POETRY IS OFTEN “NOT THAT!”

Can one talk about God except through poetry?
No and yes,
Because without song there’d be nothing memorable to say
But God insists upon our being intelligent, or, at the very least, intelligible,
And poetry often is “not that!”

Without inspiration, (taking a spiritual breath), there’d be no God –
But that’s about breathing “in” – not “out”
Yet, when we’re talking about God, isn’t it always a mix?
Part understanding and part a tapping of the feet.

Isn’t it true that as soon as God comes to mind
Our heart wants to start singing –
Isn’t it also true that as soon as black letters hit white pages
In an attempt to describe God –
A bucket of color gets thrown over the words –
Because God is so wild, alive, and unanticipated.

A newborn baby first opening its eyes to the world
Could not be more surprised
Than a poet sitting down and starting to write anything about God.

THE NEXT ROOM

In the West, poetry has pretty much been “dying on the vine”
Because there’s simply no “juice” left –
Especially since there’s no longer any believable God to write for.

In ancient Islam, mysticism and poetry frequently were allied –
And in medieval Sufism, with Hafiz and Rumi,
You might even say that, for a time, they became the same thing.

Christianity, knocking through a couple millennia of violent materialism
And repressible crimes,
Has, unfortunately, over time, devolved into contemporary Evangelical/Republican paternalism.

Sufi poets, however, spent their time and spiritual energy searching for the “heart of humanity”
And found it in “Love” –
Which enabled them to dance and sing ecstatically.

Westerners might one day experience this too –

But from way over, in the next room.