The New Humanity

A Collection of Poems from 1972-1986

Copyright ©2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin

The New Humanity Collection

All the World’s Loves
Baba is My Friend
Baba I’ve No Home
Be Resigned to My Will
Before the World was Made
Borrowed Beauty
Concrete Beauty
Dialog with Passion
Don’t Throw Pearls
Grateful for a Friend
A Home in Meher Baba
It’s Difficult
It’s Raining!
It’s You!
The Little Fisherman
Lookin’ for a Good Man
Marry Me
Meeting Again
Meher Baba’s Mandali
The Mind is Restless
Mother Says, Baba Says
The Musician
My Only Defense against Youth’s Jealousy
New Humanity
No More will I Complain
Oh Baba, I Feel so Old
Oh Meher Baba my Father
Oh Meher You are Love Itself
O Murshid
Our Infinite Mother
Perfect Mother
The Pie Lady’s Place
The Pir
Ready to Sing
The Reed
Restless Heart
The Rocks
A Senor Pena
Serendipity Diversity
Serendipity Hippies
Snow Queen
So You Want to be a Musician
Song from a Scamp
Song of Thanks
Take oh Take the Choices Away
Take Hold of the Damaan
Tapestry Corner
This Man who is He?
Threshold Door
The Wall
When He Looks My Way
When Baba Speaks
Why don’t you sing me Songs?
Wise Lady
Women’s Liberation


The poems in this volume are dedicated to Beloved Avatar Meher Baba who inspired and often dictated them in the middle of the night.

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All the World’s Loves

©2001 by Karen Sterkin (From Baba 10 Dec. 1986)

In all the worlds there are many loves
Some in slavery, some in kingdom,
Some in binding, and some in freedom.

Mother, sister, father, and wife
Brother, teacher, best friend in life
Some in comfort and some in strife
Some in darkness and some in light
Some want peace and some want a fight!

Some are eagles and some are doves
Some love you then leave you
Take all your money and grieve you.
Some give flowers and sing sweet songs
Some cry and sigh and write love poems
Some seek but never ask
Some work but never give
Some are faithful, but have no task
Some are greedy but forgive.
Some are happy, and some are sad
Some are good and some are bad.

But the one who holds My damaan
Despite every fault and every virtue
Will have the love of Godman
A love so tender, a love so true
The only love that never fails you. 

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written 23 March 1978)

Our hearts have forgotten
The Soul’s secret charms,
Separated so long in
Illusion’s dark arms,
Deep but comfortably rocking;
And now suddenly awakened
By an artist called Hocking!

Drawn inspiration in the brilliant glint
Of the Lord’s shining swords,
Warns the suspicious, opens their squint;
And like the laughter
From a gay but rapier wit,
Creation of creation’s Master
Within a flame has lit.

What a delight to our once sleeping minds,
Portraits of Baba in zippy kinds
Of flashing, daring disguises,
Such wonderful surprises.

Still in doubt!  But intrigued all the while
By His hide and seek smile;
Can you bear it a bit in sweet patience
This dark-aged (wary) reticence?
They say its th’ affects of Saturn in Leo
But I suspect the antics of Senor ego. 

How enchanting your art’s “Meherriment”
Renaissancing our taste for divine amusement,
Not yet accustomed to the tempo or key,
Of love’s dance of joy in immortality!

(For Phil Hocking)

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Baba is My Friend

Music:  Traditional
© 2001 Song lyrics: Karen Lynn Sterkin

Baba is my friend, he is my father           I will be His lady all my life.
He says our love must be Real                we must believe what we feel in loving God.

But I said I feel once again                      like I gave my heart too soon.

He came down to my place                  And sang me an ancient tune
And awakened an ancient tune.

And counting people going up Meherabad Hill
Like shooting stars from the grinding mill
There are still more reasons why I love Him.

Baba you are my joy Maya’s the sorrow.
Now He wants to run away and hide.
He says in order to be with Me
You must detach yourself from mine and my and me.

But you know it’s hard to tell when
You’re in the spell if it’s wrong or if it’s real.
But you’re bound to lose if you let the blues
Get you scared to feel.

And I feel like I am just being born
Like a shining light breaking in a storm.
There are so many reasons why I love you.
I cannot hear the tune yet silver bells
tune He’s singing in my heart.

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Baba I’ve No Home

© 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written 1 Nov. 1986)

Baba I’ve no home
But I’m returning to the West
Where I’ve come from
Baba, I cannot sleep or take my rest
I hear the train’s lonely sound
Homeless and hopeless and lonely
I pray for rain on Your holy ground
Baba stay in my heart and make mind khushi
Baba please waken me to share Your consciousness
So no longer am I hopeless and homeless
Or in India longing to be.
Baba, please bless me with your constant company.

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Be Resigned to My Will

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (From Baba 10 December 1986 Eve.)

Be resigned to My will
In despair or when you’re ill
Turn to Me when all seems nil.

When you think you fail,
And in separation wail,
Know that I forgive all.

So obey Me and be still
Just be happy and do My will.
Take my heart love, take my heart love,
So I can your heart fulfill.

For only in Me is your all in all
So be attentive and await My call.
Just obey Me and be still
Be happy and do My will
So I can your   heart        your heart fulfill.

For only in Me is your all in all
So be attentive and await My call.
Just obey Me and be still
Be happy and do My will
So I can your heart    your hearts fulfill.
So I can your hearts fulfill!

Be resigned to My will
In despair or when you’re ill
Turn to Me when all seems nil.

When you think you fail,
And in separation wail,
Know that I forgive all.

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Before the World was Made

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (written in 1984)

If I paint my lashes dark
And my eyes more bright
And my lips more scarlet
Or ask if all be right,
From mirror after mirror
No vanities displayed,
I’m looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.

If a man look upon me as tho’ on his beloved,
If I look upon a man as tho’ on my beloved,
And then my blood run cold all the while,
And my heart remain unmoved,
Why should he think me cruel or that he is betrayed?
I’d have him love the Face that was -- before the world was made. 

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Borrowed Beauty

© 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Oh You who are the Most Beautiful
Why not lend me just enough of Your Infinite Beauty
To attract the love of my life before my death?
Thin legs, young body, flat belly, pretty face,
Just enough to cast the illusion of beauty
To attract love in my life by Your Grace?

This love game is just a dog and pony show.
And I’ve grown older than today’s love market will allow.
So please lend me just a bit of your infinite perfect Beauty
To charm a lover and bring Love back into a life now so empty?

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 Concrete Beauty

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written Sept. 14, 1972)

We in America have separated ourselves from You
And our dull eyes drip longing in lostness.
Our women make-up frantically looking for love
Outside their own hearts – the flowers weep for the sun.
Yet the sun shines ever freely giving His warmth to all.
And the men mistake prowess and cunning for wisdom’s Beauty.

Yet the Beauty of Your Love persists
Eternal I am-ness
You are the only darling of all.
But we are riveted to stoned concrete cathedrals
Staring blankly back to moonlighters ‑ jobbers and robbers
Sucked off too many no’s.

O wondrous Beloved how perfect and Powerful is Your Treasure
Men mock to counterfeit.
In America the people worship the idols of their own emptiness
Buildings and noise and stench
They pop pills to learn the skills of prostitution.
Yet a bonny English laddie in monumental patience
Brought his “art” to the barbaricades of Beauty
Showed the savage work is play when dedicated
To the Creator of all – nothing more
And with sand blaster for brush and concrete for palette
Blasted his joy in our concrete souls!
There is nothing in creation that can block the beauty of Your Love.
Is there anything that God isn’t?

Dedicated to Bill Mitchell on seeing his sculptor at the Pacific Insurance Co. building S.F.

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Why do you wish to see what I see?
You have not earned the right;
Nor gathered enough strength for this sight.
Excuse me, it’s just curiosity for the Light.
And I know it will not go so far as service,
Learning and obedience
Attempts at goodness to undo selfness.

Once I thought fear, then joy, then love,
First attracted me to God.
Perhaps it was just ill-mannered, roguish curiosity!
Whoops – look what I’m looking for now.
Perhaps He found me, or will find me – though
I came unholy, unprepared, in curiosity.

It does not matter now why I’ve come.
Inayat Khan says: 
“Before you can know the Truth
You must learn to live a true life.”

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Dialog with Passion

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written 15 March 1982)

Passion, why do you come at such awkward moments ‑ Fire of earth?
Disturbing the peace and agitating the breath
Which would but for shame be singing easily in proper prayers?

Daughter of Earth, don’t waste precious time.
I am the prodding instigator
Neither good nor evil – His force
For initiating and opening all that burns.

You could not walk without my fire.
Do you see a value in burning?
Then serve all and fear me not
Nor anger my brother
But turn and hold us deep within
To burn and melt the cold stones of the past
In Love’s service.

When there’s nothing left to burn,
Then this you call passion
Will prove only His Light.

Would you fear anything, it better would be false pride,
Who’d have you imprisoned in frozen propriety and stony separateness;
Rather than abandoned passionately and freely to God’s Will
Or prone in peaceful, selfless bliss at His Lotus feet.

Then Passion, instead to bide my impatient wait,
May I serve watchfully the Friend – His Gate?

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Don’t Throw Pearls

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written 1974)

My soul has chosen the form of a woman
Perhaps to learn the ways of love’s endurance
Through patience and gentleness.
New lessons for my former warrior’s days!

And it wears hard on my mind to remember,
I, now a woman, must not the pursuer be;
Nor show my love too heedlessly . . . .

So, if I seem reticent,
It’s for this lady’s form I bear;
And with it the warning care,
Not to throw my pearls,
But to keep them to wear.

And it is I must confess a plight
In which my love’s restlessness finds little delight.
Unless, my darling, in my longing
For you in man-form, I learn to wait
For you to learn a gentleman’s seeking
And rescue me from this separation state!

By truly loving
Nothing is ever lost
That was worth anything.
So fear not to love – oh beloved!
That which seems lost will soon be found.
And forever will we dwell in bliss!

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Grateful for a Friend

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

“Love is a Rose, but you better not pick it
Only grows when it’s on the vine.
Handful of thorns and you know you’ve missed it
Lose the word Love when you say the word ‘mine’!”

What if I had Titania’s charms!
And like the wind moves
The swaying willow’s arms,
Could move your heart?

Is it God’s Will I doubt
To possess such power?
I might have it, but know it not . . . .

For perhaps in the knowing
Vanity would strut with such a part
And puff up hardening
This new born softness of heart.

Or maybe with knowledge
In cunning disguise,
I’d be(come) a thief
And take away your heart
To keep forever . . .  But God is very wise
About whom He bestows Divine Art.
For Love knows not separation
And gives all for Union’s exaltation.

For I am but a novice in Love – a mortal lover
And cannot in hypocrisy profess
To love with that indifference
Of higher lovers who need not possess
Nor need the Beloved’s reassuring presence.

I only wish God would give me just enough
Of His Divine Knowledge, Power and Bliss
To make your heart laugh
As you’ve made mine dance.

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A Home in Meher Baba

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written October 1986)

O Meher, if I would express this pain
I’d cry out and scare my companions.
They already say I’m strange.
Instead I seal my lips
So nothing burns outside
And become addicted to
The bliss of Your pain. 

O Karen, you are a worldly woman
Who could find no home in the world.
So why do you think you will find
 a home in Meher Baba?

Because he is my father
Calling me to come home.

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written Dec. 1986)

My heart sought its joys outside its body
And pain made grooves upon it
Heavy, dull and broken
It moaned as a viola
Or the reed – a bitter sweet low sound.

The impressions of pain are hard to eliminate
In order to start anew.

Fresh, fresh each new morning
Awaken heart and grow a new one
This time seek your joys within.

Dance to no man’s tune
But my own rhythms and tunes.
Not limited by earthly sounds
Oh heart seek your Love within
To forget past’s pain.

Fresh, fresh God’s morning ever calls anew.
Arise, awake, take up the key
Oh heart, waken and seek (see) your God within.

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It’s Difficult

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (inspired by the Persian poet Sa’adi)

 “They say it is difficult to have an ideal friend in life,
I say that it is not difficult, parting is difficult.

“Before the cold hearted it is difficult to keep the flame of love alive.
When the heart is broken in pieces to gather them again is most difficult.
It is difficult to live a happy life without a sincere friend,
It is difficult to explain in words what we feel.

“When the heart becomes sorrowful it is difficult to make it joyful,
As the mirror that is broken cannot be pieced together.

“O Sa’adi, it is easy to attach oneself to someone,
But once attached to break away is most difficult.”

As so they say it is hard to make a friend
In this treacherous world.
But I say no
It is but too easy to make friends
And want the sweet company of those around
In everyday companionship.

It is hard to part from a friend
This is hardest of all.

To keep sincerity as well as beauty of expression
In one’s life movie is difficult
Especially when it means leaving a friend.
That is the hardest of all.

But He who asks all of us
Gives in turn His All.

For it goes against the grain of the world’s wisdom
To try to change a friend from what he is
Even though done from greater love for him;
Or to avoid the parting  .  .  .

But one can only change oneself – one’s own king
And the kingdom of another can be conquered only by him.

So when the road leads to a place where one’s friend
Takes another turn best suited for him or not,
Then to keep sincerity as well as beauty of expression
In one’s own life is difficult’
Especially when it means leaving a friend.
That is the hardest of all.

But He who asks all of us
Gives in turn His All.

So essential to keep the balance of sincerity
As well as beauty of expression, that
Sometimes the temptation is too great.
And the aspirations to becoming a rose
Unveil nothing but thorns in the journey   .   .   .
And everybody prefers the rose to thorns.

Sometimes in trying to prevent parting,
We grow thorns and so hurt the ones we love
Even by such loving    .    .   .   .
And our thorny hearts whimper.

And so it is said my Lord your Compassion
Is boundless and unfathomable.

Though they say it is hard to make friends in this cold world,
I say no
It is easy to make friends
But it is hard to part from a friend
This is hard
Perhaps hardest of all    .   .   .

But He who asks all of us
Gives in turn His All!

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It’s Raining!

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Written March 6, 1985)

Why have you left me     bereft me in desolation?
Abandoned to mechanical laws of fate cast eons ago
Sanskara bound and helpless on the wheel merciless.

Dim memories of inner sweet ecstasies
Only remind me of this current fall from bliss
Have I displeased you?  And am again at fault
And out of favor – useless, old, worn, and dried up
Good for nothing – feeling I have no role no work to do for you?

And it’s a very small consolation
To know such ignoring of our greedy
Demanding little selves takes some studied effort.

Oh Master who are You?
“Once lighting up my room with your sweet face
Only now to bring me sorrow?
Like some man having won my kiss
Would leave indifferent tomorrow?”

If I had somewhere else to go, I might
For I have never been a friend of sorrow.
Comedians and musicians were better company
Even if outside the abode of the saved and the chosen.

But their jokes and songs now only bring momentary smiles
And frankly boring pleasures – I’ve become jaded
No doubt too spoiled for such good company.

I hear tales of laughter and song, many nights long
And wonder why am I ignored
Then think I should be faithful and patient
Like Penelope one-pointed and dauntless
Cheerful without any doubt
Instead of wondering why I’m left out!

Not yet am I that strong
And so often get it wrong
So I wrote this rain complain song.

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It’s You!

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

It’s you the glances of the lover
It’s you the beauty of the song
It’s you the beating of the drummer
It’s you I’ve waited for so long.

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The Little Fisherman

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972)

She brings up the brats that from His Shore are cast
Upon her door.
‘til woven in her Master’s net
Our souls she does ensnare.

How fetchingly she cajoles until the prize is caught;
Then fumes and blows the flame in heart,
The desires therein to stew –
‘til properly basted and well-cured
the cravings all consumed.

When softened enough for His perfect pallet,
She serves ‘The Kids’ His wine divine.
And as their dear servant, she then shows to them
That only His service is her every wish and whim.

That’s how they learn to go a fishin’ too
And spat and boil an even bigger stew
To bring to her door.

Where she picks only the mostest well-done
And places them again on His shore.

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1979)

The only thing I ever found lacking
In an earthly beloved
Was your sighs from within the walls
Of my barred heart.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy
The sweet thrill of a lover’s kiss
It’s that it has always seemed
Such a tempting teasing beginning
And I always waited for the
Answering kiss within.

But only You Beloved have ever kissed me
On the inside
Right on the threshold of halleluiah music.
And no earthly beloved could ever satisfy
Such an ambitious and greedy woman.

But it’s not love that waits for God’s kisses
It’s longing.

Like a vacuum sucking up the streets
For a piece of Your beauty
Somewhere in creation
To discover the Reality and hold on
Long enough to get established.

Like changing one’s address
Or one’s clothes
Permanently – forever is such
A small word for Limitlessness.

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Lookin’ for a Good Man

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1974 Song Gospel tune)

Lookin’ for a good man
To lead me on home
   My Lord
Lookin’ for a good man.

A good man’s hard to find these days
They too dazed busy followin’ every fad ‘n craze!
And none staunch enough
To lay a finger ‘side his nose
Breathe deep and take it slow
Slow . . . slow . . .
Say, Lord, ‘tis hard to find a good man
To lead me on home.

‘snot that I’m weary, Oh Lord,
I’ve always been weary.
It’s just that I need a hand to hold
‘tween the peaks and rolls of my mind
I need a back to see from behind
With a heart to move on home.

Lookin’ for a good man
To lead me on home
My Lord
Lookin’ for a good man.
With the heart to move on home!

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Marry Me

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1980)

Marry me and be my love
Throughout eternity

Let’s gaze in each other’s
Adoring eyes and light the way
In unity.

If for you I die and surrender all
As you beckon come, come unto me
Don’t abandon me to my egocentricity
Separate, empty and in despair.

For in truth joy is serving You ‑ the Faire.

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Meeting Again

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972)

I’d forgotten — so long ago
I’ve been sleeping fitfully
Lonely dark sorrow dreams
Over the centuries
In so many different costumes and bodies.
I studied so many different arts
And played the various parts
Opposite sets, the unmerciful law
Of my own actions.

I went to meet you — curiously
For I thought this was the first time!
Not remembering this was again,
Inside Your room at Meherazad,
Inside Baba’s room.

Mehera took your right arm
As if she were rubbing away
Your world weariness and earth pain
As she’d done when you’re in the body.

I felt embarrassed, what a silly game!
There’s no one here.
Lying there on Your bed
Imagining Your back to me
I started to massage
Your left side and arm.
Gingerly, I felt unworthy and afraid,
You might really appear — be here!

Mehera kept stroking You
“Baba — Baba”
I want to stroke Baba too!
But I couldn’t see or feel You.
“Baba! — it’s me, Karen, do you remember me?”

So sweetly You slowly turned
Your head to look my way
So softly Your eyes — your look of Love
Eternally      Eternity
Of meeting You again,
Of meeting again!

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Meher Baba’s Mandali

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Nov. 1, 1986)

Oh Beloved close ones of Baba
How His brightness shines
From His earthly home at Meherazad.
Like a lighthouse beacon in this world’s
Dark night in the middle of a stormy sea,
Beaming among the waves on a turbulent ocean.

How kindly He veils your suffering from our baby eyes,
Just awakening to lullabies
And tales of His humanity.

How graciously the Perfect Host
Receives His relations and friends
Among His earthly family,
While He hides the pain of your longing.

Every soul is destined to travel the path
Home to Baba and the closer to Him,
The more intense the longing.
Is this the example we are learning?
Like children who watch the manners
Of their parents in earthly families?
Veil your sadness and efface oneself.
Serve, love, and think of others,
Make others happy and think only of Me.

What do those who lived their lives with God
Do for those who never met Him while He was on earth?

Just His example which they witnessed,
Watched, served, loved, breathed,
Which in His love and compassion again
With you His closest ones, He gives
To His weary world children.
How sweet of Him to let us celebrate
His coming on earth in every one,
Every story each precious day here.
He gives with His earthly family
To show the world His humanity.

We who did not get to meet You
In human form are so very lucky to greet You
And find Your loving humanity
In Your Meherazad family.

How very kind of You to have left Your family;
So the weary world would know of Your perfect humanity.

And how very loving of You
To keep Your close ones very busy,
So they don’t have any time to miss You
Too much, until they come to You.

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The Mind is Restless

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (October 1986)

O Meher Baba the mind is restless
With questions and worries.
But the heart is sighing and fanning
That burning place in its very center.
My eyes water from the fire
And the smoke hurts by throat.
The wine of your Being refreshes the parched throat
And seems to cool the fire burning in my heart.

But after a sip or two,
I find the burning has become a bonfire.

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Mother Says, Baba Says

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972)

Mother says: Babble babble from the rabble
Hold the energy instead
It will lead you onward, upward
Hold it in to forge ahead.

Baba says:
Do you love me?
Bear it, bear it.
Want my kisses?
Share it, share it.
Are you restless in despair?
Sing a song for love of the Fair.

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The Musician

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1974)

Do you know my Master
Is a musician?
He plays all day His songs
to the Universes.
Only the angels can hear
And some giant men
And saints of women.

I long to play this music
My soul knows its key.
If I could hear it once,
I’d cease to lament or know
of earth’s bondage ever.

That’s why God’s orchestra
Is for those whose ears are tuned
to the Truth.

I am still jumping into holes of dark sorrow
And riding golden chariots of joy to the skies.
When my fancy ceases this play
My soul will be steady enough
For God’s breath to play
His tunes upon it.

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My Only Defense against Youth’s Jealousy

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(1974 Exercise a la John Donne)

But if you marry a lady I know not
Even though I pine each night in your absence
I’ll swear to die for her you love
To make your pleasure my death’s recompense
And so be happier still in your joy.

For in loving you, by your leave
I now live in two places and my love grows
By increase to even greater spaces!

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New Humanity

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India, February, 1972)

Let me into your heart!
I cannot be just a part
Without a whole, let it flow
Without intellect’s control.

We can grow; learn to forsake
Vain roles and parts
For Love’s sake
Let me into your hearts!

Awake, sleepy ones, wake up!
Awake, sleepy ones, wake up!
The time is near
For the Tavernkeeper’s good cheer.
Empty hearts of little parts
Vain dreams - empty schemes.
The time is near
For the Tavernkeeper’s good cheer.
Empty hearts of little parts
Vain dreams - empty schemes.
Of conquering another
The New Wine is more
Precious than any worldly other.

Wipe out the cup!
The New Wine has come!
And the New Humanity is waking up!

Wipe out the cup!
The New Wine has come!
And the New Humanity is waking up!

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No More will I Complain

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1974)

Is it fear of being possessed
That keeps my beloved in hiding dressed?
Know you not love can only be given;
And only freely taken and so forever blessed?

But if you must go your way so carefully guarded,
Know that I have already possessed you;
And in my heart my love for you is barred.

Now on its walls I paint
Pictures of your ways and wait;
‘til some day, when you’ll enter . . . .
Your flashing glances will ignite;
And fill this empty cave with Light!

So no more will I complain
Though I wait an eternity for your reign!

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Hollering and complaining is the wealthy man’s stress of bondage.
Fussing and gossiping is the housewife’s fumes of longing.
Excessive cleaning and eating is the widow’s [and divorcee’s] pangs of loneliness.
Baby babble chattering is the young girl’s sighs of shyness and uncertainty.
Counting and scheming is the businessman’s signs of frustration.
Working for the Master is the worker’s song of freedom.
The housewife’s contentment lies in cooking for the Master.
Laughing and playing with the Master is the young girl’s hope of happiness.
Cleaning and serving the Master is the widow’s [and divorcee’s] promise of love.
In giving and in loving the Master the wealthy become wiser.
But in pleasing and obeying the Master lies the real song of fulfillment.

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Oh Baba, I Feel so Old

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(Dialog with Baba 24 Oct. 1986)

Oh Baba, I feel so old and tired
That I’ve missed the boat
And wasted my youth.

When others were building businesses,
Doing graduate work, raising children,
I was crying for your company
Like a baby lamb lost in the dark.

I did not know You never leave.
So why am I crying?

Because I still think You are
The Beloved of the old days and forget
To keep alert to Your new winning ways. 

Karen, if you want My constant company so much
Do not absent yourself.  I am never gone.

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Oh Meher Baba my Father

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Oct. 1986)

O Meher Baba my father
Where is my husband and protector?
Where are my children and friends?
Here – here – take – take –
It is for you – my gifts
Take – take.

I cannot – I know not why
So I have been to many psychologists.
But this conflict is beyond
The realm of mind.
Once I saw Your face, Beloved,
My heart could have no other.
What shall I do?

Oh Karen, I have called you;
Otherwise you would not be in this quandary.
Once the heart has heard the Beloved, it sings,
It grows wings and flies straight home.

Oh Meher, with what subtlety You secretly enflame my heart
To free Your love. 

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Oh Meher You are Love Itself

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Oct. 1986)

O Meher, You who are Love itself,
Shed tears and blood to free us from illusion.
You are the most faithful
And the most attractive Beloved.

You gave me everything in all the worlds
You give now and still I have
The bad manners to be restless.

The only ting I can do is
To think of You 24 hours a day.

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (18 November 1984)

He tries to make me happy
But I scream and shout and yell.

He says, “What can I do my darling?”
And I don’t say anything at all.

He sends me friends and lovers
He gives me everything
But I feel my head exploding
And I run, rebel, and suffer.

God came to say “Just sing.”
And I’ll share the burden you haul
Don’t you know how much He loves you?
Don’t holler and destroy all.

Just sing and bear quietly
This seeming separation
‘til you’re ready to hold the energy
of this intimate celebration.

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O Murshid

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(To Meher Baba the True Teacher)

Oh Murshid take my hand and out of darkness lead me
I have no ground on which to stand
My mind and heart deceive me
Make me true in thought and deed
That I may better serve you
May your love plant my heart seed
To grow to follow Murshid’s lead
And make of me a true mureed
That I may yet deserve you.

Oh my Murshid be my guide
For my own light has faded
Others on this path must ride
How could I walk unaided?
Make me true in faith and trust
That I may better serve you
In love’s fire destroy the rust
Of dead desires their stubborn crust of self
Oh Lord do with me what you must
That I may yet deserve You
Oh my Murshid hear my Soul
I call in desperation
You alone can make me whole
In love’s initiation
Make me pure in thought and deed
Make me pure in heart and mind
That I may better serve You.

In your love and service bind
My will to Yours that I may find
One day I stake my life
Some day I’ve shaped my life to Your design
That I may yet deserve You.

Chains of gold or chains of lead
Of sowing or of reaping
Meher binds with a find spun thread
That leads to Baba’s keeping.

May I ever seek the sun
No matter what my station
And though my life has just begun
Through You my soul will homeward run
To lose itself in part of One
In Love’s annihilation.

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Our Infinite Mother

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972)

I want to get out of this prison of mind;
I know I built it on desires’ foundation.
But I’m mesmerized by the habits –
 the many conditions.
You might say addicted to the game.
And we play and play it all night and all day.

Dear God Is
HERE – waiting
Eternally patient
For His dear ones to let go –
Of colors and mirrors so fine
The imaginings of mind;
And return to His apron of Bliss Divine.

Where He gave birth to Consciousness
 and “Who Am I?”
So, you see we’re His children – you and I.

So, we’re all His children – you and I.

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Perfect Mother

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(Dialog with Baba in India - Oct. 24, 1986)

O Meher, I’ve heard tales of so many of your lovers.
Some build pilgrim centers  and hospitals.
Some work all the time, others serve or clean or cook.
Some sing songs to your Brightness from our dark world.

Others help the poor, with the latest technology and science.
What am I doing here?

O Karen, if I did not call you, you’d not have come here.
Don’t listen to these thoughts of your mind.
My lovers are really great, but I don’t need anyone to do My work.
O Karen, are you afraid to commit yourself?
You’ll have to travel the Path anyway some day.
Why not come now while I have called you?

O Meher, am I truly ready?
So many times I’ve fallen, great falls from high places, and I’m so afraid.
Like a babe once dropped from her own mother’s arms.

O Karen, I am the Perfect Mother and I’ll never fail you.

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The Pie Lady’s Place

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Sept. 1978)

A car stalled – you stopped
And I wanted to get to the pie place
We’ll be too late now –
A seeming accidental affair
But there aren’t really any accidents.

The cafe was closed
But our mission was to help another
And the phones at the café
Were out of order!

So we got to go visit the
Pie Lady’s Home in the country
In the foothills of the Sierras
A small farm – machinery laying about
Not being used – and a rose garden path
Leading up to the house
With a lovely lush green yard.

Inside we met the Pie Lady’s folks
Maple furniture with an interior too dark
But a china chandelier hung in the dining area.
With an old cherry wood china cabinet on the wall
The phone worked – an absolute antique.
I found a shell with a painting inside
A ship on the sea
It went in as far as you could see
Inside the sea shell

While the Pie Lady’s husband phoned for help,
We had a shared moment of joy; we remembered
Something we’d experienced before,
Perhaps it was a lifestyle – perhaps even
Only half a century ago.

The Pie Lady’s husband remembered too.
But, the Pie Lady’s legs are thick with varicose veins;
She stands on them all day at the café. 
She works so hard now,
After two years of drought and crop failures.

And the stalled car was gone when we drove past.
Coming back to the city, I felt as if I had
An electric plug stuck up my ass.
ZZZZzzzz – hurry!  Rush, fear, move! Push, go faster . . . .

Don’t we have time anymore to share
Our beings with each other?

Wonder what the visit to the Pie Lady’s home
Was supposed to be about . . . . .
No matter – what a sweet, nostalgic place
It put my heart into for a while.

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The Pir

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

It is much harder to understand a saint than to meet the Avatar

The quiet intimacy of the Friend is much harder to know
Than the Christ who comes for all.

It’s much harder to serve a Pir, or
Than to sing the blasting heights of an Oratorio.

It’s much harder to become humble enough
To approach the Friend than to take the name
Of the God-man.

It’s much harder to obey the Murshid
Than to “surrender” to the Beloved of all.

But without His gift of the Pir
Would I ever have known God at all?

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Ready to Sing

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India - 3 Dec. 1986)

Oh Beloved, I’ve tried to obey, as You should be obeyed
To Love and serve You, as You should be loved
But I’ve failed.

Ob Baba I have tried to discipline this little self
That dominates my days on earth;
What precious time left to run to You!
And I’ve wailed.

Oh God, I’ve tried to bed early
Rise early and still I’m always late.
Oh Meher I’ve tried good thoughts,
Good words, good deeds and still
I’m selfish and hate.

O Beloved I’ve tried to give and still
I can only take.
Even when I sing Arti to You,
I lapse and make mistake.

But when I help a brother or jump up and dance,
Then I can celebrate Your joyous romance.
And when I see all friends as You – just One Being
Only then am I really ready for Your singing.

Wake up --- Wake Up  -- Wake up  Baba
Only then am I really ready for Your singing.

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The Reed

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1974)

Do you know the mystery of the reed?
It’s hollow yet sounds its lament the same.
It’s shell houses the wind’s name
God plays – His breath upon the reed
Hollow within, she sings
Obeying the notes of her conductor. 

Who am I to lament the passing sorrows of my life?
God’s waiting to play a tune with me.  So,
So, I must make some space within.
I shall make myself as the reed –
Hollow inside – so my Love
The Guest may enter
And breathe His Songs through this reed.

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1980)

She died for me and for my sake?
To save my life and give me a stake
In God’s perfect life in His garden called earth?

Then why have I cried for the past 12 years
If her death paid the price of our tears?
You miss her company and I miss her jokes.
Why am I blamed for the comfort
You cannot find in these blokes?

I did not ask for the gift of life she gave
And if I knew it would end in bitterness
It would have been a better kindness
To have let me go to Baba in my own grave!

She gave from Baba and for Baba I know
Because her happiness and her glow
No matter what worldly sadness,
Tried to pour out His wine of gladness.

So why inflict me with sorrow and shame
Because I am unhappy when you came?
If her death was to bring a reprieve,
Why am I punished because for her you grieve?
It would seem wiser to go straight to Him
Who decides everything and everybody’s whim.

Now with Baba, I’d prefer no interference
No matter who deserves, He gives all happiness,
Because He’s paid the price given from above,
With His life on earth He shared with us for love.

So there is no requirement for bitterness dear
The debts were paid when He took birth here.
If you cannot freely give it does not matter much
Baba gives to all and cares not for blame and such.
Leaves to churches and householders the need to judge
So now I’m going to get a piece of Christmas fudge!

He gave to you everything you have had, have now, and ever will have
And He gave to me everything I’ve had, have now, and ever will have.

What you give or won’t give is just a reflection
Of what you have distorted by your own objection
To the source of all, the One whose every will
Decides the moving of an ant, the turning of a windmill.

It is best for me to remember Baba who gives all and always will
Because when I remember Him and that there is only One,
I forget for a moment the bitterness learned here
When I remember Baba, I feel only love, goodwill, and cheer.

(On the death of Murshida Ivy O. Duce.)

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Restless Heart

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (From Baba Oct. 1986)

What is it restless heart you are seeking
The fair curve of his eyebrow so winning?
His hands beckoning: come beloveds, come children come
Don’t you know?  All’s illusion, all’s illusion;
There’s only One; there is only One.

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The Rocks

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (August 1979)

In the canyon on the American River
Some giant threw down boulders
Breaking some into the rocks
And small stones
Beautiful brown, purple, gray
Yellow and orange in the water.

Warm large how happy
To be on you rocks
Oh rocks – I love you
And I feel you love me too
Climbing on you
How patient you are
Waiting just to become a tree.

Filled with glee
Like children in our shoes and socks
In our tennies and socks
We shared a moment of joy on the rocks.

It would not have been without you
This sharing of joy.

How fortunate we could be
Had we the Key
To unlock this joy
Within eternally
Just with the Will to
And dedication to Love.

Shall we try?
Yes!  Of course!

What else is there to do?
All else is a waste of precious time.

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À Señor Pena

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (11 April 1978)

Not blinded by eye surgery
But heavy with self-pity,
I learned to break this dull indulgence
When I met a new boss at UC Retirements.

Dark and tall with an easy elegance
That unaffected refinement
Bred from a long inheritance
A knight in a dusty cage
Don’t you know this is Kali Yuga Age?1
Where most men are not even men
Yet alone trying to be gentlemen
From an ancient heritage.

Not your looks alone but your manner
Betray your higher evolution
And older soul’s demeanor,
The surprise of a personality
So covered and softened by wear
Those who know not still care
Missing a soothing presence
Unconsciously they’re aware
Of a hole left in your absence.

Those not yet real men attack
With backbiting simpering masks
While you carry on life’s tasks
Like you walk – proud and straight
With long strides and a natural gait.

You tell me the world is all macho
But every Don Quixote needs a Sancho
And every dreamer has a practical side.
You long for pine trees, river rafts and snow;
But true joy lasts only with riddance of ego,
When the soul shines brightly clear
Like reflections on a dust free mirror.

If God had but graced this age so blind
With more souls of your gentleness and kind,
People would not scream so much for liberation,
As for an end to all our hearts’ separation.

1 The Iron Age of the Goddess Kali (also called the machine age). The Iron Age of Darkness (as opposed to the Golden Age of Enlightenment).

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972)

This separation state is unbearable
Much better to be with Baba and heart full.

Here is my empty cup
Please Lord fill it up!

Else the heart within will be
A dead thing in a living body.

Wine more wine!  For this restless barren place
Needs a blessed shower of Your Divine Grace!

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Serendipity Diversity

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Song 1974)

We most of us went to the University
Where we learned everything
But how to think . . . .

No time for such luxury
In the Kali Yuga sink.

But we’ve got diversity
Intuitive propensity
To this era’s intensity.

Yes, we have got diversity
Each is learning a specialty
And each fits into the puzzlety
Of the universal university.

But we’ve got serendipity
Intuitive propensity
To the era’s intensity.

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Serendipity Hippies

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1974)

When we were crusading
Serenading hippies
Some of us farmed in New Mexico
Organically in the desert
Farmin’ in the desert.

When we were fastin’ in the Sierras
Foraging wild dandelion and berries
Off the land like squirrels and deer
Learnin’ the wild edibles here
A foragin’ like squirrels and deer.

When we were eatin’ macrobiotically
Strict vegan vegetarian, not even dairy
Experimentin’ with diet for the
New Life to come
For the New Life to come
Brothers . . . .

When we were hikin’
Rock climbin’ in the mountains
And a fishin’ in the seas,
A hikin’ in the mountains and
A fishin’ in the seas,
We learned to run a Coleman stove
Stoke a wood burner by Jove
Chop a winter’s full of wood
And store a winter’s full of food.
A choppin’ and a stokin’ and
A storin’ in the wood.

When we were learnin’ survival in blue jeans,
Among mad stampeding city crowd scenes
On some demonstratin’ riotin’ angry campus
Keeping a level headed cool
Rememberin’ Atlantis
Takin’ photos and reportin’ as eye witnesses
Survival tactics among the mad
Driven by greed though in blue jeans clad
Survival tactics among the city fanatics
. . . . brothers.

When we were makin’ bread
Or canning a garden crop instead
We learned the arts of weavin’ and hikin’
Dyeing fabric from vegetable lichen
Lovin’ hands learnin’ skills at home
For the New Humanity yet to come.

When we were playin’ guitar, sitar
And campfire dulcimer,
Makin’ songs to rhyme
Or playin’ it in pantomime
A singin’and a dancin’ in the New Life to come.

When we were a travelin’ and contactin’
Others trying to grow and wonderin’ how
We recognized each other and the joy
Within us spreading
As we learned to love one another
To love one another.

Oh yes, when we were a crusadin’
Serenadin’ hippies
Some of us learned the ways of the New Life to come
For the New Humanity had begun.

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©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (May 3, 1982)

John and I like to smoke.
John and I like to joke.
I have trouble with anxiety;
John with all this fussing energy.
Even Michael the psychotherapist
Can’t help us here in God’s nest.
So we take our break with hope ‘n
Sit in a circular support group.

John ignited his curly mop of hair
Instead of his cigarette on the stove’s flare.
Trauma and drama – and spoke of the coming
November Stop Smoking date for sport
With a sponsor from the clinic to support
And Murshid said there were too many of us
On the ashtray habit here
Do as I say, not as I do.

Oh dear, and it’s bad for the baby too.
God please grant us something to substitute
To use our energy for You to sublimate
So when we begin to shake and quake
We can dance and SHINE
Or ask Baba for some Wine Divine
To cool the blazing fires burning in our chests
Instead of asking or reaching for our cigarettes!

(For John Palley)

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Snow Queen

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (May 3, 1982)

What is it restless mind you are seeking
The fair curve of her eyebrows so winning?
Her hands beckoning: “Come beloveds, come children come.”
Don’t you know?  All’s illusion, all’s illusion
There’s only One; there is only One.

Snow Queen of the North land
Pure, blue white sparkling diamond
We’ve come to offer the mind
In desperate search now to find
Her hands beckoning, “Come beloveds, come children come.”
Don’t you know?  All’s illusion, all’s illusion
There’s only One; there is only One.

To her He ordered this Order’s charge.
How carefully, how hard she worked to enlarge
Our capacity to receive Her Master’s Light.
In white, rose-petal hands He placed His might;
His hammer to crack shells of lead.
What a paradox God’s teachers are
With soft and tender hearts
And minds of gossamer,
Sent to war with swords, fires and hammers bright
To make space on earth in us for their Master’s Light.

(For Ivy O. Duce)

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So You Want to be a Musician

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(From Baba - October 1986)

So you want to be a musician
To entertain me, make me laugh.
It was just this mischief
That started the Universe.

Karen, please me by making others happy
And efface yourself by serving Me in others.

Are you lonely in my Universe?
Think of Me only
There is no one else.

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Song from a Scamp

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Nov. 18,1984)

I thought I wanted to be musically
A composer! Or a wife so respectably.

But I never fell in love with another to wed
And the songs I can’t write are only in my head.

When He parts the sheep from this goat
Will I have a song in my throat?

Now I know I’m just a tramp
No disguise I am a scamp!

This is Russian work horse poetry from a rascal
Who hopes to give You a chuckle.

I write letters to You all day
And then want you to come out and play!

Dumb dumb why am I so dumb?
And now I want to go to Washington.

I wish I could help instead of being so dumb
Or at least amuse you with these songs from a bum!

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Song of Thanks

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
Syncopated dancing rhythm

You came into my life
First my heart leapt in delight
Then my heart left in fright
You came into the window of my soul
Hidden so deep in this darkness a Light
Suddenly a dancing ray aglow.

To go home with you is to discover Love’s bliss
To be near you is all I hope of happiness
How good and gracious God’s grace seeing
To bless our lives with your loving teaching. 

I shuddered, quaked in fear
As gloom left to disappear
Such a warm, soft too tender glow
Spread inside around to know
Your love for God inside me would grow.

To go home with you is to discover Love’s bliss
To please You is all I want of happiness
How good and loving God’s promise keeping
To bless our lives with your wonderful being.

I hope these crosses in me might
Completely sizzle out of sight
Making of my lonely night
A blazing wholeness of pure light
You’ve ignited my mind with your radiance
And my heart wants to burst in Songs of Gladness.

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Take oh Take the Choices Away

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (1975)

Take oh take the choices away
Gimme, gimme Baba.

Take oh take the desires away
Gimme, gimme gone “me.”

Take oh take decisions of the days
And gimme, gimme “now” always.

Take oh take aspirations, novelties
And gimme, gimme always to please.

Take oh take needs, longings and swiftly
Place me safely at the Master’s feet.

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Take Hold of the Damaan

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Feb. 1972)

So you want to be a star
You want to go very far
But who is the one that you love
That you think of day and night
Who you want in your sight
Yes, who is the one that you love?

Well, if Baba is the one
He’s the ONLY One
And love you must cause
He is Love itself.

So leave your false schemes
Of loves that are dreams
And grab hold of the Damaan
And take to you knees.

Well, if it’s God who you love
Let him always be at your side
He’ll never leave you even if (when) you hide
All along He’s been your only guide
So take hold of His damaan and
Take Love on your side!

Well, if He is the one
He’s the ONLY One!
And love you must ‘cause
His is love
So leave your false schemes
Of loves that are dreams
And grab hold of the Damaan
And take to you knees!

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Tapestry Corner

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Oct. 31, 1972)

A boy in the tapestry corner
Of his father’s glass and wood edifice
Came into the margin of my vision
So gently
At first I hardly noticed . . .
Balancing his yellow furniture spec scrawlings
On nylon knees.

Uh-uh, had one too many sprawlings
Just peck keys now
And only eyes and fingers would
Could exercise to life’s enchanting rhythms.

Until the abandoned car
Searching for a driver to release her
And costing a pretty fortune!
Squeezed out enough fear
Painfully stumbling
“Excuse me, could you? Would you?”

Unknown you followed Fangio’s1 craft
While deftly your father handed you the key
To his T-bird and my heart.
Racing to Hunter’s Point reflexes
Gripping the seat to keep the heart
From fancy’s flight.

Soft – soft . . . slower, please sir . . .
Cannot take another break
Slower heart – beat slower!
Soft – soft . . . oh please soft!
I know too well passion’s cruel toll
And the eyes of the race car driver
Still searching to win yet another race . . . .
So I hid my face
Soft – soft . . .  .

The boy in the pretty fabric corner
Of his father’s harmony hued
But well cued
Donned manhood
Warm bloom in autumn

And left for higher ceilings, white curving walls
Brighter space and plants on Mylar columns!
I wondered once at the price
Of one of your beautiful blue and purple
Wall hangings . . . as I searched
For the light in your sweet eyes.

1 Famous race car driver who won 5 Grand Prix in a row.

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This Man who is He?

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972)

You can’t trust any of them
So I was taught
And foolishly bought
The women’s lib:  men are no good theme.

Instead of working on me and
Ignoring those contemporary bores;
Practicing skillful humility
For future service and waiting at the doors
Of his Friend. 

I wasted time yet again
In wars.

OK – onward again ‑ where’d I leave off?
Trust in the Friend – oh yes, I remember – so soft.

You foolish woman, nothing is learned without a risk
And nothing gained without (with a) sacrifice.
Would you seek his fair company?
Then leave yourself outside the door –
With false pride and conventionality.

Come this man is a Tavern keeper
Who has Wine to pour out. 
Don’t tarry in uncertainty and doubt
Earth’s shadows, matter’s fears.
This gambling game will send you on a merry race.
Come seek in this Friend’s company God’s grace. 

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Threshold Door

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (Nov. 18, 1984)

You’re just an unrefined tramp
They judge me respectably
She’s just an ignorant bum
Say those of higher responsibility.

But I’m really just a rebel
With a yet still unsung song
Beat me black and blue then
‘til it comes out right not wrong.

Beat the sheaves onto the threshing floor
To blow away the chaff of what came from before.

Amuse me with these love pats
That send me through the floor
Beat me, beat me more and more
‘til I’m low enough bent on the mats
to get through the threshold door.

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The Wall

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (15 Nov. 1986)

Do you love me?
I don’t know, I’m too busy to see.
I moved my dental practice to Lafayette
So you wouldn’t have so far to commute
To that place that makes your eyes shine,
That’s beyond the sphere of “mine.”

But do you love me?
We met at UCLA, married, had two kids,
My practice went well, we worked hard
And now it is time to redecorate
Our home to celebrate the miracle
Of a life of success – not without stress.
And I gave up the wall.

In the west there is no rest;
We don’t have time for the sublime.
Maybe it’s too much of a threat
To let Love loose without a wall;
To delineate and keep separate,
To preserve the illusion of you and me;
And now share it publicly!
But you gave up the wall.

Yes I did. It kept our dining area
Unseen from the entrance hall,
Protected our family daily meeting
At the dinner table.
Maybe God wants our love spread
On His table of fare to give to others to share
It’s a mystery to me, why He put us in this quandary.

Now the colors of our home are muted
Airy and light
No more warm dark Earth tones –
Out of the womb and into the cold bright light.
It’s a different birth from our children
Now it is us who are being born
To love the living God.

My dear, of all you have given through the years
The sacrifices without tears
I don’t know why
None has moved me so deeply
As the removal – no
The giving up of the wall.

To make space to grow in gratitude,
We learn to show a new attitude.
To spread the warmth the wall protected here,
We offer the hearth’s fire we build with care
To God, hoping He’ll join our hearts to share
His blessed company – His presence here.

Let’s build a bonfire so He’ll never from us roam,
For you’ve invited Him to come and dwell in our home!

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When He Looks My Way

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Shyness and coy playfulness were fine for the novices;
But you’ve been around a fair spell.

When he looks in my direction – my thoughts:
“Oh, he’s seeing me in this silk color shirt,
Am I still beautiful?”

Perhaps he’s looking at the condition of our bouquets
Or how we’re breathing;
And how we lived today.

God and God’s friends have done with romantic fancies
For real love is for big time stuff.

Like forever and . . .
But I still feel like dancing every time he looks my way.

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When Baba Speaks

©2001 Song lyrics by Karen Sterkin India Feb. 1972
Tune: When Johnny Comes Marching Home

When Baba speaks His Word of Words
            The Onlyness of God

Hearts from minds are freed at last
            To dance His Phrase within

What singing in the streets to Him then
            What an answer there will be

Then all will know Meher Baba’s God
(Then all will know the Avatar)
            who came visitin’ from Eternity!

God is One and Only One
            The Beloved of Everyone

And the brotherhood of hearts will ring
            With joy and peace within.

Oh what a day of days will be
            Even the damned will dance.

When Meher Baba speaks the Word
            Each soul will echo in response.

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Why don’t you sing me Songs?

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Why don’t you celebrate
Instead of always to berate?
Meher Baba said to me.

Why don’t you sing me songs quietly
Instead of all day hollering and complaining
And amuse me with this load I carry
To free you from your self while My grace is raining.

It’s easy to love Me more than just a little
But to please Me is a much harder riddle
To be resigned, to endure all patiently
Is child’s play to bearing separation cheerfully.

It’s really very simple to grow
Keep this secret and you will know
Remember me constantly
While you go through this illusion
And the agony of seeming separation
Keep me in your heart all day
And I will come to you to stay.

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Wise Lady

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (25 Feb. 1973)
14 days after Initiation into Sufism Reoriented

Wise Lady, you make me happy
Could it be He?
I am not your daughter
And yet I love you
And do not know why –
I don’t know you.

Gentle Lady, how may I serve you?
And so serve Him?
The sweet ways of
His love and service are new
But the search has been long.

Gracious Lady, how many lives may
I have to get to know how
To please you better?

For I feel so rough and knobby
So coarse when I take your
Cool smooth white hands.

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Women’s Liberation

©2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (To Majnun & Leila)

I don’t want to be liberated
Emancipated, management motivated
If it means from you I’m separated.

I do these things, think these things
Say these things, because I think they
Will please you.

Ah unhappy me when I am in error
When they do not.
And mouthe what is fashionable
Rather than the truth of my being.

A woman without love’s life
Is not liberated – just separated.
Oh merciful God of Love and Truth
If you are love and God is Love,
Please I pray bring your love companionship
Back to me in a reflection of mine
Going out to You.
Or else from this world
Let me be truly liberated.