Caravanserai Magazine Archive

Published 1988-2000 semi-annually on behalf of the Sufi Movement International by the Sufi Movement in Canada.


1990 Volume 5. Padmani Burt Honeydew. "Beloved Master, Did You Pass This Way?"

Thoughts at Grand Canyon - 1980

I scan in noonday hush Grand Canyon's awesome majesty
And feel Eternity is throbbing through my soul:
I humbly stand on gravel old as time itself -
A precipice of sacred soil beloved of Navaho.
An eagle's beating wings for just one timeless moment half obscures the sun
As she soars towards a distant plume of smoke
Drifting like silent incense from a scrub fire far below.
No wind or cooling breeze to interrupt the Painted Desert's insects' lazy drone
As they buzz the age-old trees on moonscape rock -
Compared with Nature, Man is just a grain of sand and nowhere could he feel more totally alone.
The dryness of the desert's burning heat is somehow soothed by mighty Colorado's onward sweep.
The craggy torrents changing face from churning 'Dirty Devil' to 'Bright Angel's' calm.
Powerfully echoing is the chasm stark and deep,
Where narrow trails twist steeply down the gorge to lead intrepid ponies whose strong backs
And willing hearts have carried generations of adventure-seeking souls
As they pick their slippery way on time-worn tracks.
It was not long ago that You, Beloved Master, walked a piebald mare
along Grand Canyon's trails
To recharge the inner spheres where-e'er you rode...
A photograph records that blessed day,
When with regal dignity You reined your mount,
Whose noble head perceived the honour she had earned -
Could I be standing there? Beloved Master, did you pass this way?
For in this breathless hush my sharpened sense detects Your presence and like a compass needle starts to move:
Excitement rises in my heart for here I feel
I surely must confront You face to face and prove
What all Mureeds have always known: You're with us still!
Past and future become the timeless 'now';
An imprint on the desert's memory revives a fleeting glimpse of robe and staff -
Records in space when Pir-o-Murshid blessed this canyon's crust
And left behind the lasting mark where His sandals stirred the dust...Beloved Master, you surely passed this way!


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