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.
Le chant blanc de la chandelle
mêle à mes rêves
la douceur de la nuit
les lèvres de la chandelle
sirotent mon ennui
Her withered petals falling
the flower sighs,
“smile, nothing is forever.”
I go on loving you
past the total closure
of the heart,
for you are in me
as a ray of light in the flower
when it is still a seed
buried in the earth.
My poems go
where reason cannot follow,
entering that silence
where her breath lives,
dissolving in her light
the longing in my soul.
the candle as it burned
sighed this secret
into my heart
my heart a pebble
hurled by rivers
coursing amid the stars
ground me in the silence
of your heart,
teach me the difficult art
of opening again and again,
the grace of being a rose
in your garden of dawn.
No poem will ever capture the beauty of this moment, yet this moment is beauty steeped in poetry.
a cemetery of unheard sighs
and love whispers
lost in the wind
I exist in two places at once — in the poem, and in the silence of your heart.
I swallow her in sips
of silent starlight
Naming the unsayable…
under the moon’s white curve
a birdsong at dawn
I remember the fear in my sister’s eyes as she laid in her deathbed. I felt so helpless and powerless, and this feeling kills me to this day, cuts into me with a pain I cannot describe. It haunts my dreams at night. I could not ward off death and save the being I love most in the world. They tell me to get over my guilt, that the responsibility was not my own, and though that is true, you cannot not be or feel responsible, and hence powerless. I do not know how to get over this feeling, this incredible pain, but maybe I do not need to…
I also remember the light in her face, a light that became so clear to me towards the end. I don’t exactly know what this light is or why it shun with such clarity, or why her dreams became bathed in white as death approached. Was it her soul, getting ready to leave her body? Was it the beauty of her heart, a beauty that was there her whole life but that became more visible to me as I saw into who she truly was, beyond and inside the flesh and form. I don’t know, but this light! God, this light. As though I was beholding her essence, and it reduced me to tears.
I remember being haunted by this question (and I still am): Will I ever see her again? I will see her again and again as I bring her to life through me in my daily life. I will meet her around the corners of my life, as I live out more and more my own heart, love, and essence, as I become truer to the great love that bound us, that will forever bind us. But the question remains: Will I ever see you again, Sarah? You will come to me in the moments of my life, but at the moment of my death, will you be there with me? Will I feel the press of your hand in mine as you welcome me into the eternity of light of which you are now part.
Cursed be this life! Yet infinitely blessed for having allowed us to share this love even if for such a small period of time.
Like a tight bud I closed in upon myself, but that was only the outward appearance of it; in truth it was an inward motion, a closing in upon the self that is an opening up of an inward world, the inward world, the world of the soul; and the most precious thing this gave me? (and this I call poetry, the self-expressive, the inwardly reflexive) — the ability to withstand my solitude so I could deepen myself and give myself back to the world through my heart and from the depth of my soul.
I know of no more depressive fact about our daily life than its lack of the element of greatness, of belonging to something great.
A man who is in a gravely ill condition refuses to go see a doctor despite the many advises he is given. Days go on and his illness grows worse until, at last, he falls out of consciousness and an ambulance is called in to rush him to the hospital. If he survives the damage he suffered will not be reversible, and he will be forced to live on in a diminished existence.
Man, the rational animal, will not do the one rational thing that ensures his future survival, the survival of humanity. Could it be that, after all, man is irrational? Rationality — if we believe his claim, that he is rational — has been a tool at work against his survival — rationality as his greatest stupidity; its progress and advancement leading to his extinction.
Man, the animal with no control over his impulses and will, ultimately wills his own end.
What have you been doing all these years?—
Because love has to be given,
I have been writing to an imaginary lover,
Exhausting into ink the infinite longing
In my aching heart.
Why prolong and deepen your suffering?—
Because love has to be given,
And he who hasn’t felt the urge
Will not know this overpowering need,
Will not know that this urge to give
Is the primal reason of his being,
The motor of his life.
Is this not creating a schism with reality?—
That, my friend, to the sober minded
Is indeed the only possibility,
But I beg you, with whatever heart there is in you
Feel into the grandness of this vision,
Try and glance into its depth and light,
As it takes hold of you
Feel how above and beyond
All psychological and rational chatter it is;
Its reason lies in the irrationality of the heart,
And whoever does not know it will not know
How the heart grasps and lives its truth.
How can you deprive yourself of girls for the sake of love?—
Your eye immediately veered towards the denial
And this, my friend, betrays you,
Speaks your own limited but healthy state of mind,
It saddens my heart to see you so belittled,
A speck instead of the mountain and the sea
Which are open to you — if you only dare!
If your desire was not so limited
As to apprehend the desire of the flesh
But not of the soul!
No, there is deprivation here, my friend, no denial,
Here we rise only on the strength of an affirmation,
Here the dark cloud of denial will not be allowed
To tarnish the face of the beloved,
Here only the affirmation of love sways
And on the strength of this affirmation
New modes of valuation are shaped,
And a new vision of life is possible
And a higher principle of health
Is indeed acquired!
Ah, but how can I plant it in you, my friend,
The holy seed of envy
That will crack your soil and raise you
To the height of a vision
That you have barely allowed yourself to entertain?
In this age of players why not be a lover?
In this age that values most of all the pleasure of the moment,
The pleasure of the immediate,
Why not think the impossible and strive towards that
Which grows stronger even in its pain and ache?
My wish is for a thorn in your heart
And for a hammer that breaks it!
My wish is for you to rise to your own height
And learn the mastery of your impulses,
The control and sublimation of your desires,
So that, one day, and if you are lucky enough,
You may offer your whole life
On the banquet of love.
Emportant le souffle brumeux
du poète mort…
Lune si fine…
à la regarder une artère
se coupe dans mon cœur
on the seeping fog
the notes of a flute
played by a shepherd
somewhere in the hills
What is a poet?—a being who knows the secret name of the sun but cannot give it in its entirety to the world. As a result he suffers, and his suffering is baptized as poetry.
If I touched you with my heart, would you be the poem I’ve been aching to write? – the poem that exhausts my life in a sea of mystery?
He touched her and her heart, weeping, was a violin that finally found its soul.
My poem and my heart are coextensive: the woman who touches one touches the other.
Mon poème et mon cœur sont coextensives: la femme qui touche l’un touchera l’autre.
We are all in the end unfinished stories.
Un jour, même après ma mort, un papillon anonyme trouvera la fleur secrète qui brule dans mon corps.
آخر الطرقات بين
وردة حمراء تذوي
هائمة في الريح
Clothed by his poem,
every word etched
with the ink of a fire
that burned for ages
on the altar of his heart.
Caressant sa peau
avec mon poème
la fleur entre ses jambes
s’en est ouverte
comme une coquille qui m’offrait
l’infini de la mer
la mort approche,
At dawn by the window
the bowl of dry petals
emptied by the wind,
in its wooden hollow
the light of the moon.
Cette vie –
au grès du vent,
My heart at dawn
in the forest
a swoosh of leaves,
and the song of a bird
that spent the night
searching for its nest.
In a blind world
I press my poem
to the wound of the sky
All the poetry I wrote
and you did not read
I’ll burn and blow,
fireflies in the night.
The sun has set;
of one cloth are weaved
my soul and the sky’s.
blood red as it sinks;
my heart a coal
of untamed desire.
I live alone
at the edge of dawn
and no one
save a poem and a bird
comes to knock on my door.
Her and me –
the two wings of a bird gliding
in the silence of dawn.
I think of you the way silence spreads through the bosom of the night.
In the wave of his longing
a leaf folded
in the silence of the sky.
in the great heart
of the sea.
a great absence,
a thin ink line
of fading poetry.
J’ai beaucoup vie dans ton ombre. Je brille de ta lumière.
Trying to forget her whom I never met.
The aura of her light
enticing me to touch her
with the ray of poetry
in a secret place of her heart
I once loved,
I once lost.
Pour l’amour de sa peau
la lune chaque nuit
fleurit dans le ciel
For the love of her skin
the moon each night
flowers in the sky
all I have loved,
dead and gone
There is no life after death, but there is an eternity. Being rooted in it it no longer matters if there is a life after death — or, said from the opposite bank, death achieves its purpose and opens us to eternity, not to an afterlife, but to a here-and-now eternity. Death itself becomes its white flower, its most fragrant sigh, its sigh of overflowing gratitude.