Double or Nothing

comments 31

I don’t know who
or what
God is anymore.
Each time I say this,
my Loving doubles.
Once I stepped into a room
with block walls
and old, worn carpets
to sit in the circle
with a prayer in my heart
while the man who travels
through worlds was bound
at the center.
Light was extinguished,
and darkness soared.
Singers joined us from the air itself.
The drummers poked
holes in our boundaries.
Lightning tickled the ceiling.
Rattles danced through the air
in flickering blue steps,
and our hearts were wiped clean.
A power fell upon our lives
like a gentle rain.
The next day I was
back at work.

Once I found Hafiz
laying on his back
in the breakdown lane,
gazing up at a clear blue sky,
and I asked him,
What are you looking at?
That sky isn’t there by accident,
he said.  Have you ever noticed
how everything is a clue?
He got up and we
hunted until dark
for egg-shaped rocks
bobbing up from the sand.
After the sun was gone,
in the lingering half-light,
we broke them all open.
See! he exclaimed.

I inferred the following:
everything has a reason
but the Reason itself.

Love is bearing
down on me
something fierce now,
and every night
while I sleep
we take out my
four-suited deck of pains
and gamble away my past.
The others are there,
every prayer I ever meant,
a clock wheel of sun-glassed figures,
and I lose in every direction I face.
Weeping, unable to speak,
I’m torn into pieces,
caught in the reflections
of a thousand mirrored stares.
Then I awaken,
impregnated by Mystery.
Free of all doubt.
Hafiz is sitting by the bed,
reading to me,
and the space between us
is a clue for me to savor.

My Loving doubles
each time I remember this:

There is no God.
There is no way or path.
There is no beginning or end.
There is no freedom from suffering.
There is no me, or you.
There is no possibility,
no holiness,
no meaning,
nothing that lives.
There is no power.
There is no vision,
and no way back.
There is nothing whatsoever
but a man in the darkness
at the center of the circle
who left a hole in our world
when he took all of my cards
and vanished in search of clues.

like the Old Ones knew:
if we say it backwards,
we can see it clearly.
We can unwind
the knot of our nonexistence.
And we can double
our Loving.


  1. Um… Michael… your poetry ROCKS!

    This part endears me so….

    “Once I found Hafiz
    laying on his back
    in the breakdown lane,
    gazing up at a clear blue sky,
    and I asked him,
    What are you looking at?
    That sky isn’t there by accident,
    he said. Have you ever noticed
    how everything is a clue?
    He got up and we
    hunted until dark
    for egg-shaped rocks
    bobbing up from the sand.
    After the sun was gone,
    in the lingering half-light,
    we broke them all open.
    See! he exclaimed.”

    I know I was there, too!
    Such a beautiful, beautiful poem about how everything disappears…


    • Ka, it must be that retrograde Aquarius Rising thing you were writing about… It infected me or something. I don’t even know what that all means, actually… Ha! Thank you very much… Yes, you were there, too… There was undoubtedly a whole crowd of us gathered around and holding rocks down for the next one to tickle with Hafiz’s feather.

      (You weren’t thinking hammers and anvils were you.)

      (Were you???)



      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very powerful piece, magical, there’s a darkness and witch-doctor feeling about it. The thing that did it for me was, “everything has a reason but the Reason itself.” It somehow explains something that’s been bothering me for a long time, the missing piece of the jigsaw found and it’s all complete…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tiramit, it is hard to explain how knowing that a line that came to me was meant for you can give rise to the sensation that everything is in its right place, but that is exactly how it happens. It gives rise to the sensation, at once humbling and magical, that our interconnectedness is a very real structure, something I’ve been breathing all my life without always realizing it. But such is the only way to explain the ways we help each other just by being who we are…

      Peace my friend–


    • For now is enough, David. 🙂 It is not something that can be held, not a place to abide forever, but a knowing that perpetually arises in new and unexpected ways…


      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Teresa! One of the interesting things I’ve noted in the comments on this one is the way so many seemed to respond to different parts. I used card playing once as an analogy probably a year and a half ago. Somehow these ideas recycle or something! My muse is reblogging or something! Yes, the night is for healing, relinquishing what we clung to during the day…

      Peace and blessings–


  3. This is very beautifully wrought Michael, and clever too, though not in a pretentious or knowing way. Something about the disempowerment of thought comes through. Say what we will, it does not change a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much appreciated, Hariod. Truly. There is a timeless beauty in the unchanging heart of experience. I confess I am a tad disappointed that all our words amount to so little… 🙂 But so be it. Like Marga noted, once we taste this “reality”, it’s kinda’ hard to keep it a secret.

      Much Love


  4. I must concur with the other commenters, this poem rocks! (In a sandy, egg-shaped sort of way). I feel here deep meditations of the most soul-shaking profundity (and perhaps body shaking too, with all those amazing rattles and drums), morphing into, a few hours later, a day job, morphing into liberating dreamtime; all requiring a bit of a gamble, a bit of a sacrifice, a bit of a gain, and a good dose of imagination and humor as ointment for the ‘souls’ of your feet, which are undertaking all this journeying.

    Life in my corner is currently mildly chaotic, with lots of transitions happening all at once, and the cold weather hitting hard on my fragile little guy. I am lathering him in homemade lotion to heal his chapped face and skin, giving lots of elderberry and ginger and nettle for a nasty cold, and feel sort of like I am the man in the middle, bound here for now, but providing some ointment, some love, for the circle around me. And for the reason that I love them. And love’s reason? No reason at all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrea, I hope the chaos rewards with beauty and grace. And I am sorry to hear about your little man and his cold. So much of that going around these days… It sounds like a lovely and loving regimen you have assembled, however. He is in good hands. A mother’s love will heal most anything that ails you.

      The man in the middle is indeed of unspeakable service, giving all that he has to give, and in this giving infused with the knowing and the wisdom needed by the circle. We’re all bound to so many things. I find myself reflecting on the fact that if we don’t realize the service we are called to offer is the path to freedom, we can feel quite bound, indeed! I happened across a passage in A Course of Love just last night I think, which said that service was something we too often viewed as something to be brushed aside, or in our way. That without carrying the attitude of service into every encounter, we remain unable to respond freely, and with Love…

      It amazes me quite often to consider what people give… to one another, to this world, to their families. We are surrounded by an astounding depth of giving. Just taking the time to do something well. It is a devotion. A service. A holy path…

      Sending Peace and anti-viral thoughts,


    • Thank you, Debra! I much appreciate the gift of your presence here. The stones have such an immense vocabulary, don’t they!?

      In Stone-Cracking Harmonious Tones,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are playing with the gravity and thinking making machine, and suddenly I find myself bobbing along with those rocks – too stun-gunned to think. Levitating with words, my oh my!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Marga. Your words here send me back through the opening left by the one in the middle, back into holy lala land… If Rumi had had access to modern vernacular, he wouldn’t have said there was a “field” beyond right and wrong. He would have said there is a holy lala land, and it eats gravity for breakfast.

      From the Tesseract,

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the stanza about Hafiz lying, looking up at the sky. I feel the Love in your magnifico poem though I am perplexed by it being the victim of a literal mind. But when I read it I feel what I feel when I read in the prayer George MacLeod wrote: ” The grass is vibrant, the rocks pulsate,… Turn but a stone and an angel moves.”. There is the same exuberance…


    • Thank you, Ellen. Let us be perplexed together about this one… 🙂 There is Mystery of the sort we relax into and it fills us up with warm light, and there is confusion, neither of which is exactly full of tangible answers. At least one of them is astoundingly comforting. 🙂 Not to say that about my work, but rather of that to which the work points…



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