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When it began they showed me a chart:
"We are facing Illusion with our backs toward God," They said. "On the Spiritual Path
We gradually turn around."

I knew it was true.
It was more real a truth
Than the world that went
0n around me:
A door had been opened
To the other world.

And I went back to St. Louis
And nearly fainted
To see the pigeons on the sidewalk
On a street near where I'd grown up.

The way the sidewalk sparkled!
The cool solidity of the cement!
The intoxicating sky!
The wonder of passing humans: Shoppers, merchants, vagrants, all one family!

And the Beloved withdrew the Glimpse
He had given of the other world in this world,
And I became a vagrant and wandered the earth Losing all I touched,

And when I had lost all
The Sun came out again
And it was even brighter this time!

In spite of my comings and goings,
Or perhaps because of them I saw—
Oh, Beloved, I saw—that there IS no world,
But only You,

That Your Chart describes
The withdrawl of consciousness
From Creation unto the Infinite,
That Path travelled by a few
Which You have now laid out for all!

And so what a plight You have left us in!
No world, only our helpless Road to You!
Helpless and glorious!
No one has ever travelled a path
More glorious than each of us!

So when I see the pigeons on the sidewalk
Or the people in the Marketplace
I still nearly faint,
And once I heard You Singing unto Your Creation:
"For I have loved you dearly, more dearly
Than the spoken word can tell."

Don't leave us in darkness!
Don't let our tears be idle!
Shower Your Grace upon all,
So they won't think us mad,

But will share the drunkeness
You have been drowning us in
For so long.


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Six Journeys with the Divine Beloved

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