Poem 66

From the perspective of the garden of love, song – the art of divine praise is real, compared to philosophy:

The dust-garden of roses and nightingales blooms and sings all around me.
Wisdom I hold cheap after having heard so much nonsense uttered profoundly.

A flourishing garden from dust is a striking image. Again the dynamic of love: both rose and nightingale are present. They flourish out of the finely ground down.

Dust is not concerned with praise or achievement:

Everyone in the world wants everyone else to applaud him,
Yet nobody knows that the show is by the Beloved’s whim.

So much for our vaunted separate selves. The all-controlling whim as well as the sustaining effort and pain are all his:

When the curtain goes up, no one from the gods to the stalls
Thinks of the sweat and tears poured out at the rehearsals.

The ‘gods’ are the cheap theatre seats up the back, the stalls are down the front near the action. ‘Rehearsals’ were the evolutionary trials, the immense struggle needed before man was able to strut the boards.

The immensity and power of the Beloved are reflected in the succeeding cosmic imagery:

The Beloved is the ancient one who was before the beginning.
Desiring music, He ordered the stars to come forth and start singing.

Tied to the patterns of successive moments our minds cannot begin to comprehend the wonder of His Being, the never-ending creating, sustaining and destroying present:

So ancient, yet so amazingly new that even in our clearest moments of seeing,
Our pattern-impressed minds cannot catch a hint of His always-becoming being.

Like most everyone then around Baba Francis was expecting in the short term the great display of manifestation when Baba spoke (our expectations have become more nuanced now but not less). This manifestation will delight some and appal others.

It is rumoured along Love Street that soon He will give a new twist to the production –
Something never before done, to which there will be a startling audience-reaction.

But this is not to preoccupy the lover, as the poem closes with the delighted anticipation of further communion with Him.

But as ever, the dust will remain singing before the wineshop door.
Only when He opens it and pours wine again will it cry, Encore!

I have given a straight forward paraphrase above and you will clearly see the power is in the medium of poetry and song, not in the message.