Friday, July 24, 2009


rene magritte
the month of the grape harvest . 1959

in this painting, a group of similar looking men stare into a very sparsely and plainly decorated room. they are looking through opened windows. each face bares a similar expression.

what is it that they see?

how many can see beyond what they see?

in 1860 emily dickinson was intoxicated by the beauty that binds this world and wrote, "i taste a liquor never brewed".

i taste a liquor never brewed --
from tankards scooped in pearl --
not all the vats upon the rhine
yield such an alcohol!

inebriate of air -- am i --
and debauchee of dew --
reeling -- thro' endless summer days --
from inns of molten blue --

when "landlords" turn the drunken bee
out of the foxglove's door --
when butterflies -- renounce their "drams" --
i shall but drink more!

till seraphs swing their snowy hats --
and saints -- to windows run --
to see the little tippler
leaning against the sun

beyond the relational surface lie riches such as are seen and felt in these words from fiona robyn

a triangle of wine left in the glass
darker than the night window
where the reflection of fairy lights
are light rain on a clear pond.

intoxication in all its forms, physical, emotional, spiritual . . . are metaphorically braided in rabindranath tagore's words . . .

take my wine in my own cup, friend.
it loses its wreath of foam when poured in that of

the words of hafiz take us deeper still . . .

where have you taken your sweet song?
come back and play me a tune.

i never really cared for the things of this world.
it was the glow of your presence
that filled it with beauty.

and finally it is rumi who offers the ecstatic rendering of the experience of intoxication when he declares "you only need smell the wine!"

you only need smell the wine
for vision to flame from each void--
such flames from wine's aroma!
imagine if you were the wine.


  1. Dear Steven: It is clear, coming here, that we will get to taste complexity, mystery and wonder. Isn't it wonderful to be intoxicated with life? What grape were you enjoying as you wrote this, I wonder?

  2. hi bonnie . . . a blend of sufism, buddhism, christianity, and cabernet sauvignon!!! i have always loved life - which seems like such an obvious thing to do. but it is how i am and how i am known!!! have a lovely day. steven

  3. Steven, I really enjoy coming to both of your blogs. You ALWAYS have something that speaks to the heart and soul...tugging at old and new strings of the heart. This one is increDIBLE!

  4. hi amelia, thanks for the nice compliments and i am glad that these posts speak to you. have a peaceful day. steven