Poems of Family

Fairy Tale

Far, far away in the kingdom of Murth
Lived a king with two sons and a daughter.
The king called his male offspring the salt of the earth,
But his girl child was dearer than water.

One day, the king beckoned his children to him
And said, “Children, my heart’s joy, my progeny,
I need to sort out, ere my mind becomes dim,
Simple truth from all kinds of hodge-podgeny.

“I’ll set you a task, send you out for a week,
Unadvised, unprepared, on your own,
And the one who returns with the answer I seek
Wins the kingdom, the crown, and the throne.”

“No problem,” said Harry and Tom, the two boys.
“Just tell us the task we must do.”
Miranda looked up from her books and her toys.
“I’ll do my best, Papa, for you.”

“The task is quite simple. Now sharpen your mind
And your eyes as you scour the land.
The winner must bring the most fruits you can find
That will fit in the palm of my hand.”

Young Harry and Tom both jumped up and left town
Before those who were watching could blink.
Miranda stopped reading and put her book down,
Then retired to have a good think.

Slowly and quickly the seven days passed.
The two boys scampered in from their questing
Very eager share the small fruit they’d amassed.
In the throne room, Miranda was resting.

“What ho!” sang the boys as they drew near the throne.
“Was your search so unfruitful, our sister?”
And thinking that she had failed, out on her own,
They leaned over and quietly kissed her.

Miranda just smiled. “Welcome home,” said the king.
“Let us see what your journeys have wrought.”
And from packages tied up with paper and string,
The boys pulled forth the fruit they had brought.

In Harry’s large hand sat sweet cherries galore.
“There are twenty that fit,” he declared.
“I have many more grapes. In fact, I’ve thirty-four,”
Countered Tom as they looked and compared.

“Now, daughter, come forth,” came the king’s soft command.
As Miranda arose with aplomb.
A hush fell on the court. Then she opened her hand.
Three small seeds nestled in her plump palm.

“These seeds,” she explained, “which in number are three,
Have no visible leaves, trunks, or roots.
But waiting in each is a new apple tree,
And each tree carries dozens of fruits.”

“Brava!” cried the king. “Simple truth has been found.
May Miranda rule wisely and well.”
Several cheers for Miranda arose all around
Like the sound of a deep-ringing bell.

Now in faraway Murth, daily classes are held
To teach folks in the kingdom to see
All the words that unfold when we spend time in thought
And find, deep in the seed, a new tree.

Fairy Tale PDF

Poems of Family

Autumn Lullabye

Geese are flying overhead
Flying off to winter bed
Flying off to downy nest.
Summer’s yawning, time to rest.

Squirrels are bouncing here and there
Finding acorns everywhere
Finding velvet moss for bed.
Autumn’s humming, rest your head.

Whales are diving through the seas
Swimming south before they freeze
Swimming, sleeping, spouting sighs.
Winter’s calling, close you eyes.

I will hold you. No more crying
No more bouncing, no more flying
No more shouting, little one.
Snow is near and day is done.

Bunnies cuddle. Grizzlies snore.
Nothing moving anymore
Nothing talking, not a peep.
Autumn loves you, go to sleep.

Autumn Lullabye PDF

Poems of Faith

Waiting at Bahjí

The shoes were whispering on the stair.
“Did you see it? Did you see
The tall black gates with curlicues?”
The loafers asked, “And peacock’s blues?”
“We see the gold above the door,” exclaimed a shiny pair.

Two moccasins arose to speak.
“Did you feel it? Did you feel
The rough and crunchy crushed up tiles
On every path?” “It seemed like miles,”
Smiled bright red clogs with coal black toes. “Do all your soles feel weak?”

“We saw a wonder,” spoke two heels.
“Did you see it? Did you see
The rosebush and the cactus flower
Content to snuggle, hour on hour?
We’ve never felt a garden feel the way that this one feels.”

Then shoes began to jump and shout.
Tongues were wagging, tongues were flapping.
All the shoes, that is, but two
A well-worn pair of scruffy blue
From whose wet laces, loosely strung, the tears flowed round about.

“My friends,” the shoes began with grace—
The loud tongues slowed. They slowed and stopped—
“If you will join me in a prayer,
The awe and power in the air
Will surely bless us, every one, in such a sacred place.”

Shoes settled in upon the stair—
All was quiet, very quiet—
Waiting for the feet inside
Who, filled with love and shorn of pride,
Would join their friends, their faithful shoes, transforméd, every pair.

Waiting at Bahjí PDF

Poems of Faith

To Elect the House of Justice

Imagine them coming to Haifa in spring
O bright, golden dome
White arc on the mountain
They fly to the airport
They sail into harbor
To elect the House of Justice

Imagine the faces—a world in a room.
The smiles and the greetings
As family arriving
In caftans and business suits
Saris and muu-muus
To elect the House of Justice

Imagine the silence as everyone prays
Which nine men are waiting
And how will they serve?
Each heart is reflecting
Each hand fills a ballot
To elect the House of Justice

Imagine that someday, we’ll all vote for people
Who’ll vote for the people
Who’ll travel to Haifa
Who’ll gaze on the mountain
Who’ll open their hearts
To elect the House of Justice

To Elect the House of Justice PDF

Poems of Faith

The Secret Place

I have a secret hiding place.
I know you’d like to see
The shining little secret door,
The tiny golden key.

My secret room is found atop
A secret winding stair
And here I listen for the Friend
Who comes to join me there.

I often clean my secret place
With mop and brush and broom
Until the cozy glow of love
Lights up my secret room.

With dust and cobwebs whisked away,
A flowered carpet grows
Where secret seeds have given way
To hyacinth and rose.

A fire is kindled in the hearth.
Soft-pillowed chairs embrace
My Friend and I as we both sing
To bless my secret place.

Now I’ve been told that everyone
Can find his secret door.
The tiny key is waiting where
No one had looked before.

To find it, simply close both eyes.
The secret treasure chart
Is waiting in the sacred words
That live inside your heart.

The Secret Place PDF

Poems of Faith

The Old Ship’s Tale

Away back bay where worn ships go
When they are feeling old and frail,
The evening air is often filled
With many a wild, adventurous tale
Of dark-souled pirates, storms, and ghosts
The ships have seen in sailing time.
One rig sits silent at the dock—
The S.S. Cedric of the White Star Line.

One night, a snub-nosed tug bounced up
And, giggling with a high-pitched peep
Cried out, “The ship at old pier five
Is cracked and senile, fast asleep.”
The liners laughed. The brigantines
All sneered and cracked their masts in time,
And every rigger ridiculed
The S.S. Cedric of the White Star line.

The darkness deepened. Silence fell.
Then northern lights began to play
On wave and water, ship and sky
Until the air was light as day.
And from the pier marked number five
A voice sang, “I recall the time . . .”
“Who spoke?” squealed Tug. Then, “It is I,
The S.S. Cedric of the White Star Line.”

Now, shocked, the ships stirred at their docks.
They listened reverently and still
As the old ship spoke of a mighty voice,
Majestic steps that made decks thrill,
And love outshining lighthouse beams
Throughout the passing years of time.
“I carried the Master in 1912,” sighed
The S.S. Cedric of the White Star Line.

Away back where the worn ships go
A warmth has settled on the pier.
And all the steamers, scows, and schooners
Sleep all day, then gather near
Old number five when sunset comes.
And there they lose all track of time
As they hear of the journey of 1912 from
The S. S. Cedric of the White Star Line.

The Old Ship’s Tale PDF

Poems of Faith

The Gnat’s Challenge

Gnorman the Gnat was born in a swarm
On a sultry summer’s day.
His parents said, “My, what a tiny young thing!”
Which, for gnats, was not normal to say.
But, dwarfish or huge, Mom and Dad didn’t care
And rocked Gnorman to sleep in the hay.

Next morning, young Gnorman awoke before dawn.
He opened his tiny mouth wide
And surprised all the gnats fast asleep in their beds
With three small words. “I’ll grow up,” he cried.
His parents said, “My, what a forward young thing!”
And they beamed at his person with pride.

Short Gnorman grew older, and soon came to see
That most gnats thought his smallness was bad.
So he ordered some weights and began to work out
Every evening along with his dad.
He grew limber and bulged with diminutive muscles
No gnat in gnat history had.

The swarm was impressed. His friends pointed him out
To all visitors, fruit flies, and fleas.
But mere muscles could never quite quench his desire
To grow bigger than inchworms or bees.
So, despairing, he sought the advice of a friend.
“Help me grow, Mr. Owl, will you please?”

The owl blinked an eye. “You must strengthen your brain.
Exercise both your arms and your head.”
Gnorman jumped to his feet and ran home to his books
And his weights. “Yes, I will grow,” he said.
He devoured the tomes in the Insect Archives.
Ne’er a gnat had a mind more well-fed.

One day, Gnorman was working and thinking outside
And he lifted his eyes to the sky.
There he saw a great eagle soar high on the wind,
And his tiny heart gave a small sigh.
“How I wish I could grow up to be a great bird.”
And a tiny tear rolled from his eye.

Loud thunder crashed suddenly, shaking the earth,
And a Voice was heard ringing and clear:
“Your brain and your body are ready for Me,
But your heart is the prize I hold dear.”
“W-Will you help?” Gnorman whispered. “I’ll work on my heart.”
His lips and knees quivered with fear.

“I am with you,” the Voice said, and faded away.
Gnorman felt waves of happiness come.
And his heart was so large and so new and so loud
That it beat with the boom of a drum.
The sound of it caused many gnats to draw near.
Tiny Gnorman began a grand hum.

As the humming swelled out, the whole swarm gasped aloud.
Gnorman’s body and brain started growing,
And he grew and he grew until not one gnat knew
Where the body of Gnorman was going.
Pretty soon, all the normal gnat parts were all gone
And some feathers were all that were showing.

A large head, two strong wings, and some talons appeared.
“It’s an airplane!” one gnat cried. “A bird!”
“I’m an eagle, an eagle! At last I have grown!”
And those shouts were the last that were heard
Above all of the clapping and roaring and laughing.
How deeply the gnats’ hearts were stirred.

Many times, late at night, as the gnats gather ‘round
To tell stories and sing in the hay,
Grandma Gnat tells the tale of small Gnorman who grew
On that great, unforgettable day,
From a gnat to an eagle of very large size.
Or so all the older folk say.

The Gnat’s Challenge PDF

Poems of Faith

Following in Mullá Husayn’s Footsteps

The stars had fallen.
The time had come
For people to search
For the Promised One.

He raised the call,
Did Mullá Husayn.
But people stayed still.
“You go. We’ll remain.”

So Mullá Husayn
Was the first one to leave
With his brother and nephew
Who also believed.

Before they went far,
Near that very first day,
They stopped forty more
Just to fast and to pray.

To fast and to pray,
And then to decide
Which road to explore,
Where to walk, where to ride.

From city to city,
From valleys to peaks,
They searched for the Promised One
More than twelve weeks.

‘Til finally they came,
All dusty and worn,
To the town of Shiráz
Where a new Faith was born.

Yes, a new Faith was born
In Shiráz on that day.
And Mullá Husayn,
Who’d come such a long way

With no map and no compass
With barely a clue
Had relied on his heart
To decide what to do.

His journey was ended.
The Báb was his goal.
And the Báb’s Revelation
Brought joy to his soul.

O how I do wish
That I’d been there that night,
Had heard the Báb chant,
Had been bathed in His light.

Instead, every year
As the months turn to May,
I imagine the quest
And the long, unknown way,

The faith and the knowledge⎯
The heart and the brain⎯
That guided the footsteps
Of Mullá Husayn.

Following in Mullá Husayn’s Footsteps PDF

Poems of Faith

Feast at My House

Silver polished
Dishes gleaming
Candles glowing
Rice pot steaming
Prayers practiced
Napkins creased
Soon my friends
Will come to Feast

Roses’ scent fills
Rooms and halls
Chairs unfolded
Line the walls
Teapot bubbles
Vacuum hums
Just can’t wait
‘Til everyone comes

Doorbell ringing
Love and laughter
Sacred verses
Music after
Questions answered
Joy released
My house and I,
We love the Feast

 

Feast at My House PDF

Poems of Faith

When Bahá’u’lláh Was Born

One day at dawn
A Child was born
A quiet Child
A royal Child
A Light from God had come to Earth
That dark November morn.

His mother said
He never cried.
Amazing Child
Contented Child
The Prince of Peace, a gift from God,
Had come to be our Guide.

This quiet Child
Would use no sword
No angry voice
No pounding fists.
He grew to use a Pen of Might
To share God’s sacred Word.

We celebrate
That wondrous morn
Because the Child
That quiet Child
Bahá’u’lláh, a gift from God,
The Promised One was born.

When Bahá’u’lláh Was Born PDF