Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 29, 2014

Rumi’s Candle & Mark’s Kundalini Sunrise (devotional poetry)

Spotted along one of my contemplative walks: a wayward sign from the back of a semi trailer.

Spotted along one of my contemplative walks: a wayward sign fallen from the back of a semi trailer.


A Just-Finishing Candle

by Jelaluddin Balkhi (a.k.a. Rumi, Persian poet, dervish and spiritual teacher, circa 1246 CE… translation by Coleman Barks)

A candle is made to become entirely flame.

In that annihilating moment

it has no shadow.

It is nothing but a tongue of light

describing a refuge.

Look at this

just-finishing candle stub

as someone who is finally safe

from virtue and vice,

the pride and the shame

we claim from those.

— — — — —

Kundalini Sunrise          by Mark Nielsen


“Light comes at you sideways, enfolds you like a gown” –singer Bruce Cockburn, song: Open (see below)


My daring darling,

let us take our inner children for a morning walk

and feel the dew of a new day

between our toes.


Yes, I do see

how the people of this world continue on

with their bloody business:

buying and selling their wares,

buying and selling their souls,


or selling you out,

my sister,

in a corporate atrium or

a secret corner of Cubicleville.

They expect you to look the other way,

to swallow your pain and your pride,

to conspire with their destructive plans

(while these deeds done in the dark

cost everyone involved

a pound of flesh,

and two gallons of tears.)

But you won’t do

what the Weekend Warrior

or the drones of risk management

are asking of you.


For they do not know this:

“Risk” is our ancestral tribal name.

We bend with the Mightiest of Winds

but do not break,

for we are braided together

and strengthen each other.

Try as they might,

they cannot buy

or take from us

any part of ourselves worth owning

(or at least nothing that we

do not freely offer to them–

from a position of strength, and concern for

The Family of Man).

You and I drink from a different well,

one which the drones, merchants and soldiers

have ignored.

Offer them your water,

but if they refuse

(and some surely will)

then shake the dust off your holy feet,

and walk away

without the pollution of shame or guilt.

You have done what you can.


So do not let their darkness

overshadow your sacred Inner Light.

Give them your time

–but only some–

and keep your heart intact

for the sake of our tribe.


Our souls are

Under New Ownership.

Each bless’ed morning

they are given back to us,

free of charge.

We take our walk in the sun

and pick them up off the ground,

like manna in this barren desert.

We dust off our souls,

and though they are not

naive or new anymore,

they are tough,

and still contain

all we will ever need.


This altogether different rapture

Is always within our reach.

Though at times in

our fuzzy, funky, anxious headspace

it is hard to reach with my heart’s hand

through the veil,

and take hold of the Love without crushing it.



you with the delicate touch,

hold this for me.

I will be back for it in a few minutes.

Then we will go home

and have some breakfast.

— — — — — — — — —

The phrase “Kundalini sunrise” is borrowed from the 2001 Bruce Cockburn song Open, from the album “You’ve Never Seen Everything”. For lyrics to that song, which partly inspired the above poem, go to The Cockburn Project.

“What I see happening in the face of all this darkness is something new in human spirituality, openness, some sense of our common destiny. We’ve got to keep nudging ourselves in the direction of good and respect for each other.”

— from Bruce Cockburn’s bio on Rounder Records.



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