I Will Tell Thee What It Is To Love

June 17, 2014

Love? I will tell thee what it is to love!
It is to build with human thoughts a shrine,
Where Hope sits brooding like a beauteous dove;
Where Time seems young, and Life a thing divine.
All tastes, all pleasures, all desires combine
To consecrate this sanctuary of bliss.
Above, the stars in cloudless beauty shine;
Around, the streams their flowery margins kiss;
And if there’s heaven on earth, that heaven is surely this.

Yes, this is love, the steadfast and the true,
The immortal glory which hath never set;
The best, the brightest boon the heart e’er knew:
Of all life’s sweets the very sweetest yet!
O’ who but can recall the eve they met
To breathe, in some green walk, their first young vow?
While summer flowers with moonlight dews were wet,
And winds sighed soft around the mountain’s brow,
And all was rapture then which is but memory now!

- Charles Swain

A Sort of a Song – Poetry by William Carlos Williams

January 23, 2014

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
– through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent.
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks.

- William Carlos Williams

I have given up religion

May 21, 2013
I have given up religion
and follow only Love

Mullahs, Priests and Rabbis
Imams, Buddhists, Zoroastrians,
All laugh at my naivete
But my ears hear only You

Beards and robes and cassocks
outward signs of piety

Mean nothing, are worthless
without a heart of love

Heaven and hell are empty
tales to frighten children

Only to You do we return
home at last, home at last

Good and evil counterbalance
men and women, all that live 

drops falling into the Ocean
Home at last, home at last

- Irving Karchmar, 2013

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!


September 12, 2012

O Pilgrim, seek Me not
In the desert places
The ruined hills
The crumbling walls
Of ancient wailing

I am gone from
The city of violence
The streets of fear
The houses of anger
And sorrow

Look, look here!
O Pilgrim
On the Path of Love
Here is the City of David
The Temple of Solomon

Where the seeker dwells
I am
The soul’s delight
Of the heart

- Irving Karchmar, ©1997

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.

Poetry Monday – In the Arms of Midnight, by Jafar Alam

February 27, 2012

Chocolate girl

Your hair looks

Don’t give up on tomorrow
It’s already praisin’

You aint a regular
Earth dweller

Sweet heart
There’s only one caste system…
That’s the human race

And Karma

She’s a trip

She’s got their names
In her book

You deserve a love
That makes you a priority
Not an option hun

Don’t run away from your problems
Lest you start avoiding mirrors

Chocolate girl
You’re the realist fairytale

Don’t try explaining yourself
To them

How you explain sunshine
To a blind man?

You are the joy of the world


So act like it


Don’t be some fools
Baby mama

Boilin’ milk over a stove
With lost dreams

These boys
These days

They be fallin’ in love
Without love

Don’t be so consumed
With the world around you
That you neglect the world
Within you

Start your journey

If they ask for you
Tell em

They can find you
Waiting in the dimple of the moon
In the arms of midnight

To the whistle

Of the wind

- Jafar Alam, from Almond Eyes Hears the Dove’s Cries which is also available as an Ebook HERE.


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


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