Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cupping My Hands Like a Mountain Valley - by Hafiz

This poem by the Sufi master poet Hafiz speaks greatly as to how I view my own station in life.
Surely I am not as advanced a being as he was, but hey, I practice….
this interpretation is by Daniel Ladinsky and can be found in the book The Gift.

Like the way the valleys of the earth
Cup their hands for light and drink,

Like the way the desert opens up its sweet mouth
And laughs

When someone melts pearls in the sky
And rain, rain
Returns like a divine lover
With a hundred wonderful gifts

O, the words from the true Teacher
Bring my mind and cells
Such sacred nourishment and life.

When the moon is full
It gets gregarious and likes to chat.
I have heard it say,

"Look what can happen, dear seeker,
When you lean your graceful arms towards God
In prayer,

Look at all that amorous light you can catch
That will help the night musicians and your soul
Get loose."
I stand revolving like a great dervish
In an ecstatic submission to His will.

I have been hired to perform the final act of grace.
I am the priest in every sacred wedding tent.

Tonight, I am a sovereign planet
With a great wool skirt.
I am a divine artist
On stage before God's entire court.

With each sublime whirl and orbit
I bow to the Sun's feet.
I fill my glass for you, dear pilgrim,
Beneath the luminous leaking barrel.

I then pour all the contents of my heart
And eye's experience
Upon this banquet table.

For your body and mind are precious silk cloth
Hafiz has come to dye!

I circumambulate the Truth from the sky
Like a golden vulture.
I have forsaken all of the crippling manners
Of even the most royal birds.

I carry a lute in my talons like a mortal weapon.
Please, please enter into a holy battle with me.
For I am God's friend
Who maims with compassion!
And you are a lost dove upon His wing.

I can teach you
How to bribe the Beloved with an angelic tune

So that the divine manna of His glance
Will fall upon your palate.

Some days I know
That you are en route to your own slaughter.

Some days I know
You are being trained as an emissary
To serve His office of joy.

Dear one,
Last night, in the gallery of Reality
I saw a portrait I will never forget:

The Beloved was stirring a pot
With a spoon the size of a universe
And when He lifted it
I saw this whole world and its affairs
Were not even a floating speck of barley
Before the radiance of two diamonds
That were His brilliant cheeks!

I could do when beholding that vision
Was to fall upon my knees

And cup my hands like a humble valley
Huddled between the thighs
Of this exquisite, holy mountain range

And try to build a reservoir to hold the
Resplendent smile
That offers myriad tickets to freedom,
That offers the splendor of hearing God sing!

I am a spinning wheel upon the infinite.
I have swallowed that axis and hub
That fathered light and truth.

Grab hold and swing from me, my dear,
Doing the impossible
With your hands and feet both clapping.

I offer a mother's comfort and knowledge
To those who are tired and weak.

And when you become strong
I will conduct like a skilled warrior-king
Your divine volcanic glands exploding like new galaxies
In all their blessed madness.

God offers love, love, love
With His own hands,
To your beautiful parched holy mouth.

Open your soul, handsome dying one.
See all gender talk as a mighty joke,
In a oneness as glorious as this!

Hafiz, go running from that gallery
Like a naked, drunk lion
Roaring with laughter that will shake
The whole earth
And every window and door throughout the sleeping
Like a man,
Like a man who is delivering on a great steed
Fantastic news!

Tie yourself as a bell
To herds of mating camels
And spring flocks of clouds and birds.

Tie yourself to spawning stars
And to leaping whales
In a game of tag with the Moon!
Tie yourself to everything in creation
That got poured from God's magic hat.

O, tie your soul like a magnificent sweet chime
To every leaf and limb in existence,

Then begin to shout divine obscenities
So that He will surely send a tremendous storm.

Because Hafiz, because Hafiz,
O, sweet Hafiz,
You are a man with such benevolent and fantastic
Good News!

Dear wayfarer,
Now indulge me in a sober moment,
Please set down your glass.

I can help you write a letter of resignation
To all your fears and sadness.

Let all movement and sound,
Let all movement and sound
Begin to speak the truth to your heart
And write its music upon your vision and 
Soft pink tongue.

Soak all your prejudices in oil-
I would consider it a favor.
Bring and sing to me your darkest thoughts,
For my whole body is a blazing emerald wick,
I a pure flame
Who needs and loves to burn your trash.

We should lean against each other more
In such a strange world as this
That can make you scared
And even believe in that lie called death.

We should support each other-
Give more warmth
In such a demanding world as this.

Let all movement
Gently yield something of God
Upon your chin and vision
And roll down onto your prayer mat
That will take root in the holy soil of your surrender.
May I hone your devotion with a kiss?

For all in existence is just spinning like this
Sweet earth
In a divine current.

Why not dance like Hafiz in the cup,
In the cup of His spoon?
I offer my clapping spirit to you,
That is in eternal movement.

Hafiz offers to bow at your feet
With hands that God has shaped and pounded.

Look into my palms, my dear,
They now contain your face and infinite existence.

All your ideas of space and time are shadows
That will run from this Sun He has made me.

I want to tie myself
As a gift around your neck.
I want to place a wonderful secret
Near your veins.

Why not use my verse as a golden camel bell
That you can turn upside down into a chalice
And fill with wine?

You are a divine camel bell
That the Beloved is ringing with His own hand.

Hafiz, you were a blessed slave to Truth
That died like a cut reed and became hollow-

Turned into a divine instrument
That God now lifts to His own mouth,
Plays to summon this world to freedom.

How many men exist upon this earth
To whom I could whisper a holy secret?
Dear ones, 
"God has sown Himself onto my tongue."

Like the way
The valleys of the earth
Cup their hands for light and drink,

The way
The desert opens up its sweet mouth
And laughs

When someone melts pearls in the sky

And rain, rain
Returns like a divine lover
With a thousand wonderful

O, the luminous words of my Beloved
Now bring my mind and soul
Such a sacred


Sunday, December 15, 2013

You Were Brave In That Holy War - by Hafiz

You have done well
In the contest of madness.

You were brave in that holy war.

You have all the honorable wounds
Of one who has tried to find Love

Where the Beautiful Bird
Does not drink.

May I speak to you
Like we are close
And locked away together?

Once I found a stray kitten
And I used to soak my fingers
In warm milk;

It came to think I was five mothers
On one hand.

Why not rest your tired body?
Lean back and close your eyes.

Come morning
I will kneel by your side and feed you.
I will so gently
Spread open your mouth
And let you taste something of my
Sacred mind and life.

There is something wrong
With your ideas of 

O, surely there is something wrong
With your ideas of

If you think
Our Beloved would not be so

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Is All
Just a love contest
And I never

Now you have another good reason
To spend more time

Friday, December 13, 2013


So much Love
Pouring Forth
From this Heart
Yet You Mistake
Small Things
For the Whole

You've Only Barely
Touched The Surface,
My Love, My Friend.

The Door Has Been 
Swung Wide

Yet Instead of
Walking Through
You Keep Reaching In
And Pulling Out
What You Need

No Harm Done
Is Not A
And My Resources
Do Not Run Dry.

Simply Know That
This Door Is Always

And I Hope
The Day Comes
When You Find
The Courage
As You Already
In the 
Warmest Corner
My Heart.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Columbus Day

I think it should be noted that Columbus was a highly civilized individual.
 Matter of fact, all of his activities are at the heart of what civilization stands for and was built upon; you know, the complete destruction of any way of life other than agricultural domination and the imposition of top down abstract heirarchies of power and all, control through money, resource monopolization, the concept of property, the obsession with static states, etc.
Death to the hunter gatherer cultures has been the main game plan of civilization from the very beginning and the survival of civilizations depend upon such subjugation, as well as the subjugation of nature.
Remember this the next time you think that to be civilized means to be peaceful, intelligent, cosmopolitan, etc.
Such a thought is the opposite of the truth.
The civilized mind is the most violent, insane mind that humans have ever developed. I would even argue that every civilized belief system, including religions, schools of psychology, etc. are nothing more than attempts to mitigate this insanity in a way that denies humanity's place within the community of life due to an unwillingness to recognize and change our violent, self-indulgent, humanist, entitlement minded way of living and how we organize our societies as complete abstractions separate from natural law.
I am not a civilian and never will be.
I am an Animist, and I am a equal member within the community of life.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


I was talking with a friend of mine on her back porch the other day about the push/pull dynamic that lives inside of me in terms of the 'human' earthly life and spiritual life and work; how i try to balance them, how I've found that Sufism works best in terms of traditions in this regard since it does not demand an ascetic approach but instead supports integration into community and family.
I'd just shared with her my previous post (Prayer for those seeking to be healers) and how another friend of mine, upon reading it, had asked me if I want to be a monk and seemed a bit astonished at how 'religious' the tone of my poem/prayer was.
As I described my feelings in terms of it, questioning my path and asking if I should be, a hummingbird flew up to my back at the precise moment i asked "should I?"
Spiritual work, finding meaning, tantric philosophy, animism, transmutation,whatever you want to call it...always finds a way of being the core of my activity which all things are guided by. it is simply my way at this point in life. doing things for worldly reasons, beyond sustaining my own body and helping others along the path, is simply not a priority for me. I still think pragmatically about how the material world works and what is needed in order for myself and others to learn, grow and interact, but civilized activity has become, for the most part, an aberration in my life. it is a mere shell which is an outward form holding within it deeper work. this creates a tension which is difficult to describe, mainly due to the fact that American society and the modern mindset does not easily recognize such work nor understand it. I have found this to be especially true with those who are steeped in new age philosophies which put oneself first.

maybe the hummingbird is calling me to more lightness of being as i tend towards a sort of martyrdom.
whatever it may be, i need to spend some time in contemplation about it.

I give it no intrinsic meaning, but certainly find it interesting.
it should be noted though, that over the last few years, bird 'magic' and signs have dominated my life.
there was the red tail hawk on my porch, the peregrine falcon which flew into my home, the discovery of an unfortunately killed blue heron (by power lines) yards from my home, and many other bird 'signs'
I found this bit about hummingbirds as a spirit animal:

The hummingbird spirit animal symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. Those who have the hummingbird as a totem are invited to enjoy the sweetness of life, lift up negativity wherever it creeps in and express love more fully in their daily endeavors. This fascinating bird is capable of the most amazing feats despite its small size, such as traveling great distances or being able to fly backwards. By affinity with the hummingbird, those who have this bird as totem may be encouraged to develop their adaptability and resiliency while keeping a playful and optimistic outlook.

here is a link to the spirit animal page

Monday, July 15, 2013

Shawq & Awe

A Battle Brews
With my 
Commanding Self
How do I tame 
This Beast?

Faith Challenged
An expansive Limbo
Surrounding me.

Signs abound
Wonderous Things.
How do I restore
A feeling

The Shawq
I feel
Tearing a hole
In my Heart
Opening me up
To such Great Love

Though I must summon
Such great Patience
In order to allow
It to 

She's nabbed my 
Sweet attention
Making me
The importance and
Of All Things.

In this
I find myself
In Turmoil
Which end is up?
Which Me is Me?

It is an important
Is an

Dear Beloved,
Grant me the strength
To see Through 
And recognize
That which is Real
Cast away
That which is
So that this Heart
May once again
Know peace
And Trust.