The Soul’s Home $20

This collection from 2013 continues the intended trajectory of a lifetime’s work that celebrates and posits the direct perception that The Divine Reality faces us from everywhere and in literally every circumstance of each moment of our lives. In this, the world’s soul envelope has been turned inside out, revealing itself in images of light. Rather than invoking metaphors for experience, my project has been to “move from the word as symbol toward the word as reality” (as W.C. Williams said about the poetry of Ezra Pound), words not standing for an already completed experience, physical or spiritual, but in the act of writing itself revealing the core, the poem’s very details being in themselves the experience, between seen and unseen, with transitive imagination the active aesthetic practice, as much as Allah inspires and allows.

Poem Selection from The Soul’s Home

The Path

Salt Prayers Collage

You start early
you’re nobody’s fool

You set out on foot
no snow will stop you

Shapes in the mist
statues of warriors

Arms raised and weapons

You’re undaunted
no footprints before you

You make your way

Wolf howls echo
Breath becomes audible

suddenly interior
You’re walking inwardly

Sounds of footfalls
You’re in the immaterial

A realm opens before you
traversed by saints before you

Now the way is clearer
though deep obscurity reigns

A landscape becomes sharper
deep colors appear

Rich greens and bright blues
echoes resounding around you

A path like glass or amber
cuts through the night like a flare

The black background of space dazzles
with its uncanny plethora of stars

Your heart’s a steady beacon
your forehead’s an unwavering beam

It’s not where you’re going that’s wonderful
but the glory of where you are

No light can compare with this brilliance
nor description match its beauty

A magnificent wanderer’s become you
breathless in a place of wonder

Who’s coming towards you in silence?
Who are these walking with you?

It’s not that their faces are obscured
their sheer radiance is blinding

A voice is actually calling you
A sound of clopping horse hooves

You’re in a valley of light

Shapes of things are their meanings
speaking into the ears of your heart

suspended invisibly in space

in which knowledges are constantly pouring
inexpressible on human lips

understood in the land of this dwelling
before and after words are spoken

As the sky’s planets shimmer their rainbows
and swirl their borealis glows

The dimensions open even further
as if flowers bloomed backwards into being

Words are gone and
God’s Presence mingles

What was thought is true
His embrace surrounds you

The impalpable becomes palpable
the conceived inconceivable

Crows fly in a blue sky
Yellow fields roll forward

What’s before you is behind you
collapsing all around you

Who comes towards you is
for you alone

for your safe invitation
to leave it all behind you

each moment before you
from the tip of you to the soul of you

moving ever within you
each step ringing true

each gesture a worthy one
each silence a vocabulary

of unimpeachable significance
the air parting around you

The way forward abounding
nothing left of barriers

that really never existed
nothing left but to be

in the constant company
of companions of sublimity

as simple as a rooster
crowing the dawns awake

all life’s light converging
just as it’s dispersing

to its place of purest origin
in the golden curve of His Hands

suspended just as our hearts are
in this life-extinguishing air

our houses all dissolving
into their constituent atoms

our relationships all dissolving
into their innermost resonances

We’re going ahead now without them
their cloaks whirl away completely

It’s a sound of rushing water
over rocks made slippery by time

Who’s there can’t be named as alive
but never before as alive as now

This is what living was made for
this vivid incomparable sweetness

raining incessantly inside you
no further fire can extinguish it

imprinted as firmly on your heart
as when you were first conceived

This splendor more splendid than
silvery skies

stretched out on every horizon
this shapeless shape that awaits you

now that you’ve passed beyond

to be called back to anything lesser
as indelible as your veins turned

inside-out in the next world
vividly present in this one

standing on the road you began on
even before you set out

morning birds in the silence
crickets quiet in daylight

Your sudden presence multiplied
into one beating heart in silence

not yours alone in time
but God’s invisibly


2/24/13 (from The Soul’s Home)


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