A single rose perseveres
amidst the drab
of late autumn.

Hope has triumphed,
only to be plucked
and handed to Layli-
a gift for her to bring to Nani.

The rose bush rests, now colorless,
its final bestowal sitting in a glass
on a distant kitchen counter.

With this year’s
final act of self-sacrifice complete,
the bush awaits quietly
for the coming Spring.

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Leaves rustle on a still day.
Rain descends from an open sky.
Presence fills an empty room.

In the land of plenty, I feel myself
a whitewashed tomb.
When the water no longer quenches my thirst,
I go searching through barren deserts.

Unseen forces demolish my heart and mind
then rebuild, over and over again.
Is this madness divine or demonic,
inspired or deranged?

If you have not felt this,
your answer means nothing.

Melodies arise from silence.
Poetry sprawls itself across the sky.
Peasants pity their gilded rulers.

Salvation is granted
only to the hopelessly lost.

“…when the fire of love is ablaze, it burneth to ashes the harvest of reason.

Now is the traveler unaware of himself, and of aught besides himself. He seeth neither ignorance nor knowledge, neither doubt nor certitude; he knoweth not the morn of guidance from the night of error. He fleeth both from unbelief and faith, and deadly poison is a balm to him.

Love accepteth no existence and wisheth no life: He seeth life in death, and in shame seeketh glory. To merit the madness of love, man must abound in sanity; to merit the bonds of the Friend, he must be full of spirit. Blessed the neck that is caught in His noose, happy the head that falleth on the dust in the pathway of His love. Wherefore, O friend, give up thy self that thou mayest find the Peerless One, pass by this mortal earth that thou mayest seek a home in the nest of heaven. Be as naught, if thou wouldst kindle the fire of being and be fit for the pathway of love.”

~Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys