sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘Saleema E. Giltinan’

Saleema and Persona poems

On February 5, I introduced Saleema, one of our workshop winners. I noted that Saleema was a winner in our Persona category. Today I’d like to share that winning poem with you, as well as a follow up poem she has since shared with us. In a Persona, the poet writes in the voice of another person or thing. As you’ll see below, Saleema really immersed herself in this challenge.

I choose Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, a 13th century Sufi poet, as the voice for the assignment.

Following is a short clip about Rumi and his teacher Shams Tabrizi:

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“Shams-i-Tabrīzī… is credited as the spiritual instructor of Mewlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi, also known as Rumi. Shams is referenced with great reverence in Rumi’s poetic collection, Diwan-i Shams-i Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz).

According to contemporary Sufi tradition, Shams Tabrizi mysteriously disappeared. Some say he was killed by close disciples of Mewlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, who were jealous of the close relationship between Rumi and Shams. It is also said that Shams Tabrizi left Konya and died in Khoy, where he was buried. Sultan Walad, Rumi’s son, in his Walad-Nama mathnawi, just mentions that Shams mysteriously disappeared from Konya with no more specific details.

As the years passed, Rumi attributed more and more of his own poetry to Shams as a sign of love for his departed friend and master. In Rumi’s poetry Shams becomes a symbol of God’s love for mankind; Shams was a sun (“Shams” means “Sun” in Persian) shining the Light of God on Rumi.”

[Above Information is from Wikipedia]

Note: I used the speakers name (Jalāl ad-Dīn) at the end of the poem, because Sufi poets often mention their own names in their poetry.

My Sun

The night we met the full moon winked
You etched your heart onto my soul
We whirled like the planets in the sky
Your wine washed my stumbling feet
Each spin swept a part of me away

The day you left my heart’s sun set
Heaviness haunted every breath
Your prayer carpet felt forlorn
Bereft I twirled, alone, undone
Your guidance quit
without a glance, a hint, a word

Yet, while I longed for your return
Piece by piece
my heart began to burn
Whispered words thundered
through my throbbing core
Would you raise me above the sky,
then hide a Sun that lights the way?

No! Shams would not abandon
what he loves
A mother caringly shares her breast
when she hears her hungry child cry
Neglect is not my Shams’ way
So, I will surrender to your whim
Let all think Jalāl ad-Dīn’s alone again

Like a possum I’ll play dead
while your songs ring louder than before
with words so clear they’ll shutter nights
in notes that tell of all you taught
The Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi
Takes me to untraveled heights
Where in the One, all reunite

Shams’ earthen form
Our Beloved’s ruse
Led Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi to Eternal Truth

By Saleema E. Giltinan 10-12-2012

The following poem was written as Sham’s answer to the poem written in Rumi’s voice (about Shams’ leaving).

NOTE: The dervish Shams-e Tabrizi had traveled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could “endure my company”.shams-tabrizi

A voice said to him, “What will you give in return?”
Shams replied, “My head!” The voice then said,
“The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din Rumi, of Konya.”

(Wikipedia/Mawlana and Shams by Sefik Can)

Al Noor: One of the 99 Name of Allah meaning Light, Enlightment
Al Mumeet: One of the 99 Names of Allah meaning “the bringer of death”.
The esoteric meaning of this Name is: The bringer of the first death,
the death to the world of illusion,
the death of the idea of separation and duality. Also known as “die before you die”.
Al Haqq: One of the 99 Names of Allah meaning “Truth, Reality”.

The Leaving  (In Sham’s Voice)
by Saleema E. Giltinan  (Copyright @ 12-12-2012)

Our yearning drew me back again
Al Noor revealed
Clandestine sight
We twirled, then rested
in Its sparks

Only you endured
my company
Reveled in my
sacred subtleties

Mumit’s roasting pot…
too bright for foes
One birth, one death,
that’s all they know

Our friendship fueled
Konya’s ire
Only holy hands
caress Love’s fire

My ways softened
as they stung
you alone coddled
my striking tongue

Affinity plants fondness
in earthy ground
I watched the leaving
lurk around

Quickening happened
You began to soar
Our destiny
at last fulfilled

Then time asked me
to pay the price
My head
a tumbled garnet gneiss

I turned to powder
in His hands
His breath sent me
where He willed

Separation plays
an ugly game
Al Haqq destroys
disquieting claims

My absence lit
your cooking pot
You died before death
tied its knot

Now whirl my son
His Light is Mine
Our steps are One
Our paths entwined

Spin until we are no more!

Thank you again, Saleema, for really embracing this form, and for allowing us to share your work here.

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Spotlight on Saleema

Today we are featuring another of our Muse Conference workshop participants. During the week of our workshop, we challenged poets to write three different forms. We chose winners for each, and Saleema’s “My Sun” was clearly one of the best in the Persona form.

We are happy to have Saleema joining us today, to look back on her experience during the Muse Con, and share some of her poetry. And now I’m going to turn the floor over to her.

Mary

On the Muse Conference experience

You asked me what I liked about [the Muse Online Writers Conference].  I have to say everything.  The conference is full of talented, generous writers, who go out of their way to be helpful and share their skills.  I must admit that the poetry workshop took up most of my time this year.  I’m not one of those poets who likes to write quickly.  I often get inspirations, write them out in my notebook, and then type the notes (my rough draft) on the computer. After all this, I begin to sculpt the poem.  I edit, tweak, research, and edit some more. For me writing is a quiet, internal process that even my humorous poems go through.   So, given my immersion in anything I write, it’s always a challenge finding enough time to participate in all the conference workshops that catch my interest.  The Muse Conference is boiling over with gallons and gallons of things to do, to learn, to write, to comment on, to correct, etc.   It’s a wonderful whirlwind of activity and learning.  So, I would have to say that the hardest thing about the Muse Conference for me, is having to accept that there’s only 24 hours in a day, and then pick my workshops very carefully.  I’m so grateful that Lea keeps the forums up, so I can go back and catch up on everything I missed.  That extra time gives us all the opportunity to work at our own pace and keep learning after the conference has officially ended.  I enjoy my catch-up time in the forums almost as much as the conference.

The 2012 Conference was the first one to offer a weeklong poetry workshop… and it was fantastic!  The critiques were great, and the spot on comments really helped me take my writing to another level.   The assignments were enjoyable, though I have to admit, I ended up getting engrossed in the one that asked us to write a poem in another’s voice.  I could have spent the entire workshop delving into that assignment.  It was such fun and really helped me recognize the intricacies of my own voice.  Actually, I’m still experimenting with that form.

I can say, in all honesty, that the Muse Poetry Workshop was one of the best I’ve ever taken.  The level of feedback from the moderators and the workshop attendees was professional and insightful.

A Sample of Poetry by Saleema E. Giltinan

Wearers of Wool

Living in the mountainssunset

far from the tower of Babel,
Peak Dwellers fly to the sun
gathering beams to shine
in the valley of snows.
Their points of view glow
with eternal verities
that enlighten all
who wish to see.

Who’s in Control?

Thoughts jump like frogsfreeimages.co.uk photos of objects

plunging, swimming, floating
in deep and shallow ideas.
They are like TV shows
and radio broadcasts.

When their production
turns into a horror fest,
a fear mongering symphony,
or ridiculous repetitions,
simply change the channel.

Cultivating Change

Delve like a mole,
dig deep, deep, deeper;
tunnel through the soil
of elemental thought.
Craft passageways;
some will curve or spiral,
others will be straight
with narrow paths.
Roots of conditioning
groan, as you
toss them aside
Dig, dig, dig, far below
surface appearances.
Remember, when you’re
tired, respite can be found
in the silent spaces
between your thoughts.

delving-deep

Universe Infinity

About Saleema

Saleema E. Giltinan

Saleema E. Giltinan

Education: I have a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.

I’ve traveled extensively and spent several years living in India, journaling and studying eastern spiritual traditions.  I have been a spiritual teacher for over twenty-five years.  My favorite writing genre is poetry, although I also write inspirational non- fiction.   My spiritual path inspires my poems.  I enjoy writing poetry because metaphors and poetic stories provide a wonderful format to express spiritual concepts.  The language of symbols is expansive and can speak to many different levels of consciousness.  I love mixing symbols with practical day-to-day experiences as I craft my poems.

Publications:  Other Sheep Magazine published one of my poems.  I actually met the editor at the 2011 Muse Conference, pitched the poem, and got it published.

Thank you, Saleema, for taking our workshop, for the courage to share and grow, and for joining us here on our blog.

If you missed it, read the first post in our workshop participants series.

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