Poem – Solitude

Is someone there, oh weeping heart? No, no one there. 

Perhaps a traveler, but he will be on his way.

The night is spent, the dust of stars begins to scatter.

In the assembly halls dream-filled lamps begin to waver.

Small streets sleep waiting by the thoroughfare.

Strange earth beclouds footprints of yesterday.

Snuff out the candles, put away wine-cup and flask.

Then lock your eyelids in this morning dusk.

For now there’s no one, no one who will come here. 

Poem – My Interview

The wall has grown all black, upto the circling roof.

Roads are empty, travellers all gone. Once again

My night begins to converse with its loneliness; 

My visitor I feel has come once again.

Henna stains one palm, blood wets another; 

One eye poisons, the other cures.
None leaves or enters my heart’s lodging; 

Loneliness leaves the flower of pain unwatered, 

Who is there to fill the cup of its wound with color? 
My visitor I feel has come once again, 

Of her own will, my old friend-her name

Is Death: a friend in need, yet an enemy-

The murderess and the sweetheart! 

Poem – My Hearts, My Traveler

My heart, my fellow traveler

It has been decreed again

That you and I be exiled, 

go calling out in every street, 

turn to every town.

To search for a clue

of a messenger from our Beloved.

To ask every stranger

the way back to our home.
In this town of unfamiliar folk

we drudge the day into the night

Talk to this stranger at times, 

to that one at others.
How can I convey to you, my friend

how horrible is a night of lonliness *

It would suffice to me

if there were just some count

I would gladly welcome death

if it were to come but once. 

Poem – It is Spring Again

It is spring, And the ledger is opened again.

From the abyss where they were frozen, 

those days suddenly return, those days

that passed away from your lips, that died

with all our kisses, unaccounted.

The roses return: they are your fragrance; 

they are the blood of your lovers.

Sorrow returns. I go through my pain

and the agony of friends still lost in the memory

of moon-silver arms, the caresses of vanished women.

I go through page after page. There are no answers, 

and spring has come once again asking

the same questions, reopening account after account. 

Poem – Highway

A despondent highway is stretched, 

its eyes set on the far horizon

On the cold dirt of its bosom, 

its grayish beauty spread
As if some saddened woman

in her lonely abode, lost in thought.

In contemplation of union with her Beloved

every pore sore, limbs limp with exhaustion 

Poem – Ghazal 

I am being accused of loving you, that is all

It  is not an insult, but a praise, that is all
My heart is pleased at the words of the accusers

O my dearest dear, they say your name, that is all
For what I am ridiculed, it is not a crime

My heart’s useless playtime, a failed love, that is all
I haven’t lost hope, but just a fight, that is all

The night of suffering lengthens, but just a night, that is all
In the hand of time is not the rolling of my fate

In the hand of time roll just the days, that is all
A day will come for sure when I will see the truth

My beautiful beloved is behind a veil, that is all
The night is young, Faiz start saying a Ghazal

A storm of emotions is raging inside, that is all 

Poem – Do Not Ask My Love 

Do not ask, my love, for the love we had before: 

You existed, I told myself, so all existence shone, 

Grief for me was you; the world’s grief was far.

Spring was ever renewed in your face: 

Beyond your eyes, what could the world hold? 

Had I won you, Fate’s head would hang, defeated.

Yet all this was not so, I merely wished it so.

The world knows sorrows other than those of love, 

Pleasures beyond those of romance: 

The dread dark spell of countless centuries

Woven with silk and satin and gold braocade, 

Bodies sold everywhere, in streets and markets, 

Besmeared with dirt, bathed in blood, 

Crawling from infested ovens, 

My gaze returns to these: what can I do? 

Your beauty still haunts me: what can I do? 

The world is burdened by sorrows beyond love, 

By pleasures beyond romance, 

Do not demand that love which can be no more. 

Poem – Before You Came

Before you came things were just what they were: 

the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed, 

the limit of what could be seen, 

a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.
With you the world took on the spectrum

radiating from my heart: your eyes gold

as they open to me, slate the color

that falls each time I lost all hope.
With your advent roses burst into flame: 

you were the artist of dried-up leaves, sorceress

who flicked her wrist to change dust into soot.

You lacquered the night black.
As for the sky, the road, the cup of wine: 

one was my tear-drenched shirt, 

the other an aching nerve, 

the third a mirror that never reflected the same thing.
Now you are here again—stay with me.

This time things will fall into place; 

the road can be the road, 

the sky nothing but sky; 

the glass of wine, as it should be, the glass of wine. 

Poem – Be Near Me 

Be near me now,

My tormenter, my love, be near me—

At this hour when night comes down,

When, having drunk from the gash of sunset, darkness comes

With the balm of musk in its hands, its diamond lancets,

When it comes with cries of lamentation,

with laughter with songs;

Its blue-gray anklets of pain clinking with every step.

At this hour when hearts, deep in their hiding places,

Have begun to hope once more, when they start their vigil

For hands still enfolded in sleeves;

When wine being poured makes the sound

of inconsolable children

who, though you try with all your heart,

cannot be soothed.

When whatever you want to do cannot be done,

When nothing is of any use;

—At this hour when night comes down,

When night comes, dragging its long face,

dressed in mourning,

Be with me,

My tormenter, my love, be near me. 

Poem – A Prison Evening 

Each star a rung, 

night comes down the spiral

staircase of the evening.

The breeze passes by so very close

as if someone just happened to speak of love.

In the courtyard, 

the trees are absorbed refugees

embroidering maps of return on the sky.

On the roof, 

the moon – lovingly, generously –

is turning the stars

into a dust of sheen.

From every corner, dark-green shadows, 

in ripples, come towards me.

At any moment they may break over me, 

like the waves of pain each time I remember

this separation from my lover.
This thought keeps consoling me: 

though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed

in rooms where lovers are destined to meet, 

they cannot snuff out the moon, so today, 

nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed, 

no poison of torture make me bitter, 

if just one evening in prison

can be so strangely sweet, 

if just one moment anywhere on this earth.