Wandering Thought # 123

Writing, when true and honest, is a path that leads us deeper and deeper into the forest of silence. In the end we become listening itself, vibration, tune, melody, the inner sound of the world and all its objects; we become, if it is possible, pure openness. We also become extremely solitary, as the distance around us grows and grows. It cannot be said that we lost ourselves, but that we traded one path for another. Of course, this choice cannot be recognized by the majority who are only familiar with noise and oblivious of their own soul.


Wandering Thought # 113

I write because the words open my heart to something greater than I am. I write because, being open, I am transformed through the grace of the other. I write as a form of communion, with the world, with the sacred, with love. I write as a poet; I write as a lover.

Love is a form of communion, that would not be possible without this stepping outside of our social roles, this intimate knowing and being known, this raw offering to the other, bare to the bones, this being seen in one’s soul, which fills us with harmony and light, giving us a deep sense of belonging, and giving us back to the world — as what? — as a divine fragment, as something transformed.

These Poems

These poems, I write them
so I would not forget
how you taste like,
how you smell,
how simply seeing you
fills my heart with light.

These poems are doors
I keep going through,
doors opening to rooms
filled with endless skies,
rooms where you have just left
as I walked in
leaving only your scent
and a letter or two.

These poems remind me
of the stain of your lipstick
on the wine glass from that night
that we laughed and shared our silence
and looked into each other’s eyes
and knew.

These poems are my heartbeats
caught in a capsule
and carried by the waves
always towards you,
but you are the sea
and you are the waves
and the shore beyond is you.

These poems always say
one and the same thing,
“there is no place left in me
for being and non-being,
I am all-being, in you.”

These poems always say the same thing
though each time
a little stronger and more deeply,
these poems say, “I love you.”


As I hold my pen
her skin under my fingers
stretches into a landscape,
each word I write
spins a little vortex,
a turning Sufi, a small flower,
all spreading across her skin,
spreading like a fire,
dripping into her soul
and coursing deep down,
filling her with more love
than she can understand,
with unbearable gentleness
opening her wide,
opening her to God,
opening her to the sky.

One by one I kiss
the flowers of her skin,
then look into her eyes.

Free Verse # 420 (something men have long forgotten)

Fervently, silently
I am writing for you,
Words etched
On tree barks
In hidden forests,
Words inked
With burning letters
On the skin of silence,
I am writing to you
As the wind breezes,
As the flowers bloom,
As the trees intuitively
Reach to the sky,
I am writing to you…


The night is silent
but I am calling you
with a thousand tongues hidden
in the flame of love


Every year the snow falls
and every year as it melts
it flows down the same streams,
and back to the boundless sea;
whenever I write I feel the words
streaming through her skin,
in their flow an ache
to melt deep within.


The world within this world,
the source, the primal spring,
the silence rooted in the openness
of the poem’s heart –
I touch your fingertips
and I am there,
I just look into your eyes,
the idea of you
flashes inside of me
and I am there,
a breathless flame
burning in your heart.


The poem I’d live with her one day…
all these years together
and every day I’m still learning
the shades of her smile


Dawn is on the rise…
again I feel you in my skin
a flooding beam of light


was whispering something
men have long forgotten –
how to touch her soul,
how to listen to her heart.


Writing to you
always feels like meeting you
in that place
where our love first flowered
in the mysterious flesh of spring.

Writing to you
is always a beginning
of something that never ages
but is eternally youthful
in the heart of God.


Writing is an upstream hike,
following the river into its birthwomb,
but neither is the longing quelled
nor the birthwomb found,
and so the ache continues,
flourishing in the heart
like silence caught in a sea of fog,
like the billowing kiss of the infinite sky.

Of writing I speak as a Sufi and a lover; writing as the gateway of love.

Unfree Poet

In my solitude I live,
The mortal wound which the knife
Of dame poetry did give
Bleeds a sea around my isle.

‘Who would venture into me?’
In starry nights and lone dawns
My waves in rattling chains sing
The clutch of infinity.

What am I? An adventure
Though a prisoner I be,
And the dungeon holding me
Burns aquiver with dawn-light.

Unfree thoroughly, and yet,
You tears, you fire, I do bless,
And pray the ache in my chest
Spread you wider poetry.

Artist & Temptress

Let them search for you
in their socially acceptable
and well-ordered places;
I look for you in the dirt
since you are the essence
that makes everything grow.

But each gardener
has his own garden and dirt,
the poet’s, the painter’s,
the musician’s, the carpenter’s,
each artist courts you
in the way most endearing
to his abilities and heart,
and you are there,
a temptress in ever shifting forms,
enticing, luring, calling,
offering your body
as a sea to be crafted
(but can the sea be tamed?),
you are there
the flower of a love
that makes the journey worthwhile,
and the seed of the fruit
that makes your garden leap
from heart to heart,
that makes your sea flood
across the ages of mankind.

His Ink; Her Juice; Their Poetry

She laid there
surrounded by candles,
the inked verses
of past night’s lovemaking
sprawling like vines
all across her naked skin,
the bowl of grapes
placed on her belly
trembling each time
his pen pushed
into her, into the pink flower
between her thighs,
wanting her essence, he said,
her juices mixed
with each word he wrote
in his private journal,
and as the writing
became feverish
her mouth caught fire
and flared with moans
brighter than all
the surrounding candles,
brighter than the moon
peeking jealous
through curtains.
At the pen’s last stroke
the grapes
pressed between their bodies
burst like moans…

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.

Pablo Neruda to Matilde Urrutia

To my beloved wife,

I suffered while I was writing these misnamed “sonnets”; they hurt me and caused me grief, but the happiness I feel in offering them to you is vast as a savanna. When I set this task for myself, I knew very well that down the right sides of sonnets, with elegant discriminating taste, poets of all times have arranged rhymes that sound like silver, or crystal or cannon fire. But—with great humility— I made these sonnets out of wood; I gave them the sound of that opaque pure substance, and that is how they should reach your ears. Walking in forests or on beaches, along hidden lakes, in latitudes sprinkled with ashes, you and I have picked up pieces of pure bark, pieces of wood subject to the comings and goings of water and the weather. Out of such softened relics, then, with hatchet and machete and pocketknife, I built up these lumber piles of love, and with fourteen boards each I built little houses, so that your eyes, which I adore and sing to, might live in them. Now that I have declared the foundations of my love, I surrender this century to you: wooden sonnets that rise only because you gave them life.

— Pablo Neruda to Matilde Urrutia, October 1959