My days have become emptied of purpose, an idleness in the sun.
The world and its affairs are in my Master’s hand: He does what is to be done.
The traffic in Love Street has ceased, there are few boon-seekers
Since the wineshop-keeper shut his door and pours no more beakers.
I sit in the dust before his door carolling
To my Beloved: in the dust is eternal spring.
It was in the springtime of creation that I first set out on my quest;
It will be in the sap-flow of His fresh Word that I come to complete rest.
If you had not protected me I would not have arrived at this singing-station,
But wandered off and got stuck for vast time in the Eden of some blind mutation.
Ignorance was the energy that nourished nerve, brain and sinew;
But without your smile I would not have had the heart-strength to continue.
Your winning smile and hints about a Beloved waiting for me to come
Drew me along a trail which wound through seven kingdoms and brought me home.
This is not a case of being becalmed in the doldrums. It is more like a state of what Confucius called wu wei – effortless effort, an equilibrium attained by knowing that it can all be left to the Beloved. Not even the closing of the doors of the wineshop seems to matter very much for he has reached his ‘singing-station’ where he is happy to sit ‘carolling’ in the dust, in other words singing His praises. He is beyond the time when he needed to seek for ‘boons’. The closing of the doors could well refer to one of Baba’s periods of seclusion during the 1960’s.
The long journey and search have been a necessity for the ignorance of searching was behind the whole development of the human form. Yet as always Francis does not credit the victory to his own attainment, for it has been the intuited presence of the Beloved’s love that has kept him going.
The poem evokes the great journey through the kingdoms of evolution. It refers to ‘the Eden of some blind mutation’ to wonderfully suggest the winding detours offered on the way. It might also suggest the detours to the planes of experience for the seeker.
For the last three verses he turns to directly address the Beloved, creating a lovely feeling of intimacy and sureness. There is an elegance and simplicity which make the poem a most winning affirmation of a station achieved.