Monday, January 10, 2011

Spiritual Master

Today a dervish showed up at my house,
bowed before me and announced that he would
Study at the feet of a master if only I would have him.

So I cuffed his ears and threw him into the street.
It was the only merciful thing to do.
If people think I am some kind of spiritual master,
   someone is bound to get hurt.

I will only disappoint them
and my reputation may never recover.
Best to send him packing early.

“Spiritual master,” he said. Who is he kidding?
Not me. Not Allah. Not you, if you know me at all.
Only himself. Let him delude himself at someone else’s feet.

I am no spiritual master.
I have achieved no state of enlightenment
nor any stage of advanced spiritual understanding.

I am neither prophet, seer, nor adept.
I’ll tell you what I have learned, however,
and perhaps that will serve to instruct you.

I have learned to love Allah with my whole heart
and I have learned how to fight with Him fair and square.
What more does anyone need to know, really?


  1. Najat, here is what I learned recently . . . one poem calls for another and so forth . . .


    In silence
    and in the darkness
    she drew me to herself
    and held me
    in a strong and steady way,
    no twitch nor tremor,
    not a hint of Parkinson’s.
    I cannot tell you
    how long we lay so,
    save for the slow and rhythmic breath
    that came and went from our two bodies
    nor how long it was before
    I gave sound to my gratitude,
    whispered softly, thank you,
    nor how long before she spoke
    those few words
    in so clear and simple a way
    I knew myself to be divine
    and in the presence of divinity,
    such is the power
    of honest words
    spoken from an open
    trustful heart
    to another.

    I can tell you this much.
    I need tell you no more—
    not what passed before
    nor what came after—
    for you to know the nature
    of this intricate
    dance we dance,
    called life or love
    or both.

    BD 1/2/11

  2. Lovely, Bill! "I know myself to be divine in the presence of divinity" through the power of your art, as well! Nicely done.