On the threshold of love
why keep me waiting so long?
I've been standing on these steps, seems like ages now
I know you're inside, and this door was made for opening.
For why else would you have built it
with such infinite agony and detail?
Are you waiting for all the others to arrive
before throwing it wide open for everyone
to enter, drunken altogether at once?
So, I've always been known to come early to a party—
even uninvited—and then be the last to leave.
Now, what to do?
Tonight, even with engraved invitation in hand,
I'm beginning to wonder. The curtain of the Age
like evening is descending.
With the sun already setting, moon shadows are gathering,
and beyond your hill dark clouds form—
Don't want to get caught in that deluge.
If you don't appear soon, I just might pop the cork on this bottle and get drunk
Right here on your doorstep. Oh yeah, then they'll find me in the morning
All draped 'round your love-street lamppost.
With countless pulls I've broken so many bows
that others have yet to stretch.
Would think I'd felled my prey by now
in one or another of these treks.
But that same stag keeps appearing—
first on one hill, then on another.
Could it be a different buck?
Though his markings seem the same.
Perhaps what's needed is an arrow
dipped in stronger self-surrender
For which then there is no remedy.
In a conventional hunt the prey falls at one's feet.
But here you've only made your mark
when you finally fall at his.
Why does this strange hunt seem to go on forever?
Who is the hunter and who the hunted?
And what kind of a sportsman is he who relishes a mere wounding,
instead of going right in for the kill?
FROM OUT YOUR HONEYED MOUTH
When first you kissed me,
from out your honeyed mouth—
swarms of killer bees.
(a haiku after an expression from Francis Brabazon)
INVESTING IN LOSS
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Things once filled with such great promise
finally losing is no great disaster.
So then start losing farther and faster
such things you thought for sure did matter.
Practice then losing yourself—yes, court that disaster.
For when they finally set you out to pasture
Your heart will rejoice that the art of losing,
after all, was worth the labor to master.
(after Elizabeth Bishop's poem, 'The art of losing'
I am falling, falling, out of a world I thought I knew.
What is it to have these hands, these feet?
This interminable mystery of a body. I am not that,
ah, and yet, why does it seem so? . . . .
Oh Beloved, you know I'm a gambler by nature.
But while seeming to win I keep squandering
false profits on the stock market of life.
I keep being the loser while my
false fortune keeps growing and growing.
Each day when the market opens billions and billions
of impressions I keep reaping. When will it end?
Why do you not end my madness?
Put out a stop-order, and let the god-damned market crash.
Put an end to all this false investing
and begin teaching me the real art of losing.
For time and again you keep telling me
That's the only skill worth learning.
But from false darkness keeps coming
false light that persists in dazzling me.
How can I ever hope to love you
when I keep picking and choosing,
Pulled this way and that by likes and dislikes,
attractions and aversions?
I see that knife hidden in your hand behind your back.
Why don't you use it? What are you waiting for?
Must I embarrass you in this public market place?
Must I run myself into your dagger?
At a signal from you I should do it.
But oh . . . . But oh! . . . .
Oh, Ed, the Beloved keeps saying he'll slay you.
Why do you think he hesitates?
Sneak up on him some dark night
and see what your good fortune brings.
VALENTINE DAY ON MEHERABAD HILL
SKIPPING ARTI FOR SOMETHING ELSE . . .
Racing through tree tops
The full moon at Meherabad
Follows me down the Hill.
Before night's curfew
Retracing steps to the rail tracks
Longing to ascend again.
You've awakened in me the most unbelievable thirst
and then yourself become the quenching of it.
Make me a fool for love of thee
Deaf, dumb and blind to all I see.
Deafen me to all but the sound of thy heart within
Beating and repeating thy name.
Snuff out the small candle of false mind
And in that exquisite darkness light the silent lamp . . . .
Pour the wine and drown my me, in forever love buried eternally,
embracing, embracing. Divine Valentine, my heart—your heart,
not we but One.
DO YOU KNOW?
Do you know what manner of life forms
fairies, elves and even angels themselves
pass joyously in and out the secret thresholds
of your most sacred form as you sleep at night?
For they know that your heart is the very temple
of their most Beloved.
All the world's museums couldn't even begin to hold
the massive treasure in just a nano-ray of your Infinite Radiant Light.
Just one spark from that Divine Fire
Will one day ignite and burn to ash
the crudities of millennia in a conflagration
worthy of a million suns.
If all the parallel lines in the universe—
just the vertical and horizontal ones—
speak such volumes of the Beloved's care
for each and every single cell in existence,
Just imagine if you were to start counting
the oblique ones!
A whiff of his perfume unsettles one,
disarms another, ravishes a third
and completely slays the rare, chosen one.
Pick the flower of self-forgetfulness
And just see if he if he might plant
and grow it in his heart.
When the whim's breeze blows
will there be even one left unchanged,
irrevocably and not forever?
CRAZY 'BOUT YOU
If the Beloved had a refrigerator
your picture would be on it,
a wallet, your photo cherished inside it.
Every morning, a fresh-squeezed sunrise
Each evening, star-sprinkled skies.
He sends flowers each spring.
But don't stop there,
keep counting the ways he pines.
Face it—he's crazy 'bout you.
Could live just about anywhere in this universe.
So just why has he chosen your heart to reside?
(an elaboration on an anonymous fridge poem)
SONG OF ADAM
I guessed the game from A to Z
The alpha and omega is truly me.
HOW I LOVE THE SUN
Do you know just how much God loves his sunlight?
How terribly depressed he'd be if we deprived him of it.
If he were to take human form again in our 'new age'
he might he never even make it to the cross.
He'd die of depression from the obscuration of his sun,
the burned out destruction of his life-giving rainforests.
Poisoned in his drinking water,
Aids-riddled in his sacred blood,
Ah, what a chalice that would be—
Sunburned and skin-cancered to death
by the depletion of heaven's protective canopy
And what about you?
Think you're just going to die
and sneak away from it all?
Oh, worry not, you'll get reborn again into it
as your children's children and their children.
That which you think of as future
will one day be your present
just as this moment is your past-future now.
You always were the present, and now are the present,
and will always be the present in that
which you now think of as your future.
Your consciousness IS the eternal present.
There is no escape from immortality
as conscious presence.
In the totality of that presence,
it is now and forever always.
When you realize and experience
without the limited mind that Self-consciousness,
then You alone exist.
CLOSER TO ME THAN MY BREATH
The sound of your Silence and my listening to it—
closer to me than my breath.
Going about my day
I suddenly remember you—
closer to me than my breath.
And stop dead in my tracks to listen
and track the roar of your silent presence—
closer to me than my breath
Everything about me is homemade
living by my wits along the water's edge
picking up the flotsam and jetsam
of what time-tides have washed ashore
Against this simple pre-occupation
my parents warned me
But I've learned for wiser or sadder,
that I do what I have to do.
They really couldn't show me what my true richness was
Thinking it was the money they so generously plied me with to the very end
Now, finally, I am mastering the art of losing
though still, it looks like a disaster.
A ROOM OF MIRRORS
Drunk in the room of mirrors,
I stumble against my reflections
Time after time at every turn
Mistaking myself for mere shadow play
Oh Master of the house of mirrors
You alone know the way out—
No exit without you.
I'm just a little bit screwy
where you're concerned
Sitting here night after night
just listening for your memory
O wonder of wonders,
You have grasped my damaan
such that I can never let you go.
Like a horse, must you be kicked and goaded
Driven, until you take me in the direction
you want me to go?
Why have you so touched my heart?
Ripe fruit is falling from the trees
They love a love story—what can you do . . .
Just don't forget to dance with the guy that brought you.
AWAKEN MY DIVINE CONSCIOUSNESS
When I stop dreaming my many small births and deaths
then will I finally and truly die and get born for Real.
THE WINE GARDEN
Do you remember the wine garden of your father?
Those raucous wine-drinking nights when someone loved you
Better than anyone's loved you since? I can't remember anything else.
THERE'S MORE TO YOU
There's more to you than the curtain of this body can hide
but unknowable unless you're really drunk.
You are seaweed, Worm, pelican and man. You alone exist.
Who'd have guessed it? Oh most sneaky One? Your disguise is so great—fabulous.
The uniqueness of your photo
reminding me that you're always looking at me
whether I'm aware of it or not—
all done in your exquisite and perfect silence.
YOU SHOULD HAVE FINISHED WITH ME
It was gone like the bubble it came in,
the thing I wanted to say to you.
You should have finished with me long ago.
I gave you all the chances—all the right moves—
but still, you persisted.
Now I rue the day when I got my first hint of you.
That breeze, as you so swiftly strode by,
startled me out of my senses with its mad fragrance
I stood dazed in the drip-dry laundry
for two hours after that . . . just dreaming of you.
Then my disappointment over you grew to wear the face of Enormity.
However could I even fathom it?
But here now in the radiant morning sun, I'm rid of it.
My dew-drop mind evaporates in thin air—goes up in proverbial smoke.
I only care that you're with me. It matters not that I sit
Alone, dreaming—if only I dream of you.
You said, 'At home on earth, my delight is to be with the children of men—Alleluia!
Don't worry, be happy—I've overcome the world—Alleluia!'
THE WHITE PAGES
My favorite two pages in the telephone book
Are 492 and 493 where you are listed
as Irish, Italian, Israeli, Islamic—
all sharing two sheets
Which advertise 'Invisible mending services,'
inviting me inwards.
IS THERE MORE MERIT?
Is there more merit in bread eaten with tears?
Does it nourish the soul more deeply
than those quiet stark-raving nights alone?
Careening the edge of madness
I have sense enough to say,
'Stay, oh seizures, don't go away.
For in the end there will be wonderful surprises.'
Though silent, thine eyes, Oh Beloved,
utter in a thousand tongues.
Infinite wellsprings of mercy
Your radiant nazar—a thousand suns
Drowning us in the darkest pools
of thy liquid fire embrace.
NATURAL AND UN-NATURAL LOVE
Un-natural love is a myth
Love is our natural state
Kiss whom you want to kiss
True queers are those who hate
Friday prayers have gone all wrong.
Instead of hurling whispered heartfelt longings,
My throne is pelted with blasphemies—stones and bombs.
By jihad, I meant against your own false, lower self
not against your neighbor, however in your
and his distorted way you might see each other.
BABA, ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE HYMNS YOU GAVE TO EARLY WESTERN DISCIPLES TO MEMORIZE: "TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE CONSECRATED, OH LORD, TO THEE"
Take my life and let it be consecrated,
Oh Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing
Ever only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be filled
with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold.
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as Thou shall choose.
Take my will and make it Thine.
It shall no longer be mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own.
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord,
I pour at Thy feet its treasure's store.
Take my self and I will be
Ever, only all for Thee
I used to worry about yesterday; even labored about the 'morrow.
But that night in the bathtub when I was totally present, there you were.
My Ancient One fully Self-revealed. What gems went down the drain that night
When I pulled the plug on that most blessed reverie.
FOR WHOM ALL FLOWERS BLOOM
Hero of all Heroes
You for whom all flowers bloom,
You could enchant and bewitch me if you tried.
I shouldn't admit it, but you'd have found out anyway.
So now that you've got my secret, what will become of me?
I was lost already, long ago.
Beloved Godman, Meher Baba,
just wait till they hear you were here.
Ocean of love merge us in thy blessed Self.
Oh infinite, immutable, eternal radiant Light
Dissolver of all worlds dwelling in inaccessible Light
Your blinding radiant Light is darker in our eyes than black holes.
From the intergalactic sea beyond eternity you fashioned me,
Dreamed me into space and time.
Of star-stuff did you make me, the flower of your Divine Origin
Blooming within my heart.
Goodnight ye fellow drunkards, ye kings and queens of the Silent Saqui.
I'm ready for that pillow of oblivion.
My bed envelops, drowns and snuffs me out.
Giddy, I lay intoxicated in quiet bliss.
But should I awaken before dawn, remind me
That my awakening too is still but a dream.
I wouldn't be damned surprised if you see him too,
as I hear he's appearing on all stages these days—
Just tell him that I wasted away,
Waiting, waiting, and vanished from sight.
THE DARKEST NIGHT BEFORE DAWN
I have become like the orangutan grown old,
A slow moving loner, not given much to play.
Having once tasted human company and grown dependant on it,
Now suddenly, inexpiably, I am led back into the jungle of solitude.
In the canopy of night a deep fog has settled over me.
And my deepest childhood fear comes in silent poignancy . . .
The stark, super-conscious awareness that finally I am alone.
But oh, with dark knowledge that certainty one of these nights
The Beloved will awaken me from this dream forever . . . .