Barakah for the Book of Roses
I listen to my heartAnd breathe The scent of love.I listen to my heartAnd devourThe taste of desire.I see and hearWords writtenInto an ancient bookOf which I never tire.It is the storyOf the Beloved’s purposeTo which I aspireAnd yet I askAnd ask againYa Rabb!Help me readThis book withinThat is covered With the rosesOf Your loveAnd reminds meOf the deen.And then I know,My fingers speakMy heart is keen“Pour your loveInto those words Of silent longing.It knows the rose,And in the darkFlies the nightingaleFollowing the fragrance,Opening her throatTo tell the worldThe BelovedHas bridged the moat”In the morningComes a sign,Passed from sister To dear sisterTo sister again.A barakah chain And meanings alignTo place a hand On the heartOf this foolAnd a whisper,“Be my tool,You are nothing,Hu is all!”A gift of rosesTo mark the book,Hu’s Name, Ahmad’s light,Beads of prayer,Is what it took To take me there.Now this foolWill keep this giftAnd ever hear,“Be my tool,You are nothing,Hu is all!”
The weather has suddenly turned wet and cold. It has rained all night for two nights in a row now. This is wonderful as we have had very little water for two years and are officially experiencing a drought. High up in the mountains here, and with the Mediterranean before us, we get to see a lot of sky and one of the joys of autumn and winter are the fantastic cloud formations and the uncluttered views of sunrise and sunset. Even better are the thunder storms which you can watch moving across the mountains until it’s right overhead and it becomes more sensible to get off the roof and run in doors before flying debris, or even lightning, strikes you down. The village is then transformed into a series of waterfalls as the rain gushes down and washes away the dust from streets and vegetation. Everything is so much greener after the mighty wash. Text of LoveI watch the clouds todayin colours purple, indigo and grey,hanging dark and huge, as swollen with an imminent fugueColour sings alone the theme,joined in fury by wildest wind.Then in contrapuntal dashtexture shot by lightning flash.Skip one, skip two in silentconsonance until divergentmotion tears apart the mapwith the din of thunder clap It has broken. Rain slaps ground,sky begins again the round,displays its stunning beautywith majestic, trembling soundHu’s Names alive in vibrant signs,a language for each eye and ear.A text of love writ on the bodyof creation far and nearAfter the storm the water flows.Running in rivulets downevery street. It knowsintimately each parched atom in this thirsty land. Field,and rock, deep roots of loss,your heart, mine too,is nourished by the rain of Hu© Katherine Randall, Granada 2006
Poets of Love
It is autumn, a time of ripened figs eaten straight from the trees or threaded on string and hung for drying. It is also the season of the almond harvest. As the husks split open to reveal the nuts, those villagers who have land are all out with sticks and nets to gather in a prodigious amount of the nuts this year. Although almond trees look so graceful they are in fact very robust and take a good beating at harvest time and vigorous pruning later in the year. Gathering in the almonds is hard work and can take a couple of weeks depending on how many you have. Not for me though, I have one almond tree in my little yard. I give it a bit of a shake and the almonds fall to the ground. I also have a couple of cats who enjoy climbing the tree and their antics amongst its branches bring down a few more. So while the rest of the village is working hard what am I doing? I am busy working with words. As the almonds of the fields are being transformed into marzipan or those delicious soplillos, meringues with chopped almonds, I am striving to transform words into poetry, or reflections on life and living. I haven’t posted here for a while, but I hope to begin again with more regularity. As life changes and the path of surrender brings its surprises, trials, and lessons I discover the need to write more poetry and poetic prose. These mediums offer a greater chance of expressing the ineffable, of grounding the celestial, and of offering a service of love. Having said that I must add that my attempts are still very much at the beginning of this path and there is a lot of work to do. I need a bit of ‘beating and pruning’ to produce the fruit, just like those almond trees. I am reminded of the sema of the Mevlani dervishes, as they whirl they hold one hand up, palm open to the heavens, and one hand down, palm open to the earth, acting like conduits for the light of Allah (swt). I believe those masters of tasawwuf, Rabi’a, Rumi, Hafiz, Yunus Emre, to name a few of those visionary poets, perform a similar function with their words. They move the soul of the reader and stir the heart. How good it would be to be just a fleck of dust in the hem of their robes and to listen as they utter their words of love.