I first came across the term sohbet in Colman Barks’ Rumi: The Book of Love. In one of the chapter prefaces he talks about sohbet as a conversation, a mystical exchange. I loved the idea of this kind of conversation, especially the way Rumi can see the beauty and mystery even in mundane life.  How talking together, even about down-in-the-dirt life, can be a way to touch the mystery.

And we are so often oblivious to the mystery. I finally got a chance to see Shaun of the Dead, and was struck by a remarkable message in that movie. Sure it’s important to avoid getting bitten by zombies, but more importantly you could see how so many of us are already zombies. Moving through life on autopilot, unaware of what’s going on around us, or within us.

Self expression is a crucial need for our existence, but effective self expression requires self awareness. You need awareness to truly have something to express, and through expression you see your self more clearly and gain awareness – an interdependent feedback loop. Poetry can be a great vehicle for this. The economy of words gets down to the heart of the matter, and casts off all the mental chatter we can get lost in with other forms of writing.

roses are red, violets are blue
stop being clever
and follow what’s true

I’m certainly no expert (on poetry or spirituality), but I have found that just being open and sharing my own process (the good and the bad) seems to resonate and light up things for other people and their responses kindle something new within me. The call …and answer …and answer again.

So come, join the conversation. It’s simple enough:

Reply to the poem I post , via the Leave a Comment field — or reply to someone else’s reply by clicking on Reply beside the author of the poem you want to respond to. There aren’t a lot of rules here; all I would say is people are being open and sharing a true part of themselves, so be kind and respectful of that – and to remember this is a conversation, not a random list of poems, so listen, and respond to what speaks to you.

Oh, and one last thing – as this is a venue of self expression, it is focused on what you create, but if you really feel moved to share something by another poet, then be sure to give credit where credit is due.

Enough with the details …grab a cup of tea and join the Sohbet.