From the madness without
to the madness within
there is no true distinction.
In the end it’s a sin

to believe we can point
to others and say
they are living in error
but we’re not that way.

If ever you feel
that to God you are dearer
perhaps you should take
one more look in the mirror.

“Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created.”



Jamey’s Death

I got the phone call
from his distressed
drug addict neighbor.
Jamey was dead.

So I dropped what I was doing
and drove over there
to arrive at the moment
that had been looming
in my mind for months.

His body was there
stiff, lifeless, no longer Jamey.
Just an empty shell.

I prayed for him
and tried to figure out what to do.
Me the supposed next of kin
with no family ties
or legal authority,
just the only stable friend
to a lost soul.

We sifted through
the archives of a hapless life,
found an estranged sister,
and were reminded
that life is really
damn complicated.

Jamey is gone now
and the mess he left
has been swept away.

I still don’t know
what to think of everything
but sometimes I still
pray for him
because I remember
that in the end
we are all just lost souls
in need of God’s grace.

Please don’t tell my friends
about my diagnosis.
It’s easier if no one knows.

We’ll just play it cool.
This kind of stuff
tends to make people uncomfortable.

What if they found out
about what’s inside me?
What would I say?
It would be a little awkward.

What if I were to see
with my own two eyes?
I’ve read up on it,
but still can’t seem to grasp

that within me
the universe is folded,
that the essence of my being
is limitless divine love?

I think that’s a little much.
Anyway, what’s on TV?

“…reflect upon the perfection of man’s creation, and that all these planes and states are folded up and hidden away within him.

‘Dost thou reckon thyself only a puny form
When within thee the universe is folded?’1

O friend, the heart is the dwelling of eternal mysteries, make it not the home of fleeting fancies; waste not the treasure of thy precious life in employment with this swiftly passing world. Thou comest from the world of holiness — bind not thine heart to the earth; thou art a dweller in the court of nearness — choose not the homeland of the dust.”

~Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys

I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.”

~Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words

1 Ali.