holy feet.
No more to want, no more to do,
Now I’ve left it wholly to You.
No more striving, no more plans;
Now I’ve left them all in Your mighty hands.
Every desire, every wish, and every need
You’ve already granted, and now I’m freed
Of all my worry, all my fear;
Still I pray that You keep me near.
Though these lines hint at a final surrender,
Your Name and Form I’ve yet to fully remember
With such wholeheartedness of heart and mind
That I finally, and fully, leave myself behind.

If I’d only known that these cumbersome fears would continue to
raise their heads;
That these wants and desires would continue to flourish like drear
flowers in their beds;
I would long ago have uprooted them, and the seeds of their
And know that I would always be on the side that was always
But I myself was the losing side, the Coach ever there to guide me.
I never really felt Him there, walking there beside me.
Yet He’d matched each step with my own, His stride so neat and
But more important than His being with me, was my always being
there with Him—
Through continuous remembrance and continuous praise, and never
again to assume
That simply because He walked with me, there would never again be
For still more worry and still more fear, and its dark attendant desire.
Now my way would be lit by praise, and the light of remembrance’s
So dear soul, remember these words, as You walk along the sand:
There’s a second pair of footsteps following and an extended, out-
stretched hand.

Perfect security, one day I’d found, means perfect insecurity—
But it’s taken me sixty years to achieve even that maturity.
What most I’d wanted to hold onto I did not really need,
Yet ravenously to the things of this world did I ravenously feed.
So I bought every book and record, and then each and every CD
As though I could take this library along when I had ceased to be.
Did I think I’d live forever, somehow cheat the angel Death?
I simply chose to avoid the thought, nor even give it breath.
These were the thoughts I’d banished from the citadel of my mind;
There’d always be another bookstore, another rarity to find.
So now I sit surrounded by bookshelves filled to the brim,
And in between the covers of are my forgetfulness of Him.
I often wonder what it would be like to lose my security blanket;
Would I rage against the emptiness, or, in His fullness, kneel down
and thank it?

Some readers’ comments…

From Ann Conlon:

“Lovely, lovely stuff, Mick. Thank you so much. Love ‘em, Mick. Keep them coming.”

From Angela Chen, former President of Meher Baba House, New York City:

“Well done. Wonderful new ghazals! The collection is remarkably consistent. Every one of them is so human and personal, taking the God-Man’s words into our ‘real’ experience.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Poems in Progress

Poems in Progress
by Mickey Karger

The Gifts You Bestow

The gifts you bestow, if we could but know
How perfect is each in its timing.
But out heads our so dense, we cannot make sense
Of the perfection of Your rhyming.

I know You’re right there, enfolding with care
Each one in a loving embrace.
But it’s so hard to believe, and so easy to grieve
Because fear ever clouds Your face.

I’ve peeled back the layers with ten-thousand prayers
And when I think I’ve reached the core
Comes grief, distress, and misery
Not the less, but even more.

My particular delusion, my constant confusion
Was believing all pain was past—
Thereby ensuring that every alluring
Hope would soon be dashed.

I hate to admit it, but I must submit it,
My heart always tells me it’s true:
That each wave of suffering has its own buffering
And brought me much closer to You.

The path is well strewn and all but in ruin
With the litter of failed remembrance;
But I know that one day, perhaps far away
Success will be sealed with surrenderance.

The Worry Machine

I wish I could stop the worry machine
But I keep on putting in dimes.
I wish the damn thing would just stay broken
But I’ve fixed it a thousand times.
No wonder all my efforts always seem to fail,
And fail in such a hurry;
Because, you see, I haven’t learned yet
The art of how not to worry!
Maybe today I’ll stop worrying—
No, I’ll do it tomorrow;
Time enough to hold its weary hand,
And its attendant, sorrow.
Worry Weaves Its Tangled Web

Worry weaves its tangled web
Of figments, fears, and lies;
Stronger even than the tensile threads
Spiders weave to catch their flies.

Shall I break this web or worry
And deprive the spider of its meal?
Worry decreases most appetites;
That may be its sole appeal.

How Would It Be?

How would it be if I really left all my worrying to You?
I’d have so little to worry about, I wouldn’t know what to do!
Imagine the days and months I’d save—my time so much better spent
I just might offer it up for sale, or at the very least, charge rent.
I’m a world-class worrier, I really am—I could make it an Olympic game.
But with You up there worrying for me, it just wouldn’t be the same.
I like the thought that whatever comes—You’ll be worrying me through it.
But the one thing I cannot seem to do, is stop worrying long enough to do it!
When Worry’s Wheel Turns Round To Me

When worry’s wheel turns round to me
I see it now more perfectly.
I see its spokes, its nuts and bolts
And feel the throb of its million volts.
Oiled by fear and powered by pain
It starts to turn my way again.
But seeing now so perfectly,
Its twisted technicality
I give it a kick and unhinge its base
And send it spinning with a Name and Face.
I Wish That I Had Worried Less

On that precipice of life and death
Where we each rehearse our final breath,
It was now even harder for him to confess,
“I wish that I had worried less.”

Many were the outcomes of which he was certain,
Though not every one saw the rise of the curtain.
So long had he dwelt in the wilderness,
“That might have borne fruit had I worried less.”

True, his life has been hard—many hopes were deferred,
And that which he feared most had oft’ occurred.
But the memories now which crushed his chest,
“Might now be lighter had I worried less.”

His worries were long arrows of exceeding long range
Which he sent on before him in the hopes he could change
The outcome of that which he could never have guessed,
“Had I the sense to have worried less.”

Though the past was frozen and the future unknown
(The first he’d thaw out, the second he’d own),
He’d discounted the present—real joy to possess!
“Had I but worried just a little bit less!”

“It’s Easy To Say ‘Jai Baba!’”

It’s easy to say “Jai Baba!”
In a voice that’s loud and strong.
But can you also say “Jai Baba!”
When everything you do goes wrong?
I’m therefore reluctant to take His Name
Within another ear’s reach.
Then would I have the right to claim
That I practice what I preach.
Grief’s The Ladder We Climb To Him

Grief’s the ladder we climb to Him;
Pain’s the road we travel.
In sorrow’s sea do we learn to swim
As each hope begins to unravel.
I wish there were an easier path—
I’d take it in a minute.
But then I’d delay by more than half
The prize, and my chance to win it.

In Strong and Bright October

The goodly scent of loam and earth, of corded wood and sap of apples, resin ripe,
a trembling spider's web intersecting the corners of a branch in strong
and bright October.
Diamond-hard sunlight, blue so hard and dry you thought the sky would break
with snow, shines in strong and bright October.
Tang of cider, tug of woodsmoke, dilating my nostrils and my memory,
in strong and bright October.
The further death of fallen leaves under my feet, death was never brighter:
vermilions and scarlets and yellows burnished to fiery perfection in strong
and bright October.
Hollowed pumpkins with candle eyes and jagged leer delight the little girls
who point at them from the safety of the road and send them running home
squealing with delight to their mothers and fathers in strong and bright October.
Hard blue of early evening punctuated by small ejaculations of breath,
bullets of air from shotgun mouths panting up a hill in strong and bright October.
Pad of cat and perk of dog, a ravenless flight of wished for birds, a hunter's dream
in strong and bright October.
Adirondack, Poconos, and Saugerties with their great old hotels wood dreamt
and castle carved, turrets thrusting into leaden snow-filled skies.
And along the lesser roads the sad-hearted motels, dead leaves collect
at the doorsteps of forgotten rooms where the bedding gathers dust and the legs
of cheap furniture make permanent indentations on damp and mildewed
carpeting, rooms stale with cigarette smoke and innuendo, rooms forever darkened
against the daylight, rooms that witnessed the sullen union of divided lives,
rooms that were for some the last stop of a suicide ride taken long ago in strong
and bright October.
In the late afternoon the skies go impossibly gold and gray all at once, and lovers
walk along wooded paths, and as they walk the crunch of leaves and twigs
carries far on the thin and brittle air.
And at night comes the donning of woolen sweaters smoke-threaded with
Pall Malls and Lucky Strikes, damp earth smell on the bottoms of your shoes,
the sleeping half sun of the radio dial lighting up the room, and from a house
clear across the lake, the lonely barking of a dog.
Strong and bright October, burier of spring and summer under a flood of leaves,
each dropped leaf a death and a resurrection.

And we are as leaves that fall to dissolve in earth and in due time rise up again
resplendent with new life and new humanity.
We fall singly, alone, or on the crowded fields of battle.
We are born to die, to nod or sprint through our days, sunstorming.
We fall in and out of our lives, singly and alone, naked and burning as the sun,
and determined as the stars.

He is in the Silences

"Because man has been deaf to the principles
and precepts laid down by God in the past,
in this Avataric Form I observe Silence.
You have asked for and been given enough words --
it is now time to live them."
Avatar Meher Baba

He is in the silences, that is where he can be heard
most clearly.
He is in that moment between systole and diastole,
between the taking of one breath and the exhalation of another,
between grief and the welling tear,
between joy and the sudden smile.
He is in the silences.
He is in that moment when wakefulness surrenders to sleep,
when soul slips from body,
(a moment whose echo reverberates as another life).
He is in the silences,
that moment between hunger and satiety,
between thirst and its quenching,
between pain and its surcease.
Do not listen for His silence amidst the noise of living;
listen for Him in the untrodden places of the heart
where even one second,
divided into ten thousand separate units,
may each hold all the silence there is to hear.

There is a Tragedy Performed Over Lifetimes

There is a tragedy performed over lifetimes,
no one lifetime singled out for glory.
A continuum of days unspent
with good or bad acts,
just one flattened sheet of time
spread out across the years.

Englow the Filaments of Memory

Englow the filaments of memory
with remembered designs.
A smile carefully planned,
a word rehearsed but left unspoken.
Let fly the backward arrow of time
to hit its mark, heart-center.
Engulf the sorrow with remembered
sweetness, the little hours lost to time,
but not to memory.
In the crowded rooms of fancy
desks and drawers are near to bursting.

The Most Constant of Hungers

The most constant of hungers,
the most constant of plagues
is desire.
Once awakened, rubbed into life,
the giant never sleeps again,
only closes its eyes for catnaps.
Desire ensnared in too much thinking,
no place to go except outward,
toward the world of forms.
Finger-laced, breath-entwined
in strangulated joy.
A heated palm against a thudding breast.
Old age only doth deprive that wind
of its force, howling
for another life.

A Brace of Tenderness

A brace of tenderness
in an unexpected hour;
regretful words removed
from memory’s vault
by a kiss—
sudden, wet, redemptifying.

For the Streetcorner Crazies

Armwaves and handsaws,
the semaphore of the lost,
the bewildered and the blind.
Those pathetically comic men and women
gesticulating on every streetcorner of the world,
a thumb-worn Bible or Koran
flung madly out in any season’s air,
the pages damp with terrored sweat
and troubled sleep.
Their minds rock with scripture
prophesying a doom that can always
be measured in hours and days.
God rest ye, muddled gentlemen,
whom everything doth dismay.
God rest you and recline you
in His arms, dear Lord, one day.

The Sinking of the Galilee

The moon’s pale favor linelike falls
Still yet across the sea.
Upon the eddied whitecaps sails
A ship, the Galilee.
Her rudder smashed and mainmast mauled
She is foundering ‘pon a rock;
Her unlashed guns gone overboard
With all provisions and all stock.
Her shrouds are dark with sailors
Bursting hearts to somehow save
The noble ship called Galilee
From the tombstone of a wave.
But all the sinews and all the psalms
Could not save the Galilee.
And so she sank with all aboard,
No witness save the sea.

The Angels Breathe a Different Air

The angels breathe a different air
From that which fills our lungs;
Unrest from lifetimes’ burdens borne
Lies ‘pon our hearts and tongues.
The grief which weighs us down to earth
Is unknown to angels all;
Not one has known the bliss of love
Or the beauty of its fall.

Still, Solid Air of Summer

Still, solid air of summer
and a pale blue sky
dense with remembered clouds,
great continents asleep upon the
still, solid air.
In the trees a clamor of leaves
and a steady rising of fireflies
from the ground,
all in the trembling evening air.
A summer evening in high July,
deep winter a distant, impossible dream.

Upon what Tormented Beds

Upon what tormented beds do the unjust lie,
awash in sorrows sharpened to such heedless points.
Upon what foaming seas do the fearful drown,
with landfall always in full sight.
Upon what shapeless rock do the tenderhearted recline,
trying to build a shelter from twigs and leaves,
and impaled upon their own forgiveness.
Upon what bed to do rich repose,
those restless rich who remain ever homeless in their homes,
the heart-poor who so lavishly spend their poverty.
Upon what grave does remembrance rest,
sprung so lately from life,
springing up so quickly again in layette and crib.
The unfinished dreams of an unfinished life,
waking again, eyes tight shut, and given voice with a slap.

The Night Sky Shattered with Stars

The night sky shattered with stars,
proud day beaming up behind:
the trumpets of dawn.
World wheeling round in drear antiquity,
heave of birth, surrendered sigh of death,
a late, last relent of assiduous life.
That which is full striving to be empty.
That which is empty striving to be full.
Days dawn, nights fall, the living breath of days.
Hands entwine and separate.
Lives grow old and pass away.
Life restruck from life’s last ember.
Time’s wheel turns into break of day,
then a trail of grey across living skies.
The probing finger of the sun,
golden-cheeked day a bright surprise to the living,
and those about to be.

It Was a Firefly Summer that Year

It was a firefly summer that year,
each perfect day perfectly rounded,
complete as a wish.
The promise of heat was in the stars’ surrender
to the day.
Slow summer dawdled on its way,
taking time out for ice cream
that ran in rivers across happy fingers,
the weather of our conversation punctuated
by bursts of laughter, sudden rain.
It was a firefly summer that year
when time took its time
and sadness was the truant of our days.

To Go Out Upon a Name

To go out upon a Name,
as a ship upon homeward seas.
Borne aloft on a two-syllable craft
beyond ear’s extension and vision’s net,
into the waiting Ocean’s arms.
Such is the Test of Love

Such is the test of love
that the thing one fears most
must be loved,
and the thing one loves most
must be surrendered.
A collision of hearts.

The Big Surrender:
A Ballad of the Beloved

It was raining that night, and the neon was bright
At the bar at end of the street.
Though it wasn’t that cold, my bones they were old,
Specially now that it started to sleet.

So I turned up my collar and felt for a dollar
That I hoped had a brother or two,
And finding the fiver I owed to McGiver
Spied the bar and walked on through.

The bar was warm and out of the storm—
I was mighty thankful for that.
My teeth still chattered as I took off my tattered
Old coat and hung up my hat.

The bar was bright with that forgiving light
That says, “Stranger, come on in.
We don’t care who you are, have a seat at the bar;
We won’t even ask where you’ve been.”

“We welcome a pipe or whatever type
Of tobacco you choose to smoke.
Keep your counsel or talk, Old Bill here won’t balk
If you share an off-color joke.”

Resting my feet on an old, empty seat
I saw each bottle arranged
By whiskey or gin, and knew each one had been
In their places, which never had changed.

The patrons were few, the news not so new,
But repeated just the same.
Soon the voices were stilled and then the room filled
With a sense of failure and shame.

As though each one knew the false from the true
Yet clung to the version they’d uttered.
Soon the high-sounding praise of the old glory days
Was scarce spoken or merely muttered.

All the old dreams and unfulfilled schemes
Seemed to hang in the air like a pall.
Though nothing was stated, they seemed long ago fated
To have come to nothing at all.

An old salt in the corner with the face of a mourner
Looked up from his long drought of beer.
With a tear in his eye, he heaved a huge sigh
And said in a voice thick but clear:

“Though we may be knaves, to our passions enslaved,
Some joy did I leave behind.
And though it ain’t much, some hearts did I touch,
When I had the good sense to be kind.”

In his eyes shone tears aged ten-thousand years,
But not a one rolled down his cheek.
They stayed in his eyes, like the jewels of some prize
And not a word more did he speak.

Yet his words had released a rare kind of peace
That each had claimed for his own.
Whether bourbon or rye, not a soul could deny
They were no longer drinking alone.

In suits rumpled and creased, each mourned a deceased
Still alive in their minds and hearts.
Their funerals attended, yet something un-mended
Lay broken in thousands of parts.

Then the silence was broken, the bar doors flew open,
And in walked a curious Man.
His movements so lithe, His steps seemed to glide,
And gave Him a certain élan.

A pink jacket He wore, near reaching the floor
Hung a garment of cotton so white.
Such flimsy stuff, it seemed barely enough
To be wearing on such a cold night.

He spoke not a word (at least none was heard)
As He took a seat at the bar.
The way that He smiled had us all beguiled,
And His gaze twinkled down like a star.

He had long, flowing hair and a smile like a prayer
That His Silence bestowed on us all.
All eyes seemed to meet on His well-sandaled feet
Where the hem of His garment did fall.

His eyes said, Please, you may fall on your knees
Without shame, but with perfect surrender.
And there leave your cares, your unspoken prayers,
Each hurt, and each grief so tender.

I’ll make them my own, each sin you have sown
Will be yours, my dear, no longer.
Entrust them to Me — then let them be,
And your grief-weakened heart shall grow stronger.

There’ll soon come a day, when I’ll wipe clear away
These burdens you’ve long labored under.
Free at last from lifetimes passed—
All terror now torn asunder.

I can do this in Silence; I don’t need the violence
Of words, whose meaning has waned
Down through the ages on numberless pages
Writ when lies and hypocrisy reigned.

A new wine’s been poured, so long it’s been stored
That no vintage could be more rare.
Come drink your fill, even let the drops spill
But let every drinker beware:

If you choose Love, God takes off His glove
And may hold you so hard that it hurts.
That’s when you grab tight with all of your might
Like a child to its dear mother’s skirts.

A hush now fell like some kind of spell,
And remained for a while unbroken.
What was stranger still, and gave all a chill,
Was the fact that no word had been spoken.

His Name was Meher, a sound like a prayer,
“Meher Baba, Compassionate Father.”
Though naught was proclaimed, all knew His Name;
Our search ended, we looked no farther

Than this Man at the door, whose eyes did implore
Each one to love Him solely;
They said, Give Me your hearts, e’en the most secret parts;
In remembrance of Me only.

Hopes long put to rest like a seaman’s old chest
Had quite suddenly been revived.
It was hope without reason, choice fruit out of season;
And new possibilities thrived.

The pall that had fallen now seemed to be crawlin’
Away at a runner’s pace.
The grief and the loss had all but been tossed
Far away from the likes of this place.

You could feel the loads lift, as though some sort of gift
Had been given, unasked for, and free.
Unyoked from condition, paradise or perdition,
It was treasured as real gifts should be.

Though no one had said it, they’d never forget it:
Forgiveness, compassion, and peace.
The sins that each wore had been washed from the shore
Of our hearts and been given release.

Then the Man who’d come far to this forgotten man’s bar
Rose and glided, it seemed, to the door.
In His glance we’d found rest, and knew we’d been blessed
Like none had been blessed before.

He wasn’t gone long, when a sweet old song
Was plunked out on the bar-busted spinet.
Though the keys needed tuning, they were far from ruining
The song or the sentiments in it.

The song had no words, yet each word was heard
As though sung to each one solely.
Then I heard someone yawn with the coming of dawn,
and the streets and the bums,
the parks and the slums,
the most sad sordid ones,
Were now shining, and bright, and holy.

Indelibly Happy Am I

Indelibly happy am I in a certain kind of suffering.
Though my soul shakes and shrinks
when presented with real or imagined tortures
(inflamed fears, wound-up worries),
some small, brave part of myself
stands its ground, firm as any lion,
but frightened as any child.
How hard it is for the patient to submit to the scalpel
when there is no anesthetic save the thin resolve of trust.
Indelibly happy am I in a certain kind of sorrow,
one sweetened with a surrender that has not only
been accepted, but acknowledged with a kiss.
I never knew the Ocean had a mouth with which to kiss.
Yet do I do most of my drowning on land,
in pints of ice cream and pills parsed out for pain.
Indelibly miserable am I when, given the smallest burden
to carry, I refuse to shoulder even this little load,
nor carry it even a few small steps without my knees
buckling underneath me, having not surrendered,
but simply given up.
But imagined bravery is greater than realized cowardice,
and I see myself rising up, proud and fiery fierce as any lion,
ready to spring into weary battle,
slaughtered where I stand, and impaled upon a smile.

Crossing the Border of Sleep

Crossing the border of sleep,
trailing your Name behind,
a thread through dream’s thickness.
Another night swim in original seas.
Shoaling the waters of sleep at a drift-by pace,
slow drift toward the solid shore that lies at the end of sleep.
Craft-weary and tired from trolling sleep’s unsounded depths,
I wake—and tie up the dangling thread of sleep with
your Name.

Beyond the Rim of Dawn

Beyond the rim of dawn the morning wakes,
day lamp of sun turned bright full on,
stars’ purpose completed in a round of time.
Glimmer of summer in the still fragile warm.
Gone are the labors of winter,
summer come to kiss the ice away,
melt the weight of overcoats and galoshes.
Thank you, God, for summer,
for thinking of it in the first place,
for placing just right in the year.
Cloud ships and their fully filled sails
move with clock-like slowness
across the porcelain bowl of the sky.
We are as much seduced by a breeze
as by a slant of sunlight on old brick.
The warmth of summer days lays lighter
at evening’s tide;
small creatures become daring by dark,
until the darkness is effaced by the stars.

Anything Given Away

Anything given away goes not away
but keeps returning with open hands, infinitely.
Anything kept for one's self goes away forever,
flees as a coward's run, or curdles inwardly.
How do I know this?
Because I have kept that which I should have
given away and given away that which I should
have kept.
The locked hand holds itself;
the opened arm embraces everything,
at once
and forever.

Go Forth

Go forth ye, not fully clothed,
but naked as the risen sun.
Dive with both hands into the void stretching forth;
be not afraid to tickle Infinity under the chin.
Let the rains river in your veins
and the lava mountain in your heart.
Let thy footsteps tread the stars as stepstools,
and let the planets be as so much brushed away dust
from thine eyelids.
Swallow the Ocean to quench thy thirst,
and drown in its single drop.

A Kind of Prayer

My Father, please do not let me idle away this little life
Without first and last making the most of it by loving You
As much as possible, by Your Grace.

Do not let me wake in the morning, muddle-headed,
Automatically turning on Turner Classic Movies
Without first tuning into You.

Do not let me dress myself in my mind and room’s
Most flattering mirrors
Without first clothing myself
In your protective Love and Care.

Do not let me sit down to my usual breakfast
Of cinnamon-raisin bagel and Philly Lite
Without first scarfing down a healthy portion
Of Your most delicious Name.

Do not let me wander thickly through my day,
Sorting book titles in my mind—
Which edition of Trollope to buy or which
Rex Stout mystery to read next
Without first making me look closely
Between the covers of your incredible

Do not let me slouch toward my first evening Scotch
Without first remembering to toast You
With a swig of 100 proof Divine Love whiskey.

Do not let me drift into yet another nameless sleep
Without first speaking Your Name in my heart.

And finally, dear Father, at life’s last,
Please do not let me cling pathetically to these too well-loved shores;
Rather give me the courage to caste off boldly—
But not without first and last remembering to remember
The Infinite Ocean that is You.

Into Terrors Arms Do We Sometimes Fling Ourselves

Into terrors arms do we sometimes fling ourselves
to avoid sudden further pain, eager always to turn our
backs against its furies, only to find a sudden
stillness waiting there for us.

Into terrors arms do we sometimes fling ourselves
to be rid of the pain long beforehand, long before we
have the remotest chance to ponder its miseries.

Into terrors arms do we sometimes fling ourselves
wanting to hug the pain to ourselves first, before any
other pain can turn its glance unto us.

Into terrors arms do we sometimes fling ourselves
so that the hurt should be over and done with before
we ourselves can have taken note of it.

Thus into terrors arms do we sometimes fling ourselves
so sure of the sudden and coming pain, and we wonder
at the sudden light that embraces us.
And then we weep. And then we weep.

To God, All Things Matter

Though nations raise and nations fall
And men’s dreams end in tatters,
God sees every little thing
‘Cause to God every little thing matters.

Though kingdoms great and kingdoms small
Make some men mad as hatters,
God knows every little thing
‘Cause to God every little thing matters.

Though wise men dream and fools agree
Their words like rain that patters,
God hears every little word
‘Cause to God every little word matters.

Though men think “God is gone, not here”
Wise men know the latter;
‘Cause wise men know that God’s alive,
And to God, all things matter.

The Suburbs of Love

I have been living in the suburbs of Love
When all this time I thought I had been living in the city.
I had just purchased a round-trip ticket to Your Home,
And, scanning the minutia, noticed the Total Amount.
I was stunned. Who dared raise the price like this?
Whomsoever was responsible, I would send Whomsoever
One very hot letter. That would show them!
But instead of mailing said hot letter, or even writing it,
I put my pen down and thought instead.
Foolish me, thought I after a while.
The cost had not risen;
It was simply the price I had been paying for living so far away.
(And judging by the distance in heart-steps, I was an outlyer, alright.)
What could have brought on this delusion?
What else? but my old nemesis and life-obsession, reading.
It wasn’t the quantity of my reading, but the quality.
I had been reading Your words with my eyes, not my heart.
I had been devouring Your books whole, instead of allowing them to devour me.
Reading madly away, little blips of warmth would suddenly pop up
On the radar screen of my heart, and this it was that fooled me
Into thinking I was living closer to You than I really was.
What I imagined to be the bright lights of Your city
Turned out to be only very distant stars.
To think! (or not to think):
All this time I could have been living at the very heart of Your city,
But it was I myself who chose to live so far away.
Instead of living the words I read, I had made of them little knick-knacks
Which I delighted in displaying just-so on my bookshelf,
Endlessly arranging and re-arranging them, never satisfied;
Doing everything but bringing them to life by true and simple action.
So here I sit, gazing wistfully out of the tiny barred window of my perceptions,
Seeing the bright lights of Your city and wishing with all my heart
That There I may one day reside.
But I shall never live There until I can live each word here.

What Love Makes Possible

What love makes possible,
Only love knows.
What great love makes possible,
Only a great love knows.
What a greater love makes possible
Only a greater love knows, and
What the greatest love makes possible
Only the lover knows, but does not tell.

What Griefs May Come

What griefs may come, unnamed, unnumbered, or what despair ,
long held at bay, may knock at heart's locked door—
only God knows.
But He leaves behind planned mercies of unknown name, unknowable at
the hour of their happening, though men may call it Grace, or Bounty,
or sudden goodwill.
What griefs may come unmeted out, unwished for and unwanted as all
griefs are—only God knows.
But He has ever and always allowed for His Grace to enter in, unexpected
as Grace always is, but always welcomed straightaway into heart's now
unlocked door.
And though men may call it Grace or sudden, unanticipated goodwill, God
knows from whence and wherein His good Grace flows, and is glad in
His own Universal Heart.
What griefs may come, only God knows, but He leaves behind
planned mercies to tend His Self same soul to rest.

In Hospital, Awaiting Surgery, January, 2002

When push finally came to shove
And I had the chance to prove my love
I discovered what kind of lover I really was
And did what the coward always does:
I prayed for my life, that I might not die,
That in an early grave I would not lie.
Now I lay here, breathing still
Unresigned to Your wish and will.
I had the chance to prove my trust;
So close was I to singing dust!

When There’s Nothing Left to Hold On To

When there’s nothing left to hold on to,
Not the glance or the word of a friend
There’s always Meher Baba’s daaman
To help you hold on till the end.

When there’s nothing left to hold on to,
Not that trip to Paris, France
There’s always Meher Baba’s daaman
And His invitation to the dance.

When there’s nothing left to hold on to,
Not the hope of a midnight tryst
There’s always Meher Baba’s daaman
And the chance by Him to be kissed.

I Saw A Woman in India Once

I saw a woman in India once
Whose job was to shovel shit;
A sea of human excrement:
There was no end to it.
Upon her face she wore a mask
To protect her from disease.
The air itself had long been fouled,
Made foetid by any breeze.
I thought, What wrathful, vengeful God
Could build such a hellish place?
The Lord I loved was a forgiving Lord,
A Lord of love and grace.
Then I realized with a heavy heart
How construction always begins.
Such places are not built by God,
But assembled from our sins.

How Deep

How deep the various wells of grief,
How great the general pain.
How slow the well-deserved surcease,
How long the freezing rain.
But one day, perhaps, the well will dry
With just one of His breaths,
And all griefs shall go down with a weary sigh
To each of their watery deaths.
Not a drop shall linger or remain,
Nor a shadow of sadness show,
But t’will drown in the ocean of His name,
And His peace shall forever flow.

The Street Was Lit with Lampposts

The street was lit with lampposts
So softly in the dark.
Their golden crowns were shining bright
That evening in the park.
Though the sky did pulse with a million stars
I was quite content
Just to sit and be with you
And count the blessings that He’d sent.


Imagine if my memories could revive those of every other;
Each man would then be unto me the same as my own brother.

In Night-Heavy Silence

In night-heavy silence only does the truest love grow,
Sans vestments, prayers and any outward show.
With each silent passing hour, love rises to its task,
To give and go on giving, and never once, to ask.
Sometimes the Brightest Summer Days

Sometimes the brightest summer days
Are the hardest of all to handle.
So relentlessly cheerful, so glaringly glad
I’d rather light a candle.


War is God’s will at its loudest.
But it’s harmony that makes Him proudest.

My Courage, it Seems, Simply Came and Went

My courage, it seems, simply came and went,
And folded up its tired tent
And moved to some dark continent
Where none would hear of its strange demise
Or mourn the loss of it in my eyes
No matter how clever the old disguise.
The peeling paint, the tattered shades
Upon the wall strange shapes are made.
Grief-hued light just doesn’t fade.
The twilight grey of cigarette smoke
Resists the sun’s broad hammer stroke;
Now I wear it like a cloak
That’s been expensively custom-made.
I’ve shaped its contours with consummate skill.
It hangs there now and always will.

Like a Master Jai-Lai Player

Like a master Jai-Lai player
Who hits the ball each time with great accuracy and force
So that it goes exactly where he wants it,
I am slowly becoming that ball,
First hurled against the wall of pleasure, then pain, then pleasure,
Until now I am happy simply to drop and fall at his feet,
And lie completely still.

Beloved, Take My Hand

Beloved dear, take my hand, and walk me through this day
Through all the labyrinthine lanes,
For only You know the shortest way.
Honesty and truth, please grasp my hand
And help me not to sham
The world into thinking I’m a better man
Than my poems pretend I am.

To Us, His Followers

Here’s to the misfits of the world, the broken and the wounded,
so self-absorbed we forget others as easily as we remember ourselves,
endlessly eternally dancing in our own light.
We are the bitched and the beleaguered,
the broken, the totally fucked.
We are the ridiculed and the reviled,
the fired, the canned, the sacked.
We fool none with our bleak attempts at compassion.
We are the stammerers and the stutterers,
the ones who get caught opening other people’s drawers.
We are the fleer of fights, the makers of the best excuses.
“I’m sorry, please forgive me” is the coin change
with which we buy the world’s amity.
We are the truth seekers who get caught up in our own lies.
We are forever getting the short end of the stick.
We are the tortured who only now can understand the torture
we have meted out to others for centuries.
We are the twisted and the deformed, the gimps, the crips, the freaks.
We are the deniers of death, until the death of a dear one unhorses us.
We are the great surrenderers of other people’s problems to God.
We are the denouncers of dishonesty who honestly denounce others.
We are the chanters of prayers loud enough so that others may hear them.
We are the more eager chanters of our wants and desires into the crowded ears of God.
We are the deniers of lust who always manage to turn to the dirty parts first.
We are the ones who know too much and are only too happy to talk about it.
We are the palm-joined in public, and the groin-grabbed in private.
We are the ritual renouncers who stand wall-eyed and blank-faced in front
of Your picture, thinking instead of tonight’s dinner.
We are the maya mockers who worry all day about losing our jobs,
making our mortgage payments, etc.
We are the goddamned and the godloved.
We are the infirmed and the injured.
We are the unjustly treated, always the victims.
And it was You Who saw to it that we are made this way,
so that in our plight we might have nowhere else to turn
but to You.


Heart-surrendering our way to You, tender submarines lost at sea without a compass,
we wait to receive that signal that will sound our way Home.

A Poem is Born

A poem is born in a moment of fire
That lives on after the poet expires
And makes it home on pure white pages
That may become brittle with the passing of ages.
Some poems, though, reside in two places
Yet somehow retain their poetic paces.
Look in that book where the pages part
Then close in silence in the human heart.

Beloved Executioner

O dear Lord let the suffering come
Let me even become undone
By Your merciful cruelty.

Be quick with Your cuts, do not delay;
Too many lifetimes have I kept at bay
Your merciful cruelty.

Be gone! Be near! No, stay away
And please put off for another day
Your merciful cruelty.

Damn it to hell! Let me be molded
By Your hands until unfolded
In Your merciful cruelty.

Beloved Executioner, come,
Only give me the courage to be undone
By Your merciful cruelty.

The Seeds of Love

The seeds of love have peen planted, sure
But in loamed soil or in manure?
The answer, of course, is in the living,
The daily dying and forgiving.
How will I know which soil was chosen?
The fruit will tell me which soil it grows in.

Within My Heart

Within my heart lays a core of fear,
A spreading, malignant cancer.
My prayers, entreaties, all my prayers
Have not charmed the smallest answer.

Perhaps the answer lies within Your silence—
If only I had the ears to hear!
Yet I miss just by half that total reliance
That would melt this core of fear.

This fear in my heart, it’s always there,
Undissolved by complaint or prayer.
The only solution isn’t divine retribution
But the remembrance of the name Meher.


The sunlight dies upon the wall
And creeps politely from the hall
Leaving me enwrapped in a kind of thrall
That daylight passed this way at all.

The Day is Halved by a Single Breath

The day is halved by a single breath;
A vast but imperceptible breath
That divides the night from its brother, day,
And blows the dream-stuff clear away.

The right of seasons to pick and choose
Which fruit shall flow and which shall lose
Sweet favor in the mouths of men—
None of this is in your ken.

The rush of morning from star’s bright grasp
Delivers day unto the Doer’s clasp.
The pull of thought teases out the actions
That divide or conquer their separate factions.

The bold grab hold, the rest hang on
To dreams so lately rained upon.
The rest awake to sleep again
And dream of a better now and then.

The week, unwilling, or merely lame
Limp toward night on a broken cane.
They’ll greet the dark like a dear old friend
Who has no need to repair or mend

A careless word or wanton act;
They’ve known discretion, and value tact.
Such friends I’ve had, and I’ve had the best,
Each now’s returned to night’s dear rest.

The Notes Were Ironic

The notes were ironic, but hardly symphonic
As they left the conductor’s hand.
But they formed a tune to which I was immune
Or I’d certainly have had it banned.


How distant you seem to me now;
you in the picture and me on the other side;
in a wink they are gone (or is it that I’ve let you go?).
Sometimes the page disappears, and a congress of sorts occurs.

Wounded by Life

I’ve been wounded by life, seared by its events.
I take Your name solely in the hope it prevents
Some unforeseen sorrow, some unexpected grief
Before another disaster shatters belief.

Each devastation grows greater in strength;
I can’t pull myself up by even one length.
Frozen by fear, quite unable to move,
My needle stuck in the same foolish groove.

Like a cavity deep in a well-rotten tooth
You have excavated my heart in search of Truth.
When will the digging be complete—
When the hole goes down to the soles of my feet?

Please fill it now with the mortar of trust,
That mortar which strangely is the weight of dust.
Why must Your grace always be earned with pain?
Why does each stroke feel so bereft of gain?

This last blow must surely be close to the last,
A final excavation of a too-deep past.
I’m an angry red scab at which you persistently pick.
You don’t mean to be cruel, but the sight makes me sick.

And so I would strike what bargain I could
If I thought it would do even the slightest good.
Yet I know how You work, You untier of knots,
You changer of plans and undoer of plots.

These were the knots I tied life after life;
I’d just wish you’d dull the blade of Your knife.

These Tin-Can Lives

You have kicked these tin-can lives of ours across the boundaries of time and space.
You waited until they’d rolled at Your feet for a glimpse of Your form and face.
Then you kicked these tin-can lives in a direction we could scarcely have dreamed.
And when we awoke, we’d each found out that our lives had been redeemed
By the casual glance of just one of Your eyes across the boundaries of time and space.
And when we awoke on that incomparable day,
We knew it had been by Your grace,
We knew it had been by Your grace.

The Flags I’ve Waved

The flags I waved when I was brave
Have fallen long ago.
Now I wave the flag of surrender
When I’ve the courage to let it show.

The courage I’d known before I’d grown
Afraid of the smallest trial
Was lion-like in its ferocity
And had daring, élan, and style.

But my courage died each time I tried
To stand up to the world and its ways.
I know it’s a shame, but please don’t blame
The wretch who in locked rooms stays.

An old movie is playing, in bed am I laying
Watching Bogart, Bacall, and Gable.
And if I appear to look merry, it’s that old Ben & Jerry
I was too lazy to eat at the table.

Yes, I’m going to ruin in an unwashed room
And a tray that’s lain there for weeks.
I’m just sitting here in my underwear
Passing wind through my fattened cheeks.

It’s what happens to heroes when they’re racking up zeroes
In the game they keep losing called life.
I’ve returned to the womb of a darkened room
Locked and bolted ‘gainst all strife.

Sometimes in the dark you can still see a spark
Of the man who once was so brave.
In the front, not the rear, I mastered each fear
But now remain their slave.

Every Day I Sink Deeper

Every day I sink deeper into the well of myself,
And farther do I grow from Thee, Thine, and Thyself.

Sure I know just what to do: Lose weight, exercise and swim.
Especially on a regular basis, wouldn’t that make me slim and trim?

Yes, it’s easier just to remain unconscious than be pulled by conscience’s tug;
It’s easier to pull up the covers and swallow a designer drug.

I’m going nowhere quickly, and am happy at the speed;
The speedometer still says zero last I troubled to take a read.

It Was a Winter Night

It was a winter night for sleeping warm
So I settled in for the coming storm.
I raised the sash just an inch or two
To let the wayward snowflakes through.
Imagine my surprise when I woke to see
A mound of snow so conformed to me
That I dared not move nor breathe too deep
And disturb this landscape of my sleep.

The Earth Above My Head So Lately Thrown

The earth above my head so lately thrown—
Room enough for a worm’s new home.
And I inside my private box—
I expect no visitors, so why the locks?

Your Wish or Your Will?

Is it Your wish, or is it Your will?
The debate seems endless and always will.
You can parse the differences from now ‘til forever;
The discussions continue, like the stocks and the weather.
But one thing’s sure to always remain true
Is that which feels most true to you.
Whether wish or will, the result’s the same;
Both are consumed in His fiery name.

Your Smile’s A Benediction

Your smile’s a benediction, unlike anyone else’s on earth.
My heart informs me it has something to do with Your miraculous birth.
I’ve tried to measure that measureless smile from one end to the other,
Embracing lover and friend, man and wife, and every father and mother.
In fact it would seem that the whole human race
Is purely a reflection of that singular face.
I’ve yet to travel the length and breadth of that infinite, heavenly smile
Because the distance can’t be measured, you see, by kilometer or mile.
There are wings on each glance or compassionate look
That flies round the world in the moment it took
Each heart to request its presence right then,
For there’s never a question of where or when;
No question of who, or even where:
The beginning and end is always Meher.

Because You Are

Because You are
the Beatles were…
Because You are…
the movie Big is…
Because You are
hot chocolate after ice-skating is…
Because You
are the 60s were…
Because You are
french-kissing is…
Because You are
knock hockey is…
Because You are
there’s that episode of The Twilight Zone where you find out at the end that the aliens’ book To Serve Man is not a manifesto for peace but a cookbook…!
Because You are
Beethoven and Mozart still are…
Because You are
Cracker Jacks are…
Because You are
Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies are…
Because You are
sunblock no. 31 is, and so is the skin cancer you get if you walk around
like a blooming idiot not wearing anything to protect yourself from the sun…
Because You are
there’s that great feeling you get just after you throw up…
Because You are
that last long chord in the Beatles’ song A Day in the Life is…
Because You are
having sex for the first time with the person you are going to spend
the rest of your life is…
Because You are
Lemon Pledge is…
Because You are
toothpaste now comes in a stand-up container that pushes out the toothpaste
so you never get blamed for squeezing the middle of the tube again…
Because You are
taking a short, unexpected nap on a rainy Sunday afternoon is…
Because You are dental floss is…
Coco-Puffs are…
Because You are
finding a bathroom when you’re outside just when you need it is…
Because You are
the dreambar on your bedside clock radio is…
Because You are
Alfred E. Newman is and always will be…
Because You are
Faukner and Steinbeck and Hemingway were and are, especially Mr. Hemingway…
Because You are
stickless band aids are…
Because You are
Post-It Notes are…
Because You are
morphine is…
Because You are
Zoroaster was and Rama was and Krishna was and Buddha was and Jesus was
and Muhammad was and now Meher Baba is…
Because You are
everything is, was, and ever shall be, amen…
Because You are
nothing is, was, or ever shall be, amen…
Because You are
we can become what You are, by Your grace…
I think that about covers it, Lord, for the moment, anyway…
because You are.

Sunday Evening

There, the old brick building, shellacked with sunlight
in the late breathing air;
there, a shaft of sun through an embrace of trees;
there, a child in a stroller, damp fingers
clutching a dry pretzel, eyes awash with pleasure;
there, on the sidewalk, an afterthought of pigeons
in the late seeming day;
there, at the curb, stately Packards and de Sotos;
there, in the quiet clamor of twilight,
the sound of a band playing a hymn;
there; in the playground, a swing still moving
with the remembered weight of a child;
there, a Good Humor truck, idling for a smile;
there, above the wheeling earth, a tremble of stars
in a cloud-packed sky;
there, and there, the lengthening shadows
and the spreading silence.
And everywhere, in everyone, the unshaped anxieties
so peculiar to Sunday evenings,
the little, unattended funerals of the year.


Poems are really excellent liars;
They give the impression of inner fires
When nothing is really lit.

Yet we keep on writing ‘em
And take such delight in ‘em
‘Cause they show us off a bit.

Lord of Day, Lord of Night

Lord of day, Lord of night
I surrender to You the night in all its dark enfoldments.
I surrender to You the dawn
And the earth’s turning toward yet another bright horizon.
I surrender to You the day
With its promise of pleasure and pain, utter joy and utter defeat.
I surrender to You the minutes
And sing a new song for each one’s passing.
I surrender to You this and every moment,
Celebrating without regret each one’s leap and fall back into Your ocean.
I surrender to You all of passing time,
The million moments’ opportunities gained or lost, each moment passed
Either in a full-throated cry of remembrance,
Or a winter-dry season of forgetfulness.

Lord of day, Lord of night
I surrender to You the deep stairwell of days and the deeper stairwell of nights.
I surrender to You my thick-volumed ledgers of lifetimes,
Those thoughtless thousands of pages torn and tossed away
Without a single backward glance at the sun of Thy smile,
The endless and ongoing days and nights of pricked conscience and unrepaired acts.

O Lord of day, Lord of night
Father of form, Creator of light,
May Your daaman ever be within my sight,
A winding sheet about my days
To bind up action and the price one pays
In dull repentance or ecstatic praise.

Unseen by eyes that only see the norm,
Earthbound angels await human form.
Incorporeal, weightless, unenslaved by desire
They shall soon be enhoused in flesh and fire.
Tongueless and speechless they could not rhyme
The poetry of praise that mountains climb.
Only as earthbound souls can they
Soar sunward to Heaven once more to stay.

Lord of day, Lord of night
You sing the stars into timeless flight.
What more could I surrender
Than this star of me
To burn bright and die
In remembrance of Thee.

What Can I Give You?

What can I give You, today, my Dear?
A wisp of wanting, a dew drop of tear.

What can I give You that isn’t already Yours?
The heat of my desires, and the rain it pours.

What can I give You that would make You glad?
Any thought, word or deed that would make others sad.

What can I give you that would please You most?
The puff of pride and the brazen boast.

What can I show You that You have not yet seen?
A night and day of remembrance, with naught in-between.

What song could I sing that You have not yet heard?
The song of myself set to Your Silent Word.

What dish can I serve You that You’ve never tasted?
That morsel of me that lifetimes have wasted.

What game could I play for Your entertainment and delight?
That end-game whose loss makes even the winner contrite.

What prayer could I utter that You could not possibly ignore?
That prayer that asks nothing but simply seeks to adore.


Your Name is woven from English letters plain;
Out of twenty-six only six remain

To be spoken in silence or whispered soft;
A Name to lift the heart aloft.

Woven of breath and muted sighs,
Hopes unhoped by sadness rise.

Three of these letters are repeated twice.
Once is sweet, but twice is nice.

Nine in all do spell Your Name;
Lit by love, each one’s a flame

That burns our grief and desperate woe
And helps each one Your love to know.

Our alphabet is truly blessed
To select just six and discard the rest.