Haiku # 680

Drenched in mist
my heart is a landscape
of eternal longing

~

Long after we parted
her perfume lingered
on my trembling hand

~

Moon in the window
the sound of my heart
breaking before dawn

~

Still caught in my throat
the words I dared not say
at her funeral

~

Buddhas in the snow…
their bald heads wet
with dreams of summer

~

Thawing snow…
the Buddha’s head dripping
with dreams of summer

~

The high mountain…
climbing to a world
of wind and mist

~

All the women I loved
in my memory they bear
the image of your face

~

In my secret life
I find her beauty
in everything I see

~

…اسمها
حتى شعري لا يقوى
على كتابته

Wandering Thought # 92

Poets love intensely because they invent their love long before they live it. Their lover is an active fire that brews in the marrow of their soul. Their carnality is an animal ferocity softened, spiritualized and intensified by their imagination and longing. Poets are the animals of the soul.

Wandering Thought# 91

What is a poet?—a poem that plays hide and seek with itself; a poem that needs long walks in the sun and rain for it to find itself; a poem that takes a great deal of time to decipher the light in its darkness; a poem that is wasteful with much of its life for it to experience a few precious moments; a poem akin to an open wound, aching and pouring. A poet is a man without a face, standing in the crowd, in his heart feeling and recording everything. A poet is a sky buried in a man, filled with endless distances. A poet is a failed attempt. A poet is an unreachable man. A poet is not ink but life made invisible. A poet is no one. A poet is.

Self-Portrait

I

In his eyes
you can see it,
a wound reaching
deep down
into an abysmal place
that opens
to an infinite sky.

II

I was invisible
until she saw me,
the woman I erected
with words and shadows,
the woman whose eyes
are a luminescent ink,
woman, my double,
with a sly smile caressing my ache
only to ignite my longing for her –
her – an imaginary being
blessed by a suffering she sweetly calls –
poetry.

Wandering Thought # 90

A little poetic sensibility is enough for you to know that you do not inhabit the same world as that of men. They pass you by as if they were holograms projected from another dimension, barely aware of their immediate surroundings and the intricacy that holds everything together, sways and moves everything to the same rhythm; they pass you by as if they were humans that never completely materialized, remaining half-ghosts, not really aware of the currents and tides of their own bodies, and how these merge with and echo the infinite beauty and chaos of the world outside. A little poetic sensibility goes a long way. You open your eyes, and realize you’ve been blind. You hear, feel, smell and touch as if for the first time. The world is alive. The world, as it is, is spirit, is art, it is poetry.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

Haiku # 648

His words in her ears…
Seashells divulging
the secret of the sea
~
A la table du poète
devant l’encrier
songe le vieux papier
~
Ses cheveux noirs
maison aux eaux coulants
au fond de la terre
~
Matin brisé
par la brume…
Le souffle de la mer
~
A l’abri du silence
la chandelle fane
lentement la nuit
~
Peignant la nuit
le noir
de ses cheveux.
~
Notre amour
dans dix milles ans…
Etoile sur la mer
~
Eight to five job…
the bird at my window
teasing with his smile
~
Haiku pond
the shadow of a bird
passing at dusk
~
Fallen in love…
The changed color
of her eyes

Wandering Thought # 87

A poet is one who feels and intuits the infinite in the finite, and this from the deepest elevations of his spirit and soul.

***

Poets and people in whom the spirit is rich and abundant face the danger of feeling excluded and guilty on account of that which makes them rich and unique — because it also excludes them from the company of people and society, and makes the space around them so great that very few could hope or want to traverse it. Learning the usual social skills is doubly more difficult for such people, because, at first sight, it feels for them as though it is a betrayal of the spirit in them, of their uniqueness and idiosyncrasy. But that is necessary if they hope one day to become more than just poets and spiritually rich people — human beings who are full of light and mastery, conquerors of the inner realms and of their lives, a light unto humanity, and also, simply, genuinely and deeply happy people, people whose ability for joy and fulfillment is so much greater than their normal kin could ever fathom or understand.

A Little Rest and Idleness

A little rest and idleness
and I discover
that I am still the same man,
the one who writes
and longs to write
with the fire of your name
a world of poetry.

Now let each word sink
like a caress into your skin,
let it sleep there
like an exuberant seed
to wake up and find itself transformed
into a lush forest of flowers
and leaves blowing endlessly,
of lovers meeting
under the shadow of the night
to make love deeply and earnestly.

A little rest
and my heart rises back, buoyant,
and wafts mouthful
in the fragrance of your skin,
my feet, those of a pilgrim
wading word after word after word
to vanish in the world of stillness
sounding at the center of your soul.

A little rest and idleness
and your breath, beloved,
comes to cure me,
balm my wounds and nights of ache
with the refreshing touch of dew
born upon the dawn of your lips.

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.

Wandering Thought # 60

With the poem the poets barter their way into eternity, and that is all the poets have ever done, consciously or not. But then again, eternity is the intuition for which the poem is the medium and conductor, the activity through which eternity expands inside the poet’s heart. So a moment comes where every poet wonders if the poem is in fact more than a poem, a poetry that goes beyond poetry and overflows into life, under and inside the very marrow of life. The poet intuits eternity as a force of life, or, rather, life as an expression of eternity. The poet, then, driven as if by instinct, wants his life lived in harmony with the eternal, as he begins to experience the true opening of the heart. His relationship with life or what life is for him must now come from his openness to eternity, from his intuition of the absolute. He wants to live the eternal as he relates to life. He glorifies being inasmuch as he feels that that is a state of flowering inside the eternal; being, for him, is a state of absolute openness, of total transparency and a life taken over by the eternal. So the images come of the moth and the flame, of the whirling dervish, the ocean, and the boundless sky, and underneath it all, the silence of God, the eternal.

Writing

Writing is an upstream hike,
following the river into its birthwomb,
but neither is the longing quelled
nor the birthwomb found,
and so the ache continues,
flourishing in the heart
like silence caught in a sea of fog,
like the billowing kiss of the infinite sky.

Of writing I speak as a Sufi and a lover; writing as the gateway of love.

Letter, March 12, 2017

Woman, by virtue of being woman, casts a light upon the world — and we poets, aware and ravished by the sacredness of her ray, find our hearts burning and our words rising like smoke from within the burning. And what do all poets hope for?—well, their life at its deepest root aches to get to the source of her light, to travel her white stream upward and back into the source, the core. This, poets with a fine intuition know can only be achieved through and with a single woman. Women are many but woman, in a sense, is one. The woman the poet loves, writes his heart to, and in whose light he lives is one and provides him with the highest possible unification of life. Through her he asserts himself and reaches his peak and harmonizes his strength; through her he becomes more than a poet, he becomes a man, and, dare I say, achieves his freedom and independence of women. He finds his calling in the arms of the greatest woman of all — life. What woman entices him from now on?—the woman whose light is so ravishing that, in her presence, he feels that the physical world cannot contain him anymore. You, my love, are such a woman.

Unfree Poet

In my solitude I live,
The mortal wound which the knife
Of dame poetry did give
Bleeds a sea around my isle.

‘Who would venture into me?’
In starry nights and lone dawns
My waves in rattling chains sing
The clutch of infinity.

What am I? An adventure
Though a prisoner I be,
And the dungeon holding me
Burns aquiver with dawn-light.

Unfree thoroughly, and yet,
You tears, you fire, I do bless,
And pray the ache in my chest
Spread you wider poetry.