The Poetry of Life

March 5, 2013

Love is the poetry of life
Gratitude its prose

Kindness the sentences
In patience composed

Prayer is the syntax
As Heaven knows

Be silent then, or
Speak truly

As the moon does
As the river flows

As each breath
Of our life goes

And each day
Of loving kindness

Is better than
The one before

And life itself
Becomes a poem

Until our last breath
And the farther shore

- Irving Karchmar, 2013

Listen, O Dearly Beloved

February 5, 2013

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Listen, O dearly beloved!
I am the reality of the world, the center of the circumference,
I am the parts and the whole.
I am the will established between Heaven and Earth,
I have created perception in you only in order to be the
object of my perception.
If then you perceive me, you perceive yourself.
But you cannot perceive me through yourself,
It is through my eyes that you see me and see yourself,
Through your eyes you cannot see me.

Dearly beloved!
I have called you so often and you have not heard me
I have shown myself to you so often and you have not
seen me.
I have made myself fragrance so often, and you have
not smelled me.
I am the savor of food, and you have not tasted me.
Why can you not reach me through the object you touch
Or breathe me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see me? Why do you not hear me?
Why? Why? Why?

- Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi

Note:  The above is not really a poem as originally written in Arabic, but part of a chapter from ibn Arabi’s Kitab al-Tajalliyat (The Book of Theophanies).  However, since it was translated in the form of a poem by Henry Corbin in Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi,  it has become justly famous.

Ya Haqq!

Poetry Recital: Love Poem – Gladly Then Did the World Arise

June 8, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

My second reading of poetry on YouTube, a recital of a Love Poem – Gladly Then Did the World Arise.  The poem is also posted below the video.

Love Poem

Gladly then did the world arise
By that one mighty word of power… Love!
From any other word quite apart
It rejoices in the willing heart
And binds the planets to their skies
And shines in You the brighter to my eyes

Night, come bring the dippers and Orion’s belt
To gird the firmament and bind us to His boundless will
That my heart, which has never felt such sentiment
May feel it then the deeper still

Give it not to chance then, nor say instead ’twas fate
That we have met in time who might have met too late
In the understanding of two hearts that may for earlier years amend
As our time flows like a river, unfelt til journeys end

– Irving Karchmar, 1986

Ya Haqq!

The Old Man and His Wife

April 20, 2012

The house is warm, the fire lit
And I by the fire sit
Nodding as a metronome

Besides me rocks my old wife
With wrinkled cheeks as soft
And fair and rosy red

Though white her hair,
As when first she entered
The marriage bed

Go quickly now, when you go
And quietly, while I sleep
And do not know

The potion in your evening tea
Will end your unending misery
And take with it, yes,

The very heart of me

Will you speak for me
In Eternity
Before God’s Golden Throne

Mine will be the harder death
When I awake


- Irving Karchmar,  © 1996

Note:  This poem was written in an odd mood of reverie just after Oregon passed the Physician assisted Death with Dignity law.


February 7, 2012
The Path

Like the silver trail of the snail
I found the path you had made for me
I almost missed it in my urgency
thought its thread of light a chimera
… But it was my vision that was narrow
allowing only a glimpse of what could be
Unlike the trail of a snail the way broadens
its sparkle unfolding into a blanket of magic
I foresee it widening until there is no trail
and everywhere I walk will be with you.

 – Paddy Noble

The Great Puzzle

January 7, 2012

The Kingdom of the Lost
grows every moment.

This daydream of Existence
fills itself continuously
with the needy
like a rain-barrel
in the monsoon season-
while all the while-
the barrel bobs
upon an Ocean!

That is the great puzzle
of the human heart
that even our Saints
have given up trying
to solve.


- Roger Loff

Knowledge of Speech, But Not of Silence

June 28, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.

- from the opening stanza of The Rock, by T.S. Eliot, 1934

Note: To read the entire, remarkable opening stanza, click here.

Ya Haqq!


May 31, 2011

Who I am now
defies defending

I am played
as Your instrument
a song long wending

a melody rippling
throughout infinity

my heart distends
stars dance inside of me

while on their course
in the vast universe

and Your Great Love
is my one reliever
at the times when I feel
like a twisted, rumpled strand

it is then when You come
as my soul’s Retriever
and I never fail to hear
my Self’s soundless requiem

and when
that spindle
wholly unwinds
it is then I find
that all
has been forgiven
and absolved

- From An Unbound Heart, Vol 2, by Morgan Kalani MacLean

May God Have Mercy on Those Who Lead the Way

May 15, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

May God have mercy on those who lead the way
and those who come behind,
and those who fulfill their vows,
and those who seek to fulfill them,
with His Grace and bounty,
…His great benefits and favors!
For He is the best object of petition
and the noblest object of hope;
and God is the best protector and the most merciful
of those who show mercy.


- Rumi

Ya Haqq!

When Death Comes – A Poem by Mary Oliver

March 18, 2011

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver ~


Ya Haqq!


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