All the way to the end

When I am not with you
I grow morose
and no longer recognize myself.

But there was that night
that I discovered a hole in my heart,
and leapt into it.

The hole was deep and dark
and it felt as though
all the pain and emptiness
that tore through me
came rushing out of it.

I was afraid,
shivering to my bones,
and I stayed there for a long time
wondering if I should return or not
until I finally gathered my strength and jumped in,
and it was as if I was blind my whole life.

My eyes were opened
as if for the first time
and I realized that I was blind,
for I saw you everywhere
and wherever I went
I carried you with me.

I discovered that
when it comes to you
blood and bones and heart
are not fit enough metaphors
to describe your depth,
even the womb
that birthed time and the stars
is not deep enough
to give an intuition of your depth.

Whatever I will say about you
will not sound reasonable.
I am often amazed by it
let alone someone else.

Yet there you are
smiling at me and my foolishness,
at my trying to write a poem about you
and being clumsy at it.

I smile back and tell you
that my poetry is my way
of giving my life to over you,
celebrating a little of your beauty,
but you say that my life
is not mine for the giving,
that it has been forfeited long ago.

Now I sit before the setting sun
as the trees lose their leaves
and wonder –
what is a heartbeat without you?
Can a heartbeat be
without you at its source?
What is life if not a silken weave
in your hair?
What is life if not a dewdrop
rolling down your skin,
shaking as you walk
and fly and dance
and shaking us all with you,
shattering our world
in the unfolding of your beauty?

Now I understand
why love was so long denied to me
and why I had to beg and cry
for endless nights
and feel a pain so deep
and an isolation so harrowing.

You were there
and I had to live it and feel it
with a heart as open as can be.

Now I understand
and bless you
and kiss your hand,
and show for gratitude
my entire life,
the way it has been lived
and the way it will be.
A flower in your garden
all the way to the end.


Free Verse # 371 (she is the morning star)

trying to describe you
stumbles and falls
into a pond of wine
and stays there, drunk,
until you smile
and again lift the blanket
and dawn.


Your kiss loosens my throat
and I sing like a bird
for the first time discovering
the sky at dawn;
your hand in mine
and my hips thaw
whirling into a dance
in the heart of the sun.


When the sun sets,
does it rise somewhere else ?
When my eyes close,
do they boom in your heart?
When my tears fall,
does the rose of your cheeks
shake in its dew?


I write poems to remember
the touch of your fingers
the color of your smile
when time was yet unborn
and you and I were one


What is it I want?
To touch you everywhere,
Everywhere at once.


All the silence in me
cannot touch her;
she is the morning star.

Wandering Thought # 37

A friend is someone who brings us back to ourselves whenever we drift, sometimes through a kind word, at times with a hard gesture. A friend remains close to us even when we think they’re far, that our pain and ache are incommunicable, even when we think we are abandoned by the world, left to meet the weight of everything on our own. A friend is someone who knows how to wait, when and how to administer the shot.

Letter, September 21, 2016

Every time I look at you my eyes glisten with the shyness of that first time I saw you; my eyes which can never get used to you and reduce you to a habit, a known object, something wholly understood and incorporated. So a mystery in you remains, the mystery, and the more my gaze sails towards your receding horizons the more I yearn to live in your unsolvable depths. Again and again I could see you for an infinite number of times, and each time something new would reveal itself in you, like a poem come to life. And, my love, what would this transcript be if not the poetry of my life.

Hafez – Become A Lover

Don’t tell the mysteries of drunkenness and love
To a pedant. Let him pass away on his own,
With his ignorance and self-centerdness still inside.

If you feel weak, feeble, and powerless, well,
So does the breeze. Being sick on the Path is a hundred
Times better than a healthy mind in a healthy body.

As long as you see yourself as learned and intellectual,
You’ll lodge with the idiots; moreover, if you
Can stop seeing yourself at all, you will be free.

If you are living in your dear one’s castle, don’t even think
About the heavens above; because if you do
You’ll drop like a stone to the filth-covered street.

Become a lover; if you don’t, one day the affairs of the world
Will come to an end, and you’ll never have had even
one glimpse of the purpose of the workings of space and time.

On the spiritual road, being uncooked and raw
Is a mark of unbelief; it’s best to move along the path
Of fortune with nimbleness and springy knees.

In a nook safe from blame, how can we stay
Secluded when your dark eye reminds us
Always of the joy and mysteries of drunkenness?

Long ago I had a premonition of these riots
That have now occurred, when with a proud turn
Of the head you refused to sit quietly with us.

Although the thorn hurts your spirit, the rose asks pardon
For this wound; the sourness of wine is more easily tolerated
When one remembers the sweet flavor of drunkenness.

Hafez, your love is going to turn you over to the rough hand
Of the hurricane. Why did you imagine that, like a lightning
Bolt, you could free yourself from this storm?

— Hafez, The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door, translated by Robert Bly and Leonard Lewisohn

Free Verse # 370 (in poetry I confessed everything to you)

Moonstones garden…
a sanctuary hidden
amid her white hills


Fresh from love’s spring
the wine I bring you
in a cup of poetry


In the soil of love
I will go on planting
poems for trees
even into my old age,
silently nurturing
what I am within.


Across the chasm
of a thousand years
I hear you whisper
in my dreams
and feel your touch
unfurl velvet
like a flower blooming
in my bloodstream.


You will not come
and I accept it,
alone weaving
your dark hair,
the silk of the night.


Around her
the air becomes physical,
the flesh of a poem
burning dark,
veils on eyes shed,
blinding, awakening all
to the truth of her skin.


She is a painting I can only touch with the brush of poetry.


Ses mains
blanches comme le matin
aux doigts fins
comme les branches
d’un cerisier fleuri
touchent mes yeux et voilà
l’aube de ma vie.


Ses mains
blanches comme le matin
aux doigts fins
comme les branches
d’un cerisier fleuri
touchent mes lèvres et voilà
le poème de ma vie.


Mon cœur
une fenêtre à l’aube
ébloui par ta lumière


Through the night
I rained into her,
soaking her,
and when dawn came
my poem was a moan
blooming on her lips,
luring the world
to come and drink.


She falls silent, and I wonder, where does all the noise of the world go?
She speaks, and I wonder, where does all the noise of the world go?


Her eyes are dark
yet a white jasmine
lives inside


In poetry
I confessed everything to you,
but my voice
in the morning fog
and was lost;
now with the eastern wind
it blows
somewhere along the hem
of dawn’s burning sky.


It happened at night
as the world slept,
the rain of longing fell
and left our skin soaked
in the ache of a dream
older than our memory.


I watched her
and she did not notice,
her hands lifting
to undo her hair that fell
in clusters of fragrant wings
that brushed my face,
rushed through my blood.