Thursday, July 30, 2009

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.”