Rabia al Basri

(717 - 801 / Basra / Iraq)

The Holy Water


No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence.
The holy water, I need it upon my eyes: it is you, dear, you – each form.

What mother would lose her infant – and we are that to God,
never lost from His gaze are we? Every cry of the heart
is attended by light’s own arms.

You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you.
Anything you can touch – God brought it into
the classroom of your mind.

Differences exist, but not in the city of love.
Thus my vows and yours, I know they are the same.

I have just peeled the skin from the potato
and you are still contemplating its worth,
sweetheart; indeed there are wonderful nutrients in all,
for God made everything.

You joined our community at birth.
With your Father being who He is, what do the
world’s scales know of your precious value.
The priest and the prostitute – they weigh the same before the Son’s
immaculate being,
but who can bear that truth and freedom,
so a wise man adulterated the
scriptures;
every wise man knows this.

My soul’s face has revealed its beauty to me;
why was it shy so long, didn’t it know how this made me suffer
and weep?

A different game He plays with His close ones.
God tells us truths you would not believe,
for most everyone needs to limit His compassion; concepts of
right and wrong preserve the golden seed
until one of God’s friends comes along and tends your body
like a divine bride.

The Holy sent out a surveyor to find the limits of its compassion
and being.
God knows a divine frustration whenever He acts like that,
for the Infinite has
no walls.

Why not tease Him about this?
Why not accept the freedom of what it means
for our Lord to see us
as Himself.

So magnificently sovereign is our Lover; never say,
'On the other side of this river a different King rules.”
For how could that be true – for nothing can oppose Infinite strength.

No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence.

The holy water my soul’s brow needs is unity.
Love opened my eye and I was cleansed
by the purity of each
form.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Edited: Tuesday, May 08, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

From “Love Poems From God” by Daniel Ladinsky.
Copyright © 1999 by Daniel Ladinsky. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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