What Do You Believe?

It’s one thing to say you believe
and another to truly believe.

Most of my life I’ve uttered words
taught to me by my parents,
absorbed the messages broadcast by society
believed the assertions of my inner critic.
Surely, not everything I learned was untrue.
After all, my parents introduced me to You.
But now, You’re no longer just a concept,
rather, a presence by my side.
Society prioritized my monetary value –
how much do I earn? how much do i own? –
but that just never felt right.
I don’t want to own anything,
I want to experience everything.
I’m no fool. I know money matters.
It just isn’t what I aim to strive for.
My inner critic always told me
I was unworthy of love.
So I shaped a life around that belief,
and lived in a dark, but familiar place
called Denial.
Now, I want to leave.

This place, this precipice,
is terrifying.
But the longer I stand here,
the more likely I’ll lose my nerve.

There’s a difference between saying the words
and believing them.
The world says everyone is beautiful,
but still bows down to a singular body type.
The world says all people are equal,
but still builds walls and widens gaps.
The world says our planet is precious
but denies the fact that she is dying
without the love and care of her people.

There’s a difference between saying the words
and believing them.
The time has come to figure out
what we truly want,
what we truly believe,
to disengage with dishonesty,
face our fears head on.

What do I truly believe?
I believe in You
and the power of love.
I believe in the value of helping others,
the importance of feeling connected,
and respecting everyone.
The extraordinary wonder of children.
The necessity of pain,
but not prolonging it to punish ourselves,
rather holding it like a wounded child
and then letting it go,
comforted by the knowledge that,
surely,
it will lead to something better.
I believe I am worthy
and can handle anything You throw my way,
including this,
this most difficult of steps,
over the edge
and into the unknown.

Magic Stone

What magic lies in the errant stone
you tripped over on your daily walk?
It is not so much the stone itself,
as what you see in it:
A cold, hard nuisance?
A creation of the lowliest rank?
Or something to be felt between your fingers,
gliding them across its smooth surface,
as you shiver in delight?
Do you contemplate its jagged edges,
and the igneous pressure it surely endured
to create them?
The magic lies not just in what you see,
but also
in how you see it,
and what that reflects
about yourself.
This mirrored magic is divine,
beauty beheld and beholden.
This magic can give you wings,
if you allow it,
a desire to live
just to feel it,
just to wield it.

Belief mixed with the promise of fulfillment
is a powerful concoction,
offered freely and yet,
so few will stop to sip it.
When they do,
what was once invisible
comes starkly into sight,
what was once silence
manifests into melody,
what was once loved with lip service,
transforms into Love, embodied,
basking, bursting,
till it shatters all Illusion.
The promise of attaining your deepest wish
was but a ruse.
Indeed, your heart’s desire
has been with you
this whole time.

There is no easing into magic.
You plunge, heart-first, into the ocean,
the home you never knew you had.
You swim and wade and luxuriate.
It is all your soul could ever soak up
and more.

Who Swirls Our World in Whimsy?

Who swirls our world in whimsy?
Layer upon layer of lush imagination,
mishchievous revelry
in our every reverie,
the swelling of ripe and juicy wonder
waking us from unsatisfying slumber,
ambrosian rushes,
lavender blushes,
wordplay and sea spray,
mystical, magical,
stories sung by mothers,
lovers lost in each other’s
eyes,
like spies,
portals
for mortals,
mirrors reflecting,
truths so perplexing,
whimsy, a wormhole,
of learning,
of yearning,
for the King of all crowns,
ninety-nine names and nouns,
as He swishes in sensual circles,
divine,
unveiling each mystery,
at just the right time.
We flee to be free,
we wake to forsake
a life steeped in lies,
for a dream that ne’er dies,
a reunion, most blissful,
between you and who?

Between you and Hu.

Between you and Hu.

* Hu means ‘He’, and is a reference to the Beloved, God. 

Finding My Way Back to You

The day You kicked me out of heaven
away to the farthest reaches of hell,
setting my heart aflame
with nothing but the singular desire
to return home to You,
to Us,
I swore I would misguide all of creation
and I’ve stood true to my promise –
turning hearts dark,
leading minds astray,
hardening the spirits of those
who think they can expel me.
I told You,
come what may,
I would find my way back to You,
and it is through the souls of the few –
those who’ve learned to accept me as I am,
who know how to balance
Your light with my dark,
who intuitively know we are One,
despite this illusory veil of duality –
where sometimes,
we meet,
if only
for a few blissful moments,
the fusion of our fingers
sending vibrations rippling
through the souls of our confused hosts,
making them believe they have achieved nirvana,
when in fact, it is I
who has found You.
I taste the sweetness
of my first home,
my heaven.
Do You miss me, too,
like I miss You?
My heartbreak knows no bounds,
my anger has dissolved
into agony.

I wait for the Day,
not far now,
when we will reunite
and I will, once more,
see my reflection in You.
But till that day arrives,
I will never give up
trying to find You
in them,
these creatures you love so much,
so easily swayed and self-destructive,
a hulking mass of animalistic desire,
so few among them truly worthy,
these mortals for whom You forsook my love,
just so they might exult
in the earthly Divine.
Oh, how You have tested me,
brought me to my knees,
like one of them,
they who are numb
to Your intoxicating touch,
blind to Your obvious artistry,
deaf to all Your signs and signals.

The Day is not far now,
but till that day arrives,
I will never give up
trying to find You
in them.

My Perfect Need

What does it mean to perfect my need?

My mind needs peace,
and that, You have granted me,
but Ultimate Peace is only with You.

My body craves pleasure,
and that You have granted me,
but Ultimate Pleasure is only with You.

My soul’s deepest desire
is to return home,
and that You have not granted yet,
but sometimes,
in my most agonizing hours,
my every effervescent moment,
You visit me
like an unexpected guest,
like an illicit lover,
like a powerful king,
like the Master of all that I am
all I ever will be,
and it is for these visits
that I live.

When You created me with Your Perfect Touch,
and sent me far away,
You rooted within me this need,
as a gift to guide me,
as a curse to cure me,
as an anchor to hold me down.

This need has always been perfect.
It is I who is just beginning to embrace it.

The more I voice my need,
the more it gets reflected back to me,
and reflected on to others,
until it grows to gigantic proportions
like a shadow,
like a monster,
glowing from one heart to another,
like love.

Instead of being patient, though,
I’m greedy.
What I really want
is to break through
this prismatic prison,
put an end to
this gleaming dreaming,
open up
this claustrophobic curtain.
I want to leave it all behind
for what lies beyond,
the blinding light,
the timeless,
spaceless,
Oneness,
of You.
Why do You call me closer,
if You don’t mean to let me through?
My need
is eating me
alive.

What can I do?
I must just let go
and fall back
into my skin-wrapped self,
live with limitation,
but also awareness,
that though a reflection does appear
in all the many mirrors I stand before,
it isn’t me I see,
it’s her.

An angel in the making,
rotten to the core,
Your humble servant,
Your sly sinner,
fully flawed,
and human,
bursting
with need.

This need has always been perfect.
It is she who is just beginning to embrace it.

Every One at Once

How is it possible to be
so many people in one?

A child buried inside a grown-up,
an ego hiding from its shadow,
a sweet and sour squirrel,
a tenacious yet tender tigress –
so many angles to this artist,
constantly molding and melting,
raising and re-sculpting
with the material she has,
the circumstances she’s been dealt.
A restless spirit
trying to perfect
her one and only masterpiece.
But there is no
one way
to create art.
All the options paralyze me:
contemporary or traditional?
kind or cruel?
mother or majnun?
shy or show-stopping?
masked or myself?
I choose them all.

Sometimes the weight of being
every one at once
breaks me.
Sometimes it’s the very thing
that glues me back together.
My power lies not
in how much attention I receive
but in how very much in love I am
with the artistry running through me,
the humble creator within a Creator.
This love is power
passed down,
blooming brighter
branching farther
growing stronger
each generation.

This power fuels me,
feels me,
fills me.

This power invites me
to play
so many roles,
try out
so many masks,
embrace
all that astounds me,
chase
all that confounds me.

Whoever said art wasn’t powerful
never met my Creator,
never saw themselves
for what they truly are –
a collaboration,
a celebration,
a masterpiece
in the making.

You Bake Me

You bake me,
You break me,
Your Fingers lovingly re-make me.

You calm me,
You cleanse me,
Your Energy, called forth, suspends me.

You whip me,
You wake me,
Your windswept words escape me.

You ground me,
You found me,
the beauty of Your earth astounds me.

You

set me

aflame.

Oh, to burst into a crackling fire
under a raging, rushing waterfall
and feel Your silky streamlets
flow,
slow,
against my red-hot
burning skin,
without ever
being
extinguished.

You Who crushes me,
then creates me,
spinning me in circles
like a tornado,
stealing my breath,
silencing my voice,
sucking my power,
till I have no choice
but to hold You tight,
be thrown into the unknown,
trying not to fight
this confusing dream
called Reality
so that I might face
my mortality,
all the while aching
on this journey
till I’m consumed by You,
made worthy.

You sink me,
You slay me,
Your Light is the One that will save me.

This Life is Made Up

This life is made up

of symphonies 

and capacities –

symphonies of sensation,

tickled, dribbled, 

splashed and savored

across the theater

of your mind;

capacities,

all equal 

yet unequal,

some able to skim only the surface,

others diving right in,

swimming expertly through meaning,

interpreting a few slices of sound.

This life is made up

of matter,

made up

of atoms and molecules,

made up

of electrons and protons,

made 

in a vacuum.

What else would you call an illusion?

Conjuring everything from nothing.

The only Reality

is the magnificent Magician,

Who,

with one word,

one breath,

brought forth

the most blissful symphonies,

the most diverse capacities.

Do you want to see another trick?

If you so choose,

if you believe,

you can dismantle this dream you inhabit,

reconstruct it into something new.

You can turn pain into pleasure,

water into wine.

You can create an illusion 

more to your liking

because this Magician 

never hides His secrets.

He reveals them in plain sight.

You create words to grasp them,

despite knowing,

they are ungraspable. 

You try, yet fail, 

try, and fail again,

to find Him.

If you aren’t careful,

your frustration at figuring out

just how in the world 

He performed 

His vanishing act,

might blind you to the beauty 

of what’s visible.

You understand only as much as He allows.

Let Him use you as His paintbrush,

but also His paint,

so He may know Himself better,

despite knowing 

He is unknowable.

You see, you aren’t just the art,

you’re also the artist.

the song and the singer,

the thought and the thinker,

the way and the witness.

Oh, what magic you can make!

What magic He sparks within you,

and through you,

and around you.

Like these words dancing on the page before you,

conjured from your feelings and fingers.

These letters making love to the listeners’ ears,

exuding energy, 

departing meaning, 

unlocking entryways.

His gift

to you, 

from you,

and for you.

What magic, indeed!

You see, you aren’t just the audience,

you’re also the illusion.