The Blue Book

Dhât al-asmâ’

It was the great master who taught me
the asmâ’ al-asmâ’,
the names of the names,
through yellowed wreaths
carrying the weight of coffee stains
and dog-eared bookmarks
and the marginalia of another mind
who once walked these forests.

He wrote a whole book to uncover
all the faces of god,
and laughed when he was done,
for each page was another mask and,
as evening crept in through a cracked window,
he gazed out over the fading light,
across years that make up no time at all
when you know how to name it truthfully.

The names of the names, he whispered,
show us that you can only read by writing.
The world may not be a blank book,
but it is certainly like a poem:

be sure to leave space enough
for the true author.



Ibn ‘Arabî