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  • Writer's pictureTom Emanuel


“Every good conversation starts with good listening.” --anonymous

The following poems are a kind of dialogue over the centuries, sparked by a contemplative online course I’m taking at the website Monasteries of the Heart. The first is by the great Sufi Muslim poet Hafiz, who lived and worked in Persia during the 14th century. The second is one of mine, written just this week in response. My hope is that the first poem will inspire you, and that the second will pique your curiosity if nothing else. (After all, I’m no Hafiz!)

Blessin’s, --Tom


By Hafiz, trans. Daniel Ladinsky

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 A RIDDLE (A Conversation with Hafiz)

By Tom Emanuel

Why not become what you long for?

Your wanting births only

absence, gnawing awareness

of not enough. What

a riddle this is! Your glass

is neither half-

empty nor half-full, but

ready to be poured out, no

matter the level. You seek

love? Offer love, and love

will flow through you. The giving is

the fulfillment, the answer

to that pleading

in your silent self. What a riddle

this is! That there is more

than enough to go around, if only

we can open our hand

and let go.

QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK (thanks to Mary Lou Kownack OSB): What if, instead of pleading “love me,” you met everyone with the unspoken assurance, “I love you.” How would it look? Try it today.

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