Oh Beloved, I’m Yours

A Collection of Poems from 1986 to 1999

 

Copyright ©2006 Karen Lynn Sterkin


Dedication

The poems in this volume are dedicated to Beloved Avatar Meher Baba who inspired and sometimes dictated them to me in the middle of the night.

O Beloved I’m Yours

Before the World was Made
Borrowed Beauty
Christmas Eve
Clothing Fine
Come to my Door
Donkey Love
Dusty Daily Life
Eyes of Mehera
Gossip
I Found Nothing Within
Jealousy
Love Sick
Lovely Mehera
Manifestation Song
Meher Baba’s Mandali
Meher Knocked on my Forehead
Mehera’s Color
Moon-faced Pi-Chi
The Musician
New Year’s Blues
Offended!
Perfect Mother
A Plea for Peace
Political Prisoner
Pride’s Purpose
Reflections
A Reprieve
Single File
Since You made me Crazy
Sleep On
Want of a Wife



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Before the World was Made

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
from The New Humanity Collection

If I paint my lashes dark
And my eyes more bright
And my lips more scarlet
Or ask if all be right,
From mirror after mirror
No vanities displayed,
I’m looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.
If a man look upon me as tho’ on his beloved,
If I look upon a man as tho’ on my beloved,
And then my blood run cold all the while,
And my heart remain unmoved,
Why should he think me cruel or that he is betrayed?
I’d have him love the Face that was -- before the world was made. 


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Borrowed Beauty

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
Written to Meher Baba in 1994

Oh You who are the Most Beautiful
Why not lend me just enough of Your Infinite Beauty
To attract the love of my life before my death?
Thin legs, young body, flat belly, pretty face,
Just enough to cast the illusion of beauty
To attract love in my life by Your Grace?

This love game is just a dog and pony show.
And I’ve grown older than today’s love market will allow.
So please lend me just a bit of your infinite perfect Beauty
To charm a lover and bring Love back into a life now so empty?

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Christmas Eve

©June 2001, by Karen Lynn Sterkin
From Baba 24 December 1986

In the cool breezes, the flowers’ heads are nodding
Flickers of pink, yellow, and violet bobbing.
While rose scents and frangipani fragrance fill the air,
The singer sings her melodies for love of the Fair.

When trees move their branches swaying in an azure sky,
The robins chirp and hop below, but eagles fly soaring on high.
The brook’s sweet murmuring waters complain not,
As they glide rippling over rock.
The fire’s bright dancing flame dwindles not
As the shepherd stirs its embers while guarding his flock.

In the moonless dark, the sheep call out, “Baa  baa,  Baa baa”
Though the blanket-wrapped shepherd watches over them all night.

In the Beauty of the Rose, too
Is also hidden the thorn;
When the heart is broken in two
It feels bereft and left forlorn.
Though you pine and weep in despair and hopelessness,
The stars in all the heavens must wait eons for human consciousness.

The love of God in human form ignites a flame
Kept alive burning by repeating, calling out My name.
If the heart is torn in longing for My Kiss,
Or for just My company which you sorely miss
And which gives you bliss,
Then remember the shepherd watching his flock in the night
While the sheep call out Baa -baa in sorrow and fright.

At dawn’s break they’ll see in the morning light
That their shepherd has not left them in their plight. [in the night.]

I came in man form to give you your parts
In this love for God who sent
Me to awaken your rose bud hearts
To divine enlightenment.

So sing Jai Baba and be happy
Serve, tend, and love; be snappy!
Don’t make long face and all day moan
While I watch you in the night alone
Please Me now in thought, word, and deed
And soon you’ll know I take care of every need.


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Clothing Fine

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
Fast melody Traditional Gaelic - 26 November 1982

(1) Tagore tells us clothing fine
    Holds us back from Love Divine
    Keeps us from the blessed dust
     Wherein we sing your praises best.
    Pride’s chicanery dressed me in shame
    And now longing to strip it in vain
    Fearful that love already came
    To reclaim me with His blessed Flame
    While yet unprepared at heart
    To give myself totally.
    I prayed to God to keep me wholly.
    True love never keeps anything apart.
    Love knows not separation — it is holy.

    If I’m lucky and the face of destiny
    Turns the other way
    Perhaps He’ll clean me inside out
     With warm, fireside eyes.
    In turning to you joyfully
    I thought I heard you say,
    “The fancier they get, the more’s the trouble
     — the farther apt to stray.”

(2)   Tagore tells us clothing fine
    Holds us back from Love Divine
    Keeps us from the blessed dust
    Wherein we sing your praises best.
    Pride’s chicanery dressed me in shame
    And now longing to strip it in vain
    Fearful that love already came
    To reclaim me with His blessed Flame.
    I prayed to God to keep me wholly.
    Love knows not separation — it is holy.

    If I’m lucky and the face of destiny
     Turns her face the other way
    Perhaps He’ll clean me inside out
    With warm, fireside eyes.

    And I scampered back into Your open loving arms
     Full of dust and dirt and shame
    But, oh God, happy once again!

    And I scampered back into Your open loving arms
    Full of dust and dirt and shame
    But, oh Baba, Baba, happy once again!


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Come to my Door

©June 2002 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Wa-   tching  by  the  road- way              Out-    side  my  door- way
Wa-   tching  by  the  road- way              Out-    side  my  door- way
Wai-   ting  by  the  road  there                For    Be-  lo- ved  Me-  her
Wai-   ting  by  the  road  here                 For     dar-   ling Me-  her

I see You coming in Your    Whi-     te    Sa- dra   Flow-          ing
I see You coming in the    Road   in  my  lon-         ging
Come to my door           Come to my door.
Come to my door           Come to my door.

Do I call you my Soul?  But you are everyone’s Home – ever more
Come  to my door.
Do I call you my life?  But You are eternal – You live for ever
Do I call you my Beloved?  But You are Love itself.
Come to my door,  come to my door.

On the road, I see You   com-  ing  but no more
Come to my door.

In the road I see You wa-  ving   in my lon-    ging
Come to my door             
In a mi-  rage   I see You  co-  ming   but  no   more
Come to my door  Be- lo- ved    Me- her   Come to my door  (hi)

Do I call you my Be-  lo-  ved         
Do I call you my Be- lo ved
 but you are love  ever   more      Love  - e-  ver    more  
On the road I see you coming     but no more.
Come to my door

My home is bare   on-ly   lon-   ging   lives  here
Come darling   Me-   her
Come to my door. (hi)

Do I call you my Beloved – but  You  are Love  ever more    Love ever more.
Come to door

I am rest- less every   day    all the time  I have no peace
I am restless  Meher     no peace  -- no peace
I am restless   Meher, every moment    I have      no peace
My heart is calling You
In the road I see You     waving, my darling

My home  is  bare  on- ly    lon-  ging   lives there
In this abode  only    long- ing   nothing more

Come to my door.  Come  to my door.   Come to  my door. 


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Donkey Love

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India Jan. 1999)

You love me braying all night

While the neighbors complain and threaten to throw me out. 

In the morning you beat the shit out of me

with hooves and teeth and donkey ears

Judgments and condemnations

and rejection

O my love-starved heart

just seek company of the quiet

Companions of the Friend

And leave donkey love to donkeys.


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Dusty Daily Life

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin  (India - 3 Dec. 1986)

1st Verse:
Oh Avatar of the Age, I read Your biography
From the pen of Your poet night watchman.
No yogi or saint in Rishikesh has Your worth.
And I perceive Your true glory
Is in this daily life story
Of Your companionship with us on earth.

Chorus:
And I perceive Your true glory
Is in this dusty, daily life story
You came down among us and so deeply cared
Your gift was this life on earth You shared.

2nd Verse:
Is it because of Your precious love and compassion
That we gauge our lives and conduct to Your expression?
That we celebrate Your coming in our dark days
A life perfectly lived in Love’s bright ways?
Your real glory is in this dusty, daily life
Your companionship among us in duality, in strife.

Chorus:
And I perceive Your true glory
Is in this dusty, daily life story
You came down among us and so deeply cared
Your gift was this life on earth You shared.
You came down among (to) us because you so deeply cared.


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Eyes of Mehera

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(India, Oct. 29, 1986)

1)         Beloved of Baba — the Prize
            How thin the veil of illusion
            I see Baba’s Love for creation
            Shi   - ning from your eyes. 

2)         Beloved of Baba, Sweet Mehera
            How thin the veil of illusion
            I see in the Eyes of Mehera
            And e’en Time slows down.

Chorus:
            Chosen for Love, you showed us how
            You loved Beloved as He ought to be loved
            Baba’s Love for creation shines from your eyes
            His Love is there shining in your eyes.

            And I see in the eyes of Mehera
            Baba’s Love for creation in All.
            And I see in the eyes of Mehera
            Baba’s sweet love for us all.

3)         May He bless and keep us all around
            In Baba’s Sweet adoration
            To bear the pain of separation
            When e’en Time slows down.

4)         And may I someday know and sing
            Of just such a Love for Baba
            As I see in the eyes of Mehera
            Eternity hides shi    - ning.

Chorus:
            Chosen for Love, you showed us how
            You loved Beloved as He ought to be loved
            Baba’s Love for creation shines from your eyes
            His Love is there shining in your eyes.

            And I see in the eyes of Mehera
            Baba’s Love for creation in All.
            And I see in the eyes of Mehera
            Baba’s sweet love for us all.


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Gossip

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 29 October 1986)

Oh Beloved Meher
I’m humiliated by my constant faults.
But since I’ve given myself to You,
They’ve become Your faults.

Then how to harmonize in this world of shows?
How not to offend You in others?
In shame I say “Sorry” -- so many times a day
But You keep inviting me out to play!    (to come out and play!)

If You must humiliate me so much to give me the privilege
and joy of dancing with You all night,
At least shall we not disturb the neighbors?
Their gossip is a beehive and I don’t want it swarming in my hair — oh!
Oh Karen, don’t worry when I do My Will. 
Oh Karen, why do you worry when I do My Will?

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 I Found Nothing Within

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Feb. 1988)

Oh Beloved, how sad my

Who can tell of Your Beauty

heart cries for your

Like a dark brow’d youth

close ones, Your mandali

Or a dancing laughing Baba

And they’re crying for You

Why did You come to wake us up?

And I’m crying for their company

And then leave after we opened our eyes?

which makes me feel You

Now all You hear is our cries.

They are old and tired

Where have You gone?

But what is left for us here

Where are You?  Do you love me?

When they’re retired?

Then, why did you love me and leave me?

Oh, Beloved, though you are

Awaken me and then grieve me?

Everywhere — in every heart

With a form so captivatingly Baba

Please leave me an incarnate

You acted out Your part

Friend to hold my heart

Played God-man on earth.

While I’m on earth

Why did you come to see us

Waiting to come to You.

Bound in illusion’s dearth?

And give our hearts hope of a final new birth?

Who can tell of Your Beauty

Enflame us with Your God-man ways

Like a dark brow’d youth

And then leave us grieving for “those days?”

Or a dancing laughing Baba

“Find Me within” You said.

Why did You come to wake us up?

But I find nothing there

And then leave after we opened our eyes?

Sometimes a longing heave Or a sighing cry

Now all You hear is our cries.

And tears and sobs — Baba Baba

Where have You gone?

But I find nothing else anywhere.


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Jealousy

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India Dec. 1998)

1)                     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 in her bag
                        Pay the price; so Meher grants
                        What you covet in your brother.
                        If He ups the ante, pay quickly
                        He’ll give what you envy in another.

Chorus:             No need for jealousy’s hold
                        (Baba) He gives as much as we can hold.
                        For the Beloved is most generous
                        And wants to see us joyous;

2)                     If you want to be happy
                        At least don’t make others unhappy
                        The Beloved knows more than we do
                        who to invite and who’s to stay.
                        It’s not our job to judge and disobey,
                        Or make each other sick on the way.

Chorus:             No need for jealousy’s hold
                        (Baba) He gives as much as we can hold.

3)                     The doctor gives each a unique medicine,
                        Each disease requires a different prescription. (Instrumental)

                        If you serve without love and gratitude,
                        Mind your own business is not your platitude,
                        Instead of goodwill and gentle care,
                        Then Maya is your guru, not Meher the Fair.

Chorus:             No need for jealousy’s hold
                        (Baba) He gives as much as we can hold. (piano)

4)                     Don’t judge another’s behavior; don’t criticize their art,
                        Encourage and cheer each other in your heart.
                        Meher gives what your jealousy covets,
                        When ya pay the price for His gifts.

Chorus:             No need for jealousy’s hold
                        (Baba) He gives as much as we can hold. (piano again)

5)                     Stop spying and judging each other’s pain,
                        Stop driving yourself and others insane.
                        With good-will seek the joy of each other,
                        Precious wares found in heart’s lane,
                        Find in Meher what you lacked in your mother,
                        Or sought in your lover in vain.

Chorus:             No need for jealousy’s hold
                        (Baba) He gives as much as we can hold. (piano again)

6)                     Jealousy’s an old hag sittin’ by the road pointing
                        To a bend on the path for our (own) sanskaric unveiling.
                        Pay the price; so Meher grants
                        What you covet in your sister.
                        For the Beloved is most generous
                        And wants to see us all joyous;
                        Meher is most generous
                        And wants to see us ALL joyous!


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Love Sick

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(Written during Bhau Kalchuri’s visit, July 1997)

I am sick for Love of the Friend
Oh Summer Breeze, full of sweetness
and hope of Youth’s promise
Bring my greetings to His poet Night Watchman
Because Karen is ill and cannot come in person.
The cure?  One glance under His Eyelashes
To enflame the dying embers now in ashes.
Do you know my illness and the cause?
I am lovesick and heaving with sorrow
And my heart has taken flight to find another
Too restless to pay heed or pause
O Blessed Peace, why have you left me?
Oh you meditators and peace makers
On this path, there is no resting place.
A dog and pony frey at best
To see who sings a better song -- no rest!
Fierce are the rivals at the palace gate.
More than beggars waiting for a plate
Spies and betrayal are the norm,
No comfort or peace of hearth or home
Oh sweet domestic dreams of peace
Harmony in home with a garden — Youth’s promise
What price paid for this Path?
and Nothing gained but reprimand.
I am shunned at home, in the market,
Betrayed by spies and rivals on the path
Oh You meditators and peacemakers,
Beware the spiritual path!

Sweet evening breeze, whisper to my Beloved
I am ill and restless for His Face
Even one glance can still my heart from my bed
Quiet the frantic beating, like a sparrow’s fall from Grace.

Do you still love me?  How can I know?
Ask me for a Song and then give me back my voice!
All is in Your hand, O Saki
But though I find myself in the Tavern tonight
There is no sight of You Sweetheart
And no peace is my plight!


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Lovely Mehera

©2001 Arrangmenet & English Lyrics:  Karen Lynn Sterkin
Music:  Allaudin & Ali Akbar Khan in Hem Bihag

Lovely lovely Mehera you are so lucky.
As you have pleased Meher Baba.

Blessed blessed Mehera, you are so lucky
As you are loved by Meher Baba.

A wise young and beautiful woman
E’en God is pleased and sings in your praise.

You are so fortunate that you could please God-man
With your lovely song’s melody.

Thank you thank you darling Meher Baba
For leaving (us) Your lovely Mehera.

Who sang us Your melody
Of your pure love            of Your sweet love. 

Thank you thank you darling Meher Baba
For leaving (us) Your lovely Mehera.

To keep us company
sing Your pure love in all our hearts,
Heard in each heart (where)
You are seen and felt,
In ev’ry heart, every-where
Supreme Melody.

Wearing (In her) sapats Mehera came
With her eyes glowing
Gentle darling Mehera with His love flowing

Lovely lovely Mehera you are so lucky.
As you have pleased Meher Baba.

Blessed blessed Mehera, you are so lucky
As you are loved by Meher Baba.


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Manifestation Song

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
from The New Humanity Collection

When I was a child and I could not sleep
Baba gave a secret for my heart to keep
He made me very happy but I can’t remember why
And now I lay awake waitin’ for His reply.

He came to the Earth, worked to set us all free
His lovers celebrate Him at Amartithi
When the world recognizes Him, what then?
When Baba completes His manifestation.

Twenty-three years is less than three score
But it’s unlikely Earth can last 600 more.
We’ve destroyed our air, water, food and seas
And not too many men are praying on their knees.

He came to America, they called Him a freak
The papers wrote about His Silence for a week
But the world will recognize Him, (and) what’ll happen then?
When Baba finishes His manifestation?

Baba told us to love each other as one Heart
But we formed separate groups to keep ourselves apart.
He gave the world a push
That made some hearts ache
But the world still thinks this is a big mistake.

He came to awaken our sleeping souls
Dreaming in illusion of separate roles
When the world recognizes Him, what’ll happen then?
When Baba completes His manifestation.

When I was a child and I could not sleep
I gave Meher Baba my heart to keep
He made me very happy
But I can’t remember why
And now I lay awake
Waiting for His reply.


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Meher Baba’s Mandali

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(Nov. 1, 1986 From the New Humanity Collection)

Oh Beloved close ones of Baba
How His brightness shines
From His earthly home at Meherazad.
Like a lighthouse beacon in this world’s
Dark night in the middle of a stormy sea,
Beaming among the waves on a turbulent ocean.

How kindly He veils your suffering
From our baby eyes,
Just awakening to lullabies
And tales of His humanity.

How graciously the Perfect Host
Receives His relations and friends
Among His earthly family,
While He hides the pain of your longing.

Every soul is destined to travel the path
Home to Baba and the closer to Him,
The more intense the longing.
Is this the example we are learning?
Like children who watch the manners
Of their parents in earthly families?
Veil your sadness and efface oneself.
Serve, love, and think of others,
Make others happy and think only of Me.

What do those who lived their lives with God
Do for those who never met Him while He was on earth?

Just His example which they witnessed,
Watched, served, loved, breathed,
Which in His love and compassion again
With you His closest ones, He gives
To His weary world children.
How sweet of Him to let us celebrate
His coming on earth in every one,
Every story each precious day here.
He gives with His earthly family
To show the world His humanity.

We who did not get to meet You
In human form are so very lucky to greet You
And find Your loving humanity
In Your Meherazad family.

How very kind of You
To have left Your family;
So the weary world would know
Of Your perfect humanity.

And how very loving of You
To keep Your close ones very busy,
So they don’t have any time to miss You
Too much, until they come to You.


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Meher Knocked on my Forehead

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(From Meher Baba – June 1998)

Thoughts buzzing in my head with nowhere to go
Like squirrels in a round cage at a carnival.
My heart longs to soar and enthrall
I cannot leave Earth  without my music to show.
How can I leave Earth without my music to grow?

But Oh today, Meher knocked on my forehead,
From the passenger seat of my car, He tapped on my head.
Streams of sweetness filled my heart with His Presence.
Driving home from the workplace hell in penance.

I listened to His sweet messages, “Today I’ll give you a Song.”
“How many for your CD?”
I answerered, “Ten.” He said, “Only ten?”
“I’ll give you hundreds to pen.”

(From Meher Baba driving home from work.)

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Mehera’s Color

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (White Flowing Sadra CD)

Chorus:    Mira’s immersed in the color of Krishna          Mehera’s covered in the color of Meher Baba
Every  o- ther  co- lor  is just a  hin-  drance                  All  o- ther  co-  lors are just a hin- drance
Mehera’s colored in the color of Meher Baba                 Karen’s in love with the color of Meher Baba.

1)   Clean   face and  at-  tractive voice so sweet        Her make-up  is  a   life of good deeds  good deeds.
Clean face and  at-  tractive voice so sweet                Her make-up is a life of good deeds  good deeds.
Nothing else attracts her anymore                                Nothing else attracts her anymore
Nothing else attracts her anymore                                   This is the knowledge her guru gave her.
This knowledge her guru taught her -                                            taught    her.
Mira’s immersed in the color of Krishna.                     Karen’s in love with the color of Meher Baba.

2)   Whether you condemn me or praise   me         I’ll sing to the glory    of   Me-  her   Ba- ba  (2x)
I will follow the way my guru’s shown me                    on that Path  I will  go .On that path I will go
Meher Baba is my husband, Meher Baba                   Mother, Father, Son, (and) Brother
Meher Baba is my husband, Meher Baba                   Mother, Father, Son, (and) Brother
I am His, He is my King, so speaks Mirabai               I am His, He is my Lord, says Meherkeran

            Mira’s immersed in the color of Krishna                      Every other  co-  lor  is just a hin-  drance
            All other colors are just a hindrance                           Mehera’s imersed in the color of Meher Baba.
            Karen’s in love with the color of Meher Baba.


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Moon-faced Pi-Chi

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Today is my first day back to working
And though familiar,
It is also somehow similar — to Sing Sing1
But I bounced about in a rose silk blouse
As if I were singing Mozart in my house.
I dream of making Strawberry Charlotte at Tice
A dish from Lafayette’s Tourelle2
The staunchest ascetic to entice;
And of planting tuber roses for their fragrant scent
And squash, tomatoes and beans for woking sans “Accent.”3
Addicted to the bike path’s show
Of wild flowers and gardens that grow
And flank both its sides
Celebrating new birth in colors so gay
Bejeweled in Spring’s glorious array.
I get drunk on my walks.

And now, one thousand salaams with happy, moon-faced smiles
At Beloved’s lotus feet
Are required to make this poem complete
Now a walk in a rose garden in the moonlight would be sweet,
Then to warm up afterward, sip a cup of Chai at your lovely feet,
That’s all for now from the pen of this Sighing “Pi CHI.”4

1 Sing Sing is a prison in New York State.
2 Tourelle’s Restaurant in Lafayette is an elegant French cuisine.
3 American Chinese restaurants use this Monosodium Glutamate product which many people are allergic to
    and get reactions to MSG. Many of these restaurants now offer their food cooked without MSG.
4 Baba, Your "poetic inspirations" have struck me out of bed to write this Chinese poem in the style of the
    well-known poet and Baba lover "Pi-Chi" (PEACHY) alias Dr. William Donkin, who also wrote similar Chinese poems
     to Baba. I’ve decided to adopt Donkin’s Chinese pen name, I hope it meets with Baba’s approval and amusement.


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The Musician

©June by 2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin
from The New Humanity Collection (India - 3 Dec. 1986)

Do you know my Master
Is a musician?
He plays all day His songs
to the Universes.
Only the angels can hear
And some giant men
And saints of women.

I long to play this music
My soul knows its key.
If I could hear it once,
I’d cease to lament or know
of earth’s bondage ever.

That’s why God’s orchestra
Is for those whose ears are tuned
to the Truth.

I am still jumping into holes of dark sorrow
And riding golden chariots of joy to the skies.
When my fancy ceases this play
My soul will be steady enough
For God’s breath to play
His tunes upon it.


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New Year’s Blues

©June 200l by Karen Lynn Sterkin
India, Jan. 2, 1987 from The New Humanity Collection

Oh Meher, I am weary of the days and nights of illusion’s dreaming
My heart is veiled in fogs trying to find You and I am crying
My mind is planning great schemes but only to please You
Where are You, Oh Beloved, why are You hidden? Come I am blue.

Remembering the sun warmth of Your face and Meherazad family hearth
Where fires of love burn brightly in the dancing, singing mirth;
And strangers become friends in an instant without distinctions
Of name, or creed, or place of birth without reservations,
In the merging of joyous Oneness in His blessed company.

Oh God, we can’t all go and live in India just to have Your Sahavas!
Then, how do we bring Your warmth back to the office, house, class?
Here it is so cold, distant, separate, and alone
To remember You is the only remedy we own.
I don’t care if they think I am mad anymore
Or if they ridicule me with scorn or abhor.
But to keep the light of Your sweet company I long for
And wonder how in these days of coldness
Why I’m still staying here? What I’m doing?
When the door of Your threshold is closed, I wait for my King
But sometimes I wonder how long and forget just to sing
Your name and remember Your days spent to show us the way
Then it is time to take rest and recover, to obey and sing Jai!

To remember the long face and the sad mood will not do
And to create something new from the stew of this illusion doo doo.


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Offended!

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written Sept. 1997)

Oh Meher, at every turn, I offend your creatures.
And this damn sleeplessness has ripped the beauty off my features.
Without a job, no friends, no sleep,
With no lover, no friends, 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 learning the art?
The skinny violinist can play her strings all day
And she can study 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 song 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 (earning) on money -- 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 make 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!


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Perfect Mother

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(Dialog with Baba in India - Oct. 24, 1986)

O Meher, I’ve heard tales of so many of your lovers.
Some build pilgrim centers  and hospitals.
Some work all the time, others serve or clean or cook.
Some sing songs to your Brightness from our dark world.

Others help the poor, with the latest technology and science.
What am I doing here?

O Karen, if I did not call you, you’d not have come here.
Don’t listen to these thoughts of your mind.
My lovers are really great, but I don’t need anyone to do My work.
O Karen, are you afraid to commit yourself?
You’ll have to travel the Path anyway some day.
Why not come now while I have called you?

O Meher, am I truly ready?
So many times I’ve fallen, great falls from high places, and I’m so afraid.
Like a babe once dropped from her own mother’s arms.

O Karen, I am the Perfect Mother and I’ll never fail you.


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A Plea for Peace

©Karen Lynn Sterkin, 30 Jan. 2002

I don’t know if false or true
Or if I’ll get another scolding from you.
But these thoughts came in five minutes
While walking by the sea trying to make sense.

It’s not personal, said the Eternal –
It’s not about you or me anymore.
Rather whether or not it’s world peace or war!

I’ve not thought about Baba’s folk for years,
But I spent yesterday thinking of you in tears.
No matter what my repentance
None of this made any sense!

Til I asked Meher the cause of this commotion
While seeking inner peace by His ocean.

I told Him I prefer loneliness to humiliation
I prefer separation to another busy body ashram
Yes, I sent the bottle in haste and carelessness
My focus on the music – my next CD and finances.
In ignorance of your new post of prominence.
As a Trustee for Lord Meher’s place,
You must be honored and respected in deference
To the One you serve –  and your holy service.
And my reputation for disgrace
Must not dishonor Meher’s holy place.

Your email held as much agony
As the U.S.S. Cole missile tragedy
They threw me out of reoriented sufism
And I’m as shunned in Meher Baba’ism
Just a loose cannon without diplomat sense.

But ah what inspiration for Song
I find in the world’s harangue.
What mysteries of love and freedom
I find -- though I’m feared and shunned by men.
I’m a cat thief and a harlot
I’ll go wherever I find song’s support!

If I’d sent it to your mother
To keep your privacy under cover
And protect you from gossip’s sting
Instead of a scolding that in my heart’s rankling
Like a pot on the stove simmering,
Just a brief, aloof but friendly ,“thank you”
That I’d not give any further thought to?
I am a woman of respect and grace
When I refuse to allow myself or others
His name to disgrace.

But now my songs have made me a queen,
And not for just a day.
Tho’ they scold and scoff “get off your swing”
They have no idea what’s hidden in this play.

I am grateful for my past “bad reputation”
For in this disgrace and loneliness
My songs flourish and God-willing so do my finances!

So forgive this careless one
That Meher’s request for Cholestin
Was not delivered in the Court’s manner.

Now just see their war’s clamour,
I begin to see the secret hidden in the outer,
So please for world peace dear brother
Please forgive this careless child of Meher.


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Political Prisoner

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Are they fighting over me?
Who’s camp I’ll come to be?
Oh Meher, I’ll serve You in them both!
Only let me out of this living death
Of meaningless fruitless waiting
Wasting time when Your story I must be singing,
To tell the world of Your glory
And lovers to Your door step bringing. 

With the bright, sun beam ray of Your life’s hope
The world needs the story
Of Your life on earth — To bring the glory
Of Your coming in our age
To write in all hearts Your Divine Love message.

What is it restless heart you are saying?
Baba Baba oh Meher
What is it worried mind you are thinking?
Where are You?  When will I see You?
Like a frantic bird hopping in its cage,
The heart cannot even sing; it is breathless in this stage.

Oh Meher, open the door and let me fly home
Like Your pigeon with its message of Love
I can’t fly anywhere but to You
There is no place to roam
And I have no other home.

Do You keep me in this prison for some unknown reason?
Does it help Your work that I’m kept hidden?
Oh that I’d sing Your story and reveal Your glory,
If You’d open the gate and let me out of this grate,

You know to You only I’d come
To Your abode I’d fly straight home
How long must I wait
Inside this prison gate?

Why don’t they let me free?
To do the work now completely
I’ve no time for politics or in whose camp to stay.
Oh let me free and I’ll help you both to Meher’s sea!
But keep me caged in stupid wasteful fear
While my youth and creative strength disappear
Then pray God you find yourself
In a likewise place — with no room for growth and no place for Baba’s Grace!

(The battle was about Jim Mackie & Sufism Reoriented)


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Pride’s Purpose

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

If you destroy a sunrise
Because it’s pride is in your eyes,
You’ll leave this world in darkness
And semi-eternal coldness.
How can anyone sing to God without pride?
It’s impossible without His aside.
To get the skill, the art correctly,
Beauty is very hard to play perfectly!

Flowers look beautiful and birds sing well.
But most of us work hard as hell
To look pretty and perform that well.

To dispel doubt, shame, and tears
Strengthen faith, empower talent, zap fears,
Takes early childhood playing for years
To tune one’s Song for Love’s ears.

I’m not a nest-building bird.
But that’s no reason for disrespect
or not to take me at my word.
You may hate, fear me or despise
But only a fool destroys a sunrise.


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Reflections

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

She died for me and for my sake?
To save my life and give me a stake
In God’s perfect life in His garden called earth?

Then why have I cried for the past 12 years
If her death paid the price of our tears?
You miss her company and I miss her jokes.
Why am I blamed for the comfort
You cannot find in these blokes?

I did not ask for the gift of life she gave
And if I knew it would end in bitterness
It would have been a better kindness
To have let me go to Baba in my own grave!

She gave from Baba and for Baba I know
Because her happiness and her glow
No matter what worldly sadness,
Tried to pour out His wine of gladness.

So why inflict me with sorrow and shame
Because I am unhappy when you came?
If her death was to bring a reprieve,
Why am I punished because for her you grieve?
It would seem wiser to go straight to Him
Who decides everything and everybody’s whim.

Now with Baba, I’d prefer no interference
No matter who deserves, He gives all happiness,
Because He’s paid the price given from above,
With His life on earth He shared with us for love.

So there is no requirement for bitterness dear
The debts were paid when He took birth here.
If you cannot freely give it does not matter much
Baba gives to all and cares not for blame and such.
Leaves to churches and householders the need to judge
So now I’m going to get a piece of Christmas fudge!

He gave to you everything you have had, have now, and ever will have
And He gave to me everything I’ve had, have now, and every will have.

What you give or won’t give is just a reflection
Of what you have distorted by your own objection
To the source of all, the One whose every will
Decides the moving of an ant, the turning of a windmill.

It is best for me to remember Baba who gives all and always will
Because when I remember Him and that there is only One,
I forget for a moment the bitterness learned here
When I remember Baba, I feel only love, goodwill, and cheer.


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A Reprieve

©May, 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

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 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. 


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 Single File

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (written in 1986)

Last night my dear the rain was fallin’
I went to bed so sad and blue
I was thinkin’ I could not follow You
I dreamed I was strolling in the evening underneath the harvest moon.
I was thinking about you. 
Then we met out in the moonlight the stars were shining in your eyes. 
But (I saw that) another was there too.

There’s room for only One on Love’s Path, more narrow than a needle’s eye,
I was too discouraged to reply
Baba took my hand and told me, “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 shined with victory. 
 You said “Let Me lead and just obey Me,” and then my heart was filled with ease
I knew that You, Meher, would always stay with me.
Your eyes were filled with victory
I knew that You Meher would always be with me.


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Since You made me Crazy

©June 2001 English couplets by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Since you made me crazy about you

Friends now think I’m special too


Intro.

You talk about outsiders and strangers

You talk about other people.

You talk about outsiders and strangers

You talk about others

But I was betrayed by my brothers

You talk about other people

I was betrayed by my own people.

Everyone is careful to avoid the thorn.

People take care to avoid the thorn

But the flowers left me bereft and forlorn.

The flowers left me forsaken and forlorn.


1)

Aahhh     I saw an angel walking the earth

and he kindled such a fire

This angel lit such a fire that in an instant (a flash)

I gave my heart to the one I desire. 

When I asked for his heart, he said
“Wait just a minute!


God knows where I’ve put it!

Let me recollect, maybe in my last fling? Ah ...

My heart is such a trifle, such a small thing!

Where my heart is now, only God must be knowing!

Ahh


Chorus   

Oh you sitting in the audience

You sitting in the audience

Desire unveiled my heart in penance (2 x)

Since you made me crazy ... (Astai)


2)

On the bank of the Ganges,
the ascetics bathe in the mist.


Only I’m the one who’s burning unkissed.

On my river bank I see only smoke.

(And ) I’m the sannyasin, what a joke!

You sitting in the audience

Desire unveiled my heart in penance (2 x)

People embellish this punishment    with the name of Love. (to Chorus)

People give this punishment the name of love. (to Astai)


3)

Eyes you are so very bad, you are to blame

With a glance and a sigh, you kindled this flame

Nobody is worse than you - my eye.

And now I burn so much that tears flow as I cry.


4)

This world idolizes images of stone

People of the world   -- Images of Stone

People of the world. idolize images of stone

But nobody worships the grinding mill (stone) in their own home.

This everyday all day long, stone song we hear daily

Sometimes this grinding mill stone drives me crazy!

You talk about others in vain  in vain   in vain

Desire has unveiled my heart and slain

God watches as I suffer (and tolerate) in this pain. 

Since you made me crazy about you
Friends now think I’m special too.


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Sleep On

June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written in 1996)

Could your heart ever be mine?
Running & running so fast after You all the time.
Your eyes gazing through mine
Saying I should have faith in you, trust in You,      You show me why.

Cause You suffered broken bones and pain all the time
Worked for creation within space & time
Never told us how You hurt deep inside while the world
Sleeps on    Sleeps on . . . .

Could your heart ever be mine?
Running & running so fast after You all the time.
Your eyes gazing through mine
Saying I should have faith in you, trust in You, You show me HOW.

Cause at night no sleep and distractions all day
You ask me to follow You and just obey
Help me keep focused for singing your name, while the world
Sleeps on     Sleeps on . . . .

Will your heart ever be mine?
Seeing my weaknesses before my eyes all the night         My heart longs all the time
And I need to believe You, so I do, to get through the night.

Cause You promised to lead if we just obey You
Promised to love us and never leave too
Gave us the great gift of just loving You
While the world sleeps on
While the world sleeps on


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Want of a Wife

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India Dec. 1998)

If you are lonely and need a wife
Tell Meher of your sorrow and don’t hide
Instead of attacking His lovers in bitter strife
Humiliating your Lord and those He has called to His side.

This hypocrisy for a woman or for coin gain
Is the business of Maya and her con-men.
You are deluded in serving Meher the Fair
If you humiliate and grieve those He calls here.

Far better a simple life on this earth
A wife, a home, in honesty and mirth
Than hypocrisy and hatred in Meher’s lane
Becoming Maya’s servant, causing grief and pain.

When a woman loves a man
He has nothing to do but honor her love.
When a woman does not love a man,
There is nothing he can do to win her love.

God inspires and ignites love in a woman’s heart,
Whether prostitute or nun, laundry woman or queen.
And no man can come between
God’s will awakening
Such a love in her heart.

You may earn it from Meher the Fair
This gift of a woman’s tender care.
But attack a woman in His home,
And you disgrace the One to whom they’ve come. 
And you disgrace the One from whom you come.