Tag Archives: spirituality


Catherine Manchester


Happenstance and glory of a measured breath, the sun and moon
And distant scintillating light deranged and rearranged
To suite the insignificance of magnificence of a single scene and page.
Another sentence, a paragraph in which I find myself within a backlit room
To mark the hours the Doppler shadows all misfortune casts.
I have revelled in these signs, these periodic tedious monotonies,
Their very rising at once the thrall before the fall, monopolies
Of time and times again that only now appear to mask
Because when all that is has come to pass I happen to be standing here
A witness to creation’s synergies newly birthed. In the cold stare
Of noonish sunlight I sense with fragile accuracy the beneficial glare
Of all my peculiars, entities and particles that occupy the ear,
Delight the eye, and not so subtly remind me that I am,
And need not doubt the ground on which I stand.

…painting by Catherine Manchester…

“The Phrase”

Hazel Reeves3


“The Phrase”

The phrase transcends the pen withdrawn
And so, too, the movement in and of itself.
The notebook’s filled, volumes line the shelf
And there upon a winter’s night, the low straw
Wins and he reviews the lot and finds the flaw
In each. Perhaps a word crossed out, a gulf
In time allows a light to objectivity less the self.
And when the wheel stops, the law
Of averages condemns the thing to sit there
Once again, forgotten, anonymous as a star
That far away, explodes with fireworks
That would consume a galaxy—matter gone berserk—
Ignite and what had no energies now amassed, a pregnant flare
Until at last, one starry night, a whisper reaches earthly ears.
Just so, the incomplete, the Word to words and back again
Traverse the gap as the task of phonemes
Aspires to ascend to higher stations, morphemes
Honoured in this natal happy path. Observe:
Throughout the zodiac of conscious meaning
Stars that matter to velocities in galaxies
Reborn inspire genitive ignition in the gravity
Of natural wisdom’s past and present leaning
To fruition in what was always meant to be.
The moon, in its phase; the sun, its angry season,
The poet writes within a pendulum of forces, reason
Bound, but nonetheless eternal mysteries
Revealed as the Ancient of Days calls behind the present hour
Words from phrases only time, distance and the pen can devour.
As the audience is eternal, so, too, what will compel
The heart and mind to ideal calligraphy; the wordsmith’s nod
Secure. And as “the source of all learning is the knowledge of God,”*
So, too, the gravitas of the nib cannot be silenced, nor the muse expelled.

Hazel Reeves2

*Bahá’u’lláh, “Words of Wisdom”, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

…pieces of scupture by Hazel Reeves...

“Asking Nothing”

“Asking Nothing”

Asking nothing, pride itself knows no shame
But that it is not easily offended
By its authors, lasting aeons never once rescinded
As they bear hard against themselves with holy arrogance. Abel’s fame
Was no more great in folly than in triumph; blame,
The greater satisfaction, feeds upon itself, suspended
High above its frozen haven’s wasted heaven, extended
Low and lower than the expectations of his brother, Cain:
“Why,” then, “art thou wroth?” is heard with “What hast thou done?”
And in that instant, seconds into centuries cast their burdens
Leaving only fools to gather and surmise how long it’s been
Since innocence so easily spent itself pursuing means to every end.
If we breathe, we cannot be more anxious than the moon and sun,
And stars whose certain execution and anastrophe scribbles embroidered patterns equal to the physics of a nano-drop, as well, the roaring war of infinitives bound in verses primed that rhyme with energy and matter in the greater cosmic run.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today to celebrate the First Day of the Month of Qawl [Speech]


“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Except to praise Creation and its Source,
Of what use are tongues, and what of speech
If not to practice affirmation, to reach
Beyond the baser nature—to stay the course
Of destinies and mighty histories,
Ensure the memory of battle lines
Between the Greater World and the Lesser we find
We must occupy…for a time—the lies and inconsistencies
Within the rented present tense? Respeaking irrelevant truths
In vain imaginings applied to the important against the backdrop of the Word,
The most important, the conscious choice between what we’ve heard
With clarity within the heart and what we have been told of old, roots
And tendrils of hypocrisy are struck dumb with but a look,
Surely. These, the Leaves and Boughs of Sadratu’l-Muntahá, Branches
never silent as from out the The Primal Mouthpiece, the Perspicuous Book.

“Place Me”


“Place Me”

Place me nearer to the centre, then give me space
And grace enough to bear the remedy; the flame, itself, will not abandon
Me: the test, my soul’s eternity between the Sibyls’ Suns
And Heaven’s ancient foils. And as I absent the hour, I’ll leave this place.
While I was in the world, the same was not in me.
I must have been invisible for all the love I had, and knowing
What it was I came to see, I drained the cup
To testify that it was I who asked for more if only to say, “Enough!”
I bore witness to my own creation in and of itself is radiance, a balance owing
To what it is to know and worship Him in darkness and in the light,
extremes and overbearing distances.
In intimate proximities—the sirens’ coppers—of faith and blind acceptance
to the Holy Mariner’s golds of certitude and’ free volition
Merged in three most holy words: “Here am I!”and oneness born of absolution,
All belief and semblance humbled by the only response apprised in innocence
That I, myself, have been revealed as immaterial, in essence nothing,
a mirage, a vapour, a thing who’ll soon be evanescence
Sealed in time if not quickened in the arms
of certitude and radiant acquiescence.

“But If I Loved”

“But If I Loved”

But, if I loved, there’d be no stumbling here,
No word, no moment spent in canvassing;
No south-bound sound, no! no jaundiced ring
Tone, no telephone—assuming no fear
No understatement—pressures here applied
To maudlin tracings follow no trump, no expression
No! no consummation in the passive key,
No suppression
Of fact, no fire in hyperbole, nor just plain lies.
Then I’d be forced to die, or something close
To leaving if I could:
But, I’m not made to feel so good;
I only wish I were; and just suppose
I should,
I would.


Month of Bahá [Splendour], Naw-Rúz, the Bahá’í New Year, the Spring Equinox

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening after sunset within the First Day of the Month of Bahá [Splendour], the beginning of the first month of the Bahá’í Year, the arrival of Naw-Rúz, the Bahá’í New Year, the Spring Equinox, the first day of Spring. 

A Happy Naw-Rúz 171 B.E. to one and all!


“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Bahá or ‘Splendour'”

What greater splendour can there be in all creation
Than that the spectre of creation, the lightning’s grace,
A recognition of the Face
Of He Who in the blessed moment of elation
Outs form and substance to recreate stations
Of the greatest and the least, the favoured
Favouring within a regenerative sphere? Savoured,
Refined, bestowing rank and attributes to nations
And a crown to every whole who owns both fate and destiny:
Light-born spirits hear the cry
Throughout the world that yet another soul is signed
And welcomed by the denizens of heaven within the nest of He
Who made the Matrix, Who knew from time and dispensations immemorial,
In the ancient eternity of His Essence, His deathless spring, His Gift primordial.

“These Single Seconds”


“These Single Seconds”

These single seconds, presentiments of all
And nothing in eternity, everything in being
So alive; so much ado for yet another death in Venice, the seam
Of what is past as in a single passion’s pall
So sharpened in the moment that its cut
Is never noted until the point of infection. Minutes and the hour
Record a simple causal pause, time enough to harvest flowers
That surely wilts conceived so thoughtlessly. But
In the common flush of extremities, the blush, the rush, the flow,
This now is always yesterday’s dream, tailings of self-deception,
Always what has happened just before, some weak inflection
Of realities and truth but crudely reckoned, a seed yes! newly sown
That only time can nourish through nearly seven times ten in years
In swaddling veils of unmitigated grace and holiness in arrears.

“Still, It Is Within”


“Still, It Is Within”

Still, it is within another winter’s votary’s thought at last;
I know I will not be with you here beyond the death
Of these same embers in the hearth, this house arrest
Of days and nights so beauty-worn. I am the fast
In winter’s moonlight bringing closer all who see
So little lit save in one another; days begun, recessed
Before their time. And so it is with graduated rest
From daily obligations, time enough to dream, at least to seem
To one another safe enough for one brief season, a familiar in the close
Encounter with so little interest but in the present evening’s run
To fetch a cow within, a log from out back, to secure the sun
But barely born. The moon grows reticent as the rising orb discloses
Evening weeds and as we build fires and take the steam.
The flame’s worn warmth is strong and so is loved…and so must it seem.

“I Can Suggest”


“I Can Suggest”

“I can suggest that no one adopts
My line of reasoning or the solitary action
Of my life,” he whispers, “I’ve a fraction
Left to me, and while I opt
To survive, still, I mean to live a life
That bleeds straight out of this
Episode arrained by more than just a kiss
Or promissory note, or some cosmic strife
With fists raised high against the moon.
And just as wolves are wont to howl
Because Diana’s there, or possibly because an owl
Asks just who she is, soon
Enough the night’s owl is fed and wolves go into heat,
And no one sheds a tear for all those rabbits in retreat.”