THE SILENCE

Michael Mathias

© 2005 Michael Mathias. All rights reserved.

O my Beloved,
You revealed to me
That I walked with you in Galilee.
In countless lives I called you friend.
I circled with You around the Kaaba,
The black stone of heaven.
You have called me to your Tower of Silence.
Your eyes dazzle me.
Now You reveal Yourself to me as my Beloved.

And it came about that Mary spoke
In the Tower of Silence:

"O my beloved son,
When you were Jesus
The crowds pushed you toward the cross.
Roman soldiers spread your wings
Like a swan.

Your Silence rises,
A pale smile,
Beyond your bleeding wingtips."


The Poet:

"The dead are laid out in circles,
The old men frozen in the outer circle,
The women with closed bellies in the second circle,
The chalk-white children in the inmost circle.

But what is this call I hear?
Is it You, my darling?
Behold, You call me out from these circles of death,
You call me out before the fierce birds come with clawing beaks.

O when you were Leyla
You drove me mad with longing
But now I knock at your door.
'Who is it?' You ask.
'There is no one here but You!' (Hafiz)

Silence forms around You, Mary,
The way Silence forms around God.

Your Silence calls me forth
And gives me your breast.
You call to me again
Through ten thousand suns of your eyes.
In all of my lives I have ached for your loveliness.

Now you tell me to witness in the Tower of Silence.
This tired old wandering man, Sheriar,
Must fall prostrate and become nothing
Before his future Son."

Then Mary showed a vision of her Beloved
In the Temple of Silence.


Mary:

"His Silence widens in orbits,
His heart of flame
Strikes through the world of form.
The Silence will sear the atomic structure of the Universe.
When he was Jesus he laughed
And pointed to his body hanging on the cross:
'Look Peter! Theyíve got the wrong man.
Iím here beside you in my cosmic Form.
Look at me now and let that carcass go.'"


Sheriar:

"I came here to burn my lies away
In the fire of Ahura Mazda,
King of the Sun.
All that you say is wondrous strange!"


Mary:

"My Beloved is Ahura Mazda.
He is the Ancient One.
He is Rama, He is Krishna.
He is Buddha, He is Mohammed.
Cycle after cycle,
Every seven hundred years
He comes again to awaken the living dead.
Now in this age,
He will bring in the Silence of His Advent.
And the fire of the Silence
Shall be greater than the sun."


Sheriar:

"Who are you?
You are not clad in black
But the light of ten thousand suns
Veils your face.
What is this light about you?"


Mary:

"My Beloved is the Father of Fire
I have come to bring you a vision, father."


Sheriar:

"Why do you call me father?
Are you dressed in white for a wedding?
And who are these priests
Removing the curtain between you?"


Mary:

"The bridegroom sitting beside me
Is your son Merwan.
The priests are removing the curtain
Because here life speaks to death
And death speaks to life."


Sheriar:

"Now they are knotting your wrists
With the rope-twist."


Mary:

"In all the ages,
We have never been separated;
He is my Beloved.
When he incarnated as Krishna
I was His Radha.
We can never be torn from each other.

O Beloved,
I love You more than life itself.
Look, Baba, they are tying our hands together.
Donít these priests know
That our hearts kiss each other
Since the moonflesh of creation?

Donít they look in my eyes
And see Your reflection in
Every tear drop of our souls,
Mirrors of the divine?

Priests, why do you knot our hands?
Donít you see
That our dreams are woven together,
Our moments are living prayers
Transforming our love.

Let singers now write of us
Love songs that will inscribe
On lips of yearling pilgrims
Who weep at the touch of our histories.
Generation unto generation
They will sing of Meher and Mehera,
Dazzled by our fiery presence.

O Beloved,
We could inspire stones
To rise up and dance!

I want kindergarten lovers
To cut their eye teeth
On our Love
So that they may learn the Universe is Godís shadow,
And Divine Love only is Real.
Father, will you sign the marriage contract?"


Sheriar:

"Weddings are the last thing I want!
I am in Love with God.
I want to be like Hallaj and live only for God.
Like Hallaj I want my hands and my feet
To be cut off for God.
Like Hallaj I am willing to go to the hangmanís noose dancing
And be executed for declaring 'I am one with God' now on earth."


Mary:

"Love is not a sword,
But a harp.
Let its harmonies melt the shell
From your heart;
I am carved by the Beloved!
Look on me
And you will see
That I have been in love
With God since the beginning of time.

Do you dare to look on the face of Godís wife?
Do you dare to look on the face of Love itself?"


Sheriar:

"What do you want with this drifting hermit?
Father, where are you?
Madness, madness, madness!
I run into the heart of the desert.
I canít burn out this pain of a father who left me.
What do I know of fathering!"


Mary:

"Our earthly fathers are not our real fathers.
I tell you, the son who is
Coming to find you
Is the Emperor of Love."


Sheriar:

"I have no wife; I am childless!
I am a poor sunblind wanderer.
I draw a circle of fire around me.
My wounds will not heal.
I am driven mad by God.
Ha! What kind of seeker am I?
Drifting, drifting, drifting."


Mary:

"Cry out for God, Sheriar,
Till your tears polish
Your heart as a mirror."


Sheriar:

"Before the fortieth day I swooned.
I fainted outside in the desert.
An old man and his son
Fed me water and goat cheese
And then they were gone
And a voice told me
To burn my attachments
In the holy fires of the Tower of Silence."


Mary:

"Shh, Sheriar,
Listen to the sound of The Silence!"


Sheriar:

"Silence, silence, silence!
The dead are weeping in silence
That they became obsessed
With the foam
Instead of the sea of Your Silence." (Rumi)


Mary:

"The old man and his son
Disappeared because they were angels.
It is my voice that called you!


Sheriar:    (Sheriar runs around the circle of the dead, shouting like a madman.)

"Silence, silence, silence!
O my ears bleed!
What is this Silence?
It is so loud, it rings!"


Mary:

"Give up your dreams of becoming a dervish,
Sheriar, let your dreams die here with the dead!
The holiness that you hoped for
Will be fulfilled in your son.
The father you long for
You will find in your son.
Your son is your real Father!
Your son Merwan is the Father of the Universe."


Sheriar:

"You swoop down from heaven
Like a great white bird!
Lift me with your wings
From the bedroom of the dead.
Ravage me, Beloved,
Seize my martyred heart with your beak
And replace it with
The blinding sun of your Being."


Mary:

"In the Fire of Ahura Mazda
You must burn your desires of becoming Shams-e-Tabriz.
You must destroy your hunger of becoming a scribe like Hafiz.

See how perfect the dead are,
The child and the old man locked
In embrace of the golden embryo!

You must love my Silence
More than the poem you are writing.
You must love my Presence
More than music itself.

O what a voice Baba has!
When he sings
Like the flute of Krishna
The deer prick up their newborn ears,
The seabirds widen
In circling rings round his Silence.
Nightingales nest in his hair.

O Baba, how could you crucify
This enchanting voice that I love.
O what you suffered never to sing again!
Our entire marriage in Silence,
Your hips broken and fractured in Silence.
No one can ever imagine
Your suffering, smiling
Above crucified Silence
To become the poet of Silence.
Your delicate gestures
Will dance out the discourses.
You will travel the continents
Camouflaged in Silence.
The Silence will give birth
To the song of The New Life.

The Avatar of the Universe
Shall take his disciples
And beg with a bowl in the Silence.
The King of the Universe
Will kneel before lepers,
Bow down to the wounded
Feet of his Creation in Silence.

O Baba, I canít bear this agony!
When will You
Break open your Silence
So that the Universe can see
My bridegroom return to me
in the blazing light of his Silence?"


The Poet:

"Must I become my Poem of Fire?"


Mary:

"If the page stands between you and the Fire,
Tear it up, Poet!
Dive down head-first into the flames,
Welcome the burning!"


The Poet:

"Is it in the shadow of the ant that was not crushed
You teach me now the instant eternal Silence
In the new life of Sheriar?

See, before me his bent shoulders
Resign his hope to become wandering dervish
Renouncing even renunciation itself,

That he might raise his son to become
The Avatar, God in Human Form."



Written on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of  The Glow

Beautiful bound volumes of The Glow,
How many journeys I have taken through your magical lens that moves through the shuttling mirrors of the Master's Eye.

O Glow, you have grown globally as a microcosm of the voice of Baba!



© 2005 by Michael Mathias, Poet of the Fire


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