Category Archives: Virtues

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Asmá [Names]

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Asmá [Names]

“Double Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of ‘Asmá [Names]”

Greatness, the gulf of differences between
Recipients of names and the manifestation of the same
In full blown vain imagining; objective oversight’s the flame,
At least the spark any given second. A constant stream,
The crown of transformation comes in time to weave
A gravity within the press of what is never really seen.
Within a name resides a hidden thread that only seems
The confirmation both of life and being—in bas relief
Or so The Buddha warned—that holds a lethal trust. Between the name
And its receipt abide the seeds of pernicious doubt and protestation,
Manifest but without form, no timely attestation,
More an emanation than anything in revelation. In every atom reigns
The distance and sweet velocities of change. The many tools
Of blind belief in Adam’s gift seek rest somewhere within reach of fools
Embracing blasphemy in luminous dichotomies, dilemma’s
Punctuation marks’ delusions born of natural sedition. Litanies–
The beads of faith and understanding–are crystals of epiphany
Drawn from rich deposits deep within the endgames of enigma
And paradox serving providence and the farce of perpetual plebiscites;
Their greatest honour, servitude in service
To unnatural homeostasis between justice and integrity, yearning
And the One for Whom all yearning stems to transcendental heights
Born in mortal time of He from Whom all virtues flow.
And when denial and prayer are in arrears,
When needs and resignation outweigh a sum of means;
Words gone bankrupt erupt and deeds are stripped of fat and lean,
As hopelessness finds redemption in an average skein of years,
With all that overwhelms the truth at sunrise
In redemption in the simple phrase, “I’m still alive.”

“Solace in the Courtesies”

…just a note to say that about a year ago, I posted the following sonnet induced by having seen the Moon and Jupiter in their full glory together; they’re both back, and contrary to public opinion, so am I; for the mind, “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to:; for the heart, time is conquered, thank God… —Once, 23 July 2011

“Solace in the Courtesies”

Solace in the courtesies of the constellations, Jupiter
Surely there at sunrise, the brightest star,
Visible while the jealous moon, scarred,
The closest audience; apt, significant. The irony. Her
Dwarf, yet here in circumstance; the bond a quiet perpetuity.
The mighty planet rests for moments in the night,
And we regard the larger aegis the greater light
And think so little of her smaller celebrant; so great an inequity
In vision we’re wont to dote upon from such a station as this.
It is just so with all luminaries of perspicuous wisdom and guidance in the night
That they are worshipped in coal black skies, but preludes to the dawning light
Because it pleases the eye see none but them and rest awhile in ignorant bliss.
Yet with the rising of the sun, all former brilliance must surely fade,
Withdrawn by force to honour greater virtues than the night has made.

I wonder why it is that knowing consciously the identity of what that star is that shone this morning just before the sunrise and has been shining every morning so significantly in the southeastern skies makes so much difference. Tonight it was joined beautifully by proximity to the moon.

A few weeks ago, I learned from a friend that that bright, unusually vivid star was in fact the planet Jupiter. Not that the news was astounding, but in some quiet way it was comforting because as I looked out from my balcony in the early morning hours always just before sunrise, when the skies were clear I had seen that star and wondered just what it was. Somehow I wanted some confirmation as to just what that thing was. I wrote to my friend who was kind enough to confirm its identity for me that it is true that it’s Jupiter and it is very visible in the skies during the whole of June into July. Now, then, this silent delight in knowing consciously that I have seen with my own eyes this “other world” that shares our solar system in some subtle way pleases my soul. These are the signsof God, my friend, as if the moon and sun, the inevitable revival of the earth at spring, and countless spectacles of greater and lesser significance were not. Did I need another confirmation of the majesty of this Creation? These days, for me at least, even breathing is a sign of God and becomes more obviously so with every passing day at my age. —Once, July 2010