Nov 13 2020

Ivan M. Granger – The Warbler Knows

Published by at 8:07 am under Poetry

The Warbler Knows
by Ivan M. Granger

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


/ Image by B W /

I know this feels like a difficult time for many of us. New Covid lockdowns as we approach the winter months, holidays that feel uncharacteristically isolated, a US presidential election that is over but without a smooth transition of power, and more economic uncertainties. Anxiety is high. Depression is not uncommon. Everyone is facing some form of struggle in this period. I would like to remind us all to be kind toward one another — and kind toward ourselves. Compassion and being willing to help when we can will help us through.

It is useful to think of this period as a sort of doubled winter, an enforced time of inturning, reflection, and inner work. We can either exhaust ourselves by fighting the larger pattern or we can work with it, use it. This is a good time for meditation and rediscovering our purpose, so that, when the thaw comes, we can step out into the world renewed and strengthened.

Another important reminder is that even amidst the darkest days, the light we seek we carry within ourselves. The dark days are the best days to recognize that light, to tend to it and help it to grow.

So I thought today I would share a poem of light and renewal, one of my own poems…

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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 the Irish language —

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 this 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 >>


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 is the founder and editor of the Poetry Chaikhana, a publishing house and online resource for sacred poetry from around the world. He is the author of Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey and editor of The Longing in Between: A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology. His poetry and translations have been included in several magazines and anthologies.

Ivan 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.”

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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 few 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.

Click to listen: Interview with Ivan M. Granger

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Email Ivan M. Granger

More poetry by Ivan M. Granger

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Ivan M. Granger – The Warbler Knows”

  1. Kayoon 13 Nov 2020 at 2:26 pm

    I am sorry to say this first. You wrote “a US presidential election that is over but without a smooth transition of power.” As we hear that FEC Chairman Says He Believes ‘There Is Voter Fraud’ in Key States, the election is not over yet.
    It doesn’t matter which party you have supported, we all want to know the honest result of the election, don’t we ????
    I live in Japan now, and feel scared of the future of US, since it seems main stream media won’t tell all the facts they know, intentionally omitting what doesn’t fit to their agenda.
    Regarding the poem, Japanese bush warblers are lovely cheerers in spring here. Baby warblers cannot sing well yet early spring, but they would sing proudly, sometimes, a long! song in the middle of summer. I always say to them, “Well done, thank YOU!”
    The Warbler in your poem is a new image to me, but I agree what you said (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.) Thank you!

  2. Carolon 14 Nov 2020 at 6:54 am

    Thank You Ivan for this poem and for your commentary – they are always helpful but this
    poem and your thoughts seem so appropriate with this Covid19 pandemic and hopefully
    our political situation of negativity and confusion coming to a close.

    Thank You for Poetry Chaikhana. I have been feeling down, and at a loss, and your
    poetry always helps. Peace and Love and Justice, Carol

  3. Anna M.on 15 Nov 2020 at 7:51 am

    an old silent tree
    a warbler sings voiceless song
    music! silence again…

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