Reading a Good Book

The phrases of the book
like twigs twist and turn in every direction,
and soon I am walking a thick forest
with no thought of return,
to find a cabin in a sunlit clearing
and live in it for a while.

But the book ends
as every journey must,
yet, leaving its forest,
I carry it with me,
feeling its sap of words
flowing through my veins,
and growing, silently,
for many months and years
new leaves of meaning.

Haiku # 687

وضعت فمي على فمها
كأني بين شفتيها وجدت
مهد الشعر والنبيذ

~

نمش بشرتها
الخريطة التي بها
أعبر الى النجوم

~

أبدأ نهاري
وأنا أرتشف الدفىء
من شفتيك

~

كالثلج الأبيض
يستقر العمر
في شعري

Like white snow
age settles
on my hair

~

Tea on a cold night
finishing a book
and starting another

Wandering Thought # 94

Words, they are the geological forces of the soul, pushing against the toughest and most deeply imbedded boundaries and structures, with great patience eroding, stretching, pulling, transforming, and giving us the tools to control ourselves, to rise above ourselves and overcome ourselves, and shape our own destinies.

Wandering Thought # 61

The discipline of the flower is opening up to the light. That is my discipline too, as a poet, a lover, and a man. Man is conscious depth; his discipline is opening and giving his life direction through the sea of light.

~ ~ ~

There is a friend to whom you come closer even when you go into a different or even an opposite direction. Such friendship, what is its touchstone: a mutual commitment to the growth of the heart.

* * *

We do not simply stumble upon new books; they stumble upon us and call us out too. It is a meeting, and the space of the meeting (depending on its depth) spills out back and forth throughout our life, reshaping, transforming, metamorphosing, down into the cradle of our birth and up into the darkness of our tomb.

* * *

The poet, today, is an outcast destined to live in the shadow of a socially unjustifiable existence. The intellectual atmosphere of his time renders him mistrustful even towards the sacred fountain of his inspiration. And so he finds himself in the peculiar position where he cannot turn away from poetry nor completely give in and surrender to it — he does not believe in his own existence. He suffers, and his suffering is incommunicable. He suffers in silence. Yet this silence and suffering are preparing something in him too; even now, something is rising out of him. This intuition alone makes his existence bearable, and fills him with the awe of being a poet. He will go unseen like a flower on the wind. But poetry, her, the midwife of the heart, has already taken something out of him and planted in the garden of eternity. He will go unseen, but the poem shall survive.

Letter, August 13, 2017

Tell them I spent my life banished amid the pages of books, reading, feverishly, fluttering like a firefly amid words of darkness and light. Tell them that in the pages of books I found myself entangled like a bee stuck in honey, like a lover’s fingers in his beloved’s hair. Tell them that, contrary to what they think, it is no wasted life, it is a life of solitary abundance, a life of living at the source of what makes humanity great, and what makes life worth striving for, worth living. Tell them that I have been blessed, to read, to be able to read a fragment of that which is truly, spiritually great. Tell them that in an age of anxiety, of spiritual crisis, I have dared, through books, to gaze at the future, to imagine a different future, and that through these visions I strived to birth and live my life, my present, my spirit and state of mind. Tell them, beloved, that amid the pages of books I have loved and been loved, made friendships the likes of which are so rare on earth, shed tears, oh so bitter tears, rejoiced and found a joy that is simple like flowers and grass growing in a fallow field. Tell them, beloved.