“I lost my way…” Psalm from the Book of Mercy by Leonard Cohen

October 6, 2014

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“I lost my way, I forgot to call on your name. The raw heart beat against the world, and the tears were for my lost victory. But you are here. You have always been here. The world is all forgetting, and the heart is a rage of directions, but your name unifies the heart, and the world is lifted into its place. Blessed is the one who waits in the travellers heart for his turning.”

Leonard Cohen  (from his classic book of contemporary psalms “The Book of Mercy”)

Ya Haqq!


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,
sleepless.
— 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!


Jerusalem

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
Jerusalem
Of the heart

- Irving Karchmar, ©1997


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