Friday, February 19, 2010

O my soul-bird

Katherine Barr Atherton Griffith
April 18, 1912 - February 19, 2010

How should the soul not take wings
when from the Glory of God

It hears a sweet, kindly call:
"Why are you here, soul? Arise!"

How should a fish not leap fast
into the sea from dry land

When from the ocean so cool
the sound of the waves reaches its ear?

How should the falcon not fly
back to his king from the hunt

When from the falconer's drum
it hears the call: "Oh, come back"?

Why should not every Sufi
begin to dance atom-like

Around the Sun of duration
that saves from impermanence?

What graciousness and what beauty!
What life-bestowing! What grace!

If anyone does without that, woe-
what err, what suffering!

Oh fly , oh fly, O my soul-bird,
fly to your primordial home!

You have escaped from the cage now-
your wings are spread in the air.

Oh travel from brackish water
now to the fountain of life!

Return from the place of the sandals
now to the high seat of souls!

Go on! Go on! we are going,
and we are coming, O soul,

From this world of separation
to union, a world beyond worlds!


I love you, Nonie! We will miss you.