Jun 20 2012

Ivan M. Granger – Adi Atman 9: you you

Published by at 9:41 am under Ivan's Story,Poetry

Adi Atman 9: you you
by Ivan M. Granger

Adi Atman,

I am a fool

I place a picture
before me
and say
      — you you

hosanna hari hari bol!

daybreak and I whisper
to the sun
      — you

full moon night
and I cry out
      — you

summer downpour
the thunder crash
shouts for me
      — YOU

drunk from too much
I sputter
      — you you you

shambo shankara!

I am a grasping fool
I say — you —

and you are gone

when I remember to shut up
then you are here

and I am gone

— from Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey, by Ivan M. Granger

/ Photo by rarye /

So something by yours truly today…

Each poem in this cycle is addressed to Adi Atman, to the Divine as the Primal Self.

Everything — everything! — reflects the Eternal Self to us, but we cannot grasp It. The act of grasping, trying to hold onto something, requires us to break reality down into separate parts. We’re not talking here about grasping something with the hand; we are talking about grasping with the mind, the awareness. But the limited mind can only hold onto separate parts, named things, God as not-self (“you”).

I am a grasping fool
I say — you —

and you are gone

There is a dilemma here: On the one hand, to say “you” is to acknowledge God, the Divine Presence. On the other hand, to say “you” is to push God away, to externalize God, to alienate God. Of course, we don’t really alienate God; instead, we alienate ourselves from God.

Name It, try to grasp It… and It is gone. What we seek is the Wholeness that is our very own nature, not some foreign ‘person’ or ‘thing’ — not an external object that the mind can lay hold of. The Living Whole can’t be grasped. The only way to claim It is to be claimed by It. The only way to gain It is to lose ourselves within It amidst deep, deep silence.

when I remember to shut up
then you are here

and I am gone

Ivan M. Granger, Ivan M. Granger poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Ivan M. Granger

US (1969 – )
Secular or Eclectic
Yoga / Hindu : Advaita / Non-Dualist

Ivan M. Granger grew up in Oregon and Southern California. He has also lived on the island of Maui. He now lives in Colorado with his wife, Michele.

“Poetry has an immediate effect on the mind. The simple act of reading poetry alters thought patterns and the shuttle of the breath. Poetry induces trance. Its words are chant. Its rhythms are drumbeats. Its images become the icons of the inner eye. Poetry is more than a description of the sacred experience; it carries the experience itself.”


Poetry Chaikhana readers often ask me about myself. Who is the guy behind all those poetry emails? What drew you to sacred poetry? And just what does “Poetry Chaikhana” mean?

As a way to answer some of those questions, I thought I’d post an audio interview I did a couple of years ago. I talk a little about myself, and a lot about poetry — the transformational power of poetry, the ways poetry naturally expresses the sacred experience, the non-dogmatic nature of poetry. And I read a few poems.

I hope you find it inspiring and thought-provoking…

Click to listen: Interview with Ivan M. Granger


Ivan M. Granger is the creator and webmaster of the Poetry Chaikhana website.

Email Ivan M. Granger

More poetry by Ivan M. Granger

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Ivan M. Granger – Adi Atman 9: you you”

  1. kim DeCelleson 20 Jun 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Ivan, I really like the simplicity of this poem..and yet…it speaks through many layers. The last lines are very powerful. I imagine the pause where realization crept in…oh so wonderously….like shining light into the darkness.

  2. franon 20 Jun 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Brilliant, ‘…and when I remember to shut up, then you are here…and I am gone.’
    What a wonderfilled surprize as I read out loud. A tackle feeling of comfort and joy , like a child, when reading that end sentence as well. cheers

  3. Joyceon 20 Jun 2012 at 5:56 pm


  4. Joanon 20 Jun 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Ivan ,
    I bow to you again 🙂
    I love this poem. At the same time deeply spiritual, at the same time irreverent, and seeking, and knowing.
    Love your Thought for the day too. Well, I embrace those every single day.

    In your explanation, I especially like the lines – The only way to claim It is to be claimed by It. The only way to gain It is to lose ourselves within It amidst deep, deep silence.
    True. So true.
    Thank you for helping us claim It. At the same time, may you soak in all It’s beauty.

  5. Pete Rawlingson 21 Jun 2012 at 12:03 am

    A wonder full
    of release
    this poem
    calls for
    my surrender

  6. eliza getmanon 21 Jun 2012 at 3:36 am

    hi ivan

    love your poem. love your emails. this idea of “noli me tanger” really resonates for me. the empty tomb and god in us. of course you love kate rusby too. she is a darling. fell in love with her in ediburgh at the queens hall and my kids now call her kate rusty since i play the albums so often. just ordered three copies of your book. thank you for the work that you do. you are an inspiration.

  7. ebrahimon 21 Jun 2012 at 7:34 am

    Congratulations on the publishing of your book. your words are always welcomed. your poem reminds of the words of the masters:





    now time to shut up!

  8. #4 kittyon 21 Jun 2012 at 11:41 am

    The last four lines, in my opinion, seem to mar the rest of the poem.
    They are sermon like.

  9. Sam Baraion 12 Jul 2012 at 11:44 am

    I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. The site style is wonderful, the articles is really great. This website has got only some really useful info on it! Also it has excellent and very informative.

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