when east meets west


3cj boyzOh, you of the Western nations, be kind to those who come from the Eastern world to sojourn among you. Forget your conventionality when you speak with them; they are not accustomed to it. To Eastern peoples this demeanour seems cold, unfriendly. Rather let your manner be sympathetic. Let it be seen that you are filled with universal love. When you meet a Persian or any other stranger, speak to him as to a friend; if he seems to be lonely try to help him, give him of your willing service; if he be sad console him, if poor succour him, if oppressed rescue him, if in misery comfort him. In so doing you will manifest that not in words only, but in deed and in truth, you think of all men as your brothers.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p.16

all i have are my prayers

the tears cried in silence
drop from my cheeks,
and fade into the haze.

the hand that dried these tears is long gone
and this strange land offers no relief,
no respite, no calm,
only trials, only tests,
only bitter toil and grief.

memories and dreams of better days
flap in the wind, flutter like moths
and in a gust are blown away.

oh Job, oh patience,
what has become of you?
we were best friends once,
but now all have fallen,
and I stand alone,
or rather slump,
crumpled in the corner.

perhaps I never told you
how much I loved you.
perhaps I never knew
until you were gone.

ere long will this city of exile
surely be a city of light,
but in the meantime
I am shrouded in night,

in this midnight hour
I close my eyes and sit still
and all I have are my prayers.