My personal reflections on this blog take inspiration from the Bahá’í teachings.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Poem on the Baha'i Fast


The annual period of fasting observed by Baha'is runs from March 2-20. Those who are fasting take no food or drink each day between sunrise and sunset. It is a period of reflection that brings about mental and spiritual renewal. The fast is not kept by children, the elderly, the ill, nor by pregnant or nursing mothers.

The land shows up at first in hazy lines
and shadows making shapes in charcoal grey
then ghostly things take colour, depth and form
till houses, hills and trees materialize
-- become a busy world beneath the sun.

That time has come for watchfulness at dawn
and patience through the burning hours till dusk
for on these days the tongue grows dry,
the stomach groans, and while the clock
ticks by, the brain goes slightly dull,
as long and loud the March cicadas fret.

And yet the atmosphere stirs
with some uncommon vibrant pulse
-- some rare sweet song invigorates
the normal air -- a mystic tune
interpolates between the beats
of torpid time -- and laggard hours
are livened by a melody Divine.

Released to fly, the mind resorts
to higher thoughts -- desire abates
and indescribably a change
unfolds -- that lifts the soul --
imparts perceptions suddenly
and throws up chance encounters too
with fellow-travellers seeking light.

The turning of the earth, these nineteen days
instructs our hearts -- in heaven's ways.

[The above is a revised version of a poem posted here this time last year.]

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