Shadows of Echoes of Clarity

Max Dahlstrand
Thoughts and inner experiences clad in words –a work in progress 2016-2020

Remembering Death

I want to remember death
– at all times.

But I forget.

In forgetfullness I am dead.



What love! What joy!
To stroll amongst the trolls, elves and pixies.
In the meditation of the breathing forrest.



Glases and lenses aside,
Many people see clearer now than ever before.


Narrow Mind

Have Mercy before you read!
And ever thereafter!


Good Conduct

Be silent!
No pamphlets!


On the Journey

Do not occupy two seats!
None of them belong to you!



Love is the parcel in which God’s message is delivered


A Week at Rasooli

Silent tears of joy!


Magic Potion

hints the portal

takes you through



No escape
But to God



Heart turning
Tree vibrating
Clarity overwhelming
Insight forcing the mind
Experiencing the human quest
Thankfully adapting
In tune and tuning
Out of tune, tuning
Striving further
Hit by scattered blessings and,
Longing to be parted from self
Oh, that self
Stay behind!
All soul,
nearer then the jugular vain


House of God

How wonderful it is to see through the heart.
Eyes redundant,
world exposed,
Spirit alive!

Praying for that humbleness to last:
to forever submit,
in this moment,
at the house of God.


A Glimpse

Is the now, that we are blessed
–or doomed– to experience,
a glimpse of Eternity?



Pots as vessels;
for thoughts.



Sculptures that offer different uses;
not stale figures collecting dust.
To throw my hat on!
A place for keys and other things.
That sculpture dances, listens.
Made to beautifully
the world;
While inwardly turning to center.


Throwing clay

Throwing a bowl
is like turning Self
to make room for Soul


Pinch the self

Recalled: swearing
Said: ego took wrong path
Contemplated: constrict the self like the pinching of the neck of a pot when making a bud vase
Goal: be beautiful
, embrace the flowers


This World

–which you see
in the beam
of your head lights
travelling down the road
in pitch black–
is dunya.


The Host

You have not borrowed this planet.
The planet has borrowed you.

She is your host,
her shelter your safety.

So do not abuse her.
Be thankful for her hospitality,
show respect and,
learn her ways.

Through Him she will invite you
to wonderful gardens
full of wonders and awe.
To ponder upon them will suffice.

after three days,
when her duties to you have been enjoyed,
and your journey continues,
you do so with ease and without regret.

And she will thank you and is a witness for what you have done.
And she will welcome those coming after.

But if you are arrogant, ignorant and greedy
she will swallow you,
dishonor you
and reject you.
And threaten to close her door for those coming after.


Looking in

Standing on the outside,
looking in;
the place to be,
a vivid, different dimension.
Haven't gone through, yet
Still standing, materialized
To move, to cross the line,
ego cannot follow.



Change is a good reminder of the Constant.


State of Mind

A king is, at best, a slave;
and a slave is, at best, a servant of a slave.



Impressions are indents in your mind. Expressions are them popping out.



Everything we own,
will burn:
First a piece, then the rest.

are the smaller furnaces.


Shielded experience

There is only Now
Time is us experiencing it


No Matter

When the Chaos seems to begin,

what matters is that of no matter.


This World

This world is the footprint of Allah

So do not leave a trace behind

But in the hearts of your kind


Love for Animals

A Shaykh of Oil said to me 20 years ago:
"Islam is the love for animals."

I scorned at that.
But today I read in the paper:

"Man killed all insects."


Different ship

There is no membership in Islam.

Only remembership.


The Saint

The thoughtless man may not hear the music.
The artist has found the symphony within, and plays along.
The saint lets God play His symphony!

Today's Tounge

Generated words used to take generations.
Social media changed that.
But few know their meaning.

Cause and Effect

We deserve the Sea in which we are drowning;
from Isis to Pegida.

Attention Intention

If your intentions are great
(well, at least good
– alright then, average)
then re-boot and ask for cover!


Do you not remember what the Beloved said?
Listen to the birds!


If you are lost,
keep calm!
Found yourself?

* A chilla is a sufi seclusion retreat practice to get to know one's self. The most extreme example (Chilla-yi) is a forty day seclusion deep down inside a well, only to come up during times of prayer.


Do we need larger mosques,
or smaller Muslims?


The earth is the hall of prayer.
Yet we build walls!


Do not serve your Religion.
Serve the Jew, the Christian, the Buddhist and the Hindu!

Problem or Solution

I went to a Mosque and saw no destituts.
Outside they were everywhere.
See the problem?

Or the solution?

"The rise of human consciousness is the ultimate gift and the ultimate tragedy. With the rise of consciousness you wonder; what is the cause, what is the effect? what is birth, what is death? what is the beginning, what is the end? who are you, and who is everyone else? why is there injustice, why is there justice? All of it arises in order for us to return to original supreme consciousness. The mosque inside, outside, the washroom, the mess they make everywhere – all of it is an expression of destitution of human beings, until they unite with the cosmic Being; the One and only One, Allah."

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri, 2018

The Potter

There is no room for thoughts
in a perfect dance.
No space can contain it,
and no time to constrain it.

The appearance of movement
is but the desire to be still;
in peace with soul,
in love with God.

"All of these expressions prove that we are still under water; higher, lower, more light, more shadow, changes, changes, changes: differentiated sameness; confusing, and confusion. All of it indicating the original fusion by Whos Mercy we are here in the turmoil, desiring desperately crying for the bliss of the Oneness from which we emerge. Salam."

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri 2018

Eyes Open

The sounds are the same;
but now in a celestial melody.
My ears are not mine.

The things are where they where;
but now in a heavenly dance.
My eyes are not mine.

Food tastes the same;
but now masterly prepared.
My tongue is not mine.

I bump into the same tings,
but now a gentle meeting.
My skin is not mine.

The difference is I:
not there anymore!

"Nothing is yours. Not because nothing belongs to you; it is because there is no you. The real you is an echo or a shadow of a light that is in transit on this earth. There is no you. There is no he, I, him, or it. There is only that cosmic light; and we are here to be prepared to meet it, and be at one with it, and return to it after we give up what we stoved as ours, which is the body, the mind, the biography. There is only it."

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri 2018


Empty the world from your heart.
Is it filled with blood?
Try again!

Step Aside

Who are you?
How old are you?
Where are you?

Step aside.

Fear and Hope

My fear is to think I am.
My hope is, to know I am not.


Listen to your heart:
– Allah, Allah
Listen to your breath.
– Allahu, Allahu

Sound Stillness

Silence is the sound of stillness.
Stillness is the moment
of knowing God.

Alpha Beta

How can you own that
which you borrowed from the alphabet?

A Shadow

The one who cannot paint a portrait,
draws a caricature.
In that some see the portrait.


Few are the imams
that can hear the mimbar!

War of the Words

Do not mistake: a word is often sharper
than a sword.


To build,
we need many hands.
To destroy,
one mouth is enough.


A physical now
is an oxymoron.


Sleep, a vessel for Self parting from Self.
–Take off and landing is crucial.

Awakedness, a vessel for Soul.
–Rememberance of God is crucial.

The Portal

The distance from here to the end of universe
is vast.

The distance from your heart to Eternity
is nigh.

Shock of realization

The provocateur is often the visionary.


All the things you do contrary to God's Symphony,
leaves the music unsound.

Let God

Do not tamper with the flow!


Friendship is that amazing moment
when the curtain between two egos are lifted;
leaving both souls uncovered.

Dis-covered friend.


Hello fellow soul!


How can we love,
without Your love?

How can we see,
without Your sight?

How can we be,
without You?



To question is a good beginning.

To be in awe is a great end.

Move vertically

When the soap is cooked,
clean with it!


All the things I do,
all the things I say,

all the things I think,
all the things I know;

what are these things,
if I may,
but veils between me and You?

Oh God, let me remember!

For every breath,
for every heart beat,
for every thought,

that I am with You;

let me live!
let me die!
let me resurrect!
and spare me from my self,

and cover me!

And give me shade,
and love me!

So that I may love You,
with every breath,
and that which is in between!

Almond in the Pudding

We're in this soup together:
Me and you, the sun, the moon, air and fire.

There is no barrier between us and the stars,
neither between our inner secrets and the banana fly.

But there is this,

–and it is not a thing,

that separates us from that;

our Soul
(like an almond in the Christmas rice pudding).

Drops of Blessings

I am like a fly
resting on the backpack of my Shaykh.
Carried from one great gathering to the next.
Hit now and then by scattered drops of blessings.

* No! Less than a fly. For a fly constantly buzzes its tireless hymn to God.


–for the Self–
is seeking measure of eternity.

–for the Soul–
is of no concern.


Time-space is where you think you are.
Yet in your heart is the portal to eternity.
So where are you?
Or rather, are you?

Scent of Paradise

The best a fellow can do
is leaving his Self,
leaving behind a wonderful scent,
for others to follow.

Floor plans

Where poetry, or thought, inspire the cretion of space. My studio work at Savannah College of Art and Design architecture school 1992.

The Reception and the receptionist

The manner of receiving with reference to the relative quality of reproduction.

For best reproduction, a tower is raised.

A network of steel trusses for best reception.

There is a speaker through which the receptionist communicates.

The receptionist receives and provides information.


The Painting studio 1 and painter number one.

Painter number one collects old brushes,
arranges them into bouquets with groups of three,
one bouquet for each primary color.

The smell reminds him of sap from the old Magnolia.

Each fall he collects all red brushes and goes outside.

No one can remember why.


The painting studio 2 and painter number two

Painter number two reproduces fish onto untreated canvas.

before leaving the day in the arms of the night,
he rubs a layer of dirt over the wet paint.

He uses a wool cloth.

He does one painting a day except Mondays,
which lends its hours to the collection of sandy clay.


The Auditorium and the Speaker

He yelled from the bottom of his intestines.

Not a sound to share.

Buried in his sea of thoughts,
he stepped down from his brown throne.

People staring
eyes wide open
each lip frozen
in a silient word.


The Discovery Gallery and the Child

It is like a tube, this thing.

Images frozen, but you move through,
forcing the delight of finding out.

There is a start and there is an end.

Somehow you do not know which that is.


The Exhibit Space ad its spirit

Like a bed of flowers
every color and shape is there.

He wrote in the specifications of his death.

He knows his time has passed.

Everyone will be there,
to remember.


The Office and the Secretary

She copies her thoughts onto different sheets of thin paper.

Some appear like a collage of numbers,
but she is not a mathematician.

Each paper is neatly placed on top of selected shelves.

The task is followed throughout the day.

At four o'clock she dusts off her desk
and walks to one corner
and observes her work.


The Office of the Manager

The numbers fall in place.

The orphans are left out
and collected in a special box.


The Kitchen and the Chef

From life comes death.

From death comes life.

The circle is connected by the fire and the spoon.

She is but the servant dressed in checker board cloth.


THe Special Events space and the server

A new locus,
a combined aura.

Every time he enters
he intrudes.


The Sculpture garden and the gardener

Observing the forest,
it has taken a new life.

Before he had to trim the bushes
now they are frozen.

He thinks about the summer and the wind.

Strangly he cannot fell it.

Rather it has died in the mind.


The Bookstore and the book keeper

The book keeper records sales on seperate pieces of paper.

Alphabetically according to the book of sale,
each paper is ordered in blue map holders.

The book keper holds on to traditions of pen and inc.

In one of the drawers he keeps ten bottles of blue inc.


The Storage and the Stranger

A game of hide and seek.

But he never knew to look.

Only in the light of truth
he will behold its beauty,
this poet of youth.


Other observations

Some poems from Savannah College of Art and Design, architecture school 1992.

The Beggar and his consumption

Through the process of constant rebirth
he consumes all.

For by his teacher
he exists.


The Scientist and his moment

A second of logic,
anal in its temper,
he anchors freedom.

Prisoned by the moment,
shamed of his decease,
intuition is neglected.


The Politician and the diplomat

The notion of duality,
the strenght of neither,
provokes its invidious arguement,
Is hate but a fear?


The Humanist and her rape

Through impossible analysis
a network of equality is selected.

The individual is torn.

With arrogance
the soul is raped.