Although my song is measured by time-bars, time has no place in it.
The tale of it is already complete: I only endlessly re-spin it.
It began in the beginningless beginning, and so shall never cease.
It will go on until, and after, I have become what my soul always is.
Nothing exists anywhere except as the Beloved’s whim.
Is it not time we took up the whole-time, full-hearted praise of Him?
If we sing Him — each sings the song of himself which the Beloved has made —
Will we not escape the wrath of the sun (hot illusion) and dwell in His shade?
Time is but the garment the Beloved wrapped us in for journey’s duration—
Wrapped us lovingly, for union was implicit in the act of separation.
Let us come to the threshold of the Beloved and sing our songs to Him:
For even this, too, was allowed for and ordained by the Word of the Whim.
And at His smile of pleasure the great bell of His love in each heart will chime,
Calling all lovers, calling all lovers to the Avataric Wine-time.
This is the last of the ‘ghazals’ in the collection, and presumably the last one that would have been read to Baba.
Tension is immediately generated in verse 1 since it is written by one who is still imprisoned in time (‘time-bars’), one whose music too must move measured by ‘bars’, but one who sees beyond this perspective into eternity. He is spinning his tale whilst knowing there is no new creation but only apparent re-creation on time’s wheel. There is, he can see, nothing new under the sun. His message is to the Beloved but also from the Beloved, in fact it is nothing but Him, the All in All, and Francis can only repeat this, but of course with the freshness of praise that springs from the heart.
The ‘It’ in verse 2 is of course the song, the song of praise glorifying the Beloved .
This is a deep assurance but in verse 4 he is still asking a time bound question, hoping for God’s mercy in the future. But all wishing is swept away by the rest of the poem.
In verse 5 there is the lovely metaphor of time, wrapped around us by Love to effect the separation that will end in union.
The final message in the poem is that God responds to our song. God responds to the great inner resonance of the heart. The poems are an invitation to the tavern, and we are left with the last line ringing in our ears. Baba is All in All but our songs are still part of Him and part of His deliverance of us. The great irony of all our hopes and fears is that it is all ordained and yet we must, like players on the stage, act out our parts.
At the end of the poem we are still in time but time is full of His chiming.
QUESTION TO PONDER
How does the quality and burden of poems like the above accord with Meher Baba’s most quoted saying – “Don’t worry. Be happy”?
What should we not worry about I wonder. What is there in these poems to put in the balance against worry?
Certainly the manly forthright tone helps (something beyond Beckett and even difficult for Pound and Eliot).
What sort of spiritual mentor is this, we have to ask, as he confesses his absolute helplessness?
Is Francis heralding a worldwide spiritual phenomenon of radical humility in the face of the revelations of incarnate God?
All the above are offered as a help to appreciate the poems. When these were written (2015) there seemed a real need for people to be given a bit of a push into looting the treasure left to us. It is hoped they clear the way for appreciation of the poems without any commentary.