poetry

At night – Joyce Rupp

at night
with two pillows propped
behind me,
out of nowhere,
in the middle of turning
a page, I sigh,
realizing I am at peace,
happy and content.

I pause in my reading,
put the book down,
aware of something unde ned.

what is this intangible
comfort, sweet as
springtime freesia?

I close my eyes,
breathe in
what feels like someone
tapping lovingly
on the door of my heart.

I welcome
this unseen presence,
bask in the pleasing warmth
of the unexpected visit,

sit there wrapped
in a mantle of grace,
sure now that I am enfolded
by the One Love
I am forever seeking.

 

These spiritual window shoppers – Rumi

These spiritual window shoppers,
who idly ask, How much is that? Oh, I’m just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? “Nowhere.”
What did you have to eat? “Nothing much.”

Even if you don’t know what you want,
buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Great Religions – Hafiz

The
Great religions are the
Ships,

Poets the life
Boats.

Every sane person I know has jumped
Overboard.

That is good for business
Isn’t it

Damn Thirsty – Hafiz

First
The fish needs to say,

“Something ain’t right about this
Camel ride—

And I’m
Feeling so damn

Thirsty.”

 

 Find a Better Job – Hafiz

Now
That
All your worry
Has proved such an
Unlucrative
Business,
Why
Not
Find a better
Job.

 

The Dark Night –    St. John of the Cross

One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
—ah,  the sheer grace!—
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

In darkness and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
—ah, the sheer grace!—
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in m heart.

This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
—him I knew so well—
there in a place where no one appeared.

O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

Effacement – Hafiz

Effacement
Is a golden gun.
It was not easy to hold it against my head
And fire!

I needed great faith in my master
To suffocate myself
With his holy bag
Full of truth.

I needed great courage
To go out into the dark
Tracking God into the unknown

And not panic or get lost
In all the startling new scents, sounds,
Sights,

Or lose my temper
Tripping on those scheming
Night and day around me.

Hafiz,
Effacement is the emerald dagger
You need to plunge

Deep into yourself upon
This path to divine
Recovery—

Upon this path
To God.

Love Dogs – Rumi

One night a man was crying
Allah!  Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
“So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?”

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
“Why did you stop praising?”
“Because I’ve never heard anything back.”
“This longing
you express is the return message.”

The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.

Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
that whining is the connection.

There are love-dogs
no one knows the names of.

Give your life
to be one of them.

Is my soul asleep? Antonio Machado

(for St. Teresa’s Sixth Dwelling Place in particular?)

   Is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives that work
in the night stopped? And the water-
wheel of thought, is it
going around now, cups
empty, carrying only shadows?

    No, my soul is not asleep,
It is awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
its eyes wide open
far-off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.

No More Leaving – Hafiz

At
Some point
Your relationship
With God
Will
Become like this:
Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city street

There won’t be anymore

“Leaving.”

That is,

God will climb into
Your pocket.

You will simply just take

Yourself

Along!

The Great Secret – Hafiz

God was full of Wine last night,
So full of wine

That He let a great secret slip.
He said:

There is no man on earth
Who needs a pardon from Me –

For there is really no such thing,
No such thing
As Sin!

That Beloved has gone completely Wild-He has poured Himself into me!

I am Blissful and Drunk and Overflowing.

 Dear world,
Draw life from my Sweet Body,

Dear wayfaring souls,
Come drink your fill of liquid rubies,
For God has made my heart
An Eternal Fountain!

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