White Flowing Sadra

 

Copyright ©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

 

White Flowing Sadra
Table of Contents

Anklet-Torn Garment
Be Resigned to My Will
Beautiful Brother Muse
Believe in Your Dreams
Brother Jamie
Calm Lullabye Balm – Peace on Earth
Clothing Fine
Come to My Door
Donkey Love
Dusty Daily Life
Flowers on the Fence
Follow Me
Give to Divine Mother
Gossip
Grateful for Support
I Found Nothing Within
Inheritance
Jealousy
Meeting Again
Meher Knocked on my Forehead
Money
Moon-faced Pi-Chi
Mug
New Humanity
No Agenda
Perfect Mother
Political Prisoner
Ready to Sing
A Reprieve
Ruby Raine
Since you made me crazy
Single File
Sleep On
Two Saris
White Flowing Sadra
Want of a Wife

Back to Top

Anklet-Torn Garment

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (From Hafiz 1 June 1997)

The Morning Breeze has spread the news throughout Love City.
That the Beloved has come — now all are getting ready.

Each vying to display a better tune with pipe and drum,
Waiting near the gate look-out, “Has He come, Has He Come?”

Last night, lying captive in Hesperian’s Light
Sleepy householders awaken in fright.

With His garment torn asunder
Do they come Love City to plunder?

Like wild men and thieves
Their screams awoke us in the night
Beloved has come — take flight, take flight.

Oh run pilgrim, sinner, saint
To meet Him at the garden gate!

With garment torn from pretty, sparkling jingling anklet
The prayer rug is now forsaken
And all job and household chores forgotten. 

Do you think He’ll want a tune?
A pipe, a drum, a sweet song in June?

How can we bear the heavy burden of care?
The isolation and out of time
Of heavy out of tune and unfettered rhyme —

Lest He come and cock His Head with hand on chin
And wave His arm to let us IN.

One glance of that One’s Eye
And to sweet repose and peace say good-bye!

When will I sleep again?
And how to stay in tune?

The Beloved has come
But his anklet-torn garment has left Karen in ruin. 


Back to Top

Be Resigned to My Will

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
From Baba 10 December 1986 Eve.

Be resigned to My will
In despair or when you’re ill
Turn to Me when all seems nil.

When you think you fail,
And in separation wail,
Know that I forgive all.

So obey Me and be still
Just be happy and do My will.
Take my heart love, take my heart love,
So I can your heart fulfill.

For only in Me is your all in all
So be attentive and await My call.
Just obey Me and be still
Be happy and do My will
So I can your heart fulfill.

For only in Me is your all in all
So be attentive and await My call.
Just obey Me and be still
Be happy and do My will
So I can your hearts fulfill. So I can your hearts fulfill!

Be resigned to My will
In despair or when you’re ill
Turn to Me when all seems nil.

When you think you fail,
And in separation wail,
Know that I forgive all.


Back to Top

Beautiful Brother Muse

©May 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Beautiful Brother Muse – what a ruse!
Your golden beauty and gentle, clever wit
Held me captive for quite a bit.
Gave me my seafaring legs with oars,
For more arduous chores beyond these shores.
Like Hafiz’ beautiful muse
That pretty young girl enchanted him too.
God gave you great beauty, a beguiling disguise
To awaken me to the beauty in my own eyes.

(For Terry Curtis)


Back to Top

Believe in Your Dreams

©May 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

I fell in love and for 17 years I was stuck, obsessed
With a man who could not have cared less!
Til you showed me “Oh, it’s just a cord”
From my own or his manipulation – oh Lord!
So many years of delusion wasted in vain,
When five minutes with you cut me loose again.

How can one soul ever thank another,
For the support and love not given by a mother?
Those with hard childhoods often play with seduction,
To avoid releasing the binding cause of deception.
Nobody wants to walk through the pain and fear -
How kind of God to bring wise souls like you here!

“Believe in your dreams,” you cheer others on
And for Mohammed, you move the mountain.
God knows what worlds of ecstasy and desire,
Your good-will and faith encourage and inspire.
Spiritual lessons I needed to review,
I thought I was editing your book,
But the Lord of the Universe sent me to you
For a much closer look.
I thought I was just editing a spiritual path book,
But Meher Baba sent me for a closer look!

(For Golden Sha in Colorado)


Back to Top

Brother Jamie

©May, 2001 - Karen Lynn Sterkin

Brother Jamie is so cool,
He’s a singer and Baba’s jewel,
A generous soul loose and easy,
A warm summer day buzzing and hazy.
Brings joy to those in sorrow,
Doesn’t think much about tomorrow.

In green still pastures from another time,
He serenades the king’s men when they need some wine.
Never jealous, doesn’t backbite,
Would rather have a beer than drink spite.

If more men looked for their “manhood” in this way
We’d have heaven on earth and peace songs all day.

(For Jamie Newell)


Back to Top

Calm Lullaby Balm – Peace on Earth

©May 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

When restlessness rips the sleep off my features,
Your melodies lullaby me into raptures.
Nobody’s songs soothe me or bring more calm,
Than your beautiful, gentle voice captures.
The Divine Mother’s sound, a healing balm,
Peace and “chenne” for my anxious soul.

Tho separate Sisters in Song – each with a different role,
I believe we share a destiny for world peace.
Seva for the Divine Mother
An aspect she wants to release;
To expel fear, bring down on earth
Brotherly Love for one another
With your lovely, gentle songs and my mirth.

(For Shweta Jhaveri)


Back to Top

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 (blessed) 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 keep 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 (blessed) 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 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!


Back to Top

Come to My Door

©June 2002, Karen Lynn Sterkin

Watching by the roadway
Outside my doorway
Waiting by the road there
For Beloved Meher
Waiting by the road here
For darling Meher.

I see You coming in Your white sadra flowing
I see You coming in the road in my longing
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 see You   coming but no more
Come to my door.

In the road I see You waving in my longing
Come to my door 
In a mirage I see You  coming - but  no more
Come to my door  Beloved Meher
Come to my door

Do I call you my Beloved   
Do I call you my Beloved
 but you are love ever more
            Love  - ever more  
On the road I see you coming -
But no more.  Come to my door!

My home is bare  
Only longing lives here
Come darling Meher
Come to my door.

Do I call you my Beloved
But You are love ever more  - ever more 
Darling Meher Come to door

I am restless everyday - 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 
In the road I see You waving my darling
My home is bare
Only longing lives there!
In this abode only longing – nothing more.
Come to my door, come to my door!


Back to Top

Donkey Love

©June 2001, 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.


Back to Top

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 Retakes 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.   (end)


Back to Top

Flowers on the Fence

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin

Women in the East make a place for a feast
Not afraid to dance, sing, and celebrate
Honor her beauty -- her art appreciate
Tho’ envy may lie in her breast,
If you love she’ll still give you her best.
To the poor, death comes from poverty
In the East women compete intensely
For education, land, jobs, money.

Western women lack this intelligence
No street-wise practical common sense.
Controlling, nosey, dominating, joyless
Busybody gossiping, manageress
They make hell out of heaven on earth
For no reason but fear of mirth.

Started with my mother
Killed my precious brother.
They told her she’d no talent!
Without recourse to lament
Or self-esteem to despise,
She bought their lies,
And made hell out of paradise.

In fighting for my privacy and border
I won the battle but lost the war
The contractor says it’ll hold no more!
What kind of fence can’t hold flowers?
Robbing me of precious life hours
For songs and rhyme,
Wasting my priceless time!

I need a peaceful place; I need beauty and grace
I need total privacy from this invasive envy
That robs the earth of all glee.
Western women get so huffy
When they’re afraid to be free.
How can God manifest
Love, beauty, and harmony
Among women in the West?

God gave her a new home with a lovely garden.
She said she loves her flowers -- hence
Why rob me the healing beauty of my flowers? For my privacy, joy, and peace --
For some idiot contractor’s useless, senseless fence!

Is this all we have to show for the decades
Women fought for equality and freedom?
Was women’s liberation just to enslave another?
What about peace on earth - make others happy?
This jealous rage over the flowers on my fence!
Did women’s liberation breed this arrogance
Such self-important officiousness
without any reasoning sense?
This invasive nosey, busybody gracelessness?
The flowers on my fence have more beauty and intelligence!

Western women lack common sense.
Why God can’t I grow flowers (anymore) on my fence!

Back to Top

Follow Me

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin
(from O Beloved I’m Yours Collection 1986)

Last night my dear the rain was fallin’
I went to bed so sad and blue
I was thinking 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 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 were filled with victory.
You said, "Let Me lead and just obey Me,"
And my heart was filled with ease
I knew that Meher would stay with me.


Back to Top

Give to Divine Mother1

©June 2001, Lyrics: Karen Lynn Sterkin
Music: Ramashreya “Ramrang” Jha
“Banvari na Karo” in Yemen

Chorus:
Backbiting do not do – na karo
Gossip fighting do not do– na karo
Criticizing do not do– na karo
Judging others do not do– na karo
Hate and anger do not do– na karo
Jealousy and envy do not do – do not do! – na karo

1)         Tell Divine Mother what you need.
       She will take away all of your hatred fear and greed.  (Chorus)

2)         Give Divine Mother all your sadness
       She will give you so much love, joy, and happiness.

3)         We can bring Heaven right here
           Right here to Earth
           We can have Heaven right here
           Right here on Earth.
          Give her all your sadness, shame, and anger
          She will give you bliss, love, and mirth.
         Divine Mother will give you so much Love and Bliss,
          You’ll just want to share with others. 

Chorus:
       Fear and worry do not do – na karo
      Shame and blame, do not do – na karo
      Hugs and kisses you will do
         Happiness and joy we will do – Mother for you!

In gratitude to Beloved Amma  - who serves Beloved Meher Baba.

1   Dedicated to Amritananda Mai Devi (Ammichi) -- the Incarnation of the Divine Mother.


Back to Top

Gossip

©June 2001,  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 to out 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?)


Back to Top

Grateful for Support

©May, 2001 - Karen Lynn Sterkin

Nobody ever asked God or offered to support me before
In my ambitious dreams and artistic ardor
Before you came into my life
And now you’ve got another wife!

In vain attempts I’d cried, before our King.
Strenuously fought the battles to sing
My songs of Love and Peace
‘til you came and made me the space – a treatise
For my songs in His glorious dream.

How can one soul ever thank another
For the support to make one’s dream come true?
One can at best be a good mother or a brother.

Once in a while we get lucky and just a few
Help make the impossible dream come true.

There’ve been some kind enough not to scoff,
But no one every prayed to God to help me pull it off!

Today you play your drums while I sing my Peace songs,
In Egypt long ago you also played your drum
As I twirled in singing passion
When I danced my love dance.
Ah my dear what a sweet dream, what a wild romance.

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 another encore.

(For Swapan Chaudhuri)


Back to Top

I Found Nothing Within

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin
 Feb. 1988

Oh Beloved, how sad my heart cries
For your close ones, Your Mandali;
And they’re crying for You too.
And I’m crying for their company
Which makes me feel You.
They are old and tired.
But what is left for us here
When they’re retired?

Oh, Beloved, though you are Everywhere
 — in every heart O Meher
Please leave me incarnate
With a True Friend to hold my heart
While I’m on earth
Waiting to come to You.

Who can tell of Your Beauty
Like a dark brow’d youth
Or a dancing laughing Baba
Why did You come to wake us up?
And then leave after we opened our eyes?
Now all You hear is our cries.
Where have You gone?
Where are You?  Do you love me?
Then, why did you love me and leave me?
Awaken me and then grieve me?
With a form so captivatingly Baba
You acted out Your part
Played God-man on earth.
Why did you come to see us
Bound in illusion’s dearth?
And give our hearts hope of a final new birth?
Enflame us with Your God-man ways
And then leave us grieving for “those days?”
“Find Me within” You said.
But I find nothing there
Sometimes a longing heave Or a sighing cry
And tears and sobs — Baba O Meher
But I find nothing else anywhere.


Back to Top

Inheritance

©March 2002, Karen Lynn Sterkin

Falsely accused by a sister,
Betrayed by a step-mother,
Judged by an aunt
Condemned by a mother
For an inheritance.
Hard-earned by a weak father
Refused to fight for his eldest daughter
So his money went to the ex-wife and younger daughter.

The rest went to his second wife
and his youngest sister.
Why? When God’s creation is filled with abundance?
Is there betrayal and battle for a stolen inheritance?

Some say it is our Negative Scenarios
or just bad karma
Others teach about the New Energy
How without an agenda
To find within our own Divinity.

Their faces swirl in front of my tear streaming eyes
On the long drive to Pt. Reyes.
Words exchanged rattle repeatedly
 in my head aching severely.

Where’s the joy that comes with family on earth
The sweetness of a baby in human birth?
The innocence of children fighting for attention and self-worth
In such a love-starved family hearth?

People accuse and blame
Throw around anger’s flame
But why in God’s name
Is there so much hatred, grief, and shame
Over a family’s inheritance?

An inheritance is a gift of Love
From God’s eternal treasure trove.
To pass down a gift from heart to heart
Each generation’s legacy to impart
A way to Love for those kept apart.

I am weeping for sins I have never committed;
Feeling I should to an insane asylum be committed.
Weeping for the potential of joy and love missed
Through robbery and false accusation
By a sister and mother’s betrayal kissed.

What did I do “wrong” to be accused falsely?
By a disabled younger sister’s robbery
No one can rob me of my inheritance!

I ask the Divine within me
How I can forgive those who falsely accused me
For robbery – for an inheritance.
I want to know the Truth of this circumstance,
So I am not suffering without recompense!


Back to Top

Jealousy

©June, 2001 - 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)

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)

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

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)
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 joyous;
Meher is most generous
And wants to see us joyous!        (Chorus)


Back to Top

Meeting Again

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin
in India 1972

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, the unmerciful law
Of my own actions.

I went to meet you — curiously
For I thought this was the first time!
Not remembering this was again,
Inside Your room at Meherazad,
Inside Baba’s room.

Mehera took your right arm
As if she were rubbing away
Your world weariness and earth pain
As she’d done when you’re in the body.

I felt embarrassed, what a silly game!
There’s no one here.
Lying there on Your bed
Imagining Your back to me
I started to massage
Your left side and arm.
Gingerly, I felt unworthy and afraid,
You might really appear — be here!

Mehera kept stroking You
“Baba — Baba”
I want to stroke Baba too!
But I couldn’t see or feel You.
“Baba! — it’s me, Karen, do you remember me?”

So sweetly You slowly turned
Your head to look my way
So softly Your eyes — your look of Love
Eternally   (Eternity)
Of meeting You again,
Of meeting again!


Back to Top

Meher Knocked on my Forehead

©June 2001, 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 answer red, “Ten.” He said, “Only ten?”
“I’ll give you hundreds to pen.”


Back to Top

Money

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

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 talent
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 intricacy (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.


Back to Top

Moon-faced Pi-Chi

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin
(Written for the attention of Jim Mackie)

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 wok-ing 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 such 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.


Back to Top

Mug

©May 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin

1)   Let ’em think I’m a mug,
Quite a useful costume,
Quiet room for a private hug,
And Peace to weave a tune.
Most can’t even hear if I’m singin’ in (out of) tune.
They lack the robust ear an’ disciplined (practiced) passion.
Universal Laws like gravity ‘n karma
Remain the same for every singer’s dharma.

2)    Fortune may smile on me awhile
But with fame I’ll have no guile.
Neither Mother Theresa nor Mussolini
Can escape the laws of gravity;
Or cause and effect (even) with fame.
No matter the singer or musician,
Both Sa and Sum remain the same;
Coming to “sum” with the drum,
Reaching in pitch to (every) “Sa.”

3)    I’d rather sleep with a thug,
Than flattery from hypocrites who hate,
Think they’re pious as a bloody saint.
Harbor ill-will and no fun,
So a girl has to hide in isolation.
Not allow the contamination  -- to breed.
I say mug, my sister (Ilona) says “dweeb”

4)    Either way it’s a good disguise
From the Master whose eyes
Inspire Love Songs and bliss.
I won’t let fame rob me of His kiss.

5)    In gardens buzzing in full bloom,
Scents of jasmine an’ rose perfume
Tipsy tots greet me eye to eye,
Puppies, bunnies playing romp by.
Fresh streams of unseen secrets make me giddy,
E’en in the city
Harming no one (while) -- loving everything.
Enough to eat – (and) free time to sing.

6)    Fame plugs into soap operas,
Fries circuits in dramas.
Mind can only hold one thing at a time.
My job’s song-weaving in pretty rhyme.
To entertain the Master of Song – all day long.
I won’t let fame rob me of His hug,
Let ’em call me a useless ole mug!

7)    Enough to eat and free time to sing,
Harming no one –  (while) loving everything.
I won’t let fame rob me of His hug,
Let ’em call me a useless ole mug!


Back to Top

New Humanity

©June 200l, Karen Lynn Sterkin (India, February, 1972 )
from The New Humanity Collection

Let me into your heart!
I cannot be just a part
Without a whole, let it flow
Without intellect’s control.

We can grow; learn to forsake
Vain roles and parts
For Love’s sake
Let me into your hearts!

Awake, sleepy ones, wake up!
Awake, sleepy ones, wake up!
The time is near
For the Tavernkeeper’s good cheer.
Empty hearts of little parts
Vain dreams - empty schemes.
The time is near
For the Tavernkeeper’s good cheer.
Empty hearts of little parts
Vain dreams - empty schemes.
Of conquering another
The New Wine is more
Precious than any worldly other.

Wipe out the cup!
The New Wine has come!
(And) the New Humanity (is) waking up!

Wipe out the cup!
The New Wine has come!
(And) the New Humanity (is) waking up!


Back to Top

No Agenda

©June 2002, Karen Lynn Sterkin

With every thought, word, and act
Am I changing the Home of All that Is and ever was?
Spirit doesn’t know the outcome and God has no Agenda?
Just a Whim to know Who I am and what is Love.
Releasing and allowing without an Agenda,
Like dancing with a penguin or a giant panda.
New Age folks set such good intentions
For World Peace, Organic Farms, positive affirmations!
Dreams and goals with or without karma
The uniqueness of each soul’s dharma.
How to accept All that Is without goals, judgment or alteration?
Wow! Dreams and goals without an Agenda!


Back to Top

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.


Back to Top

Political Prisoner

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(The battle was about Jim Mackie & Sufism Reoriented)

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 who’s 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!


Back to Top

Ready to Sing

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

Oh Beloved, I’ve tried to obey, as You should be obeyed
To Love and serve You as should be loved
But I’ve failed.

Ob Baba I have tried to discipline this little self
That dominates my days on earth;
What precious time left to run to You!
And I’ve wailed.

Oh God, I’ve tried to bed early
Rise early and still I’m always late.
Oh Meher I’ve tried good thoughts,
Good words, good deeds and still
I’m selfish and hate.

O Beloved I’ve tried to give and still
I can only take.
Even when I sing Arti to You,
I lapse and make mistake.

But when I help a brother or jump up and dance,
Then I can celebrate Your joyous romance.
And when I see all friends as You – only (just) One Being
Only then am I really ready for Your singing.

Wake up --- Wake Up  -- Wake up  Baba (in me)   (3x)
Only then am I really ready for Your singing.


Back to Top

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. 


Back to Top

Ruby Raine

©May, 2001 - Karen Lynn Sterkin

Ruby Raine, the gem lady, swallowed a blood orange sunrise,
And now the sparkles shoot out of her sapphire eyes.
‘though our worst enemy in disguise
My friend Shweta can sympathize
Nothing flips the heart in one’s breast
With so delightful a surprise
As another singer’s “wah wah” to our best.

When we go a battling like two cubs in the lair,
It’s only in preparation for the greater war “out there.”

Our separate roles – each with our own dharma for the King.
My destiny is for world peace and my songs this fate must release
Under the Divine Mother’s protection so I can safely sing.
But only the Queen of Heaven knows what Raine’s songs will bring.

(For Raine Eastman-Gannett)


Back to Top

Since you made me crazy

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin
English couplets by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Astai:   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 . . . (Chorus)


Back to Top

Single File

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin
(from O Beloved I’m Yours Collection 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.

1)         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.  

2)   Your arm was resting on my shoulder, You smiled at me
          I smiled at you.  Your eyes were filled 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 shining victory
           I knew that You, Meher, would always stay with me.


Back to Top

Sleep On

©June 2001, Karen Lynn Sterkin
(from O Beloved I’m Yours Collection 1986)

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


Back to Top

Two Saris 1

© May, 2001 - Karen Lynn Sterkin
from The New Humanity Collection

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 Mani2 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.3
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?

When I go on Pilgrimage to Meher’s Samadhi4
I take my old clothes – I’m too tall for a sari
And there’s no closet room for “things” up there.
But I’ve more in common with village women
Gossiping at the well – than my sisters here
Nagging me all the time to go shopping with them.
I hate noise, traffic, shopping, and commotion
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?

1   Written for those who’ve come to my country with these 2 saris in their hearts.
2   Mani S. Irani was Avatar Meher Baba’s sister and served Him faithfully all her life. She was also a consummate musician who
     played several instruments (violin and sitar) and entertained her God-brother and His family.
3   “Natives“ by Paul Doran (Bal Music) from The Rankin Family’s Endless Seasons CD
4   Avatar Meher Baba’s Tomb is 17 kilometers outside of Ahmednagar (near Arangaon Village) in the state of Maharashtra, India.


Back to Top

White Flowing Sadra

©June 2001,  Karen Lynn Sterkin
From Hafiz - 1 June 1997

1)         The Morning Breeze has spread the news throughout Love City.
            That the Beloved has come — now all are getting ready.
            Each vying to display a better tune with pipe and drum,
            Waiting near the gate look-out, “Has He come, Has He Come?”

Chorus:           Do you think He’ll want a tune?
                        A pipe, a drum, a sweet song in June?

2)         Last night, lying captive in Hesperian’s Light
            Sleepy householders awaken in fright.
            With His garment torn asunder
            Do they come Love City to plunder?
            Like wild men and thieves
            Their screams awoke us in the night
            Beloved has come — take flight, take flight.

With His white sadra flowing in the wind
The prayer rug is now forsaken
And all job and household chores forgotten.
Oh run pilgrim, sinner, saint

To meet Him at the garden gate!

Chorus:           Do you think He’ll want a tune?
            A pipe, a drum, a sweet song in June?

4)         How can we bear the heavy burden of care
            The isolation and out of time

            Of heavy out of tune and unfettered rhyme

            Unless He come and cock His Head with hand on chin
            And wave His arm to let us IN.  Oh Meher Baba’s come!

Chorus:           Do you think He’ll want a tune?
                        A pipe, a drum, a sweet song in June?

5)         One glance of that One’s Eye
            And to sweet repose and peace say good-bye!
            When will I sleep again?
            And how to stay in tune?

            The Beloved has come.  But just a glimpse

             in His white flowing sadra has left Karen in ruin

Chorus:           Do you think He’ll want a tune?          
                        A pipe, a drum, a sweet song in June?


Back to Top

Want of a Wife

©June 2001, 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.