In All Our Gory Glory: Hafiz-Inspired Poems for Our Troubled Times. {poetry}


I am not a poet or a Sufi. But one Christmas, a friend who knows my heart gave me a book of Hafiz’s poetry.

I haven’t read much poetry since the Romantics — and T.S. Eliot — in college. Yes, I was an English major. In fact, I rarely read anything but magazines now, but I polished off that book of ecstatic Sufi poetry with a zeal that surprised me.

Then one morning not long after, I woke up early to find what I quickly realized were my own American Girl version of Hafiz poems coming through, from God knows where. I grabbed a pen and tablet and recorded the words that follow here practically verbatim. Like most poems, but maybe even more, it is best to read these aloud.


Words crowd my head,
Like gulls to bread on the beach.

I love my words,
Seeking voice through pen to page.

But there is so much
I want to say, and
So little time.

How, pray tell,
Can I possibly
Be 59?

Who says?

Who says there is
No God?

It must be
Someone who has not
Looked lately into
A baby’s eyes.

I say, look into
That radiance, and
See what you are made of.

Wake up

Wake up early.
Open the blinds.
Put a log on the dying fire.
Fan the flames
Any way you can.

Winter light

I open my eyes.
The morning sun is almost too bright to bear.
White winter light lays bare the world,
Cuts me to the quick.

But it is too late
To shut my eyes, my heart.
There is no respite now
From the piercing glare,
The fierce, plaintive wail
Of a life awakened.


Gratitude and prayer
Do not come easily
To this old bird of prey
That is my mind.

The best I can often do is
Sit and sigh, and
Let down my hair, one straggly
Strand or two at a time.

The good news is
There is probably less to
Unravel here than I think.


Sometimes it’s as futile
As calling the cat,
Trying to collect
Myself for God.

Sometimes, but not always,
Thank God.

Love reigns

Let me kiss your holy human feet,
As you would kiss mine
If I’d let you.

What on earth else
Is there for us to do?

Love reigns,
Love rains.
Inside. Outside.
It’s everywhere you look.


Let the love that you are
Transform you utterly.


Only sit still, wait
And watch.

Love is what happens
When there is absolutely
Nothing else going on.

You might as well dance

There is no need to be still, fast,
Or keep silence.
You might as well dance, feast
And sing.

Sooner or later, God
Will find you anyway.

If you are looking for an austere God,
Then go ahead and practice austerity.
But if you want joy,
Be joyful.

Eat, drink and be merry
Sounds about right to me

Hafiz says

Hafiz says,
Pull the knife out.
And let your heart sing!


Suzanne Grenager is a sister-seeker, awakener and scribe with a well-honed gift for helping people see, appreciate and express their particular greatness. Off to teach and travel in India before the Beatles, she followed a breadcrumb path starting as an Annenberg School NBC Scholar and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist. A breakdown following the death of her oldest friend led her to Kripalu Yoga, which she practiced, taught and wrote about in Yoga Journal and at SpiritSite.com. Certified in the body-mind Rubenfeld Synergy method, Suzanne was an early transformational life coach. And in 2012, she screwed up her courage, held her feet to the fire and published Bare Naked at the Reality Dance. It’s her achingly honest book about what it takes to wake up, fall in love with ourselves, and make the difference we’re born and dying to make. She hopes you’ll visit her blog.


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