by Max Reif
reviewed by Eric Halliwell
Max Reif’s new book of Poetry, Journey from here to HERE, celebrates the Divine hidden like Easter Eggs in and about the garden and grounds of the world. Meher Baba’s Silence is celebrated in the poem, “Why Was the Master Silent?” (p.14):
Silent?" asked the Ancient One.
"Be silent a moment
and hear Me speak
This is piquant. Moments of silence do come and though they then flit away, I find hope at least hitching my wagon to that star.
Many readers will identify with these lines from “The Stars” (p. 10):
And always I wanted to stop and enjoy and stare
and stare and pray,
but a motor inside me was going too fast
And the poem ends:
and the Heavens have exploded
and the weeping
of the morning dew.
In these two excerpts, Max captures the passion of the mystic from despair over “the chance that was wasted” * to a weeping celebration.
Again, Max captures this passion in these brief lines of the short poem succinctly titled, “Poetry” (p. 34):
Poetry is the trail
of discarded wine bottles
a drunken man leaves behind
as he staggers toward the Sun
I think my favorite poem is “Manifestation” (p. 14). Here are a couple of excerpts:
I do not know what
you call this place.
It is room for breathing.
This is a charming “collage of the ordinary”, ala Cummings. It could be a novel title: “A Place Called Room for Breathing.”
An Oriental bazaar, a lover's boudoir,
a quiet family gathering, workaday life,
deathbed scenes: very ordinary is this life.
Only the light differs.
Somehow these lines remind me of the beginning and ending lines of one of Baba’s favorite movies, Grand Hotel: “Grand Hotel. People come, and people go. Nothing ever happens.”
Amazing isn’t it, how the light does it all?
Journey from here to HERE may be ordered online from Sheriar Books for $10. Eric Halliwell is a Baba-lover poet living in Guatemala.
review appears in GLOW INTERNATIONAL, Winter 2014)
order the Journey from here to HERE from Sheriar Books