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"Do You Have A Body? Don't Sit on the Porch!"

March 21, 2013

 

There are so many good poems that every time I sit down to try to write one, I find one I wish I had written. Besides, I'm not good at writing mystical things like the Kabir poem below. I'll have to stick to writing poems about the mystical in the mundane. Maybe a poem about fish sticks.

Kabir was an Indian mystical poet, adopted as a child by Muslim weavers. It's said he became a disciple of the great Bhakti pioneer Ramananda by tricking him into giving him a mantra, thereby ensuring that he would become Ramananda's student. I think "Do you have a body? Don't sit on the porch" is a fine mantra, myself. The version of Kabir's poem below was adapted by the contemporary American mystic poet, Robert Bly




#24

Let's leave for the country where the Guest lives!
There the water jar is filling with water
even though there is no rope to lower it.
There the skies are always blue,
and yet rain falls on the earth.
Do you have a body? Don't sit on the porch!
Go out and walk in the rain!
The fall moon rides the sky all month there,
and it would sound silly to mention only one sun--

the light there comes from a number of them.

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I'm a writer, yoga teacher, Lutheran pastor, and music nerd living in New York. I find a feast in daily living - most days, anyway - and write about it here. 

Finalist for the 2017 Chautauqua Prize!
The frank and funny story of a church-geek girl who spent twenty years in the ecclesiastical trenches as a Lutheran pastor, preaching weekly words of hope she wasn’t sure she even believed.