Poetry
Song Lyrics, Sufi Poetry, Ghazals
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Monthly "Nights in the Tavern"
Public events are posted here for local friends.

Next gathering: "Love Songs of the Path: An Evening of Song"
2nd and 4th Saturdays at 7 p.m.
Home gathering to celebrate the Beloved in Song. Venue to be announced (925) 676-7849 or meherkaren@yahoo.com for directions.

For those outside the Northern California San Francisco Bay Area here are song lyrics from recent events.
Secrets of Love
When the secrets of love the gifted singer explores,
The Master of Love and Song leads the applause. (F. Brabazon)

A Reprieve for An Encore!

Eternity is lending me some borrowed time,
To change my gig; to dance a jig,
At long last to tune my verse to rhyme. Only those who know they've nailed it,
Achieved wonders after so many vain attempts,
Can understand the addiction to Song,
That keeps me riveted to song-weaving all day long.
Each break a day, I go out wayfaring,
When evening falls I lug home the nets that need repairing.

The dark dome pierced with holes of starlight
Summer sounds of crickets throughout the night,
Keep me company as I sow and weave
Preparing for the dawn before I leave.
"You came for all in creation except for me! I've never had time to sing my songs; I've never been free
Of poverty, worry, dishes, kitchens and working for others -- Who took my youth, beauty, dreams, and strength for granted.

The Lord of the Universe heard my heart break,
With the anguish that I've not enough time left
And gave me a reprieve for my mistake.
Meher the Beloved granted my fondest wish come true
So I would not leave His world disappointed and bereft.
How can I thank you Darling Meher Baba
For this gift of my dream coming true?
I will sing to your world of my impossible dream
That You were true to me -- so I could be true to You.

Tired, rejected back up on the shore,
I thought love hopeless and not anymore.
When the Master of Love and Song
Glanced at me sidelong,
And called for an encore. (Meherkaren)

Help me Hafiz of Shiraz

Lest I throw myself off the steep embankment
From frustration wailing at my imprisonment,
So steep the stony passages and canyons,
Tone deaf ears to mewing complaints,
O Hafiz, lend me your tongue and rogue companions!
Pass me your love song'd pen without restraints!
And rejoice at my learning and at my art
Which is only to please
And to all who journey the inner road impart
In our trials, your gifts of joy and ease! (Meherkaren)

Two Sari's

She stands straight and proud
Gleaming like a new fishing rod,
A jug of water on her head,
A child on one svelte hip,
And a village song on her lip.

God's sister Mani says "Two saris,"
Looking at her nodding
One's for work in the fields
The other's for festivals or a wedding.

So many shopping malls we have in the West
But ladies can't find anything to wear to look their best.
On our daily commutes - do we still sing songs to God?

At the well, long ago he tossed a stone and her jug broke
Water splashing all over her bright gulabi sari
Squealing in protest she loudly scolded the bloke
But secretly in her breast, her heart soared in ecstasy.

The millet and sugar cane fields may hide a cobra
But we eat cows in stress, Big Macs watching Oprah,
With less nourishment, more danger and no joy.

They arranged her marriage (later) to that same boy
She fell in love with when she was only seven.
Then he went to America for his education.
But he came back to fetch her for his wife.
She'd told no one she'd loved him all her life.
And they brought to my country this bit of village life.

Now he re-routes routers in the Information Age.
With all of our websites and programming language
We still can't communicate; "we're all natives here."
From heart to heart and eye to eye is SO much faster,
Than the fastest router, huge bandwidth, and a good webmaster.
Does anyone remember computers were going to bring more leisure
Instead of The Terminator and Darth Vadar's nightmare?
Where 90% on earth go to bed hungry and scared.
How to let women choose not to have to give birth
Over-population, pollution, keeping helpless animals encaged,
To feed the unwanted children who grow up violent, wildly enraged.

In this Kali Yuga Age of chaos and strife
Can we import these "two saris" into our life?
Make technology heart's hand-maiden
And bring down on earth the Garden of Eden?

My soul longs for the peace of those days by the well
In a bright cotton sari before the blazing sun.
Love's glance is all I've ever known of heaven and hell.

Dear God, is there still time to import these 2 saris
To bring Your Songs of Love and Peace on earth? (Meherkaren)

Click to see entire photo

Click to see entire photo

Click for larger version
Black Hole
O God, they've blown a black hole in Your creation,
When we're all One -how can anyone kill His own Being?
Now where have they gone?
How to comfort them in this Night without Song.

They wage war whenever God-man comes rather than yield.
Forced both Krishna and Mohammed onto the battlefield.
Stubborn men who won't surrender
Find Love cannot be stormed by violence
Rather than bow at His Lotus feet, sweet innocence
They kill themselves and others in hate.
I am weeping alone -for terrorists who'll repent too late.

They've blown a hole in Your creation,
World Trade is a burial ruin in my nation.
We invited those here for freedom
Like children rivals for a better song
We played, battled, like cubs in a lair,
But not with Jihad demons of despair.
Why start a holy war for Armageddon
'Cause no one listens to your Song?
Those who build golden calves and Camelots
Dot coms with stocks, politics now called patriots
Clamoring for yet another World's End?

O God, they've blown a hole in Your creation
They've buried innocents in my nation.
Where we're all One under Beloved's Sun
How can anyone kill another in God's Ocean?
Where have they all gone? - Firefighters - father & son?
Lovers, daughters, of liberty nation.
No comfort in this Night without Song.

God gave him an inheritance of $300 million
And he rains curses and sorrow on everyone!
His Muslim brothers hide their eyes in shame
God-man came again but with a different name.
Each time He's the same, but with a different name.

Whatever hope for World Peace
Did we lose it with this sacrifice?
Whatever prayers for World Peace
For the New Humanity of God's Grace
For us whom God-man made His sacrifice.
Is it shattered forever from our dream?
Or is this just the Night before our Souls' awakening?
We are all One in His creation;
Saint or sinner, loser or winner.

Beloved they've blown a hole in Your creation
Like tearing a sacred painting in my home
I am weeping, I am restless, grieving in sadness.
Is every black hole in outer space,
Where not even a photon of Light can escape,
Paradise Lost where some fiend blew up such a place?

Have we offended You, Master of all Grace?
Now Americans blow up the poorest land of all
Afghanistani refugees starving - what disgrace!
And in every one, I see Your darling Face.

Meher have You left me here alone?
In this nightmare without God-man?
In this madness and sorrow
Where can we find comfort now?
Those I sing with and laugh
Tho' once, laughter and rivals for a song,
I hug them now in my heart all day long.
For last week lying dead in my path
I found the sweet, white cooing dove
Message of Love from above
That the time of peace is gone?
The father has no time to teach his son.

Music or war - all is in Your hand O Saki.
My only hope whether in prayer or in bazaar,
Beloved, is that your loving Nazaar
Remains on me - no matter my destiny. O Saki!
Karen weeps "Keep me with You, Meher." (Meherkaren)

World Peace
Though the earth provides enough for everyone's eating,
Half the world doesn't fill its belly because of cheating.
If we'd not opened a bank-account in the name of Anger
We'd not need traveller's cheques, for where'd we be stranger?
And peace talk is verbal diarrhea so long as Greed
Deprives half the world daily of a decent feed.
Why can't we work out a just and simple economy,
Instead of bringing up our sons for war and our daughters for harlotry?
Instead of hand-outs wouldn't it be better not to have any poor?
Instead of locks wouldn't it be better not to have any door?
Wouldn't it be grand if there were no poor and no food-clothes donors?
But all were rich and strove in friendly strife for poverty's honors -
Marching to the City of Love, to the Beloved's palace,
Sweeping the steps with their eyebrows to force Him to show His face?
And He sitting in the Diamond Hall welcoming everyone -
His feet white as mountain snow and His face shining like the sun.
From such a world I'd never wish to be absent for long -
Men and women and children like lillies of the field, full of song.
(F. Brabazon)

Ghazal #29
These aren't the times for the clean phrase,
clear meaning, the straight sentence;
For the turning and the praise that marks the true repentance.
Your commodity, poet's superfluous in these Kali Yuga times;
You may as well face it, once and for all,
nobody wants clear sweet rhymes.
These are the times to talk fashion, machines, electronic gadgetry,
To praise Big Business, sing markets, dot-coms Enron racketry.
True, complaints of neglect have been voiced all down the ages;
But there've been times when kisses and gold
were paid for fair pages.
In verse or prose - words carefully, lovingly chosen,
Clean as bell-chimes at even-song.
That stock is momentarily frozen.
But take heart, poet, conditions have now reached rock bottom.
God cannot stand any longer our words of Gomorrah and Sodom.
In the creative silence of pure Existence, God rehearses
His Song of Songs; and those who praise His Song
will be very well paid for their verses. (F. Brabazon)
Inside the Tavern - with the Tavernkeeper
Oh, that we had great wealth, or talent, or learning's store
To give Him fit comforts, to entertain Him -- and much more.
But alas! Last night when the street was quiet and sleep totalled each score,
He brought us in and gave us such wine, that we desire nothing more! (F. Brabazon)

A Queer Lot
It's a queer lot that fortune has brought together round this campfire
From different walks in life in a common quest and desire.
To God butcher and banker, poet and plumber are the same.
So long as ambition is dead and heart is lit with love's flame. (F. Brabazon)

Love Sick

Oh Meher, at every turn, I offend your creatures.
And this damn sleeplessness has ripped the beauty off my features.
Without money, no friend, no sleep,
While for the realms of music I weep.
Why is there no peace in my heart?
Why at every turn must a bargain
be pledged for the art?
The skinny violinist can play her strings all day
And she can play tabla at night.
But I am cursed with worries about money, about men,
about offending your gurus at every turn.
Help me Hafiz and those who tread these pathways to find my place
A small haven of peace
Where I can learn to play my songs and sing my piece.
Oh Beloved Meher, you want to hear me Sing?
Then find me a place in your universe not in prison like Sing Sing
spending my precious time worrying
About every problem I have not caused, that makes me sick.
Or find me a home in your creation with a friend where I can study music.
And if I have not earned Your Grace to have such a place,
Then lay me to rest outside of this world, so I can sing in the next! (Meherkaren)

Money

O Money, you make so many enemies
Even before careful consideration
Slay more potential partners than Hercules
Without a second's deliberation.
Wreak havoc among treasured true allies
Turn brothers into despicable ill-will spies.
The path narrows to a razor'd edge
Cuts careless hearts that bleed,
For Love thru greed or need.
In a desert you cannot drink gold or coin
Electronic banks don't give bread or wine.
Money's a concept we all share
For work or service offered at this faire.
What's wealth and prosperity?
Self-esteem measured by how much?
Rather than how well the Singer can touch
Love, beauty and harmony?
True abundance is the freedom and intent
to sing one's best to God - in joy
In whatever form one's led
By passion, attraction, or glee.
The discriminating seek refinement and delicacy
The passionate want rhythm in the dance
True wealth comes from God's intimacy
O Karen, seek His pleasure only in this Divine Romance. (Meherkaren)

Jealousy

Jealousy's an old hag sittin' by the road pointing
To a bend on the path for our own sanskaric unveiling.
Don't bother to greet this hag,
Poverty of heart's all that's in her bag.
Pay the price; so Meher grants
What you covet in your brother.
Meher gives what your jealousy covets,
When ya pay the price for His gifts.
And if He ups the ante, pay quickly
So He'll give what you envy in another! No need for jealousy's hold
He gives as much as we can hold.(Meherkaren)

Click for larger version
Meeting Again
I'd forgotten - so long ago -- I've been sleeping fitfully
Lonely dark sorrow dreams over the centuries.
In so many different costumes and bodies.
I studied so many different arts - And played the various parts.
Opposite sets - Unmerciful Law of my own actions.
I went to meet You - curiously
For I thought this the first time -- Not remembering this was again.
So many nights I've lain, in sorrow and pain
Beneath Your window love hearing the rain.
Thinking of You, Oh my Love Meher -
That You might really appear - Be here!
So sweetly You slowly turned Your head - to look my way
So softly Your eyes -- Your look of Love - of Eternity
Of meeting You, Meher again.
(Meherkaren)



Click for larger version
Single File
There's room for only One on Love's Path,
more narrow than a needle's eye,
I was too discouraged to reply
You took my hand and said, "We'll just travel single file."
I was still wondering how.
Your arm was resting on my shoulder, You smiled at me
I smiled at you. Your eyes were shining, filled with victory.
"Let Me lead and just obey Me," You said to me.
And then my heart was filled with ease secretly.
I knew that You would always be with me.
Your eyes were shining filled with victory
I knew that Meher would stay with me.
(Meherkaren)