One Or More

To prove that there are more than One,
I polished both edges of love's dagger with my breath
and plunged it into my chest.

Ask Theresa whether this pain is sweetness.
Ask the Bridegroom if this longing is stronger than death. 
Perish into nakedness, pretend you are invisible, a tear.

Now I can feel the warmth of your nearness,
the moisture of your dew on my nape.
Sever the silver star-flung cord at my crown.

Let what suspended me be broken: gravity is prayer.
Creatures are nothing but their mass,
their first and last offering to the Earth.

Now watch my pomegranate heart burst,
spilling 10,000 scarlet ancestral eyes.
Taste each one; let them become wine inside you.

Eat first, then ask their names.
Tell me, famished wanderer, are there not more
lovers in the world than your lips can bear?

3:01 A.M.

I keep returning
to 3 A.M.
Millions mingle here
in verdant mist,
some plunging toward slumber,
others rising toward black
curves of emptiness
bending to no asymptote
of thought or word
in the womb of awakening
where small frogs only listen
but do not peep,
raindrops neither
cling nor fall, suspended
in glistening darkness,
no breath of you,
no inhalation of I,
but a trembling stillness
enfolding the infinitesimal
tear of the green earth
in the vigilance
that was here before we
opened our eyes -
O dear one be reminded
by silence
that our work is not
to fall asleep,
this task of love.


My guru is a blossoming weed.
My guru is a dandelion.
My guru is not the one who teaches me
how to do perfect wheel poses and headstands.
My guru is not the one who juices my spine
with the bliss of shaktipat
for a moment or two,
nor the one who invites me to a week's vacation
at his pricy ashram.
My guru is not even the Beloved
in whom I swoon all night with passionate bhakti,
only to feel bereft in the dim light of day.
My guru is kinder than that.
My guru awakens the worship in every breath
and becomes my very inhalation.
My guru shows me the miracle
of awareness,
then dissolves into it.
My guru is so ordinary, ordinary!
A blossoming weed, a dandelion!


I longed for release from the earth
until I saw your smile.
Then I prayed, Let me stay here!
Even if you grow old,
your smile is just born.
Now the world within the world
is revealed.

Walk Through

Walk through the door of loss
and acquire everything,
the stars your little sisters,
dry seedlings flinging
silken pathways toward Spring.
Step through the portal of emptiness
into the garden where songs are born 
from crimson bursting crimson fruits 
of pain.
Gaze through the window of unknowing.
Let your astonishment
create what you see 
from what is not seen.
Become your own ringing cry,
containing all verses of scripture 
before they are written
in a ruin of books.
Be a thistledown
threaded in a breath of November sky,
careless of whither you go
and whether you root down.
There is only one commandment:
Be ye perfect,
always arriving
exactly where you are
precisely at the moment
you get there.

Illustration from Barbara Berger's 'Grandfather Twilight,' my childrens' favorite book.