For me the province of poetry is a private ecstasy made public, and the social role of the poet is to display moments of shared universal epiphanies capable of healing our sense of mortal estrangement—from ourselves, from each other, from our source, from our destiny, from The Divine.
As if the earth were to go on and on forever another four inch layer of snow silently covers time and space out the window stretching all the way to the ocean,
icy white powder piled up on garden furniture out back salvaged two summers ago from four doors down as being paint-spattered but still usable,
snow covers the cars out front lined up in all one direction, carpeted with white, granted an ermine blanket, sweetly docile with iced windows and frozen locks, unlike gas-guzzling road hogs, more like obedient slaves,
it covers the park at the end of the street with its wild trails over fallen tree trunks deep in snow, growth stopped in its tracks under repeated onslaughts of angelic frosting, the small mammals enduring, small insects gathering their eggs for a Spring resurgence or savage revenge,
the palace of pure nature wall to wall with snow-crystals waiting for princely footprints, for small quick prints of the princess to imprint themselves or for long loopy chorus lines of angels to suddenly cavort on fresh snow in the little wood, pixieish
post-midnight bacchanals on
pure white floors, under full moonlight, time frozen still,
space as beautiful as a mouse ear in all this
radiance! ___________________________ 3/8/96 (from Miracle Songs for the Millennium, being edited for publication)
First, utter silence, silence within silence. Then its echo, more silent still.
A silence that sits deep under the Throne of God – all other silence surrounds it and slowly turns.
Every other silence partakes of that silence. Silence in eyes, silence in tongues, silence in the womb, the silence of death.
The Ka’ba sits in the shaft of that silence from the height of heaven, and generates silence.
Then, just around this great circle of silence the sound of an ocean, not of water or salt, but of human longing, aswirl with sound, slow roar, slow-motion crash of surf, suspended animation of all tremendous sounds in creation, the exhalation of giant beasts, outbreath of earth as God created caves and sea depths and
Then more distinctly, articulating what shines through both silence and sound, the Word of God, that aural text that floats from the Heart of Light into the hearts of mankind, tongue-tripped into articulate words, formed and filled with breath, flowing like the sea, but from sea-depths of meaning,
light to the eyes and sweet relief to the heart.
Then out from that circle, the sound of all human speech, words of admonition, snatches of conversation, starlight of God’s Compassion sprinkled throughout it, Turkish bursts, Arabic stutter, a child’s distant cry, then roar again, sea-surf, silence, silence above all, and the twelve-dimensional echo of that silence. Then a phrase of Urdu, Afghani, Malay, low rumble of Qur’an recitation, pauses, people looking around, metallic clatter from far away, the rhythmic supplications of a group of pilgrims circling God’s House.
Then the click sound of a microphone in sonic superspace turning on.
Then words enveloped by the Word,
the Word enveloped in a roar,
the roar enveloped in silence,
the articulate silence of God, then
the silence of silence.
Then the echo of that silence.
Then the looking around. _______________________________________________________________________________ 12/26/95 (from Sparrow on the Prophet’s Tomb, The Ecstatic Exchange, 2009)
Please take a moment to view photos of Soraya Syed Sander’s exhibit now up in London at Leighton House… our daughter-in-law, married to Inspiraldesign’s Mukhtar Sanders… Well, they’re both Inspiraldesigners… Her exhibit and the dancer are tremendous…