Yes

(Excerpts from “Poetry Meets Photography” Exhibit featuring John Leslie Lange,  the author of “Hafiz and I,” a collection of poems inspired by the writings of the Sufi masters, Hafiz and Rumi and Julie Kruger,  a professional photographer and artist who specializes in dreamy landscapes populated by the emotions of love and longing. This presentation is a collaboration of their work in the form of a conversation between John’s poetry and Julie’s images).

~~  Yes  ~~

If you ask me,

Does the sun rise every morning

Into the blueness of the sky?

I would gaze into your sky eyes,

And in my drowning,

Murmur

“Yes.”

If you stare up at the heavens

And wonder

Do the jeweled galaxies wheel and orbit

Spelling out your name,

I would point to the brightest,

And say,

“Yes, right there!”

If you wonder,

Where does poetry come from?

Cup your hands

In front of my heart

And then raise them to your lips,

Drink deep,

And know.

If fear shortens your breath

And you must find shelter

Through dark days and darker nights,

Just enter the space

Between my arms

And chest,

And exhale.

If you are sinking into longing,

And despair of finding Great Love,

Look up,

See the crescent moon,

And know that its radiance

Shines on my face also.

If you wander into danger

And take wrong turn after wrong turn,

And discover your compass broken,

Don’t despair, find my eyes,

Look deep

And see True North.

How did Rumi love Shams?

“Like This.”

How do I love you?

“Like This.”

But if you must count how many ways

I can say yes to you,

Count all the grains

Of sand on the beach,

And number all the waves,

And it will not be enough.

~~  John Leslie Lange

(From the project “A Conversation: Poetry Meets Photography”)