Monday, June 9, 2014

A Voice of Freedom – The Poet Kabir

by Christina Carson

Friend, please tell me what
I can do about this world I hold to,
and keep spinning out of control !

I gave up my sewn clothes and wore a robe,
but I noticed one day the cloth was well woven.

So I bought some burlap,
but I still threw it elegantly over my left shoulder.

I pulled back my sexual longings,
and now I discover I am angry a lot.

I gave up rage,
and now I notice I am greedy all day.

I worked hard at dissolving the greed,
and now I am proud of myself.

When the mind wants to breaks its link with the world,
it still holds onto one thing.

Kabir says: Listen my friend,
there are very few that find the path.

Regardless, what could be more valuable than the endeavor to loosen ourselves from our self-absorption. Our spirit seeks freedom from the encumbrances of the way we’ve been conditioned to believe life is. And trying to beg out on the grounds of work and family commitments is no good. Our daily lives form the workshop for this undertaking, friends and family awakening us to the shortcomings of our inherited beliefs, and work, empty of purpose and fulfillment, becoming our inspiration to look beyond.

Kabir was a weaver, a common man from Banares living in the late 1500 century or there about. His poetry is salty, confrontational and knowing of the truth he came to grasp. He spoofs that which he sees as false. He pulls me up short. He makes me laugh, at me mostly. But his is one of several great voices of freedom across time who can help us step over the mere puddle we cling to as us and into the ocean we actually are.

Thanks to Robert Bly’s Kabir, Ecstatic Poems for this version of Kabir’s poetry.


  1. Thank you Christina for introducing me to this poet. LOVE your last line ... puddle, ocean... beautiful!

    1. Kabir was an interesting voice in that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and various other sects read him without resistance. He, to me, is almost Zen-like in his clear forthright message in every day language. Glad you enjoyed him.