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From the inside Jacket

From the magical moonlit garden of Gavin Harrison’s early years in South Africa, to the evocative intersection of his life with the glorious poetry of Hafiz in Iran, and on through his years of meditation, service and healing, Petals and Blood evidences a life lived fully, even amidst great struggle. Harrison grew up gay and privileged in a deeply divided and intolerant country. He has found peace within a legacy of pervasive sexual abuse and has lived with HIV for over half his life. He, his poems and his stories all overflow with a joy that is uplifting and contagious.

With fierce courage, intimacy and candor, Harrison conveys the terror, rapture and wonder of awakening to Divine Love. His poems summon us to the depths of who we all truly are: the mysterious pre-existing Ground of Love, Kindness, Wisdom and Presence that is neither personal nor ever lacking. The poetry evidences Harrison’s abiding commitment to be deeply free in this lifetime. The union of dharma, poems, stories and images celebrate a Liberation that is unconditional and also deeply human.

Petals and Blood weaves ecstatic poetry with stories drawn from the poet’s stark, vulnerable and adventurous life. Defying apartheid… helping orphaned children in Africa… realizing Oneness with murderers in a maximum security prison… uniting with The Infinite at the threshold of death… making peace with illness and betrayal… offering prayers to the Goddess Pele in Hawai’i… and his devotion to Mother Africa… The stories and poems remind us that our Essential Nature remains unsullied and untouched by whatever may befall us, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances of our lives may appear to be.

Petals and Blood challenges us to stand by our core, no matter what. Its stories and poems urge us to live from the ground of our deepest knowing, while serving all sentient beings everywhere. They beckon us to be in abiding fidelity to the Truth, God, Love—what Harrison calls “The Beloved.”

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