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The Baha’i teachings contain enormous wisdom. For me, every time I read Baha’u’llah’s or Abdu’l-Baha’s writings, I feel powerfully informed and inspired. Sometimes I let that inner inspiration transform itself into poetry. Reflecting on the two passages below from Baha’u’llah’s writings, I wrote this poem at 1:30 pm on the 16th of December, 2014, while sitting on a Presbyterian Church bench dedicated to the Glory of God.

Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation…. Upon the inmost reality of each and every created thing He hath shed the light of one of His names, and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He hath focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone of all created things man hath been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 65-66.

It’s Always There

My eyes often travel downward

tuft-of-grassI see the tuft of grass in the sidewalk crack

and follow my urge to pluck It

I spy the dirty napkin caught on the church’s lawn

and bend down to dispose of It

Then they travel upward

I bask in Sol’s glow behind the clouds and push my body and face into It

I meditate on His Godness

and speak words of praise to It

Then they travel inward

I feel the wrath of ire at the speeding car

and the dangerous driver in It

I sense the love from my own true love

and wonder how we have held It

Then they meander the world

I find Banana Split ice cream in the fridge

and spoon the deliciousness out of It

I watch the senseless hate turning to violence

and wish mankind to end It

Grass, napkin, Sol, Godness, wrath, love, ice cream, and hate

all lay in my Path

I acknowledge them with unhesitating impulses

to touch, feel, give way, absorb and consume them

All the essences of this life we humans experience

every day, every wakeful moment of It

The Its of existence at our fingertips

These energies with which the Day Star of Divine bounty and Source of heavenly guidance hath endowed the reality of man lie, however, latent within him, even as the flame is hidden within the candle and the rays of light are potentially present in the lamp. The radiance of these energies may be obscured by worldly desires even as the light of the sun can be concealed beneath the dust and dross which cover the mirror. Neither the candle nor the lamp can be lighted through their own unaided efforts, nor can it ever be possible for the mirror to free itself from its dross. It is clear and evident that until a fire is kindled the lamp will never be ignited, and unless the dross is blotted out from the face of the mirror it can never represent the image of the sun nor reflect its light and glory. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 65-66.

1 Comment

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  • Jan 25, 2015
    Your lovely poem and more particularly the photo chosen to embellish it reminds me of Doctor Esslemont's choice for what became 'for generations yet unborn' the text book of the Faith in hundreds of languages, a record unmatched in the scores of introductory books composed by Baha'i scholars in the ensuing three generations
    Flower in the Crannied Wall ...
    Alfred Lord Tennyson
    Flower in the crannied wall
    I pluck you out of the crannies.
    I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
    Little flower – but if I could understand
    what you are, root and all, and all in all
    I should know what God and man is.
    Floro en Fendita Muro
    Esperantigita de Lidia Zamenhof
    Floro en fendita muro
    Mi ŝiras vin el la fendo,
    Tenas vin, tutan kun la radikoj en mano.
    Floreto – sed se mi komprenus
    kio vi estas, viaj radikoj kaj ĉio, kaj ĉio en ĉio,
    mi scius kio estas homo kaj Dio.