KG 3.53

Though only death has baffled him
he owns the universe, the stars …

—Tom Paulin, ‘Chorus’

‘Me shogun.’
‘Me bigwig.’
‘Me the chief’s son.
I make the rules here.’

It’s a load of crap.
Laughing, skipping,
Tumbling, they’re all
Headed for Deathville.

It takes only the blink
Of an eye, says Kabir,
For a king to be
Separated from his kingdom.

KG 61

Except that it robs you of who you are,
What can you say about speech?
Inconceivable to live without
And impossible to live with,
Speech diminishes you.
Speak with a wise man and there’ll be
Much to learn, but speak with a fool
And all you get is prattle.
Strike a half empty pot, and it’ll make
A loud sound; strike one that is full, Says Kabir, and hear the silence.

KG 92

When greed hits you like a wave
You don’t need water to drown you.

Whether it’s reigning king
Or pretty queen,

Chanting pundit
Or miracle–working yogi,

They’ll die by drowning
In a waterless sea.

Who survives? Those, says Kabir,
Whose minds are tied to rocks.

KG 116

Brother, I’ve seen some
   Astonishing sights:
A lion keeping watch
   Over pasturing cows;
A mother delivered
   After her son was;
A guru prostrated
   Before his disciple;
Fish spawning
   On treetops;
A cat carrying away
   A dog;
A gunny-sack
   Driving a bullock-cart;
A buffalo going out to graze,
   Sitting on a horse;
A tree with its branches in the earth,
   Its roots in the sky;
A tree with flowering roots.
This verse, says Kabir,
   Is your key to the universe.
If you can figure it out.