Thinking of You

I think of you
and somewhere in my soul
a poem lifts its wings
and fans the holy fire inside;
I think of you
and somewhere a key turns
unlocking the door
and making my heart rush
with the taste of freedom;
I think of you
and thought itself
breaks from within
and twirls around itself
like a broken compass
no longer knowing
which way is which;
I think of you
and the sound of laughter
flutters over the field,
with a hand of light
caresses the shafts of wheat
and the more distant hills,
and, further on, the great openness
of the ocean and sky;
I think of you
only to discover bit by bit
and over many years
that, in truth, it is you
who is thinking me,
growing me out of you
like vegetation grows
or like waters flow
from the womb of the earth;
I think of you
and all thought burns out,
yet thinking becomes beautiful
under the gaze of you.

All the way to the end

When I am not with you
I grow morose
and no longer recognize myself.

But there was that night
that I discovered a hole in my heart,
and leapt into it.

The hole was deep and dark
and it felt as though
all the pain and emptiness
that tore through me
came rushing out of it.

I was afraid,
shivering to my bones,
and I stayed there for a long time
wondering if I should return or not
until I finally gathered my strength and jumped in,
and it was as if I was blind my whole life.

My eyes were opened
as if for the first time
and I realized that I was blind,
for I saw you everywhere
and wherever I went
I carried you with me.

I discovered that
when it comes to you
blood and bones and heart
are not fit enough metaphors
to describe your depth,
even the womb
that birthed time and the stars
is not deep enough
to give an intuition of your depth.

Whatever I will say about you
will not sound reasonable.
I am often amazed by it
let alone someone else.

Yet there you are
smiling at me and my foolishness,
at my trying to write a poem about you
and being clumsy at it.

I smile back and tell you
that my poetry is my way
of giving my life to over you,
celebrating a little of your beauty,
but you say that my life
is not mine for the giving,
that it has been forfeited long ago.

Now I sit before the setting sun
as the trees lose their leaves
and wonder –
what is a heartbeat without you?
Can a heartbeat be
without you at its source?
What is life if not a silken weave
in your hair?
What is life if not a dewdrop
rolling down your skin,
shaking as you walk
and fly and dance
and shaking us all with you,
shattering our world
in the unfolding of your beauty?

Now I understand
why love was so long denied to me
and why I had to beg and cry
for endless nights
and feel a pain so deep
and an isolation so harrowing.

You were there
and I had to live it and feel it
with a heart as open as can be.

Now I understand
and bless you
and kiss your hand,
and show for gratitude
my entire life,
the way it has been lived
and the way it will be.
A flower in your garden
all the way to the end.

Letter, August 12, 2016

I want to touch you but how can I touch you?—you are wider than the sky, deeper than the sea. Yet, despite my inability, touching you is a yearning deeper than my life, more primal than my soul. So I reach for you, always, and I always fail. Yet with each failure I’m a little more open, a little more worthy of your infinite grace. With each failure my heart breaks a little wider and a little deeper, cupping more and more of your infinite grace. With each failure I stand before you a little more naked, yet a little more robed with a cloth weaved of the light of your face. And I shiver like a candle’s flame that knows all too well the intimate secret of the boundless night. I shiver and I tell poetry to go away, for words cannot console me. I shiver and at your door stand holding my heart for a bowl, waiting patiently for the alms of your silence. Ah, forgive me, beloved, for in loving you I forgot myself. I thought myself salt and you showed me my origin in the deeps of your sea. I thought myself narrow and you showed me the boundless expanse of my soul as you stretched my ribs to merge them with your sky. I thought myself alive and living the life and yet when I tasted you I realized how dead I was. When I tasted you I died and into your life was heralded. Now I tremble in your soil, now I spill with your light.

Letter to my Beloved

Into The Dark

Into the dark we go,
in the sacred house of darkness
totally submerged
totally muted
we pray
‘Oh darkness, whole and holy,
with your dark liquid
fill our bones,
bless us as your altar
and upon the stone of our ribs
break your sacred stone,
burn us into you
oh holy mother,
ever so cruel,
ever so merciful,
and through the grace
of your unfathomable womb
again kiss life into our souls,
hold up to us your mirror
of dark water
and let us drown in the revelation
of the fire of which we are born,
the fire that is the face of our face,
our womb, our core.
We depart now, holy mother,
but only with the promise of return,
for as the day emerges out of night
only to return again
so we shall come back to you
and bless you
for your darkness and your pain,
bless you for birthing us
again and again
and countless times unto eternity,
each time as embodiments
imperfectly perfect
pulsating with the energy of love.’

Inspired by my friend Allison Marie.

The Turn

Unable to find you
out in the world
I turned inward
to the source
of incompletion and ache
and found that my heart
in its reckless longing
was erecting itself
as a temple
with your light for its pillars,
with your love
an unshakable fountain of joy
revolving in its center.

I turned inward
but then, marvelous inversion!
your light flowed out
and etched itself
into the fiber of the world.

Where are you now?
A fluid motion
moving all around,
a moving ocean
without edges or shores
hovering nimbus
over the entire creation,
sweeping it in its onrush
to the center of the soul.

Who are you now?
All the names
that ever went down in history
and all the names
that fell out,
forgotten and unknown,
you are the source of naming itself,
and the hover of silence
in the secret heart of dawn.

Bringing me Home

You live in me
as that which gives the diamond
its sheen,
as the radiance inside
the rays of sunlight,
as the secret unfolding
in the blue hush of dawn.

You live in me
but how
it cannot be said,
and as these metaphors
try to utter your how
my heart implodes
with a spaciousness
the entire universe
cannot begin to fill.

You live in me
in a way I cannot reason
or explain,
in a way I can only fathom
by opening up to you
and drinking the beauty and the pain
of my surrender.

You live in me
and through your living
I realize how everything in you
is an eternal beginning,
that life is a flowering spring
even in the midst of winter and death,
even in the throes of shattering of loss.

Long ago
your absence whispered in my ear
and my heart
became an altar of longing
burning with the oil
of your secret:
in you everything is completed,
in you the circle is full.

So abandon me
and let the pain of your abandonment
cut deepest into my skin,
for that is how you push the seed in me
through the soil of your garden,
awakening me to your light
and bringing me home.

Dissolved in Your Light

The passing clouds
whisper
what the heart already knows,
“no home but the infinity
of your eyes.”

This the lighthouse
within the sacred core,
this the prayer
invisibly unfolding
the world from the silence
of the blue dawn.

So the clouds teach
the wisdom of your sky
as I listen to my heart beat,
and suddenly, subtly,
this stirring meditation
turns the inward outward
and in this marvelous inversion
I am found and lost
on the curve of your wave,
dissolved in your light.

Evoking the Beloved

My poem
tries to evoke her,
but silence cannot fit
in the mouth of the sky.

Thus my inked birds
go fluttering about senseless
like embers escaping
a raging fire,
their burning wings searing
the face of the air.

My inked birds
flutter about senseless
but who deciphers their song
as it rains over the earth?

A learned mystic once said
that the beloved is too great
for this world to contain
so existence tears at its seams
and her waters spill
soaking up this world
and all others,
becoming in all things
their inner vibrancy and life.

My poem
tries to evoke her,
but then my heart swells so wide
I find my pen leaving silence
to ink the last line.

Gardener of Joy

I wake at dawn
and find you
stretching
ahead of me,
the honeycombs
of a day
flowing
with golden light,
each cell
a white abyss
pouring out joy
and calling me out,
into you,
calling me
to ready my body
and come out
and till your fields,
join your golden dance
and plant my seeds
inside of you,
in each nook and corner,
each stretch
of a verdant sky,
and become
with you, through you
the gardener of joy,
and call my labor
poetry.

Histoire de Création

Toujours contre mon cœur
La coquille de sa voix
Où se blotti en un nid
La chaleur du monde

A travers ma poitrine
Jaillissant de son centre
Les vagues fondant
Dans mon cœur qui bat

Le poème éternel
Qui va comme un oiseau
De ciel en ciel chantant
La lueur de ses yeux

Et ce parfum intime
Coulant de ses ailes
Arrose l’invisible
Qui articule la terre

Letter, January 31, 2016

Your breath emanates my poem — given what poetry is to me, do you realize the depth of that image? Oh, how your breath lives in me! But, to me, poetry is so much more than this beat pulsing in my heart; poetry is the very substance of life, the interiority of it weaving its forms and outer shells. Poetry is the essence — and you, the essence of that essence. I am dizzy feeling this intuition, contemplating it, allowing it to take and overtake me. But deeper than the intoxication with which it floods my veins this intuition and image fills me with clarity as a dawn like calmness submerges and raises me to a sky hitherto unknown. I live at the root from which the world and existence draw substance and life, from and into which everything flows and perishes and is reborn. Your breath, Beloved, emanates my poem, and doing so it annihilates me into you. What now remains of me? I do not know for you have filled me. I am now your overflow, the sheer beauty of your face spilling grace and emanating the world.

Creator of Light

To your riverbank
the sun, moon, and stars
flock to drink
and be born in light.
The nebula,
the primal dust
drank from your skin
and thus the first worlds were born,
and with them the first stars,
the possibility of life.
Color touches you
and whirls,
a Sufi gone mad,
a Sufi in love.
Color emanates
from the thickness of matter
and that emanation is you,
the inner radiance of the world
that keeps it throbbing
like a poem singing love.
Where a flame burns
its roots are struck in you,
rising from the wells
in the deeps of your heart,
burning in the grace
of your sacred oil.
You are the world’s
inexhaustible radiance,
the secret that confounds dawn,
that most solemn witness of light.
In you the world
is an infinite mandala
of light jumping into light,
light rubbing against light
as the principle that generates
the radiance of existence,
the purity of love.

The Waters of Her Love

From her earth
my recumbent growth spreads
covering her skin
in waves of green foliage,
of hot, burning tears,
each a germinating seed
rooted, growing,
a poem and a dream,
a sun blazing out
in her celestial sphere,
shouting her to an effulgence
that blinds the sight
and opens the heart’s eye
to the sacred text
which her being
in its very motion utters,
and uttering it
she gives birth to all of life,
to the emptiness that moulds
the formless into form,
melting all in a drop
of the waters of her love.