The Gathering

Blessed is she who sees the star of her soul

as the light that is seen in the port from the sea.  — Inayat Khan

I hold you at arm’s length until I think I will die for wanting you,

And all that while, they are gathering.

I hear their whispers as they cluster around, crowding into this space, waiting for our time to begin.

They wait patiently, but I always worry that they will become tired of my messiness and hesitation and slip away,

looking for a place to gather that is more consistent

(and certainly one who is more punctual):

Despite all that, you always come.


You settle in like fog seeping in from the sea.

The ten thousand things recede,

and sounds come through this fog like the sound of a ship’s bell.


I wash up on your shore and, leaning back, I look up at the tower where I know you are waiting for me.

I walk this island’s cold, rocky shore around and around, in and out of the waves that rise and recede,

getting closer to your winding stone stairway all the time:

Yet still hesitant.

How do you stand me?

You always wait patiently, and I always come, but I am afraid of that fog,

Afraid of getting lost and never returning, afraid of leaving my loved ones:

Yet isn’t that what I’ve bargained for?

That stony climb, those dangerous stairs . . .

Knowing you are waiting for me,

I cannot thank You enough.

(But who are these ones who gather?

Are they there for me, or am I there for them?

I feel I know, but I am shy,

And that is why I keep them waiting.  That

and hoping I will be adequate.)

Amidha Porter

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