Poem 84

A song of the heart; like the Psalmist Francis is singing a new song for his Lord – “Give thanks unto the Lord with harp: Sing praises unto him with the psaltery of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise.” (Ps.33.2-3)

Awake and sing! all you that float on the ocean of Illusion,
For the Beloved is here – and in Him there is no exclusion.

Make your hearts giant guitars chord-sounding, and your souls’ melodies
Fine-drawn and full of thousands of delicate courtesies.

What follows is a great poetic call to stop snoozing in the rut of mind:

Empty your skulls of their brains, wash them out clean and keep them ready as wine-bowls—
Who knows? the Beloved’s whim may have our names inscribed on the wineshop’s honour-rolls.

Awake! and come up from the waters of illusion’s sad sea
On to the beach, to the wineshop’s threshold with dance and sweet melody.

This is some wineshop with dance floor and honour rolls! It is no earthly grog shop. Like the Jews we are being called up from exile by the waters of worldly Babylon.

The Beloved has millions of ears and eyes, and not a note or step will be lost.
And I tell you that His greatest attribute (unwritten yet) is the Divine Host.

This wineshop has the God-Man as host. This is not just taken by Francis as a conventional symbol from Eastern poetry. “Divine Host” makes us aware of the Christian sacrament commemorating the Last Supper. In traditional Christianity this is not just a remembrance of Christ but a partaking of His actual present reality in the Host, the bread and wine. The song of the heart brings us to the tavern where he is.

But if it is not His pleasure to play host to us this time, what of it?
We’ll go on singing – maybe to compose a Best of the Advent Song Hit.

Right, let’s not let the mind become anxious again, not worry about whether we be in His presence. We will just be happy singing.

Francis, tell them your secret: the Beloved cannot resist good singing for long—
That’s been His weakness ever since he sang the world into being with a song.

Of course, Francis was having the joy of pleasing Meher Baba each day with a new ‘song’. Not literally a music song but a poem. And wider than this for in the poem song is the free and creative rejoicing of the heart, the response to the Master’s Presence by not worrying and being happy. A Hasidic saying carries the message: “The psalm reads: “For singing to our God is good.”It is good if man can so bring it about that God sings within him.” (Traditional)

This poem is a relaxed one with sweet and imaginative images, an upbeat encouragement not to be ‘garlic-faced’. It leads on to the unfettered joy of the next poem.