Poetry and spoken word are one of many art forms that can take us to a place beyond our logical thinking minds and into our emotional, if you will, deeper self. Art communicates in a layered way that our whole selves can absorb (if we’re paying attention.) I want to share this rich piece by Anis Mojgani. He is one of only two people to have won multiple Individual Champion Titles at the National Poetry Slam. He is the 2007 international WorldCup Poetry Slam Champion and a Pushcart Prize nominee. An HBO Def Poet, Anis has also appeared on NPR and his work can be found in the literary journal Rattle, as well as alongside the work of US Poet Laureates Ted Kooser and Billy Collins, in the anthology Spoken Word Revolution Redux. I’ve included the lyrics at the end. For me, listening to something of this beauty is like watching a brilliant sunset or being in a vast, majestic, expanse of wilderness, it can shift everything. Suddenly I am moved and somehow reminded of something subterranean and more real than all the banter in my head could ever be. It brings me into the moment and into my heart and body…it softens me. It awakens a kind of inspiration or awe. Share with me what happens when you let it wash over you. If your not sure what it means to let something wash over you…it goes like this: Bring yourself into a place of experience…not so much a thinking place…but a felt place…first feel your feet, feel your body in the chair or wherever it is, take a deep breath, be here now, and then press play.
Come Closer Come closer. Come into this. Come closer. You are quite the beauty. If no one has ever told you that before know that now. You are quite the beauty. There is joy in how your mouth dances with your teeth. Your mouth is a sign of how sacred your life actually is. Come into this. Come closer. Know that something softer than us, but just as holy, planted the pieces of Himself into our feet that we will someday dance our way home. Know that you are almost there. Come closer come into this. Know that whatever God prays to He asked it to help Him make something of worth. He woke from His dreams scraped the soil from the spaces inside Himself made you and was happy. You make the Lord happy. Come into this. Come closer. There are birds beating their wings beneath your breastplate gentle sparrows who are aching to sing, come aching hearts, come soldiers of joy, doormen of truth, come true of heart, come into this. My heart was too big for my body so I let it go and I have shaved off so many of my corners that I have felt at home only in a ball bending myself so far backward that the song of my mother thought that I was returning but believe me when I tell you that my soul, my soul has squeezed into narrow spaces. Place your hand beneath your head when you sleep tonight and you may find it there making beauty as we sleep as we dream as we turn over when I turn over in the ground may the ghosts that I have asked answers of do the turning kneading me into crumbs of light and into this thing love thing called life. Come into it! Come you wooden museums . Gentle tigers. Little giants! I see teacups upside down in your glowing smiles. Your hearts are like my hands. On some days all they do is tremble. I am like you. I too at times am filled with fear, filled with fear but like a hallway must find the strength to walk through it. Walk through this with me. Through this church of blood, bone, and muscle that is ours, there is a door in front of us, put your hand on it’s knob and let it swing open, take a step forward, back straight, head up, eyes open, heart loud, walk through this with me. Walk through this with me.