Finding God

No more leaving

A poem by Hafiz


At some point

Your relationship with God

Will become like this:


Next time you meet Him in the forest

Or on a crowded city street


There won’t be any more



That is,

God will climb into

Your pocket.


You will simply just take




From: ‘The Gift’

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Finding God

When we’re in heaven

When we’re in heaven
I’ll rub almond oil on your eyes and lips
And you will massage my feet (just out of curiosity)
And we’ll look into the mirror together
And see the other’s face glow

When we’re in heaven
We’ll cuddle under enormous blankets
And your warmth will melt me (and mine will put you to sleep)
And our limbs will possess the other’s
As if they are all extensions of the same being

When we’re in heaven
I will press my lips into your sleeping cheeks
And graze the corner of your lips (your stubble will gently scorch me)
And I will fall asleep to the rhythm of your breath
And our gods will sprinkle golden dreams

Did I tell you, beloved, the gods have made us a promise?
That when we’re in heaven
Things will be exactly as they were on earth.

Seeking God

Ghalib says

When nothing exists but Thee, oh God,

Then what is this commotion?

— Mirza Ghalib

Finding God

There is time

Suddenly, there is time.
Time to flip the papaya over so that it ripens evenly
Time to put the bedsheet in the wash and hang the clothes out to dry in an orderly way (unlike the help who always dumps one on top of another)
Time to take the dogs out after lunch and hold Miyake back from bullying joyful little children on their way back from school

There is time
Time to gaze at the tulsi plant that has decided to flourish, finally
Time to observe the clouds change mood, fickle and true
Time to play dreamcatcher to one’s own thoughts (which go from suddenly drenching you in desire to drowning you in doubt and then leaving you naked in the cold)
Time to make tea

There is time
Time to be still and allow the feelings to rise, to allow the immaterial to fall away
Time for the deep and the shallow to mingle in a wave of discordant oneness
Time to see one’s reflection in the mirror of the soul (and allow a little bit of God in)
Time to make peace with the peace

How disillusioned we are
To think there’s not enough time To do it all, to fit it all in, to meet the deadline, to catch the last bus, to see the whole world, to tick off the bucket list, to watch every sunrise, to map every mountain, to win, to love, to get, to beget, to score, to earn, to learn, to achieve, to speak, to sleep, to fulfil our mission on earth

When there is time
We realise we were too busy to notice
That we’d barely begun.

Finding God

Ghalib says

So saying Ghalib broke the prayer beads apart:

“Why should I count how many times I take His name,

He who gives without keeping count.”

Finding God

Path 7-9: Winter

I see You in the start of winter
I see You in the trembling sneeze
I see You in the scarves and sweaters
Lying in the balcony, soaking up the breeze.

I see You in the morning chill
I see You in the dogs sniffing for a treat
I see You in the smell of wool
In hugs that seek not love, but cold hard heat.

Every time the season changes
I see You in its twist and turn
Whenever I get complacent and forget You
You smile, change avatar and return.

Finding God

Tripping Over Joy

What is the difference
between your experience of Existence
and that of a Saint?

The saint knows
that the spiritual path
is a sublime chess game with God
and that the Beloved
has just made a fantastic move
that the saint is now continually
tripping over joy
and bursting out in Laughter
and saying, “I surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
you have a thousand moves.


Finding God

Paths 3-5

I see You in the large empty house for rent
I see You in the shadowy trees
I see You in the dark, crowded market roads
As we stand by the curb eating Cocoberries.

I see You in the busy prefrontal cortex
I see You in the thoughts billowing like breeze
I see You in the leftovers in the kitchen
In the grains of rice and bowls of peas.

Wherever I stop, I see You there
Relishing the doubts and desires that ensnare me
Running with my mind in all directions
I see only You when I seek me.