THE TIME OF DIVULGING
December is gone, along with January and February.
Spring is here. Tulip buds appear.
The empty trees stagger and flail
like drunks going home.
The wind recites a spell.
The rose arbor trembles.
The dark blue water lotus, niluphar,
says to the jasmine, Look how
twisted together we are.
Clover blossom to meadow grass,
This is the grace we have wanted.
The violets bow,
responding to the hyacinths,
and the narcissus winks,
An interesting development.
The willow slings her lightheaded
hair around, saying nothing,
and the cypress grows even more still.
Everybody is so beautifully
Artists go outdoors to let the beauty
move through their hands and their brushes.
Sweet-feathered birds light on the pulpit.
The soul sings, Ya hu. The dove
replies, Coo, coo
The roses open their shirts.
It is not right to stay closed
when the time of divulging comes.
One rosebud remarks to the nightingale,
Lilies have hundreds of tongues,
but they do not tell their secrets.
No more holding back. Be reckless.
Tell your love to everybody.
And so the nightingale does.
The plane tree bends to the vine,
Stand up. The prostrating
part of prayer is over.
The vine, This prostration is not voluntary.
I have that in me that makes me always
like this, burning with surrender,
flat on my face.
It is the same power
that makes you plane.
The rose asks the saffron,
Why so pale?
The plump red apple replies,
Because saffron does not understand
that the beloved is absence
as well as this fullness.
Just then stones begin
bombarding him, but he laughs,
knowing how lover calls to lover.
Zuleikha tears Joseph’s shirt,
but that is love-play to make him naked.
The apple absorbs a direct hit
and stays on the tree.
I hang here like Hallaj, feeling those lips
on me, the honor of being lifted up
on a crucifixion apple tree.
Now the kissing is over.
Fold your love in.
Hide it like pastry filling.
Whisper within with
a shy girl’s tenderness.
Ask me if you dare