I spent some time looking over my writings this weekend as I move ever closer to getting them ready for publication. I noticed a trend which I would like to share with you all. My first book of Poems is called: Touching the Cloth of the Robe, Presence Playing with form. It is about 50 -70 poems a lot of this poems were born out of moments of meditation at the Sufi house, moments o bewilderment , and some experiences which I don’t want to quantify as mystical or spiritual, but those words would be the closest descriptions.
I found these poems later on horribly abstract. I could find myself in any of the poems I described. After I reflected on it after a while, it was interesting to note that these poems mirrored in many ways the nature of these experiences of moments in that the momentary withdrawal of the self is the catalyst for this whole process to occur. Sometimes in sema or right after, poetry happens worlds come together separation gradually looses it footing and dominance in our perception of reality, you can feel the poems their beautific images as happening within you and yet not separate from the person next to you.
And then that flash is gone! Your solid again, your wings have been clipped. It’s like one wakes up in exile horribly bereft of the vicissitudes of the closeness, or maybe I should say that closeness, that is always there waiting for us to wake up to it. Its an incredibly beautiful and incredible painful process. I pondered over this line that I wrote two years ago.
a single step will become an ocean surge,
bringing us straight to a loving embrace beyond veils.
So these words happened. I was walking somewhere and just burst into tears . The suddenness of it and its intensity reminded me of seeing gasoline being lit in movies. A sudden eruption that reduces everything in this primordial chaos. I remember these words now thinking about that moment:
There is no better description of the Sufi path. Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore a dear friend and in many ways a mentor and guide has said this about poetry:
“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.”
- Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore
If and when Touching the Cloth of the Robe comes out, it will be in large part thanks to the encouragement and friendship of Mr Abdal Hayy Moore. I will leave you with the Rumi poem from which the title of the book and many others things issued forth from. It is called As the Sky does in Water. It is taken from the book Rumi: Bridg to the Soul.
AS THE SKY DOES IN WATER
For the grace of the presence, be grateful.
Touch the cloth of the robe,
but do not pull it toward you,
or like an arrow it will leave the bow.
Images. Presence plays with form,
fleeing and hiding as the sky does in water,
now one place, now nowhere.
Imagination cannot contain the absolute.
These poems are elusive
because the presence is.
I love the rose that is not a rose,
but the second I try to speak it, any name
for God becomes so-and-so, and vanishes.
What you thought to draw lifts off the paper,
as what you love slips from your heart.