Brabazon was an Austalian poet who as a young seeker found his way to
a Sufi teacher and wound up, as a mature man, living as one of Meher
Baba's mandali (close disciples) in India. His poems are a brilliant
torch illumining the path to God.
My own profound discovery of Meher Baba's
Love, in 1971, took place in silence. (Meher
Baba maintained silence for the last 44 years of His life.)
Almost immediately thereafter, I learned of Brabazon and bought his
book-length epic, Stay
With God. Its black-and-green first edition book jacket
is still a treasured memory.
At this time in my life, I felt words
couldn't be trusted. I had come to realize that practically all the
words I'd ever spoken or heard had been contaminated by self-interest.
This great book, with its praise of the God-Man in human history and
its scathing criticism of Western civilization, taught me that words
that proceed from the heart of truth can still have meaning. It
sped me on the path to becoming a poet, myself.
Brabazon's entire canon of writings, from
his early Cantos
of Wandering to In
Dust I Sing, his Sufi-inspired "ghazals"
that he recited to Meher Baba in the '60s, are full of fire and lyrical
beauty. They reveal a rough-hewn man, fashioning himself in his early
years and later being chiseled by the Godman into a piece of "singing
dust". The poet died in 1984 at the age of 77. The books he has
left us are great rivers of vitality that will channel Love and refresh
poets and lovers of God for centuries.
In 2002, Ross Keating, an Australian
who worked as a student of Brabazon, published a lengthy, scholarly
and wonderful biography of Brabazon, entitled Francis
Brabazon: Poet of the Silent Word - a modern Hafiz. In 1998
Robert Rouse, a close friend of the poet's, published
The Water Carrier, a memoir about the poet's life.
Art As Practice Of Devotion
by Francis Brabazon
poems online at "Poetry of the HeartMind"
"The Love Song
of John Kerry" (from Stay With God)
Brabazon poems at www.poetry-chaikhana.com
of modern poets (from Stay With God)