Category Archives: Sufism

In Beauty

-for my Son on his birthday, in hopes that he may soon leap…

The supreme pleasure in beauty
the Creator’s perfections
in beauty cast over the landscape
of earth and heaven

Rapture in the delectable
rapture in the seared eye
stricken and slain by beauty

Pale leaves unfolding tinged
with silver, gold, pale copper
The delicate softening of
bark and branch and formidable oak

There is sighing to be done
and leaning into the breeze
Love may rise quickly on days like this
running fast and hard from winter
headlong over the precipice and into the green.




While Planting

When I am with thee
I am both weak and light
yet I know thee –
my body an interpreter,
able to feel your breath
in the breeze on its cheek
the warmth of your golden afternoon
on its skin,
while your fragrance carried to the air
from a thousand petals
reaches for me.
Beloved, I am thankful that you stop at nothing
that I may know only your embrace.

PBSweeney . April 10, 2008 . Clearwater

Note from Self

I found myself today standing quite still, after working in light rain expanding the small flower bed near the sun room window. The rain was quiet for a moment, but the trees and low growth were not. There was much little flutterings and chirbles and pips. I realized I was standing in the midst of a roving band of chickadees, on the hunt for insects and bits of tasty things. My stillness, I guess, was automatic. And they did not seem to mind me because of it. I would not say, as some might, or as I perhaps might have suggested even a year ago, that they came to me, or were drawn to me by my peaceful energy. The I of me, had little to do with it. I was merely in their path, and as I did not present myself as one of the more excitable humans, they continued on their path, coming quite close to me, even peering at me and pausing for a time. “Hi,” I said to one in particular who was two feet above me on a slender branch. It was an ineffectual hi, it just came out, because we were eye to eye and well, I didn’t want to be rude. Such a tiny bead of an eye. He moved on without rushing, as did his roving mates. But for a time, I was in the thick of them without any fuss. As they moved off, I scanned the trees and the undergrowth, feeling a little lonely. They were nice to be with, those chickadees, even if like most creatures, they were just on their way somewhere.

Snow and Ash

Late afternoon in winter
snow laying in the eddies
in which it fell
No one is going anywhere,
because the light’s failing
turns us back –
back on ourselves
these empty rooms, this cold hearth
where we might kneel
and blow gently into the ash
that may rise and fall and sail up
into the dark of the chimney
while below, under the charred log
and the iron grate,
the sole remaining ember lays buried
waiting for breath.


 “Little by little You approached, and bit by bit I went away.”

 – Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh






What Calls Here is Scarce Known

I am tired of I, the clamorer,
sitting by this boggy place that seems like
little but muck and rot,
sitting still as still as possible until what has been disturbed

Black wings and a sapphire body
that is a damsel fly, that comes to light on
a slender reed over the murky pool,
beneath her a tiny Pre-Cambrian triptych
of water spiders and dragonflies, minnows
turtles in a walking slumber in the heated shallows,
duckweed, fronds and whorls of billowing water plant,
egeria, frogbit, the floating world of lily pads, nurseries
for dragonflies who joust and rip through the air

Oh, but the damsel fly is a Queen
so delicate, such a jewel
more still on her reed than any of us!

It is hard to tell what is shadow and what is growth
in the umber colored water
along the edge are the foot prints
of ring tailed bandits who have sated themselves
on giant fresh water mussels – shells big as my hand-
opened and glistening, tossed on the banks.

Here there are so many species of moss that it is
dizzying to look at them.
And still, the I is trying to still itself,
charmed and seduced by the richness of bog life;
the insect world, the underwater world, the flora,
the calls of herons and hawks, kingfishers,
the song of the wren, the song of the world –
The World! The World!

Easing away into the afternoon is all this is
so far, as the bog is not interested in the rapture
of the I enthralled by it.
The damsel queen would as soon
rest on the knee as the reed, wherever there is sun
is all that matters, not that this is a knee, and this a reed.
It goes on, life in the boggy place, whether the I is
witness or not, whether it is nimble or frail, as if to say
from its muck and its rot and its jeweled damsels,
see how easy it is – can’t you see,
how easy it is?


pbsweeney August 2007

Sufi Poetry Carnival

Visit! Read! Enjoy! A beautiful selection of poems presented through the kindness & good efforts of Sadiq Alam at Inspirations and Creative Thoughts and Tiel Aisha Ansari at Knocking from Inside.