I have decided to dig into what I call my "Emily Dickinson drawer" and pull out some old poems written in other lifetimes. This poem was written at Pendle Hill 25 years ago when I was studying with Bill Taber, a Conservative Friend with such a deep mystical awareness it was contagious: you couldn't help feeling peaceful in his presence. He wrote a classic PH pamphlets like the "Four Doors of Worship" and "Prophetic Stream." But what was most memorable about Bill Taber was the fact that more than any other Friend I have known, he lived almost continually in an altered state of consciousness, deeply mindful of the Inward Light within himself and others. Just sitting next to him, you could felt as if you were entering a river of peace, what he called the "prophetic stream." So I wrote this poem to convey something of what it was like to be in the presence of a true Friend.
(For William Taber)
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time unto his mother's womb, and be born?--
Softly, but irresistibly, the wind blows....
he feels it deep inside
and does not shrink away.
He sits and waits
until the healing breath flows through him--
until the eyes of his heart open
and the red bird flies
out of its cage, lights on a withered tree,
He sits until the song of silence
turns his silver hair to gold.