Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The Night of Power (poem) 

Here is another "love poem to God," by a poet/mystic of the nineteenth century. The experience of union, often achieved through the effects of kundalini is frequently expressed in terms of erotic love. In the Song of Solomon, the divine is also described in terms suggesting a human lover. Those who do not understand the metaphorical nature of such poems/songs sometimes mistakenly take the words in their literal meaning and are puzzled thereby.

The Night of Power

Is it the night of power
Or only your hair?
Is it dawn
Or your face?

In the songbook of beauty
Is it a deathless first line
Or only a fragment
copied from your inky eyebrow?

Is it boxwood of the orchard
Or cypress of the rose garden?
The tuba tree of paradise, abundant with dates,
Or your standing beautifully straight?

Is it musk of a Chinese deer
Or scent of delicate rosewater?
The rose breathing in the wind
Or your perfume?

Is it scorching lightning
Or light from fire on Sana'i Mountain?
My hot sigh
Or your inner radiance?

Is it Mongolian musk
Or pure ambergris?
Is it your hyacinth curls
Or your braids?

Is it a glass of red wine at dawn
Or white magic?
Your drunken narcissus eye
Or your spell?

Is it the Garden of Eden
Or heaven on earth?
A mosque of the masters of the heart
Or a back alley?

Everyone faces a mosque of adobe and mud
When they pray.
The mosque of Hayati's soul
Turns to your face.

-- Bibi Hayati (d. 1853)
"The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry," edited by Aliki Barnstone
(found on poetry chaikhana site)

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