Summoning the Possible (Baha'i Songs of Spirit)

by David Edward Walker

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***** (five stars). "I have been listening to this album for over a month and just can’t get it out of my head. Walker has produced a beautiful and mature work that that touches something essential in the nature of being human. This music is largely religious in nature, an expression of the Baha’i faith with about half the song lyrics coming from scripture and other Baha’i writings. Musically, Walker starts from a folk/rock base in songs like “Hidden Word #44” with its simple arrangement and heartfelt vocal and takes it all the way to his upbeat Stax/Otis Redding groove-inspired “In the Willow,” where he contemplates life were he a tree (and it sounds like an ok existence!). Walker takes his basic guitar-song structures and adds enough diversity in percussion, mood and some downright tasty lead guitar to keep the album varied and interesting through its journey. His singing throughout is soulful, in the very broadest sense of that word. I am not particularly familiar with the Baha’i faith or even religious, but I find 'Summoning The Possible,' does for me what the best religious music does, it inspires and touches one’s heart with a yearning to know one’s creator. This is an album that will grow on you if you let it. I recommend it highly." ~ Tom Dyer, President, Green Monkey Records

credits

released July 4, 2017

Composed, arranged, engineered, and produced by David Edward Walker, who also contributed vocals, guitars, Appalachian dulcimer, keyboards,Yakama hand drum, Cherokee courting flute, fretless bass, drum programs & percussion. Much gratitude to Ms. Taraneh Mohajeri and Ms. Simin Rhamany for chanting of a poem excerpt by the mystic Baha'i feminist poet Tahirih on the track of the same name.

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David Edward Walker Seattle, Washington

"With a style that encompasses urban and rural images, rich metaphors, spiritual themes, moving ballads, and ambitious fingerstyle guitar work, David Edward Walker (aka 'David Folks') is a singer-songwriter with special ability to reach listeners on an emotional level."
~ Music Hound,
The Essential Folk Album Guide

"Spilled poetic love." ~ Dirty Linen

"Folk Hero."
~Detroit Monthly
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Track Name: This Hallowed & Resplendent Spot
O wayfarer in the path of God! Take thou thy portion of the ocean of His grace, and deprive not thyself of the things that lie hidden in its depths. Be thou of them that have partaken of its treasures. A dewdrop out of this ocean would, if shed upon all that are in the heavens and on the earth, suffice to enrich them with the bounty of God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. With the hands of renunciation draw forth from its life-giving waters, and sprinkle therewith all created things, that they may be cleansed from all man-made limitations and may approach the mighty seat of God, this hallowed and resplendent Spot.
Track Name: Hidden Word #44 (O Companion of My Throne), Sacred Words of Baha'u'llah
O Companion of My Throne! Hear no evil, and see no evil, abase not thyself, neither sigh and weep. Speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it spoken unto thee, and magnify not the faults of others that thine own faults may not appear great; and wish not the abasement of anyone, that thine own abasement be not exposed. Live then the days of thy life, that are less than a fleeting moment, with thy mind stainless, thy heart unsullied, thy thoughts pure, and thy nature sanctified, so that, free and content, thou mayest put away this mortal frame, and repair unto the mystic paradise and abide in the eternal kingdom for evermore.
Track Name: Prayer for the Western States
O God! O God! This is a broken-winged bird and his flight is very slow—assist him so that he may fly toward the apex of prosperity and salvation, wing his way with the utmost joy and happiness throughout the illimitable space, raise his melody in Thy Supreme Name in all the regions, exhilarate the ears with this call, and brighten the eyes by beholding the signs of guidance.

O Lord! I am single, alone and lowly. For me there is no support save Thee, no helper except Thee and no sustainer beside Thee. Confirm me in Thy service, assist me with the cohorts of Thine angels, make me victorious in the promotion of Thy Word and suffer me to speak out Thy wisdom amongst Thy creatures. Verily, Thou art the helper of the weak and the defender of the little ones, and verily Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Unconstrained.
Track Name: Summoning the Possible
Such things I seldom talk about
This gulf gets deep and wide
I’m lost in smoke, invisible,
And that’s no place to hide.
You know my heart—improbably—
I’m reaching, always trying.
A flower blooms in the desert air
The stars are mine and Thine.
The stars are mine and Thine.

Summoning the Possible
Please see me
Seeking Thee

I cannot catch the seed pod’s drift,
My hands make too much wind.
By grace, You still the breeze of life;
And cleanse my soul of sin.
And cleanse my soul of sin.
Too soon, the world with its concerns,
Too late, mine brought to You.
Too long, my bedtime toss and turn.
I beg You guide me through.

Love meadow from my childhood
Your sunlight flowers made.
I know that peace begins with me
Please help me find some shade.
Track Name: The Ordinary Princess
I feel that life is so unfair-
How can I get some rest?
When her smile comes to me from somewhere
Sparkling like a sequined dress
She’s in every tender leaf that grows
And everything that’s green
Calling out from the Unseen—
What will you make this mean?

The ordinary princess is never very far away
Crossing by the doorway on the other side of the day
She only wonders why we have to cry—
“Have you never seen a caged bird fly,
Finally free in an endless sky?”
Then she laughs while we try

I get so lost in this material life—
Imaginings and illusion.
All the subtle truths she liked to talk about
Bring me only more confusion
Living oneness, singing unity
How I miss this spiritual girl
Calling from where the galaxies swirl—
Will you make a better world?

From a sorrow-stricken shelter
Turn your face toward the Everlasting Nest
From this dark and narrow world
To where the spirit birds go to rest

Love, Emily

(In memory of Emily Rykwalder, 1980—2005)
Track Name: Hidden Word # 68 (O Children of Men), Sacred Words of Baha'u'llah
O Children of Men! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O Concourse of Light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.
Track Name: Tahireh
A daughter of Mulla Sálih
A fearless spirit, smart and free
Who with a word could snap a sword
A mystic singing to her Lord:
Let deeds not words our hearts adorn,
A prisoner freed, I am reborn
And with my call, the trumpet’s blown
In Badasht, the seeds are sown

And she pulls off her veil to say:
See how the chains all fall away
From Tahirih

Relentless seeker called Umm-Salmá
She loved the One she never saw.
Surrounded, trapped by guards and foes,
In bridal gown and like a rose--
And would you die to spread a Cause
When Love has made a new day’s laws?
A tight silk scarf and the poet’s heart
Is stilled in praise of freedom’s art.

در ره عشقت ای صنم
ی بلا منم
چند مغايرت کنی؟
با غمت آشنا منم .
(In the path of your love, my darling,
I am enamored of torment.
How long will you ignore me?
I am stricken with grief.)

We need both wings of this broken bird
Each man and woman is assured
Fly inside this Holy Word
True peace arrives, this sickness cured
Although it may take a thousand years
To mix a balm from history’s tears
This dove still soars and swoops and plays
Light of the Ancient of Days

(In solidarity with the Bahá’is of Iran)
Track Name: Beneath the Feet of Men
They who are the beloved of God, in whatever place they gather and whomsoever they may meet, must evince, in their attitude towards God, and in the manner of their celebration of His praise and glory, such humility and submissiveness that every atom of the dust beneath their feet may attest the depth of their devotion. The conversation carried by these holy souls should be informed with such power that these same atoms of dust will be thrilled by its influence. They should conduct themselves in such manner that the earth upon which they tread may never be allowed to address to them such words as these: "I am to be preferred above you. For witness, how patient I am in bearing the burden which the husbandman layeth upon me. I am the instrument that continually imparteth unto all beings the blessings with which He Who is the Source of all grace hath entrusted me. Notwithstanding the honor conferred upon me, and the unnumbered evidences of my wealth -- a wealth that supplieth the needs of all creation -- behold the measure of my humility, witness with what absolute submissiveness I allow myself to be trodden beneath the feet of men....
Track Name: In the Willow
If we were trees, we’d never be angry
Rain or shine, we’d understand
Go on growing when the season said to
Or feel the cold with every outstretched hand.
If we were trees, we’d go on living,
Try to be healthy and grow up strong.
I’ll bet a tree would be forgiving—
The first to say ‘I may be wrong.’
If we were trees, I’d be a willow.
I know a good one of a hundred years
Behind the concrete and the power lines
And the tall buildings made of mirrors.

Rub a hand on the roughness,
Feel the edges of the toughness
The sensation lingers on.
Can you hear that willow’s song?
Will you come back to my willow?
I’ll show you the moments we lost
Trying to give our love out in fractions
And then measuring the personal cost
In the willow, I can reach deep inside my heart
In the willow, I can accept who you are from the start
Whether we hold on or fall apart

Push me down with cold and thunder,
Blow me back with fury and fire,
Although I may still hurt and hunger
To bend like that, I do aspire.
Children play beneath my branches.
Roots intertwine beneath their feet.
Given that, what are the chances,
If we were trees, we would feel complete?
Beneath the peace of the rainy waters,
Of the misty air that enters me,
I mean to be the kind of person
Who’d make a pretty good willow tree.

(You got the time, we got the climb,
C’mon and climb in my willow tree)
Track Name: The Light of Men Is Justice
The light of men is Justice. Quench it not with the contrary winds of oppression and tyranny. The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men . . . Set your faces towards unity, and let the radiance of its light shine upon you. Gather ye together, and for the sake of God resolve to root out whatever is the source of contention amongst you.
Track Name: You'll Never Run Out of Love
The sun, deep in the western sky,
Lending its alibi to the day
And you, waving a sad goodbye,
Wishing that you could fly
Far away

Listen to the waves upon the shore
Hear them in your heart
There’s nothing more

Lost inside of what you want and need
In the music, be the hollow reed
One within you through the coming night
One beside you in the morning light

Have no fear
Always near
Run and hide
Still locked inside
It’s always your right to choose
You’ve nothing left to lose
You’ll never run out of love
You’ll never run out of love

Learn to stop in the stillness now
Practicing to allow this love to come through
Find there’s no longer be need of you,
Stay only clear and true and renew

Everything you do, a mystery.
Everything you touch and all you see.
Although the world keeps calling you back again,
This is the place where sunsets never end.

Not one drop of ocean without salt
If you won’t understand, then who’s at fault?