“One Breathes to Read”

“One Breathes to Read”

One breathes to read the ancients say, and what a mighty wind perfumes
The nothingness of air and thence to wit? The writ; certain proofs,
And so on, and so forth, and notwithstanding that, far beyond, to refute
What dross may be forthcoming from all natural luminaries in the skies
in no time flat, fumes
From either, pure hyperbole. Perhaps, it’s true, but then again the books
Bear genesis from breezes while the wise collect the residue.
So great an urge to be at one within oneself cannot be soothed
So easily nor guided nor delayed for want of kairos. The gods took
Their ease of access from Eastern mists to proclaim the roof
Of life to be a satisfaction gleaned from lust and table scraps.
For Greeks,
The holiness of Eros tendered resignation to disorder;
the source of creeks
And icy streams in time gave form to Mighty Ganges
and the Mother Truth
That we are not what we so loudly claim. Its light ignites the flames
That burn away the veils and we ascend to God by way of holy Names.

5 responses to ““One Breathes to Read”

  1. Shake the dust, rattle the bones. What’s left is mere surmise… Some eat themselves and crow. Some witness True Sun rise…

  2. I like that! Is that from one of your poems?

  3. That, my friend, is a poem I wrote just for you–in honor of this post 🙂

  4. I feel strangely honoured. I say “strangely” because when I read these lines, I thought to myself, “…it’s as if I wrote these words myself,” and risking just how arrogant that might sound, I decided, simply, to ask if you had written them with no reference to their effect on me. It is perhaps entirely inappropriate to say so in so many words, but in the discussion of where authors get their ideas and what may be the catalyst, once again it comes to mind that when it comes to writing, there is something to be said for what Aylett mentioned in the short transcript I sent to you a few days ago, that what he wrote he wrote because he wanted to see something in print that echoed both his own particular journey and at the same time written in a manner pleasing to his own soul, and so he wrote. He may or may not have been sincere in this, but it certainly resonated with me when thinking of my own writing insofar as I have found that even after hours or days, weeks, even years after I have written something, I still end up in fits of laughter or reduced to tears in consideration of whatever it was that was the cause or content of what was produced.

    The greatest writing I have ever read has a tendency to strike me from the beginning, instantly, in the form of a loose thought that whatever that this or that author may be carving niches to house a truth or painting the canvases on the page in broad strokes, and both at the same time. I noticed the same thing in me when I first listened to that video you posted a couple of days ago. It took but a second or two to come to the point of saying to myself, “This is good.” The illusion, then, is created when reading that I had been there and that for all intents and purposes, the lines were mine ere I read them, no matter who the writer may be writing to whom, and for whatever his intent and purposes.

    God bless you, Alexander; notwithstanding that these are your lines, possibly you have no idea what a beauty and relief there was when I read them. Rightly or wrongly, when what one sees is seen by someone else in this world leaving no doubt for either of them, the writer has achieved a purpose beyond the mere creation of words on any given page. After all, we are all created not so much equal but equally by the Will of God and while God is greater than any soul we know, it is also true that unity between two souls who inhabit the same existence is a thing greater than any one of us alone can hope to be. We apparently see the same sun rising no matter from what exact spot on the horizon this morning.

    There is much comfort in such mutual witnessing, and to be perfectly frank, I know that for me at least, there is no greater service that any writer can render greater than that he speaks to the heart of whatever the matter of another soul’s search no matter what his own might be. Without this, words have an effect that may for the moment excite wonder or even passion but that can last only as long as any given appetite and all appetites can be quenched just as I narrated in my sonnet whereas what lasts beyond happiness on such short notice and endures beyond a simple happiness fed by the needs of the hour may as well be considered to be eternal; this because certitude never wanes and cannot be exhausted, and the longer its term in office, the deeper the root so that while everything has a beginning and an end, still in the finest fruits of this existence, when it comes to certainty and certitude, both may as well be eternal and, at the very least, appear stretch from this world even into the Next.

    As you can see, your words were potent.

  5. To have one’s words accepted so intimately is consummate joy…

    Had to go find this passage:

    “‘It is the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit that causes words such as these to stream from the tongue of poets, the significance of which they themselves are oftentimes unable to apprehend. The following verse is also divinely inspired: “Shiraz will be thrown into a tumult; a Youth of sugar-tongue will appear. I fear lest the breath of His mouth should agitate and upset Baghdad.” The mystery enshrined within this verse is now concealed; it will be revealed in the year after Hin.’ The Báb subsequently quoted this well-known tradition: ‘Treasures lie hidden beneath the throne of God; the key to those treasures is the tongue of poets.’ He then, one after the other, related to Mulla Husayn those events which must needs transpire in the future, and bade him not to mention them to anyone.”
    (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 258)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s