Being a collection of doggerel, verse, stories, politics, historical essays, satire, poetry, jokes, pictures and whatever else I damn well please on a variety of interesting (or otherwise) subjects.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Nightingale's Song


An imagining, in seven parts, based upon themes from 
The Seven Valleys, by Baha’u’llah.


Mark A. Clark

                        I

The wayfarer (thus shall we call him)
Awakens from sleep on that first morn,
And seeing the first sunrise over the first sea,
Stretches himself like one newborn,
And looks upon as fair a scene
As ever sunlight shall adorn,
But a fading wisp of misty dream
Has left him weary and forlorn.

In his dream the wayfarer
Loves well the Nightingale which sings,
As, to a branch on the tree of knowledge,
Above the forest floor, it clings,
And he hears, with rapt delight,
The verses to which the bird gives tongue,
Its song engenders springtime, and
The world is fresh and new and young.

Between them is a resonance,
Some mystic union of bird and lad,
And the loss of such a great beloved,
Has rendered him wan and tired and sad.
His mind still hears that mystic song,
Which he fears has made him mad,
And will lead him on an endless quest,
In search of his love, his lost Comrade.

But listen, what to the wayfarer's ear,
Doth come upon him, riding the wind?
Can it be the song of the Nightingale,
Which, faint, with the forest noises blend?
The wayfarer trembles at the sound,
His heart responding, his spirits ascend,
And heedless of his former life,
He begins his journey to seek the Friend.


                           II

Endlessly searching, helplessly wandering on,
Scanning the heavens, always hoping in vain,
To catch but a glimpse of the nightingale soaring at dawn,
To hear again the songs which cloud his brain.
As he searches the footpath, running his hands through the dust.
Laughing people say, “Nightingales live in the air,”
But too desperate is he even in logic to trust,
“I look everywhere; haply I'll find him somewhere.”
In every face he seeks the beauty of the Friend,
He probes each mind for the secret of his love.
The wayfarer dwells and hunts in every land,
Limbs and branches and endless skies above.
Zealously seeking, "Where is my love?" is his cry.
Zealously seeking, "If I can't find him I'll die!"


                             III

Seeking neither refuge nor abode,
Fleeing from both faith and unbelief,
The wayfarer looks for no relief,
Is unaware of himself and the endless road.

In constant pain is his harvest sowed,
And loneliness is his one motif,
His heart is filled with enormous grief,
His search for the Friend is a heavy load.

Love has swallowed the master of reason,
By love his knowledge has been destroyed,
He has not one thought save the Beloved.

The wayfarer lives for just one season,
The day when his heart will be overjoyed,
The day of reunion with his beloved.

                           IV

The wayfarer has sighed for lo, these long years,
In separation from his love, emptied of patience,
Wasted in the fire of remoteness and tears,
Weary of life in the Nightingale's absence

How many a day gave him no rest from longing,
How many a night pain kept him from sleep.
The doctors knew they had no way of curing,
A sickness of love makes his heart's wounds weep.

Until at last, the tree of his longing,
Yielded the ashen fruit of despair.
Deciding that he could bear no more living
He left his abode to end the affair.

Once on the road, he noticed that someone,
He took as a highwayman, followed behind,
Although he was bent on self-immolation,
Somehow he feared the other's design.

He fled down the highway, and the robber followed,
He urged his broken body into a run,
Then other robbers converged on the dark road,
And blocked every turn to the weary one.

And the wretched wayfarer, sore out of breath,
Ran here and there and moaned in his strife,
Surely these robbers are my angels of death,
Come here to harm me and take my life.

He came to a garden wall at length,
Having no other escape, he climbed up the wall,
It cost untold pain and all of his strength,
That slow and painful vertical crawl.

He gazed into the garden from the wall's lofty summit
But found that the darkness would render no clue
Forgetting his life, to escape from the bandits
He dropped from the wall to the garden below.

In untold pain, with a silent scream,
Through tortured limbs and burning despair,
He hears the sound from his long lost dream,
The song of the Nightingale floats on the air.

Before him, luminous, from a branch above,
Shining with a happy, inner light,
Sings the one for whom he's searched, his love,
His searching and pain at last is made right.

The wayfarer raises his hands to the sky,
"Glory to the robber, riches and long life,
For it was he who was truly my ally,
Even while seemingly wielding a knife."

"There was secret justice in his seeming tyranny,
As I might have seen if I'd had the vision,
My life is complete, and I act now most aptly,
I quench my lamp, for the sun has now risen."


                                   V  

The song of his loved one has made his life bright.
He drinks from the cup of the absolute,
The pure heart is a mirror that reflects the true light.

The wayfarer dances in heavenly delight,
Forgetting the pain of his long pursuit,
The song of his loved one has made his life bright.

Joyfully claiming his lawful birthright,
That none can ever in truth refute,
The pure heart is a mirror that reflects the true light.

He and the nightingale's spirits unite,
A long ordained union that bears the true fruit,
The song of his loved one has made his life bright.

Gazing on creation, with goodly insight,
He sees the creator, wise and astute,
The pure heart is a mirror that reflects the true light.

So finally the wayfarer's come around right,
Now his life’s compass has shown him the route,
The song of his loved one has made his life bright.
The pure heart is a mirror that reflects the true light.


                           VI

Although to outward eyes it seems,
The wayfarer dwells upon the dust,
Yet inward he thrives on mystic meanings,
Seeing the loaf in every crust,

The Nightingale reveals songs and secrets
The wayfarer losing himself within,
Casts away his mind and spirit
Binding tightly his soul to the Friend.

On this plane the wayfarer can see,
The beauty of the Friend in everything.
He beholds in illusion, reality,
And reads from the attributes the riddle of being

The tongue fails in describing this meaning
The pen refuses to mark the chart,
This mystery of inner gleaning,
May be whispered only from heart to heart.





                               VII

Thus did the wayfarer,
Finally discover,
The Nightingale's purpose and station,
The message is clear,
For all men to hear,
Love is the true destination.

When we've let go,
Of possessions and woe,
And left behind all acquisition,
Then you will see,
That we're never free,
Till we learn renunciation.

His journey complete,
His heart is replete,
And he leaves us a last affirmation,
Of just what the Nightingale,
May teach us all,
And offers this final quotation:

"Not every sea hath pearls;
not every branch will flower,
nor will the nightingale sing thereon." 1

"Harken to the melodies of this mortal Bird,
...seek out the undying chalice
and pass by every perishable cup." 2

"When thou hast attained this highest station
...then shalt thou gaze on the Beloved,
and forget all else." 3


1 -- Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys,  p. 38.
2 -- Ibid, p. 43.
3 -- Ibid, p. 38.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Attaboy Clarence!

"Look Daddy! Teacher says every time a bell rings, a disciple of Ayn Rand
packs his bags for the Libertarian Paradise of East Somalia!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Who Who - Who - Who



Late tonight, the owl enquired, 
  Who who -  who -  who?
"It's only me," I replied.
"Only me and nothing more."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"I Approve This Message" - Roy Zimmerman


I am the aging hippy longhair revolutionary defiantly brandishing his cane at the entrenched plutocracy and I approve this message!





thanks to Rick for turning me on to the link

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

One Meat Ball

My old buddy and musical mentor Tom Allston used to sing this song when we were sharing a house in San Angelo, many years ago.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Out of Gas







Just one of the whimsical and imaginative paintings by George Hughes available for viewing at The American Gallery. Check it out!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012