Blessed Is was written during the annual convention of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the Northwest Pacific Ocean in 1974. The convention was held on the island of Ponape. At that time the National Spiritual Assembly had been in existence for only three years. (Thus the reference to ‘a collective child of God’s – just three years old.’)
On Saturday night at the conclusion of the convention, entertainment was provided by the Ponape Singers who performed inside the Nahs* A bed sheet was placed over the opening of the Nahs, and a light was placed behind the singers, so that only their shadow was visible to the friends who were watching. *A sacred, holy place where tribal chiefs and elders gathered to consult on the welfare of the tribe. A circular structure with a large, doorless entrance and a dirt floor, the Nahs was the meeting place for the National Spiritual Assembly. People sat on the ground in a circle, with their backs toward the outside walls as the conducted their consultation.
And the island And the island And the island
We met in Ponape, a collective child of God’s – just three years old. Learning, understanding, growing, seeking help and guidance – just three years old.
We came from the East and Western Carolines, The Marshall and the Mariana Islands, above and on the sea:
And the sea And the sea And the sea
Secure in the knowledge that the Plan For our future would guide us, protect us, and make us brilliant stars.
And the refuge And the refuge And the refuge
On Saturday night the children of Ponape met with us and the youth and the trusting, and the children of Ponape met with us to learn with us, to love with us and we gave our hearts.
And the heart And the heart And the heart
A sheet hung over the entrance of the Nahs to serve as a screen and shelter place Where the mention of God was made.
And the place And the place And the place
And all the Words are in the books and we read quite well And His shadow embraced all, embraced the collective child of God’s – Just three years old.
“Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow, where mention of God has been made, and His praise glorified.”
'Abdu’l-Baha, eldest son of Baha’u’llah, Prophit-Founder of the Baha’I Faith, visited the United States in 1912, speaking in many venues and to a diversity of people: to invited guests in private homes, to the congregations of churches and synagogues, to the students and faculty and universities, to the poor and indigent in the Bowery, to name a few. While in New York, His appointment by Baha’u’llah as the Center of His Covenant with His followers was explained. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, therefore, called New York the City of the Covenant. Since Baha’u’llah had referred to His son as the Master, the Baha’is often do so as well.
The City is a symbol – of both good and evil. Blessed and damned by its living – Haunted by its dead.
The City of the Covenant – That felt the footsteps of the Master – Now, in loneliness, awaits its final spiritualization.
A birthplace for creativity. An island. Waiting for return of its own Almustafa. Sidewalks offer a unique adventure – Uncharted discovery of movement and fantasy. Sidewalks speak of summer madness And forgotten poets menuized. Night envelops both sun and sidewalk dreams.
The City has produced another play: tragedy/comedy: It has survived another day. Yellow cabs take actors on their way. Some to rooms to recollect the drama, Some to leave, while others mourn their stay.
The City. Mirror of our soul: A reflection of our sophistication, our savagery, our mortality, And a promise of our hope.
Teaching Teaching is teaching – Reaching the seeking – Sharing the warmth of your heart – Telling the story Of Baha’i, the Glory, Glad Tidings right from the start You have the power – A gift to empower The seeker to reach his quest. Pray that your word Will finally be heard, God will reveal the rest.
I attended a Baha’i Winter School in the Southwest in 1964. It was my very first experience being with a large group of Baha’is. It impressed me enough to continue my search for religious truth. Eventually, I embraced the Baha’i Faith.
The Promise For Man
For six short hours on Wednesday night I witnessed a strange and unusual sight: Different people from different places Were not obsessed by their different races – And no one there was segregated, For by their Faith they were related.
While others proclaim that God is Dead, They spoke of His Glory, and what He said – The promise for man, and his ultimate fate – While the rest of the world continued to hate.
They spoke of the Love and the Oneness of Man While seeds of mistrust still darkened the land; And from the shadows of despair in this dark, They offered to me their Light and their Ark.