Friday, March 30, 2012

What One Little Candle Can Do

"It seems a natural thing to do in loss and grief, to light even a single candle. I had done so many times throughout the year. A miraculous glow spreads around that flame. It may shine in a chapel, where people leave their silent prayers burning at the feet of the saint, or simply on a windowsill at home. This must be an old, old desire in us--a necessity in us--to see the surprising power in one small flame of light to dispel the dark."

Barbara Helen Berger from AN OFFERING OF FLAMES: Lighting a candle, we light the world.

I experienced such a similar awareness for weeks leading up to the US Occupation of Iraq. Putting just One Candle in my window each night -- connecting with thousands if not millions such little solitary lights around the world -- reminded me of something stronger with which to heal and protect -- something so different in quality and SOURCE than the violence my nation was choosing instead...

Blogger here at One Heart for Peace,


I found the photos above here

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Food for the Soul: Celebrating Spring (Nowrooz) with Persian Poets

'Drop of Green' (name of painting above)--plz see info on the artist and painting at the end of this post *

OPEN the WINDOWS, for the kind breeze is celebrating the birthday of the beautiful flowers,
And spring on each and every branch -- close to each young leaf -- has turned on lovely candles...
Look at the generosity in the eyes of the green meadow...
the Soul is alive again...!**

--Fereydun Mosheri

(see end of post for credit/url where I found this excerpt.)

This moment, this love, comes to rest in me
many beings in one being
In one wheat grain a thousand sheep stacks

Inside the needle's eye
a turning night of stars

There is a light seed grain inside
you fill it with yourself or it dies...

Tender words we spoke
to one another
are sealed
in the secret vaults of heaven.
One day like rain,
they will fall to earth
and grow green
all over the world.

The way of love is not a subtle argument.
The door there is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling, they're given wings.


A poet is someone Who can pour Light into a cup and raise it to nourish your beautiful parched holy mouthA POET A poet is someone Who can pour Light into a cup and raise it to nourish your beautiful parched holy mouth

You need to become a pen
In the Sun´s hand.

We need for the earth to sing
Through our pores and eyes.

The body will again become restless
Until your soul paints all its beauty
Upon the sky.

Don´t tell me, dear ones,
That what Hafiz says is not true,

For when the heart tastes its glorious destiny
And you awake to our constant need
for your love

God´s lute will beg
For your hands.

Good poetry makes the universe reveal a secret

Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does Anything weird,
But the God who knows only 4 words.
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come Dance with Me , come dance.”

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

What happens when your soul
Begins to awaken
Your eyes
And your heart
And the cells of your body
To the great Journey of Love?

First there is wonderful laughter
And probably precious tears

And a hundred sweet promises
And those heroic vows
No one can ever keep.

But still God is delighted and amused
You once tried to be a saint.

What happens when your soul
Begins to awake in this world

To our deep need to love
And serve the Friend?

O the Beloved
Will send you
One of His wonderful, wild companions ~
Like Hafiz.

Don't surrender your loneliness so quickly
let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
as few human or even divine ingredients can

Something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft
my voice so tender
my need of God
absolutely clear.


I didn't trust it for a moment,
but I drank it anyway,
the wine of my own poetry.
It gave me the daring to take hold
of the darkness and tear it down
and cut it into little pieces.

--Lalla, Contemporary of Hafiz

The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon, smiling like a rose,
and a sweet benediction
flows through everything existing.
How beautiful life is.
I marvel at people who are not in love with life.
You, my girl***, are beautiful,
and your beauty,
like the beautiful thought of peace,
belongs to the eternity.
Detest war and destruction.
When you go to the riverbank,
and the sun sets in the evening,
the waters of the river will be rippling softly,
and from a distance, in the twilight, you will see white sails.
A song of the boatman will come from there.
'Today no suffering, no suffering.'
The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon,
smiling like a rose.

--Hamza El Din

Blogger's Note:
These "translations" and/or paraphrases (sometimes heavily-informed by the poet who "translates" are renditions for modern readers by Coleman Barks, David Ladinsky, and others. David Ladinsky, who did most of the Hafiz after he studied the poet with an "expert" in South Asia. Ladinsky also relied on translations by Wilberforce Clark published in 1891.

I have "borrowed" these poems/versions from several sources yet quoting each with url could defeat the purpose of these works at this time. Surely all the poets and poet lovers involved -- including the readers -- long for simplicity, beauty and truth and might feel distracted by too many "scholarly references". However, place any concerns, questions, comments or additions you may have below and I will do my best to read and reply.

Here are a few more exquisite and divinely energizing sites for even more of the same quality of work as above:

Persian Music & Poetry & Spring Equinox - The Persian New Year is celebrated on the day of the Spring Equinox and is called ' Nowrooz '. More exquisite beauteous treats for the starved soul on YouTube GO here

***See DESSE BARAMA above. Persian art work often springs from and works toward the reuniion of humankind with God. The Persian artist, like many others, trusts art's ability to help accomplish this. So on this Eve of Spring, 20 March, 2012, I celebrate my exquisite daughter -- who beautifully continues the Asian and African art of Batik and truth in beauty -- and offer her this poem of PEACE.


A helpful little article I keep revisiting here

Finally, I also keep re-finding "Rumi on War and Conflict" on Rishi Faisal's unassuming yet lovely little known blog here I hope we will see more by him soon..

Celebrating Passion and Peace,


*For original notation of painting copy posted above: Email:

** بهار را باور کن - زنده یاد فریدون مشیری - Believe in Spring, the Persian New Year and especially the Divine Inspiration behind such joys. I found the introductory poem excerpt and more here

Monday, March 19, 2012

SHOCKING! This Day and Week in History

This glorious cluster photo reminds me both that we as earthlings are tiny indeed and yet metaphorically that each event of which we are a part -- like that of each event in the universe -- may have infinite effects.

I promise readers something more clearly beautiful and positive soon. Yet for now, I can't pass up the implications of this day and week by blacking out the history here. In what way might you agree that paying attention to history is one necessary part of peace -- a kind of journey or pathway toward a better day? Or not? If so, how -- and in which specific ways -- does history work for your understanding of the whole?

Today, however, there's much of which to take note which is sobering indeed.

First -- here's a startling LEAD article from a not so progressive site:

Mar 19, 2003:
War in Iraq begins

On this day in 2003, the United States, along with coalition forces primarily from the United Kingdom, initiates war on Iraq. Just after explosions began to rock Baghdad, Iraq's capital, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in a televised address, "At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger." President Bush and his advisors built much of their case for war on the idea that Iraq, under dictator Saddam Hussein, possessed or was in the process of building weapons of mass destruction.

Hostilities began about 90 minutes after the U.S.-imposed deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or face war passed. The first targets, which Bush said were "of military importance," were hit with Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. fighter-bombers and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf. In response to the attacks, Republic of Iraq radio in Baghdad announced, "the evil ones, the enemies of God, the homeland and humanity, have committed the stupidity of aggression against our homeland and people."

Though Saddam Hussein had declared in early March 2003 that, "it is without doubt that the faithful will be victorious against aggression," he went into hiding soon after the American invasion, speaking to his people only through an occasional audiotape. Coalition forces were able to topple his regime and capture Iraq's major cities in just three weeks, sustaining few casualties. President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Despite the defeat of conventional military forces in Iraq, an insurgency has continued an intense guerrilla war in the nation in the years since military victory was announced, resulting in thousands of coalition military, insurgent and civilian deaths.

After an intense manhunt, U.S. soldiers found Saddam Hussein hiding in a six-to-eight-foot deep hole, nine miles outside his hometown of Tikrit. He did not resist and was uninjured during the arrest. A soldier at the scene described him as "a man resigned to his fate." Hussein was arrested and began trial for crimes against his people, including mass killings, in October 2005.

In June 2004, the provisional government in place since soon after Saddam's ouster transferred power to the Iraqi Interim Government. In January 2005, the Iraqi people elected a 275-member Iraqi National Assembly. A new constitution for the country was ratified that October. On November 6, 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. After an unsuccessful appeal, he was executed on December 30, 2006.

No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.
End (This article can be found at here

My major question is WHY? Why do we take so long -- even in the most recent of history -- to learn or re-learn the glaring lessons from the past? How many times must we repeat the same?

So this is a kind of collage for the week. My disclaimer is that I am not sure anything here will be of any use and perhaps some of this may even overwhelm and paralyze faith and hope in some way. If so, please ignore and/or COMMENT. For this week I'm going to free commenters from having to sign in. Do offer courtesy in your comments.

I hope to add more as I have time yet you may want to look up the following links yourself for more on This Day, This Week and the theme: HISTORY and PEACE:

This Week in Peace History here

I have MAJOR issues with this VERY BELATED headline. I guess better late than never. But how can any headline be more likely to encourage the answer "duh!" especially among those whose nation and people have been so negatively affected by the same?

The headline is "Drones at issue as US Rebuilds Ties to Pakistan" (Looks like an original try at a title may have been "Drones at issue as Pakistan tries to mend US ties" -- going by the URL anyway) For this article just in this am GO

May we each find our own best ways to live and celebrate peace not war!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In Celebration of Spring and the Persian New Year...

See No More Crusades dot blogspot dot com for 18 March 2012 for a delightful article about a World Premiere celebrating Nowruz. Happy reading and Nowruz Mabarak!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Need Simple Courage? Read this poem...

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late enough,

and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the starts began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.


By Mary Oliver

photo found at daisy_nook_005_1024

Losses and the Laughter We Grow Into: Kevin Kling

RADIO PROGRAM you can hear when you'd like:

What a hard act -- Kevin Kling has to follow Bishop Desmond Tutu -- yet this program looks great as well. Here's the current program for ON BEING (you can listen or get podcast before & after your local airing and around the world -- GO here

This image is of Kevin Kling in a new play in Seattle at the end of the month***

March 15, 2012 ON BEING program for the week (podcast available for quite a long time.) Being able-bodied, Kevin Kling says, is always only a temporary condition. Kevin Kling is part funny guy, part poet and playwright, part wise man. He's known for NPR commentaries in his Minnesota accent that sounds straight out of the movie Fargo. You'll hear his own special angle on life's humor and its ruptures. Born with a partially disabled left arm, in his 40s he then lost the use of his fully functional right one after a motorcycle accident nearly killed him. Take in his wisdom on the losses we're born with, and the losses we grow into — and why we turn these things into stories...

Here's Kevin's website: or CLICK here

Here's more about Kevin -- GO here

About On Being: On Being with Krista Tippett: religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas --On Being is a spacious conversation about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient...For More about Krista's unique and stimulating program GO here

An earlier On Being classic this year "The Art of Peace" -- CLICK here

See the blurbs by people who have lots to say from around the world on the home page here

PODCAST/podcast help: or CLICK here

On Being: religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas -- The Big Questions -- a spacious conversation about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient...

Krista Tippett, widely becoming known as the Bill Moyers of radio, is one of the country's most intelligent and insightful commentators on religion, ethics, and the human spirit. Her two books draw on her own life story and reflections as well as on her intimate conversations with both ordinary and famous figures, including Elie Wiesel, Karen Armstrong, and Thich Nhat Hanh, to explore complex subjects like science, love, virtue, and violence within the context of spirituality and everyday life.

*** March 31 & April 1“Kevin Kling and his collaborator Simone Perrin will return to Seattle Rep to perform their new play, A Fool’s Paradise—a collection of stories and songs to welcome spring and celebrate our willingness to believe." Tickets on sale online or call our Box Office at 206-443-2222.