Poem 23

Mountains are corruptible. But the work of our hands
time and wind and rain cannot destroy.
For our hands are the purpose of our blood,
and our blood is the river of our soul —
which sings the river, the purpose.
Death’s scissors may cut the bands
of love a million times; but we can enjoy
new voyages on another flood:
and all rivers wander to the same Ocean-goal.

Man’s life is more numerous than all the sands
of all the world’s beaches; and reaches back beyond Space
(God’s sackful of suns) to the primal tone of the Creation Song.
Though faith is as brittle as burnt bones,
and our vision reduced to the size of our face —
the Word of your Silence will restore to us the work of our hands.

‘Mountains are corruptible’: a striking phrase which immediately makes us ask “What then is incorruptible?”

‘The work of our hands’ is a biblical phrase from Psalm 90:17 –

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our  hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

Obviously the verse is speaking of work undertaken through God and for God. It is the work of our hands undertaken in service and in harmony with God’s wish that is our purpose and which is part of our progress to eternity. This is the true river of our blood where blood stands for the flow of the life current bearing us to the Beloved. In Baba this idea goes beyond the Classical Greek notion of the three fates deciding to cut off our life when the ordained time arrives. Reincarnation bears us on through the flood of time to our final destination.

The great affirmation of true religion is of the primal reality behind the material creation. To reach this, the place where Word and Silence are One, beyond all separate things, is the divine assurance no matter how clinging are our doubts. Vivid poetry in the second stanza conveys the majesty and the scale of the divine purpose.

Our minds keep forgetting the scale of the nature of things. A poem such as this is a restoration of a perspective presented as our birthright. He accomplishes this when he evokes images leading to  the silence. This silence is finally identical with His creation song.

We finally realize that the work of our hands is the driving purpose of which we are usually unconscious; it bears us through our many lives and deaths until He restores us.