Poetry

Introduction

My decision to call this page ‘Poetry’ was riddled with hesitance. Talent befitting the title of ‘poet’ is not something I am in possession of. That’s a fact. Nonetheless, pursuant to being sufficiently frustrated by the lack of a better word, especially for the title of a page, I opted not to force the issue, and settled instead.

In an age glued together with shortcuts and quick returns, we find the associating of difficult achievements with mediocre efforts quite reassuring. And poetry is no exception. Poets of the past approached their work with more humility, and sense of responsibility, than the historians of today. Indeed, some commentators even claim poetry to be more important than history, as its universal nature outweighs the locality of historical account. And this truly universal art cannot be claimed with ease. Wagner famously said, ‘noise is not necessarily music’. Perhaps one can say the same of poetry; that, ‘a verse written in rhyme and metre is not necessarily true poetry’.

With the above in mind, I’ll fall short of classifying the compilation below as such. One of my favourite translators of Pashtu poetry, Paul Smith, remarked the following in one of this books, ‘There is no doubt that in all things, there is the real and the false, and there is the raw and the ripe…’.

All I can hope is for my words to contain more of the real, less of the false, and at the same time, bear some fruits of benefit, in all their rawness. Without further delay, please find a collection of some work below.

Peace, love, Salaam, happy reading, and all else.

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Tears of Gold

There’s suffering behind every set of lips.

Yet what is it to suffer, if our cries sing His melody,

And what is it to suffer, if scars thicken our skin.

There’s a tear behind every set of eyes.

Yet what is a tear, if it quenches the thirst of a wilting flower,

And what is a tear, if it forces our gaze on the earth whence we came.

There’s love in every believer’s heart.

Yet what is love, which whispers ‘me, myself and I’,

And what is love, seeping through liquid life.

Indeed, what are suffering, pain and love at all,

Without wisdom in the recipient to understand their worth.

He says, ‘Are lips not little but words,

A heart but a vessel of blood,

And our eyes nought but vision?’

Maybe so.

But a thousand pilgrimages later I’ve learnt,

It’s through our lips, we decorate life,

It’s in this tiny heart; we hold the grandeur of God,

And through our diminutive eyes, we behold the entire world.

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Kingdoms & Cabins

I’m those words you heard but didn’t write down because you promised yourself you’d remember.

What’s the value of a word not heard, treasures a deaf man wouldn’t surrender.

For the fullest tree- what’s the value of a leaf, when autumn’s forgotten and summer deceives.

And aren’t these, just words and leaves, unspoken and still adorning trees?

Maybe when deafness befalls, and summer recedes, you too, will fully conceive.

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Etched Flute

You’re the dark side of the moon; you left your beauty unlit.

You’re that final hour; when the sinners admit.

You’re that broken vase; you still bear your flowers.

We’re a ruby or a pebble; maybe neither is ours.

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Divine Applause

Release your clenched fist, let God’s breeze kiss your palm.

Even the thunder’s clap glorifies Him.

As for the swelling ocean, its water is its own loss.

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Waves & Stillness

I asked Him to conquer my storm,to be the stillness in me…

Yet my Beloved replied,

‘You’re as much a child of calmness, as you’re the son of stormy seas.

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Patient Place

Ever loved something enough, for you to not love it at all?

Ever loved a floating bird, and not shown it your walls?

If you have; you’ve loved.

Ever felt you perish, and smiled through decay?

Ever felt the potters hand, spin your shape away?

If you have; you’ve forsaken.

Ever seen a thousand mirrors, and never whispered ‘I’..?

Ever taken her empty cup, and sought not the wine.

I have; and there I stayed.

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A Drunk is Awake

It takes years, for the sun to birth a meadow,

It takes an age, before the waves make a pebble smooth,

I finally awakened, & surrendered my dreams to imperfection,

Now I polish myself against these rough edges,

In clouds of dust, I clutch at the stars.

We claim to understand them, but only witness from afar.

Now ignore your reflection.

The crack in the mirror; is who you are.

What you gain doesn’t complete you.

Does the dawn define the day?

Wasn’t this soberness, the worst intoxication?

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This Place Here

This place is not for puritans here,

Leave your chastity, at the door here,

We cloak ourselves, in impurity here,

Leave your vision outside, we’re all blind here,

We share wine, with lonely souls here,

The drink openly, discriminates here,

The drink is, a harsh judge here,

This place is, for drunken whispers here,

There’s no word of mind, no talk of lips here,

There’s no time, a year lives in a day here,

We sell ourselves, in the bazaar of hearts here,

There’s no religion, we seek His golden locks here,

There’s no restrain, we let our desires cry here,

There’s no pretence- just love here,

Freedom lives, in polished shackles here,

Come,…loosen your anklets,

We slow dance in burning fires here.

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Porcelain Flowers

Along the riverbed

They ran

Hands locked

In embrace

Through gardens they strolled

When would she notice

The river to be streamless

Ken-less

& these porcelain flowers

And this love

she tailgated

He was blind.

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Me, and himself

A land of decay, he stumbles in strain,

Every step he lays forth – sinking in vain,

Worst are the whispers; echo and collide,

Voices diluting, the pure which remains,

Scattering his thoughts- a conquerable divide,

Screams searing through his skin,

Exposing the void inside,

Chimeric perceptions, flow therein,

Flawed fallacies, ardently belied,

Soon he submits to withhold,

The voices afflict ruin, beyond that foretold,

Wounds beyond the vagaries, of place and time,

As the clocks of his faculty, began to whirr and chime,

How he misses the silence;

yet he dismisses in haste,

The voices expel a rhythm, his lips seem to grace,

Perhaps the inconceivable be true…

That to his own,..the voices accrue.

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Auguries of Loss

What am I, but a handful of yesterdays.

This loss, and that gain; think of them as daybreak.

They’ll come around again.

All these false dawns, only our final sunrise will expose.

These inimitable winds, they’ll soon sweep you.

We spend life running; different paces.

To get to the same destination.

Have you ever thought about that?

We’re that sea oft moving, sometimes staying still..

..your shores complete you.

Maybe you are what you seek.

Maybe it’s within you.

We stare out of these windows, perhaps we peak in from the outside?

We think our loved ones perish; perhaps we are of the dead.

We drown in this drop; perhaps they come alive in the ocean.

These losses, they’ll come around again.

Every goodbye is a broken melody.

Perhaps the symphony we haven’t yet heard.

This world breathes in the death of sound.

We hear so much- yet never listen.

Sleep in the lap of experience, and surrender your dreams to imperfection.

You’re a tear running down the world’s face.

Happiness may sprout, when you’re wiped away.

Heaven sees no sunsets.

All that you lose, goes to a place of greater love.

And if it’s that, which you cannot replace,

What it gave you; you must become.

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Secrecy

It’s hard, living life without you,

I street-sweep these day dreams,

I find you.

Like those flowers on the windowsill,

I am a lie.

Look beyond…

the garden’s behind me.

you’re the hay in life’s needle-stack,

I found the barn inside me.

I am in love with you,

but I always turn back,

you go beyond forgiveness,

forgetting the guilt I once housed,

your mercy is oceans infinite,

I’m a thousand broken vows.

Tomorrow these words will fade,

but on this page – my redemption is here,

for the y’s I didn’t capitalise,

so ours’ a secret love affair.

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A Dawn Misplaced

His journey won’t begin without you;

The saddle won’t sit the same,

A wingless flight, an ascent in vain,

You both grew at a distance,

But the winds of God, bent your branches the same,

The ocean of your eyes, he hasn’t yet swam.

Only a seashell to hear the sounds of your sea,

Only autumn leaves, to see your summer in,

‘I believe your promises’, engraved within,

Latent desires, alive with a spring,

Now he feels, at arms’ length to your shore,

Praying your waves, don’t evade him more,

In the night, he spoke,

To his Lord, with hope;

‘Of this kindling let my heart not be bereft,

Of what use is a candle that unlit is left?’

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4 thoughts on “Poetry”

  1. a secret love affair.

  2. Very impressive! MashAllah. You should recite some of this at one of Rumi’s Cave events! :)
    Salams

  3. Salaams. Very impressive mashAllah! You should recite some of this at one of Rumi’s Cave events!

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