The Sleeper Must Awaken

sulayman x
(c) 1998

beginnings are not easy
changing darkness into light
spreading hands across the water
to stir the soul's delight

I wonder why I'm here
and what my purpose is
and will a teacher come
explaining all of this

from the mud of chemicals
to blood, flesh and bone
electric stimulation now
within the frontal lobes

I think, there I am
but what? I do not know
and if I could not think
would flowers cease to grow?

the dust of stars within me
stirs the longing to return
the sleeper must awaken
the student longs to learn

but silence is the answer
when I'm down there on my knees
when I'm praying to a distant god
who never dares to speak

he is the heart's beloved
so seek him if you dare
wherever you might find him
you will find that he's not there

how could he be like you and me
bound in space and time
rolling through these curvatures
and theories of Einstein

seek and you will miss
but wait, with heart sincere
make your thoughts like honey
to draw the lover near

with perfume on your wrist
sweet scent upon your skin
naked and inviting
draw the lover in

shut your mouth, listen
there's nothing you need say
nothing more that's not been said
is many different ways
and do you think it's worth the time
to listen to your chatter
when you draw the lover near
such words could hardly matter

so hold your tongue, don't be a bore
the lover's heard it all before
endless prayers and rosaries
and flapping lips and wooden beads

no! when the lover comes to you
lay down upon your bed
and let the lover give you love
and talk to you instead

and be a helpless infant
upon the father's breast
there's nothing you need do
for your father knows what's best

a child learns by listening
with ear, eye and soul
so be that child just listening
in this way you will grow

God of Stars

perhaps god is a star
twinkling in the night
if so, why does he vanish
with the morning's early light

or maybe he's the moon
that travels through the sky
if so, then it would seem to me
that often times he hides

so maybe he's the sun
searing, bright and gold
but then there are so many
as all astronomers know

I sought with eye, I tried to see
if my love would come to me
I waited for a shape, a form
through endless nights I prayed till morning

that I might behold the sight
of my heart and soul's delight
but only sunlight dared creep in
through windows dusty, dark with sin

for if my faith was sure then why
should I seek confirmation?
should God be at my beck and call
when he is big and I am small?

the mystics say just waitÖ wait
and make your heart a fit abode
be like an empty vessel that
this god can overflow
god is aware of all you do
so wait for him to come to you

wait, just wait, don't think or speak
your heart a simple empty space
aching for the god of love
to fill with sweet amazing grace

is what fills the universe
become the last to be the first
to taste the sweetness God will share
for god will surely find you there


Are you there among the saints
born of virgin fair
with popes to do your bidding
god of latin prayers?
with golden chalice, chasuble
and transubstantiation
forgiving god, forgiving sin
through priestly ministration?

are you a rock, are you a bird
found in mountains, found in turds
the very universe itself
and if that's so, you are myself
and Hitler too and Mao Tse Tung
don't think I like gods found in dung

Or did Muhammad get it right
out there in the desert sand
praying to the god of Jacob
Moses, Abraham?

the one god, the jealous god
destroyer of the sinner
who said that only those who followed
Islam would be winners?

the god who could not tolerate
the worship of another
how could you love this frightful god
and take him as your lover?

pray and pray five times a day
precisely as appointed
those who vary shall not be
among Allah's annointed
destruction death, damnation, this
is what awaits the sinful man
I had a thousand nightmare nights
when reading the Qur'an

all these threats, they are like stones
to stone a lover's soul
driving out the sweetness
leaving emptiness and cold
if this is where the lover hides
I do not wish to go

I bought myself a pyramid and put it on my head
to channel thoughts of healing and to give my brain a rest
I bought myself a crystal and placed it on my shelf
I paid my $19.95 like everybody else
it sits there in the sunlight
it's good for pretty colors
it doesn't really say that much
it's not much of a lover

pumping iron, lifting weights
making sex in locker rooms
primping in the full length mirror
been there, done that too

took a tab of ecstasy and washed it down with gin
lost myself in retropunk and yes, went home with him
naked, bottom, naked, top, give me everything you've got
and in the morning when you leave, don't leave your number, there's no need

and in the morning drinking coffee
let me cry my tears alone
and wonder why I never find
someone to make this house a home

I looked for god in all of you
and sold my body like a whore
and though you gave me thirty silver
pieces I need more

drink your passions to the dregs
said Rumi, and he's right
for if you do not do so
you will never sleep at night
and if you do not do so
you will never chance to know
the emptiness and nothingness
from which such passions flow

find a mountain, find a cave
meditate for forty days
Jesus did, Muhammad too
if it happened to them
it could happen to you

far, far from mobile phones
faxes and construction zones
the wife who says you don't talk much
the children you no longer touch

silence, this, and nothing else
endless hours with the wind
maybe after forty days
you'll learn where to begin


doctrines, dogmas, rosaries
from first to last absurdities
we say there's nothing we could know
about this god, but that aint so!

mullas, pastors, popes and priests
are all too willing with expertise
it could be death to disagree
the inquisitions never cease!

if there's nothing we could know
then why pretend that this aint so?
and can you be completely certain
who it is behind the curtain?

don't think too much, they like to say
we'll make decisions in your place
we'll take responsibility
all you need do is just believe
we'll claim divine authority
we'll claim infallibility
we get the power that we need
you give it freely on your knees

don't think too much, now that's a sin
and why is that, well, we've declared it
say your prayers, suspend your reason
more than that's the same as treason

and if it should occur to you
that you've been had, well, what to do
cause now it really is too late
to claim your right to cogitate

so say your prayers and pay your tithe
that's the way to paradise

Donations I

and it's essential that you see
hell is real, eternity
is what awaits the sinful man
so do the very best you can

give a lot, yes gobs and gobs
the silk we wear's expensive
and god will give it back to you
so don't be apprehensive

we swear that there's no other motive
than concern for your salvation
god rewards the generous
with everlasting exhultation

Jesus said the very birds
never worry 'bout tomorrow
so give as much as you give
and god will heal your sorrow

but what a lot of crap that is
if you'd only think about it
god helps those who help themselves
the self-reliant never doubt it

and don't you find it rather funny
that god should need your hard earned money?

Donations II

fire, brimstone, death, destruction
gnashing teeth, unquenching thirst
be afraid, oh be afraid
your sins will bring you much, much worse

on and on and for forever
burn the raging fires of hell
the pain and torture souls endure
no one could ever tell

and if you ask just who it was
who ever made a place like this
well it's the god of love and peace
and everlasting happiness!
so be afraid, yes, be afraid
to earn your share of heaven's bliss

and if this fear is paralyzing
that's the point, you silly fool!
there is no hell, how could there be?
but that's something they won't tell you

and why should they, it serves a purpose
keeps the dollars rolling in
keeps you quiet, on your knees
forever weeping over sin

and all that money that you're giving
buys them cadillacs and gold
and that's the reason they're concerned
about your wayward soul
what other reason could there be?
donations mean a life of ease!


i've learned a thousand things since then
they stampede through my brain
and everything I thought I knew
I've had to learn again

and what I held important
was nothing of the kind
like all these restless, urgent thoughts
stampeding through my mind

let it go the Buddha said
and let the slate be clean
put the trash out on the curb
then sit and learn to breath

breathing is what life's about


For all my life I've been asleep
within my cradle chasing dreams
and never did I know what life could be about
until the Buddha told me to put that garbage out

you crave, you wish, you long, you yearn
to touch the glory of the sun
and every time your fingers burn
and all you do in blame someone
but never you, no never you
nor ever do you say
that all the pain and suffering
I've brought it all my way

and every mess I've ever made
and every cruel part I've played
and every bed in which I've laid
they've all be mine
my mistakes

oh Buddha do not leave me
with all the threads unraveled
with all my lies exposed and known
and miles yet to travel

the wolves would surely catch me
in the forest, in the night
stumbling like a foolish man
who knows not where to hide

goodness is the thing I seek
but how can I when flesh is weak
and mind is tainted, dark, confused
if only we were Buddhas too

the sleeper must awaken
the veils be torn aside
I must know the truth of things
and find this god who hides
and all of this I plan to do
cause love is never 1, but 2


if god is what you seek in truth
you'd best go back to days of youth
before the ego took control
and named itself your very soul
this craving, petty, flighty thing
and all the heartache that it brings
deserves to die, so let it die
and bury what is known as "i"

kill it quickly if you can
don't be charmed nor led astray
it makes a monster of a man
it doesn't know no other way
but craving and dissatisfaction
let it die through lack of action!

it's pretensions are allusions
like the light that strikes the moon
the moon! a dead and lifeless thing
but oh how bright it looks to you

be an infant if you dare
confident your mother's there
that every hue and cry you raise
will bring her running night or day
to your cradle, all concerned
until life's lessons have been learned
you and she, 2 peas in pod
you and she, like you and god

and would your mother leave you helpless
in your soiled diapers, no
she'd clean you up and wash you down
she's done it many times before
so do you best and rest assured
that every hope and payer's been heard
and if and when you mess it up
well, there's no end to mother's love
change the diaper, start anew
you'll find that god takes care of you

if you know better, go you way
if you get lost, well don't complain
be happy with your ego guide
to fill up hell it takes all kinds!

the ego is not satisfied
it clings and grasps and asks for more
oh vanity of vanities
where have we heard those words before?

like a child Christmas day
grieving over toys not gotten
regardless what might come his way
all he ever feels is rotten
and self-righteous, don't forget!
this rotten child deserves the best!
or so he thinks and tells himself
it takes all kinds to kill up hell...

and hell is just a state of mind
ego made as wise men find
and when the ego dies the death
its leaves the tortured soul at rest

and blessed rest! you'd be amazed
once that ego's in the grave
a world that once was black and white
has changed to color overnight
and all at once the vision's clear
what seemed so far is now so near
so out of reach but reach your hand
and hold on tight to promised land

ego ii

when you cease to think as "i"
such curious thoughts will cross your mind
and battles that you might have fought
and vanities, will come to naught
for if the "i" is dead and gone
there's nothing left to urge you on

so if you must then please insult me
but you'll find that "i'm" not here
the slings and arrows in your hands
can be no longer things to fear
you'd be a fool to try and strike at
what has all but disappeared

you can't defeat what's been defeated
can't undo what's been undone
cannot kill what's dead already
those who try are foolish ones

but ego fights to stay alive
to make you think he's worth your time
he's part of you or so he says
but what he says is just more lies
their only purpose to confuse
and obfuscate and be obtuse
but once you've learned the way of it
you'll see this ego's full of shit
and speaking frankly you will find
that "you" won't live till ego dies


cool Buddha, cool water
fetch the water, let me drink
cool Buddha, soul slaughter
watch the slaughter, learn to think


the eye sees
the eye wants
the eye craves
what it has not got

the ear hears
the ear wants
the ear craves
what it has not got

the mouth tastes
the mouth wants
the mouth craves
what it has not got

and it's absurdly simple
if you'd only think about it
this craving, wanting, needing crap
it's best to live without it

and you can, the buddha did
he left his wife, and left his kid
and found the path, the middle way
enlightenment they say today

but all he did was recognize
the ego with its varied lies
and threw it out, he'd had enough
of wasting time on foolish stuff

like sex, drugs and rock and roll
and cadillacs and mobile phones
craving this and craving that
such craving, wanting, needing crap


I've searched for you through thick and sin
through popes and prayers and saints and sin
with heart and mind and skin and fear
but never could I draw you near

the heart's beloved, soul's delight
I've searched in vain but maybe I
should lay the "I" aside and find
that deep within me's where you hide
no further than the juggler vein
as dear Muhammad once explained
and Jesus too, he spoke it true
god's kingdom lies inside of you

but where?

like Socrates while body dies
the foot is gone ­ god's not inside
the hands, the elbows, knees and feet
but I'm still here so god must be
inside the heart, perhaps the brain
it's not so easy to explain
when the "I" should cease to be
will god die too
-how can that be?
round and round such thoughts will spin
like Bilbo, there and back again

the Sufi's say you're like a lake
you just condense and drift away
the cloud will drop you off somewhere
in different form, but you're still there

and Buddha says you jump the ship
and bodiless, alone you drift
until a new home can be found
and in 9 months come back around
to do it all again and then
if ever you should get it right
you'll win the stream and cease to be
and go on to some other life

the Catholics say you get one chance
don't drink, don't smoke, don't fuck, don't dance
and maybe if you pray enough
you get to meet the god of love
and sing forever in his choice
and forever god admire
could be boring don't you think?
well maybe there'll be wine to drink


if it really was important
to worship god in certain ways
don't you think he'd find the time
to come down here and to explain?

and if eternity's at stake
and if there is a game to play
couldn't god explain the rules
to little folks like me and you?

would that be asking for too much
it could be done so easily
if god's so mighty and so wise
why does he hide? yes, why oh why?

unless of course he doesn't care
and doesn't listen to your prayers
could it be the life you lead
has more weight than things believed?


and if you wonder what it means
it doesn't pay to ask to much
you're better off to close the door
and talk to the Beloved

seek and you will miss
but wait, with heart sincere
make your thoughts like honey
to draw the lover near

with perfume on your wrist
sweet scent upon your skin
naked and inviting
draw the lover in

shut your mouth, listen
there's nothing you need say
nothing more that's not been said
is many different ways
and do you think it's worth the time
to listen to your chatter
when you draw the lover near
such words could hardly matter

so hold your tongue, don't be a bore
the lover's heard it all before
endless prayers and rosaries
and flapping lips and wooden beads

no! when the lover comes to you
lay down upon your bed
and let the lover give you love
and talk to you instead

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