Poems of Faith

Center of the Covenant

As the moon to the sea,
Gentle rain to the withered land,
Tender touch to a yearning hand,
So you are to me,

O Master, Mystery of God,
Center of the Covenant

As the wind to the tree,
Loving glance to a lonely heart,
Beck’ning hand to a child apart,
So you are to me,

O Master, Mystery of God,
Center of the Covenant

As the earth to the seed,
Mirror pure to a tarnished soul,
Brilliant flame to the brittle coal,
So you are to me,

O Master, Mystery of God,
Center of the Covenant

Center of the Covenant PDF

Poems of Faith

Evening Prayer

Like jasmine in summer
Like jewels in a crown
Perfections of perfume and light
Asíyih, Bahíyyih, Munírih Khánum,
Surround us and guide us this night.

Dear mother, dear sister,
Dear daughter and wife,
The tales of your service live on.
The light of the candle you lift to our eyes
Illumines the dark before dawn.

With deepest of yearning
With highest of hope
We search for your lives in our own.
And if we are lucky and blessed with His grace,
We’ll follow your path to our home.

Evening Prayer PDF

Poems of Faith

The Day of the Báb

When the Báb was a child,
And, invited to play,
He often would choose
To sit calmly and pray.

His teacher discovered
His spiritual mind
That needed no school
Of the usual kind.

At work every day
In the busy bazaar,
All could see the Báb’s honesty
Shine like a star.

And when the Báb married,
He showered His wife
With a love that would last
Far beyond His short life.

What was there to fear then
From this gentle man?
I don’t understand
How His troubles began.

But troubles there were
From some men who were blind
To the One Who was promised,
So tender, so kind.

They shut Him in prisons.
They left Him no light
For comfort or writing
Or heat in the night.

And finally they killed Him,
Anis at His side,
This shining young Man
Who had nothing to hide.

Oh yes, shots were fired.
And, yes, it was done.
The Báb lost His life
In Tabríz in the sun.

But every July, child,
We cherish His light.
For the Day of the Báb
Won’t be followed by night.

The Day of the Báb PDF

Poems of Faith

The Invitation

“Dear Pen Pal,” I wrote yesterday
Just putting my thoughts down,
“I got an invitation from
The Assembly in my town.”

“They asked if they could see me.
Well, I wondered what I’d done.
I wondered if I’d broken laws.
Had gossip struck my tongue?”

“With pounding heart and fearful thoughts
I read the printed words:
‘Please come to our next meeting
On September twenty-third.’”

“The day arrived. I can’t describe
How nervous I was feeling.
I knew that if I heard a ‘Boo’
I’d jump right through the ceiling.”

“Well then, dear Pen Pal, what came next
Surprised me to the core.
Every person welcomed me
As I came through the door.”

“They said, ‘Dear Fred, we’re very glad
To see that you could come.
Would you please read your favorite prayer
To bless our meeting’s home?’”

“I never knew that these nine folks
Would show me such respect.
But why was I invited there?
You never will suspect!”

“They’d heard that I had teaching goals
And asked if I would share
The things I’d learned, my small success,
At Feast, after the prayers.”

“By this time, I was feeling great,
Wrapped ‘round with tender care.
I wondered why I’d worried so.
I felt such safety there.”

“You know what?” I wrote happily,
“If someday you should look
To find an answer you can’t find
From any friend or book.”

“Ask your Assembly. They all help
The people where you live.
I really wish you’d been with me
To feel the love they give.”

“Dad says that you can visit soon.
Bring LEGO blocks and skates.
We’ll have a snack so we can use
My superhero plates.”

“Chinchilla barked. Remember him?
It must be time for bed.
Don’t ever let the bedbugs bite.
Sincerely, your friend Fred.”

The Invitation PDF

Poems of Family

America Dancing

Black and white
White and black
Two steps forward
One step back
Circle round and do-si-do
Let’s all join hands.

Daily, let the dance begin
Black and white, white and black
We move together, we all win
Two steps forward, one step back

Swing your partner, allemande right
Black and white, white and black
In and out of rainbow light
Two steps forward, one step back

Play, O Fiddler, wild and sweet
Black and white, white and black
And we’ll be dancin’ in the street
Two steps forward, one step back.

Black and white
White and black
Forward, forward
No more back
Circle round and do-si-do
Let’s all join hands.

America Dancing PDF

Poems of Family

Building Blocks

I sure miss my sister
She’s moving away.
Pretty soon, all her things will be gone.
Her room next to mine
Will be empty and echo.
Today, she was married to John.

She says she and John
Have been building a house.
All the walls are these bricks made of prayer
So no earthquake or flood
Can tear down their new home
Since it’s built with such strong, loving care.

The wedding was wonderful!
Flowers and friends
Filled the room and spilled out on the lawn.
Lots of people said prayers
And I felt their home grow
As bricks piled up for Jessie and John.

When she left, Jessie whispered,
“You’re part of me always.”
She hugged me real tight on her way.
Then I whispered back,
“I’ll sing ‘O Son of Man!’
And build blocks for your house every day.”

I still miss my sister
But she was quite right.
We really are not far apart
Because when I’m building
Some bricks with my prayers,
I can feel her right here in my heart.

Building Blocks PDF

Poems of Family

Grandpa’s Hat

High up in my room was an old sailor hat
Just gathering dust on the shelf,
And sometimes I wondered just why it was there,
And why it was all by itself.

One day, I was working at being a pirate
And took that hat down for my head.
The dust was so thick that I sneezed, “Ker-ty-shoo!”
And it flew back behind my old bed.

“Yo ho ho,” I cried out. “No old cloth hat for me.
I’ll find something more grand with a feather.”
So I rummaged around, and I found what I wanted—
A mighty hat all made of leather.

One day, my old grandpa came by to say hi,
And he visited me where I play.
So I put on my pirate clothes, “Hardy har har,”
While he signed up as mate for the day.

“When I were a lad, I sailed far,” Grandpa said,
“And the fittest of craft it were, too.
I wore on me head a white hat made of cloth
And me dress suit was all navy blue.

“O the people I rescued, the dolphins I saved,
And the whales I helped turn from their death.
I’ll never forget serving on the high seas,
And ‘tis proud I’ll be ‘til me last breath.”

Just then, I remembered the hat on the floor.
I ducked under and brought it to light.
My grandfather’s eyes started twinkling and sparkling
Like stars on a crisp, cloudless night.

“I miss seeing this fella,” he said with a wink.
“Thought maybe you’d thrown it away.
This old hat is worth more than me whole weight in gold,
Though it’s starting to turn a bit gray.

“Now, it used to be here,” and he pointed way up,
Then stood stretching and dusting the shelf
‘Til the hat was returned to its most honored place
In the highest spot, all by itself.

Now grandpa comes up to my room every day
And he always has stories to tell
About sailing the seas, about bold, loving deeds,
And the hat that he still loves so well.

Grandpa’s Hat PDF

Poems of Friends

Take Me to Australia

Australia has water
On every single side.
If you looked on a globe you would think it was maybe an island.
But it’s not.

Australia is bigger
Than Texas or Peru.
In fact, it is almost as big as the whole U.S.A.
But not quite.

Australia’s first people
Are aborigines.
Their dreams are important, and some play the dijeridoo.
But not all.

Australia has mammals
That only live right there.
While in nearby New Zealand, there once were no mammals on land.
Except bats.

Australia is someplace
I’d really like to be.
There’s so much to see there—koalas and dingoes and emus.
Shall we go?

Take Me to Australia PDF

Poems of Friends

Trio

At the top of the steps
In a snow-white house
Lived a beautiful snow-white door.
Its glass was all etched
With white tree limbs and snowflakes.
Its glossy white paint reached the floor.

Though the steps were of marble,
The sill, solid oak,
All felt that the door was the best.
It opened. It closed.
Light poured through the etchings
To welcome each road-weary guest.

One day, small Renee,
The young child of the house,
Got carried away with her ball.
She whipped it and whacked it.
She popped it and smacked it
At lightning speed through the front hall.

When all of a sudden,
The door gave a moan
As the ball hit the etching full tilt,
And snowflakes and tree limbs
In splinters of glass
Caused the door to lean forward and wilt.

“My friend,” called the sill
To the stair steps below,
“Please pray that I hold up the door.”
And the marble soon started
Its own marble chant
That sent strength to the sill through the floor.

The family took
The door out for repairs.
And when she returned, good as new,
She gave a slight bow
To the sill and the stairs and said,
“Friends, if it were not for you,

“My wood and my brass
Would have shattered as well.
I thank you with all of my heart.
For a door cannot do
All the work she must do
Without others so doing their part.”

The sill shimmered and gave
The white door a small hug.
The stairs gave the door a small kiss.
And to this very day
As you climb to the door
You can sense their support and their bliss.

“We welcome you here.”
So whispers the door
At the top of the snow-white abode.
“And the sill and the stair—
Such a beautiful pair—
Also wish you sweet rest from the road.”

Trio PDF

Poems of Faith

Taking Courage

Remember the day that you took your new bat,
Swung it high in the branches, just missing the cat?
When it fell, the car’s headlight was right in its way.
You found me and told me the truth right away.
That took courage.

Remember when Juana and you saw the games?
A whole busload of kids started calling her names
You stayed close beside her, yes, stood by her side
Refusing to leave her ’til she had a ride.
That took courage.

Remember when everyone thought you weren’t cool
Cuz you went to Bahá’í class each day after school?
Kids called you “Be High,” but you went anyway
And didn’t complain that you’d just rather play.
That took courage.

When the Master was little, He often was chased
By young boys with big stones, until one day He faced them
And ran toward them shouting. That scared them a lot.
So they ran far away, thinking they might get caught.
He had courage.

When I think of my life and the people I know,
Old and young, large and small, weak and strong, fast and slow.
They all have their strengths. They have things they do best.
And I know there’s one virtue you show in a test.
You have courage.

Taking Courage PDF