Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Al-Mubdi: Naming into Individuation

Perhaps you have sat in a circle
a campfire’s glow playing over
people you love, their eyes drawn
again and again,
to the light, to the ember, to the ash.
You share the same heat,
the same giggling dodge of smoke
as the wind whirls through speaking-stick pines.
But the wonder is, from each point on the gathering,
the fire is not the same.
Here, a coal has grown long and writhing like a snake,
there, a pile of ash lets go into formlessness with a sigh,
on that side, a new log hisses, and the flames
go purple and blue and almost white.
Still we call it and everyone by name,
and think we know it all the way around
in our isolation.

In truth,
on this curved world, it is the same,
each of our Names unique,
each of our experiences of God
a point on that sing-along circumference.
Now, I will speak what we know
in peripheral vision--
our collective Knowing is that much less,
in the unoccupied empty spaces on the edge
of the wash of warmth and light.
Come to the fire and be Named.
Come and be Named.
And reveal your face of God.


Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

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