As above, so below.

Dear Angels,

I had a spiritual sister.  I used to call her Nigh, short for Nightingale.  She remains my friend, but she now observes and prays for you and me in the Kingdom of Abha. We had never met, but every day or so we shared a new confidence on the web. The picture you see is the one that used to adorn her emails. Such a calm image.  Like her bright heart reflecting some rays of His Light.  She was a writer and poet.  The purest and sweetest soul I have ever met. She entrusted me with the task of publishing her poems somehow.  She probably felt that her tattered heart might not beat much longer, used as she was to pain and intense mystical experiences. I thought the Anniversary of Baha'u'llah's Ascension in 2011 would be the perfect time to honor her by posting some of her work on Facebook and then on this blog.  This is just a small window into her wonderful heart.  May you be touched by her candor, as I still am.

As an accompaniment, I offer you this majestic CONCERTO FOR PIANO composed at the age of fifteen by the Canadian prodigy André Mathieu!  But let's start with this piece from Baha'u'llah.

Verily, the birds abiding within the domains of My Kingdom and the doves dwelling in the rose-garden of My wisdom utter such melodies and warblings as are inscrutable to all but God, the Lord of the kingdoms of earth and heaven...

- Baha'u'llah


And here am I, in this remote forest
At the foot of the Cascades
And I sing for Him
Songs from my heart

At night
Always at night

The moon, the stars
And deep silence are my companions
And I warble upon the bough of remoteness
By the river in this great forest

But I am never really alone
He is always near
And when I finish one song
He sings to me in the silence
And another song is given

Always a song of love
Sometimes joyous and delightful

Sometimes of sadness and suffering
But always a song of love

So these songs are my poems
And I offer them to you with a surrendered 

And loving heart



P E R F U M E S   O F    A R A B I A

I am your small footstool my Beloved
Praying for the presence of two little feet
So piteously broken and tormented

And gazing now upon them
A torrent of tears springs forth

Sharing that pain, that anguish
I have brought a silver basin
Filled with warm attar of roses
In which to bathe them


Sweet balms, delicate unguents
Silken fingers to apply them
Aromatics of fine healing virtue

Yet, as I so gently soothe
His poor dear feet
Within my heart I clearly see
That all the sweet perfumes
Of the gardens of Arabia
Could not remove the foul
Malodorous stench from Persia
Of such a heinous 
Monstrous deed


Baha'u'llah was exiled and incarcerated for forty years of His life. During this time he was also tortured in various ways, one of the most painful torments included beating the feet until they were broken and bleeding. On pilgrimage, in a mansion outside of Baghdad, in a room He had once tenanted, I saw a pair of little slippers which had been slit at each side to accommodate His poor broken feet. Those slippers have haunted me to this day.


  B R O K E N   W I N G E D   B I R D

Oh, such an immensity

And what shall I do now

How can I know the intention
Of that which holds me
In warm soft vastness here ?

Ah, if I were not so terrified
Of being crushed or thrown away

Possibly I could delight
In all this gentle soothing tenderness

I can no longer fly
Only be 

so still
so very very still

Hoping that whatever holds me
Somewhere, somehow has a heart
That cares for one


wounded   br 





  T H O U S A N D     W H I T E     D O V E S


A thousand white doves
Flew into my heart

                 Shattering it all asunder

Brilliant white light

Terrible piercing tenderness

Thousands of pure white wings




F A C E     O F     T H E     B E L O V E D


Ah, captive in darkness

Have you not yet seen
Behind the mask 

Of passionate desire

There all is illusion
A shadow of death

Always the betrayal
The disillusionment

Cries of the heart

Tears of sadness

A hurtling into blackest despair


And again 

And again


Pain mercifully tears open

A single

Astonishing eye

Clearly discerning

Beyond all of love's
Myriad masks and veils

There awaits

In silent patience

The stunning

radiant face
of only




T H E     W A R R I O R

Whatever barriers you erect
I will try to scale them

And when you fling those arrows
I can feel your pain 

If this frightens you
It terrifies me too

Yet, and still
I love you

From the deep and sweetest wellsprings

Of my torn and tattered heart


D A R K E S T     N I G H T

One dove flew 

off the branch 

to her Beloved 

                      Leaving her lover bereft


                                       a l o n e

Oh! blackest most grievous night

The moon has drowned herself in sorrow
Swallowing all the stars
                                                                              The light

Rain falls
      Thunder roars
Lightning flashes


Hits the branch

           Zagging off...


          a living 




Dying in his Beloved

                 He falls off the branch   

And follows her 


T H E     S I L E N T     I C O N O C L A S T

Oh! wretched
Religious hierarchies

Political powers

Earthly dominions

Did you think these dank dark walls of Akka 
could imprison this glorious Sun

forced into jailed
locked silence
Words flow from the Pen of Glory
                 flying forth across vast oceans
        into the courts of Kings and Rulers

reverberating in the deep silence of human hearts

A fire is ignited

           Bright and Roaring
and Blazing enough
to burn away 

       the black root cause  
           of our terror, pain, and discontent

Oh! Blessed
Divine Physician

Lord of Utterance


Silent Iconoclast  



C O U N T R Y   O F  T H E   B L I N D

I awoke

To see this radiant light
Shining forth above the darkness

And ran to seek my brother

         Wandering alone and lost
                        In an ancient forest

The sun is shining from
The holy mountain

It is a new day

 I cried

He turned toward me
With dark and empty eyes

That mountain is
Desolate and barren
And nightingales
Don't sing to roses
Except in Wilde tales, perhaps

It is night
Listen, owls are hooting
Just feel the cold rain falling

Enough of these delusions
Leave me now
Go back to sleep


All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days -- the first of the Most Great Festivals being those days whereon the All-Merciful shed upon the whole of creation the effulgent glory of His most excellent Names and His most exalted Attributes, and the second being that day on which We raised up the One Who announced unto mankind the glad tidings of this Name, through which the dead have been resurrected and all who are in the heavens and on earth have been gathered together. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Ordainer, the Omniscient.

- Baha'u'llah

The day we met over the web, Nigh had posted the subsequent poem, The Moth, which captivated my heart, starting our virtual conversation which never ceased until the ablaze moth flew at last to her Beloved.

T H E     M O T H

Fluttering about on silent wings
Dancing with fireflies
And silver moonbeams
Until a golden light
Caught in dark jeweled eyes

Don't go into that strange
New light little moth
It is truly a blazing fire
It will singe your soft
Velvet wings, little moth
It will set you wildly
Yes terribly ablaze

Great owl blinked
Old round eyes at the moon 

Little creature of the night
Stay with the familiar

 Your magical friends

O the moon
The moon
The cool, the luminous

The beauteous, the moon
Sang the owl

Dear owl, the sun
Is calling me
He sings the most
Wondrous songs
My cold heart has melted
In His radiant warmth
To Him I joyfully fly

O the Sun
The Son
The enchanting
The radiant
The most glorious
O the Sun
She cried


We must recognize the sun, no matter from what dawning point it may shine forth, be it Mosaic, Abrahamic or any personal point of orientation whatever, for we are lovers of sunlight and not of orientation. We are lovers of illumination and not of lamps and candles. We are seekers for water, no matter from what rock it may gush forth. We are in need of fruit in whatsoever orchard it may be ripened. We long for rain; it matters not which cloud pours it down. We must not be fettered.  If we renounce these fetters, we shall agree, for all are seekers of reality.  The counterfeit or imitation of true religion has adulterated human belief, and the foundations have been lost sight of. The variance of these imitations has produced enmity and strife, war and bloodshed.  Now the glorious and brilliant twentieth century has dawned, and the divine bounty is radiating universally.   The Sun of Truth is shining forth in intense enkindlement.   This is, verily, the century when these imitations must be forsaken, superstitions abandoned and God alone worshiped.  We must look at the reality of the Prophets and Their teachings in order that we may agree.

     - Abdu'l-Baha

T H E  M Y S T I C A L  A L C H E M I S T


I see him clearly now 

Baha'u'llah's mystical alchemist
Solve et Coagula
Attracting the hearts of men
As moths fly to a blazing match

In a dark and lonely night
So a heart flies into the crucible

Of his open and radiant heart
  And consumed in His mighty flame
 Is cleansed of dark secrets
And passions
Until only essence
And ash remain

See how lovingly he sweeps
Up the dead ash
Presents Him with the
Now glowing essence
Then begins all over, again
And again and again 

And how does one human Heart survive

The blazing torment
Of this process

And is there a way
To ease this pain


Ah, if there is a balm
For his broken heart
It must be quickly found

And gently, oh so gently, applied

Nigh (Galya Gunderson)

O living flame of heavenly love! Thine heart hath been so fired with the love of God that from ten thousand leagues afar its warmth and radiance may be felt and seen. The fire lit by mortal hand imparteth light and warmth to but a little space, whereas that sacred flame which the Hand of God hath kindled, though burning in the east, will set aflame the west and give warmth to both the north and the south; nay, it shall rise from this world to glow with the hottest flame in the realms on high, flooding with light the Kingdom of eternal glory.

Happy art thou to have obtained so heavenly a gift. Blessed art thou to be favoured with His divine bestowals.

The glory of God rest upon thee and upon them that hold fast unto the sure handle of His Will and holy Covenant.

- Abdu'l-Baha

I hope this poetry was a pleasing swim with Nigh in the sea of transcendence, "
For the life-giving wine of the mysteries of reality and understanding can be drunk from the illumined chalice of similes and the delicate goblet of metaphor by those who are athirst in the wilderness of confusion".

Be wonderfully blessed!

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