The Warbler Knows

by Ivan M. Granger

Original Language English

The warbler knows
only dawn's shaft
of light
on her breast.

Forgetting false future
suns, she sings

in no voice
but her own.

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

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

You can still find patches of snow on the ground here in Colorado, but the sun has returned. Yesterday, I was able to go for a walk wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and feel the warmth on my skin again. Birds are emerging from their winter silence and finding their song again.

I am reminded of this poem I wrote a few years ago. I hope this short song summons a warm ray of sunlight to you too...


Dawn is the flood of light that comes from the east which causes us to awaken. When we allow ourselves to become fully aware of this sacred state, we know nothing else, see nothing else; the spiritual dawn engulfs all, enlightening everything.

And we experience this state most strongly in the breast, a warming and radical opening and deep centering in the heart.

Utterly content in the eternal present, we forget the mind's endless fantasies and fears about the future. All the future ever can be is an extension of the present, and it is here, now that we reside -- always.

Recognizing this, we settle into silence, "no voice." Yet a song emerges from the stillness, nonetheless. The voice that sings is not the mind or the ego, but the presence quietly and eternally seated behind those fluctuating elements; it is the deeply familiar voice the true Self.


The poet Gabriel Rosenstock translated this poem into Irish Gaelic --

Ní heol don cheolaire
ach maide gréine
an mhaidneachain
ar a brollach.

Dearúdann sí na bréag-ghrianta
a thiocfaidh, ní chanann

i nguth ar bith
ach ina guth féin.

Something about reading my own poem in an unfamiliar language makes me smile. It's like seeing an old friend through new eyes.

Recommended Books: Ivan M. Granger

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) This Dance of Bliss: Ecstatic Poetry from Around the World Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics Diamond Cutters: Visionary Poets in America, Britain & Oceania
More Books >>

The Warbler Knows