For my Sheikh
So many ways to love Him.
So many ways to touch His feet.
Your eyes pass over me – like a floodlight in a prison
Passing and re-passing. I’m not what you’re seeking.
I am not yet born.
Now they take in the upturned faces half-mooned before you
In your sweep of the room – their hope, their beauty,
Sweetly held out to you like a border in an English garden
Some in full bloom, some ripening to seed, some in bud
All harmony, a special kind of perfection.
I see them reflected in your face – wall-flowers black and orange,
Poppies trembling in their crushed silk, larkspur like paradise birds
But where I sit, a hole in your mirror gaze
An unaccountable space between the stars. I’m not what you seek.
I am not yet born.
Bravely I enter your space and flick out a smile –
Chameleon tongue uncurling but snapping back empty.
Nothing to hook onto.
I bring gifts to attract your attention:
I made this myself. Vaguely you address my shadow:
– Very nice. I am not yet born.
I want to etch my name into your heart
Tattoo it on your eyelids
Carve it into your tongue.
I want to stitch my name
Into your lips
Embroider it around your eyes.
I want to weave my name
Into your breath so it rings
Like tiny bells each time you speak.
What would you call it, this crazy writing –
A love poem. Never mind the old woman
with achy bones. It is I, shining.
I’m a net of light in the tumbling ocean, in a dance to trap
Your quicksilver love.
I’m a small light on an island your ship sails by in the dark
Too far away to be heard. Small as a firefly.
You are not, in any case, on deck with your binoculars, scanning
The horizon. You’re somewhere below the waterline.
I corner you in the market place, my hands full of shells.
I don’t want you to buy my shells. You say: Look up. My eyes are burning.
I see it was not I who cornered you, but you
Who invited me. The woman half-hidden in her old brown shawl
Is green as a sapling. You open to me the floodgates of your eyes.
I want to pour into your heart like a waterfall
Like an estuary flooding at high tide. I want to drown
In your light, become a ripple
In the ocean of joy that you are.
Your name is water trickling through earth.
It waters my flesh. I wait for you at this door of glass
Balanced like an angel on a pin
On the earthquake rift. Uneasily earth sleeps. She smiles
In her sleep. Her smile is not what we think. When she sighs and stretches a little
In her dream of peace our world will crack open
Roar with pain, the seas will rise up engulfing our mountains
Thunder will bellow across our heavens, the forest will topple
Into the ocean. For now though all is quiet.
I wait for the click of the wooden gate, for your footstep on the path
For the creak of the deck.
I wait and wait.
I sit in this doorway – a cave mouth bathed in light
Vibrating, just a little. I want to sing the vibration every moment,
To sweep singing
All the way back through the planes to before the song
With my feet on the ground
My body a microbe of His body, my consciousness a spark of
His wakefulness, my prayer a calling down of His beloved gaze
Into this cell of His being that is my life
My life a dust-mote of His dream.
The doorway is silent meditation
And I cannot pass through after all these years. I want Samadhi.
I want to live the reality. To feel His joy and see through the veils.
You tell me: Live the connection of love, it’s already present,
With each and every breath. I fail and fail.
I thread these words amongst the tree tops
Or sitting beside the ocean, think of you
And fill up with sweetness. The words still me, bring me closer.
You are with me. The dhikr hums in my cells.
I am here, in your evergreen forest, beside your ocean.
His love is the substance that holds the cells in order
I touch your feet, ask for your blessing.
– Jeni Couzyn