How Beautiful the Beloved

Steeling your heart,

Yet what’s the use?


Already it’s stolen.

Already the beloved

Has captured the castle.


How defend yourself

Against rapture?

How protect yourself

When the world

And all the words

In the Book

Conspire against you?


Better to surrender.

The beloved’s beauty

Has pierced your heart,

And that’s its purpose –

That’s the point of it.


More gray hairs on my head every month.

My moustache almost completely white now

Too many funerals; not enough weddings.

Not enough birth announcements.

I hope the Beloved

Isn’t losing ground.


If somewhere in us Love lurks,

The Beloved will find it.

If hope hides in the smallest Cranny,

The beloved will pry it out.

Demands it. Won’t take no for an answer.


His poem, His word, His world,

Luring it to the surface,

Her song calling it forth.

So many to choose from

Few can summon.


So many poems in the books,

But most are just words,

So many moments in the wide world,

Most are routine,

Bland and unrecognized.


If only the Beloved would tell us how to find her,

Reveal where he’s hidden himself.

Must I spend years searching?

Why not, Why not?

Easily found, easily forgotten.


Excerpts from “How Beautiful the Beloved” by Gregory Orr