Archive for November, 2005

An evening of Turkish Sufi Music

I recently went along to an evening of Turkish Sufi music is Warwick
Arts Centre. It was average on the whole, mainly geared to introducing
the concepts of Sufism through a few speechs and some music, but the
speeches themselves were less concerned with Sufism than with the
similarities and difference between Christianity and Islam. It seemed
that they were using the basic principles of Rumi’s message of love and
unity to pose a case for uniting Islam and Christianity, to dissovle
the religious and political tension between the two groups in todays

I was, however, particularly taken by the whirling dervish performance and a speech delivered on the reed flute, or ney, and was inspired to write this poem. Its a rough draft of a ghazal and I’d love some comments before I re-work it…

Thank God for the Ney

Christianity and Islam; two religions preaching peace and love
meet with clashing horns and battle long into an ethereal night.

The reed flute, Ney, threads it’s way through the darkness and tugs
at the heart, leading it past crosses and pillars to a deeper well of longing.

Jalal-ul-din Rumi reeled a bucket in from the hidden depths and drank
to Shams: “In appearance I look like a man, but I am full of nothing but Him!”

Women tread the path as well. Gillian of Norwich, far removed from
the mystics’ tavern, closed her eyes and saw humanity in a hazelnut:

a hand reached out and in its palm the simple nut was self-contained and safe;
for her, the world was uniformly brown and governed by the same protective skin.

The dervish stands, arms crossed upon his chest, and listens to the drumbeat
that dictates each breath. He bows his head, lifts one foot, and initiates the spin.

Leathered feet pound the chalked floor in time and, with a rare masculine grace,
they raise their arms, one palm facing the heavens, the other turned toward the ground.

A solo Oud player plucks at our veins with his pick and we collectively vibrate,
unified in each clear note, separated in every echo, and left to yearn in the brief silence

before applause (do not applaud us, this is our inner circle
revealed. Do not applause until we leave the stage as bare as it began).


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Timeless wankers

Exerpt from a recent conversation:

Siera: Fifty years ago it was Hitler, now it’s the Terrorists; these things work in cycles.

Foxtrot: Yeah, and before that it was Genghis Khan … wanker.

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Origins of THE GAME

Those of you who have been unfortunate enough to have been introduced to THE GAME, may be interested to learn of it’s origins:

‘They are playing a game. They are playing at not
playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I
shall break the rules and they will punish me.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.’

Taken from ‘Knots’ by R.D.Liang

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