Love is a Letter Burning in a High Wind $15

Here is a chronicle in sequential open field poems of a second visit to Turkey (the first recorded in formal ghazals), and to the glorious atmospheres of Sufi Master Mevlana Rumi and his gnostic teacher, Shams. Included are three extended narrative poems in the thematic style of Rumi’s Masnawi, undertaken with no plot or source other than spontaneous inspiration. characterized by talking animals and “decapitated” watermelons. Ecstatic lyricism and sweet apprehension the impulse and goal to glorify and praise this swift life and its Originator and Sustainer:

Sometimes I get tired of all this talk about God
and I just want to go and sit under a tree

but then the tree starts talking to me about God
and we find ourselves in another conversation

Poem Selection from Love is a Letter Burning in a High Wind

On the Road to Konya

Sometimes I get tired of all this talk about God
and I just want to go and sit under a tree

but then the tree starts talking to me about God
and we find ourselves in another conversation

No two people and no two things talk about God
in quite the same way

A wheel running down a hill all by itself talks about God
while its hub remains stationary and its spokes rotate

An ant has another way of approaching the subject
that has about it a certain collective resonance

Inanimate objects on the other hand often comment on their surroundings
and the pleasant or unpleasant sets of circumstances
that landed them there

Stars have the softest voices and you have to listen more attentively
but their take on the theme is always illuminating
and sheds light in many unexpected and even faraway places

A lover often speaks about God in incomplete sentences
with clouds of various colors and densities
moving slowly or quickly around their
faces and most unselfconscious gestures as they speak in
intimate whispers

And then I’m brought back again to the sweet syrups of this endless
talk about God that goes on every instant
even when no one seems to know what they’re talking about
or why they began conversing in the first place

The serpent winks the sunflower opens its concentric
mathematical mandala
flat and desolate wastes yawn and the air shivers

I stick out my tongue and God’s breath flows all around it
whether we speak or remain silent as we sail through the
divine events of the sky and earth’s decisive

theological arguments with all their perfect proofs and occasional
long and melancholy refutations

9/21/2003 (from Love is a Letter Burning in a High Wind)

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Review for Love is a Letter Burning in a High Wind

“Love is a Letter Burning in a High Wind” is certainly amongst Moore’s most spiritual and colorful works. Written whilst traveling in Turkey in 2003, the overwhelming enthusiasm that travel can bestow upon you is felt very strongly here — not so much in lush, geographically descriptive sentences about Turkey (although there is a little of that) but more in the overall mood and heart of the poems. His usually abundant wit and sense of humour are not as prominent, replaced with awe and wonder (“Did a Window go up?”); truly happy emotion seems to be constantly attempting escape from the pages. It’s the air of something praising, the sound of a heart overflowing,

“The wind itself is a love-pulse and the air itself
love’s ubiquitous presence to everyone on earth
needing to inhale however we do and
exhale again in love’s continuous rosary “

The book opens with one of his most well-known poems, “On the Road to Konya,” which, for me, is bound and tied in theme to the following line about the creature Buraq from the brilliant poem “I’ve Fallen in Love with a Lightning Bolt,”

I can’t verify any of this
and it’s not meant to be taken as gospel

But the mere contemplation of it excites the heart to
visionary brightness.”

What we find in those lines, “On the Road to Konya,” and later in “Little Tiny Drops of Water,” is a very deep concept indeed, one which reminds me of the discourse of Shaikh Al-`Alawi in Martin Lings’ brilliant work “A Sufi Saint of the 20th Century.” Essentially, what you believe or do not believe is not important. What “they” happen to believe about you is also unimportant. If you choose to act or not to act, the truth will still be there. If you take a rest under a tree because you’re “tired of all this talk about God,” it’s not going to stop the tree from being a divinely created work of art. Answer? Perhaps it’s as simple as, “Stop talking!” Be quiet, meditate in prayer, read, and let go of the things you’re bursting to say.

Writing as inspired as this is a launch-pad for your heart. You will be hard-pressed to find a spiritual poet alive who writes with more conviction and imagination than Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, and in this relatively quick-read, you’ll find ideas, scenes and feelings that serve as reminders of just how great it feels for those brief, fleeting moments where we truly break free, when our souls are released, and pure happiness flows.

YJ, EMEL Magazine – March ’07

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