Oct 30, 2010

Manifestations - Fall 2010

Welcome to the Fall 2010 issue of Manifestations, 
the literary journal of the Fourth Order. 

Enjoy the issue and please pass our link around to your friends.

This Issue Explores the intersection where inner and outer
meet: the states of being and stations of the heart encountered on the way, lenses through which one aspect of truth may be experienced, where even illusion or delusion may reveal truth as we see in Flo Golod’s short story, Practicing for Heaven.

Diversity: Established and emerging writers and artists from six different faith traditions, four continents, from homeless veteran, veiled woman, seed banking farmer, scholars, even a red dressed cleavage exposing preacher,
the sublime to the outrageous.

Interactivity: the new format allows your playful or serious written and artistic responses to individual work.

Challenge Submission for January issue: Along with regular submissions we are issuing a special challenge to create a youtube video of Hermit John's poem, En las Profundidades de Mi Ser, found in this issue. Your videos will be featured in the next issue of Manifestations. 

The Collective Dreaming Project is dedicated to listening to the communicating World's Dream, and giving its voice to the human world. It seeks submissions of dreams of the earth and cosmos to collate them, and look for patterns and themes within the dreams. The Project is looking for a specific type of dream: dreams with images of the natural world that have strong feeling and resonance, that are radiant, peculiar, odd, out of place, even terrifying or horrid; as well as those dreams that have images in the human world that are artistic, handmade, beautiful and alive. Manifestations will dedicate space in its upcoming issues to submitters who respond to their dream with visual art and/or writing. See Submission Guidelines.

As always we are looking to penetrate experience seeking the unifying voice beneath the world's apparent divisions, a voice that hums in the timbre of the great cross cultural wisdom traditions. We are enchanted by works that reflect both the beauty and terror of life and dialogue in a vital way with the human condition.

Peace and all good to you from the wild and always somewhat in disarray companions of the Fourth Order.

Musa the Tailor

(Editor's note: We begin this fall 2010 edition with this beautiful poem celebrating the feast of Francis of Assisi with a remembrance of his union with Clare - the union of the heart's enclosure and our response in the world, the earliest Franciscan rule.)

The Ordinance

Runic fibres run, an echelon of intonation,
Through iconography refracted, Left and Right.
The ordinance of poverty, angelic, striking
Wayward hearts, hateful babble run through
And silenced by the enclosure of Clare’s women.
A cradle for infants, a sickness for tyrants,
The wanderer’s holy weaponry sings outward,
Through soil, upward, into branch, explosions of leaf and flower,
And then a harvest of fruit, falling, unseen: this darkened sanctuary.
Leave the sheikhs and scientists to their God delusion,
Leave them to their claps and whistles,
For the ordinance demands a chastity greater than that foul lapse
For the ordinance demands the truth function, the verdant Joy.
And so this midnight, I reflect that his charity was orbic universe in miniature,
Replicated by diamond response.
But then I am interrupted, my daughters’ cat sounds at the window
Asking to be let out into night air:
A kaleidoscope of cat and Clare and Kingdom.

Copyright by Musa 

Musa is both a Tailor and a professor of Computational Logic with the University of London. He lives in London with his wife, two daughters and their cat. His ongoing reflections on Sufism, reality and language can be found at The Tailor’s Doctrine thegoodgarment.wordpress.com and at the tailorofgoodgarment’s youtube channel. Be ready for a wild and wonderful romp in the hermeneutics of divine love.


Oct 29, 2010

Woody Wodraska

Saint John and Me in the Desert

What do I even know about the man, the prophet, the baptizer? I picture him gaunt, dressed in skins, a wild man haranguing the crowd and standing knee-deep in the Jordan. A man with a message, making a spectacle of himself. Tough, a standup guy. Then languishing in Herod’s prison cell and finally, his head on a platter at a feast. “I must decrease while he [Jesus] increases.”

Contact #1 On the way to the monastery on the Rio Chama I spent a night at a hot springs resort in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. After a low budget night in the yurt, while I was outside and looking around, a lady dressed in one of the fluffy white robes they rent there for the treks from lodging to hot pools, this lady looked at me oddly from a distance, then walked to close the gap between us, clearly bent on telling me something.

She said, “You look just like John the Baptist, the way I saw you then, just taking a step forward. One of your ancestors could have posed for Rodin’s sculpture of John the Baptist.” And that was that…she walked on. Good thing, because I had no response to this, though I can vaguely picture the bronze she’s thinking of.

Contact #2 A couple of days later I was in Taos, staying with an old friend while waiting to go to the monastery. She brought out a copy of a painting, unframed but somewhat protected by a mat mounting. I don’t know the name of the painting, but it’s by Leonardo or Michelangelo and it shows Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, with the two boys, chubby and a year or so apart—a toddler, John, and an infant, Jesus. I hadn’t seen this painting in many years and gladly accepted when my friend said: “We had this when we were together in the 80s, and to me it was always your picture, so why don’t you have it with you from now on?”

Another few days and I arrive at the monastery, up the Rio Chama to the head of the canyon, with the chapel backdropped by rimrock and two crosses at the top; you crane your neck to see them catching the evening light. For me this is a firm intention, put into effect years ago—to be here with the monks—now manifesting. I’m humbled and exalted to be here.

Contact #3 I enter the chapel for the first time. An octagonal central space with a plain altar in the middle and flanked on four sides by great paned windows thirty feet high and 20 broad. Guests are seated just inside the big double doors, a ranking of 16 cushioned, heavy wooden chairs. The view for the guests is of the soaring rimrock, differently shadowed and colored as the sun makes its way across the sky, from Matins at 7:00 AM to Vespers at 7:30 PM. To the right and left of the central area are the choirs, seating a more or less equal number of monks at each office, chanting alternate verses. Their chairs are much the same as ours, but with arms and spaced farther apart. Behind the monks on the right is a niche with a statue of Mary. In front of them on the wall is a graphic, iconic, more than life size crucifix…the blood streaming and the expression agonized. Straight ahead is the door through which the monks enter, typically in one’s and twos, and leave in procession; both going and coming they bow to the altar. At the right of the door is a smallish icon, maybe the size of a breadboard, too far away to make out the details. I discover later that this one is changed every day or two.
And to the front of the monks on the left, in a niche next to the carved lectern from which homilies are delivered, is John the Baptist. Nearly life sized, tormented with his message of repentance, striding forth with a thin staff in the form of a cross in his right hand and a book in his left hand, improbably topped by a lamb the size of a cat. There he is again.

Contact #4
We go to the main meal, that first day, and there he is again, on the wall between the refectory and the kitchen, behind the main monks’ head table—another iconic picture of John, large-sized. And before we sit down we sing three songs of praise and thanksgiving, one of them a grace, another to the monastic founder Benedict, and one to John, the forerunner, The Troparion of Saint John the Baptist:
The memory of the just
Is mentioned with praise.
As for you O Foreruner, the
Lord’s witness is enough.
Indeed, you were greater than the prophets,
Since you were found worthy
To baptize in the waters the One
They could only announce.
You have fought for the sake of truth;
And proclaimed to those in Hades
That god who appeared in the flesh
Has taken away the sins of the world,
And bestowed his great mercy upon us.

Contact #5 The smaller icon, by the Brothers’ entry door in the church. After Matins on my last day at the monastery I crossed the altar area to have a look at it. Another iconic painting, of Jesus standing, leaning on a light staff in the form of a cross and pierced by the staff in the manner of a proclamation unrolled, a parchment with those words again: “I must decrease while he increases.” And on the ground in the left bottom corner, the bloody head of John in a basket.

Copyright by Woody Wodraska

When Woody Wodraska is not contemplating the head of John the Baptist, his hands are in the soil of mother earth and his work is family and community deep bio-dynamic gardening. Woody is a co-founder of Aurora Farm Family Foundation. The Foundation supports the Aurora Farm Seed CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which provides non genetically modified open pollinated bio-dynamically grown heritage seeds to gardeners. “Food Sovereignty Begins with Seeds.” Woody is the author of Deep Gardening: Soul Lessons from 17 Gardens published by Trafford.

Deep Gardening: Soul Lessons from 17 Gardens, Biodynamic Memories

Hermit John

En las Profundidades de Mi Ser

En las profundidades de mi ser,
In the depths of my being
Un sufrimiento callado se trasmuta
A quiet sorrow is being transmuted.
Y este dolor
And that pain
De sentir tu dolor
By feeling your pain
Se alimenta compasivo.
Is compassionately digested.
Como cuando baja el sol
Like when the sun goes down
En el ocaso
In the sunset
Pintando de colores el cielo.
Painting colors in the sky.

Mas, vendra la noche
But the night will come
Con sus silencios nocturnos
With nocturnal silences
A conectarnos a la vacuidad del Cosmos.
To connect us to the deep void of the Cosmos.

Y veremos
And we will see
Reflejada nuestra realidad
Our reality reflected
En las estrellas.
In the stars.

Y una vez mas
And, one more time,
Emergiendo del silencio de la noche
Emerging from the silences of the night
Brillara el sol
The sun will shine
En nuestras vidas
In our lives.

Y con el nuevo comienzo de cada dia
And, with the new beginning of each day
Una nueva esperanza compartida.
A new shared hope.

Por que invertir nuestras preciosas energias
Why should we invest our precious energies
Alimentando el mounstruo de tristeza y de la ira?
Feeding the monster of sadness and anger?

Por que seguir llorando
Why should we continue crying
Y aumentar en la tierra
And add to the Earth
El dolor profundo que la agobia.
Deeper pains.

Somos guerreros de luz,
We are warriors of light,
Canales de amor
Channels of love
Instrumentos de Dios.
Instruments of God.

Trasmutemos nuestros miedos
Let's transmute our fears
En el oro del Amor Divino y perdonemos.
Into the gold of divine love and forgive.

Trasformemos los fantasmas del pasado,
Let's transform the ghosts of our past.
Desechemos aquello que no nutre nuestro espiritu.
To let go to what doesn't nourishes our spirit.

Seamos nosotros el cambio que buscamos.
Let's be the change we are seek.

Hagamos de la compassion
Let's make of Compassion
Una alquimia cotidiana
A daily alchemy.

Donde la vida, nuestra vida
Where life, our life
Es el amor mismo que tanto anhelamos.
Is that same love we are looking for.

Que la busqueda de paz
May the search of peace
De nuestro silencio sagrado
Of our sacred silence.
Sea el Puente divino
Be a divine bridge
Que nos conecte a nuestra verdadera esencia.
That will connect us with our true essence.

Observemos nuestro ego, sin juicio y sin culpa
Let us observe our ego, without judgment or guilt
Dejando que se evapore
Allowing him to evaporate
En la indiferencia de un alma selctiva
Between the indifference of a selective soul
Que solo alimenta y engrandece
That only feeds and helps grow
Lo que es bello, puro y perfecto.
What is beautiful, pure and perfect.

Dejemos que nuestro ego se disuelva
And, let us allow our ego to get dissolved
Y muera de una vez de indiferencia!
And finally die of indifference.

Let's fight
Una lucha pacifica
A pacific war
Alimentando la virtud y la paciencia.
Feeding virtues and patience.

Y en este fluir entre lo humano y lo divino
And, in that place; between the human and the divine
Evolucionemos con conciencia
Let's evolve, with consciousness
De homo sapiens a homo angelicus
From homo sapiens to homo angelicus
Irradiando la luz
Radiating the light
De la Unidad Divina
Of Divine Oneness.

Copyright by John the Hermit

Hermit John has been a hermit for 35 years. He serves as Prior for an international interspiritual group of hermits and solitaries.  He lives in South Africa.


God says:
“You are loved
you are Love, Itself.

what is it, then,
that you are so afraid of losing?

come! take my hand,
it’s all around you —
come out of that dank hole
you’ve dug for yourself.

come into the Sun!

if you can’t find My hand,
begin by loving your blind groping.”

From time to time
(according to me)
a window opens between two hearts
and one soul sees the other
as God sees the other
and goes a little nuts

with joy

Hafizullah has walked, stumbled, crawled, and danced the path of the Sufi since 1976. He resides in his native Seattle, “as close to heaven as I ever want to be,” where he flogs computer software for money and guides a circle of students in the Sufi path. His passion is sharing sacred space and spiritual practice with those who are awakening.

Richard Blanchfield

An Ontological Grunt 

In time of war a U.S. MARINE:
in truth, a man of peace,
either way, a man of courage.

Veterans trust dogs,
children under twelve,
the chair facing the door
and any weapon in the dark.

Paratrooper, Marine, grunt,
infantryman or medic,
armor, air, or artillery,
guerrilla, fighter or
counterinsurgent, gunslinger,
each man reborn in combat.

So God made the world,
God made man,
and God made Nam!
Since Vietnam
three things
hold my Universe together:
gravity, centrifugal force
and suffering.

The Nam was a mind fuck,
soul crusher,
body killer.
In isolated rage
I see the 58, 620 names
embedded on the black granite Wall.

I hear echoes: Waste them,
get some, ice them….
my soul an unhung murderer.
I am a Warrior,
and not a gentle man.

I see Christ in jungle fatigues,
Humping like a grunt,
Leeches bleeding him raw.
He says: fuck it
and becomes the tiger.

Ah, war, war, war.
Casualties taken on both side.
We come from nonexistence.
We got to oblivion.
And War and U.S. of A. denies us.

I am a Warrior
for peace
AND not a gentle man.

Copyright by Richard Blanchfield

Richard “Doc” Blanchfield, a founding companion of the Fourth Order, has been known to stand in frigid arctic rivers for hours whispering unspeakable sweet talk to salmon as they make they way onto his hook. He is quoted frequently in Doing It Another Way: the Basic Text of the Fourth Order and a brief but important segment of his story is told on page 141. He is a three tour Vietnam veteran, Navy medic, who was wounded in the Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968. Dick was involved with Operation Babylift, the evacuation of Amer-Asian children at the fall of Saigon; and with the founding of the Flower of the Dragon, a non-profit Vietnam veterans service organization created and run by Vietnam veterans in the 1970's which became the model for Vietnam Veteran Centers across the nation.

Hissa Hilal - حصة هلال

(Editor/translator's note: This poem is American English adaptation of a poem performed this year by Hissa Hilal in the United Arab Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi, on the popular poetry contest, "The Million's Poet" which is broadcast all over the Middle East.  The poem addresses the Arab world but its word's are strangely applicable to the Western world as well. The translation from the video performance of Hissa Hilal is by Hadeel al-Barrack. The English language adaptation is by Barbara Flaherty. Below is both a video of her performance with another's translation as well. We offer our translation to Ms Hilal as a gift to a poet who inspires all creative persons to speak truth to power.)

Ms Hilal's Introduction

Fear of speaking out keeps poets silent,
while danger surrounds our nation.
Poets speak only of temporary needs,
and personal issues, here where real words
fearlessly spoken are the true need. This matters,
those who could speak choose to be speechless.

Ms Hilal's Poem

I have seen evil in the eyes of men,
who talk as if they were religious men,
rude, not human, angry, they give their legal
orders to the faithful. Allowed things become
forbidden! They cover their ugly thoughts
with nice talk, but put on death and wrap it
under their belt, with terror up their sleeves.
We live in an era when forbidden things
are allowed! Political people terrorize
human beings, try to make peace their prey.
O my nation, you are between barking dogs.
I can see you in the dark.

Copyright of English language poem by Barbara Flaherty,

Hissa Hilal is a published poet who has previously worked as poetry editor for the London-headquartered Arab daily Al-Hayat, as well as a proud mother of four. Born to a family of Bedouins from Al Malihan tribe, Hilal has been writing in both the classical Arabic and colloquial styles of poetry since the age of 11 and has two published poetry collections: “Lahjat Al Hail” and “Al Nadawi”. She chooses to use provocative language in her poems because “extremism is so strong and you cannot talk about it in any other way.”
Hissa Hilal has most recently edited a controversial collection of pre-1950s poems written by Bedouin women, titled “Divorce and Kholu’ Poetry - A Reading of the Status of Women in Tribal Society - Nabati Poetry as a Witness.” The 297-page anthology was published by The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage’s Poetry Academy and is divided into two main sections.  The first section is titled “The Right of Choice”; the second speaks of “Rejection and Resistance.” (Source: Muslim Women, an online journal)

Charles Cameron

The Empty Quarter


I shall have to admit that the way wind dances
across the surface of a pond or lake, the shimmer
and ripple of it, could be a form of writing –
of music, of painting too -- have I noticed
there's more than one way the surface of water
reflects? Wind has as much skittering practice
as any brush and paints as fair a picture -- a wind
and water way of writing. Why, then -- when

your needle draws blood through the tapestry
of life, is this not in the same calligraphy? Where
fire flames out, is it not cursive in the same
tongue? There is a piercing within every trace
of paint: all beauty bleeds, all flesh is afire
as the devouring signature of all turns all to ashes.

The Weave

The way a maple tree in full leaf
like a ship under full sail fingers the sky,
the way sky gloves the maple,
as wind, holy, fills the sails: one
breath, one hand, the one calligraphy.

The Empty Quarter
Rub' al Khali

Supposing an elevator doesn't function:
perhaps you can take the stairs,
you're a minute late, he's slightly
miffed, you kiss and make up, the
taxi horn blares downstairs at the same
moment it would have, he
picks up his keys, you reach
the restaurant just as if the elevator had
been working, but elsewhere a shooting
star fails to fall, there's a slight
shift in the wind, the dunes configure
themselves differently in
the Empty Quarter, the signs
of God read differently, it's a new world... .

Copyright@2010 by Charles Cameron


Charles Hipbone Cameron passion includes designing playable variants on Hermann Hesse's Glass Bead Game, and talking about why mythological logic has important contributions to make in a slew of areas ranging from dream interpretation to conflict resolution. He worked during the millennial rollover as Senior Analyst at The Arlington Institute, a beltway think tank in Virginia, on the social impact of large and surprising changes, and was a Principal Researcher with the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University.  Right at the moment, he is focusing on the Middle East and developing a tool for conflict analysis -- and hopefully, eventually, resolution!Charles is a frequent contributor to think tank blogs.

Judith Lethin


Antevasin: a sanskrit word meaning one who lives at the border, an in-betweener. A person who leaves the city to live at the edge where the spiritual masters dwell. One who has sight of both worlds, but looks toward the unknown.


The Companions live there,
on the border, away from the
center of the city;
we shelter
driven by the heat of the day
into holes
beneath cactus and mesquite.
Hungry children
cling to mother’s skirts,
frightened children
disappear into the riffled folds
of fabric,
pretend an invisibility
impossible to achieve.
Dark places, riffled places,
habitat for a hapless god
who hides there,
In dark places and riffled places,
with us.


The poor are drawn to the border,
drawn to the
bang of the old screen door
early in the morning;
drawn to the cluck, cluck of the
old woman and the
sound of grain swirling
in an old tin bucket;
drawn to the border,
to the silence and
simplicity of a place
away from the city,
away from the invisibility
of the city.
Chicks seek the
warmth of their own mother’s
thrust-down wings
and riffled breast


The Coyotes have come
to the edge,
the cut-off place
where dreams collide with violence
where spiritual masters collide
with mercenaries
who cut off the
heads of hapless dope sellers,
so many chickens
slaughtered on a Monday or
a Tuesday (it’s a job, you know,
somebody has to do it).
The bodies pile up
on the edge of the village
where voles hide and children
dare not go.


The Companions wait
in the still, cold church;
the funeral begins,
a father and son
in the pile
at the edge of the village.
Shhhh…….whispers the priest.
stay inside,
don’t show your face on Saturday
or you’ll be killed.
Chicken vultures look for blood,
timid foul take refuge
in the early morning
in cement houses
and adobe houses.
Humvees paid for
with drug money from America
rumble the streets,
shattering the early morning stillness,
shaking the fragile
walls and windows
and sensibilities of
passionate mothers
who fear for their sons lives.
Come home, they plead,
then riffle the folds
of their skirts
into ever widening circles,
until the cement houses and
the adobe houses
and the dust filled yards and
the pocked marked streets
are filled with the
riotous sound of their own
heart beat….
Come home,
stay home.


leave their homes
and live on the edge,
away from the city,
where spiritual masters dwell.
drawn to the border,
to the dark places
and riffled places,
bear witness,
with a hapless god
who bears witness with us.

Copyright by Judith Lethin
The Rev. Judith Lethin, the flying preacher,  a companion of the Fourth Order, grew up a cowgirl and never lost that wild edge. Judith is an Episcopal priest from Alaska. Her work has included innovative programs for alcohol and other drug treatment and suicide prevention in rural isolated villages. She is the President of the Board and founder of Our Lady of Las Palomas Interfaith Retreat Center, serving the poor of both New Mexico and Mexico.

Nizam Rose

(Editor's Note: This moving reflection on the Easter Tridentine would typically be published with the season of the year. There is another season, the heart's season, where the great mysteries are alive in every moment. In that spirit we present Nizam Rose's powerful poem, On This Day.) 

On This Day

on this day

glorious voices from our beloved africa
raise up my spirits
though never forgetting that it is a
paradox that creates such beauty
while shots fire and villages
burn to the ground leaving
a foul smell and broken bodies, broken hearts.

on this day

we remember the mother's milk
that fed our savior, our spirit,
though never forgetting that
in the dark, war-torn east,
those same breasts are cut
from the chests of african women,
a 'statement' that they would nourish life no more.

on this day

we hear the nails, we see the face in anguish
we feel the blood spattered upon our faces
as the master is sent on that final journey
from this world to that,
never forgetting the millions of our
brothers and sisters in africa,
enduring the plague of aids,
ancients, babes, mothers, fathers, friends.

on this day

we watch the sky, so blue, untouched
by ought save the sun's light
never forgetting that under the same\
blue sky, our african family stares
hopelessly waiting for rain

on this day

we purify ourselves
as our lord's body was washed
after agonies finally ceased
never forgetting that the rivers
run dry, the desert grows
in our beloved africa

on this day

the sound of spring birds
both weeping and celebrating
the renewal of life given by
body and blood so precious,
never forgetting the same cries
and laughter of children still innocent
in our beloved africa.

good friday, 2007

a journey

when i first came to the desert
i saw it clearly,
an endless ocean of sands
drifting. walking eastward into the rising sun
was peaceful, silent, yet full.
i was well wrapped, knew my
destination, knew my lord..

silence and peace remained
my companions during the first days,
until i found east had become west,
light into darkness, and the sky filled with sand.
inside my makeshift tent i waited for
the howling storm to abate. i was there
for a long time, sleeping and praying.

as silence fell once again, i came out
into the open, into a new world.
the light was so bright i could not see,
and thus continued in a wayward direction
tempted by thoughts of sweet water
and the touch of warm oil soothing my skin

despite all, my lips cracked, water supply
dwindled,my mind began to wander
from the light into the darkness where i could not
hear my lord's voice.

i began to hear another voice,
sweet and long desired
calling to me, calling for me.
in the distance my eyes created
a pearl-like marble palace
where trees and water beckoned

parched, half-crazed, i ran
toward it, the whispers still
inviting me with promises
of rest, sustenance and
pleasures undreamed of.

arriving, i ran through the
needle's eye, ecstatic.
i jumped into the fountain
was surrounded by beauties
that served me with fresh
viands and sated my desires.
for forty days i remained thus,
until my lord took pity upon me
and unveiled the truth of this vista.

i lay covered in my own filth
in a puddle fouled by
carrion seeking animals who ventured
to that spot. a scraggly date palm
had given up its sour fruit that i had
taken for sweet meats and delicious ices.
for three days i wept in self pity, shame
and rage at myself, at my lord, at myself.
finally i slept, drained of tears, sweat, emotion.

in the morning, i woke to find myself clad in
clean, fresh garments with a water bag, dried fruit
and goat cheese to sustain me. i tasted and drank
sparingly, made prayers of repentance and gratitude,
and once again turned east, chastened,
but with renewed courage to reach that place
i knew as home.

holy saturday, 2007

into the light of peace

waking on cold stone
in a cave where i sought refuge
from the winds and rains of the night
a fragrant smell, the sweet sound of bells,
a holy light surrounded me,
has the journey ended?

this seems unlikely, and yet
the same simple cotton on my skin,
the water bag and provisions lay next to me.
it might be a dream, of course. on the
long journey across the desert many dreams
had come bearing signs of the deeper peace
i sought.

a prayer to lord ganesha to remove
obstacles was whispered into my ear -
a prayer of thanks for bounty of body, heart
and soul that makes peace possible.

in a troubled dream, while i sat quietly, i heard
the words of he who taught the way to freedom
from suffering, "Now this triple world, all is my domain;
the living beings in it - all are my children.
but now this place abounds with illness and calamity,
and i alone am able to save and protect them."*

the three who attended the birth of a savior prayed
"may understanding obedience conquer ignorant disobedience.
may harmony triumph over discord,
and generosity of spirit over covetous avarice
and may respect replace derision!"**

as war threatened daily to destroy them
my jewish brethren prayed, "eternal god,
the guide of humanity, you have called
us to peace, for you are peace itself."
"let there be enlightenment and knowledge.
let there be acceptance and love.
let there be confidence and trust.
let there be freedom and justice.
let there be prosperity and health.

another vision had taken me far into the
future where war and strife threatened
once again to deliver all into evil and waste.
but one was seen by god as he prayed,
"o god, you are the peace. the everlasting
peace is from you and it returns to you.
o our sustainer, grant us the life of true peace,
and enter us into the abode of peace.'****
god heard the prayer and once again led
us from the darkness of ignorance through
the greatness and humility of the one who
spoke that prayer.

then in that cave where i had sought shelter
a great light blinded me and i beheld the
prince of peace, returning from a journey
into the darkness, as i had myself. "do you
not know me?" tears of joy filled my eyes
as i knelt and kissed the hem of the robe.

whatever ills befall us and lead us astray
or into ungrateful despair, those comforters
of the broken-hearted, supporting those in need
and befriending the lovers of truth,
they also shall come as promised
to hold aloft the light of truth amidst
the darkness of human ignorance.*****

Jai! Namo! Ashem! Adonai! Abwoun! Allah!.........
Peace, Bringers of Peace, and Keepers of Peace
Be Blessed in this Holy Season of Remembrance and Renewal!

Easter, 2007
with deep gratitude to kismet and all
beloved collaborators

Copyright by Nizam Rose

*from "Essential Teachings" of the Dalai Lama
**from "Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism"
***from the "Elements of the Qabalah"
**** from "The Universal Spirit of Islam"
***** from the Universal Worship Service of Sufi Inayat Khan

Nizam Monica Rose has been a child and family therapist, teacher, musician, lover, wife, step-mom, fighter for social justice and world peace.  Her poetry springs from the heart and she hopes to write a screenplay soon. She is an aspirant on the Sufi path living in Gulf Breeze, FL.