The Poet and the Pir

The Poet, living in his moment

Does not survey the whole field until his last

And then, looking back

Sees the whole staring back with a deaths head

The Pir, surveying the whole field

Acts not, retreats into the green forest light

There he kindles his fire

Casting light

And makes his meditations

And makes his prayers

Here, the whole paranoma

Here, all the masks

And the Poet says to the Pir

Whither goest thou sunk in forest gloom?

And the Pir says to the Poet

Thy ecstasies will not last!

The Poet blind to reality

Drunk on the moon

Sings on

Like the nightingale in a clay cage

His heart red with his own admiration

The Pir seeing the real

Beyond Maya

Beyond the masks and the mirrors

Writes his writing on the wall

Here, he says, when you have reached your last

And literate at last

You will find what it is you had yearned to know

Before you drown’d in human voices

Before you slumber’d in a woman’s bed

Now, awake at last

You see the field in all it’s bloody garb

And the moon turned black

Speaking of love, you spoke of self-love

Sinking all in the self

Now seek ye the greater love

That shines through the dark night

And chain thy light to the greater light

And the Poet says to the Sage

I have felt all, and written all

Had I not written, the people will not have read

I am the mouth through which

Allah Almighty spoke

I have fountained blood

But I have also fountained joy

Now, my body is as a burnt offering to the gods

I am the sacrificial lamb

The people look here

Celebrate what is to come, what will not last

And enter the field with capacious hearts

Thy heart is as steel and as cold

And thy path a straight one

My heart is as warm as a new born doe

And as dewy

And my path a rocky one

Yet we are here, now

At the edge of the world

Raising our voices in harmony

To the tumultuous crowds below

They will not hear, nor will they see

A few always listen, and a few will always see

But no man can be king in the kingdom of the blind

He will cast his lot with the crowd

He will bear his wounds

Becoming as witnesses and shahids

It is good that Allah is compassionate

For man is a weak vessel

He chose weakness when he chose

Freedom to act

And knowledge of Good and Evil


The Mountains refused it

But man, foolish man, did not

Taking on his shoulders the weight of the world

And it is hard

And hardens his soul

Until it breaks

And his soul caged, cries out

Is thy soul a philosopher?

Said the winged wind.

Where is thy heart?

Mourned the circling dove.

And the people listening,

Mostly smile and laugh

And a few struck by deep yearning

Look away weeping

Their hearts as wet as the billowing clouds

In the newly budding spring fields


Arjunas War

Arjuna, lift up your blow

Your brothers have commanded war

And if you do not shoot, you will die

If you do not command the field,

They shall, and you will rue the day

You wife will be taken captive

And your sons and daughters will be slaves

And your seed will become as dust

Blown in wind, hither and thither

Never finding rest

Take heart, and hearten yourself

Thy arm is as strong as ever

And thy eye as keen

Now is the time for action

That poets will memorialise forever



Doubt can be no foundation

It undermines itself

And then the mind

And then the man.

Doubting doubt – can you doubt?

I sat on doubt and wondered how and why.

I want a cloud to hang my doubt upon

Like a chain around my heart to uplift my heart

To cast my doubt upon a cloud

And let the cloud carry the burden I cannot bear

Doubt floods the rivers and the lakes

It has monsooned doubt

And cleared the air

And runs into the sea of doubt

Nobody wonders why,


We are all used to it.

Living with it.

Pickled in it.

Doubt hammered my mind.

When I should have been walking

or talking or doing.

Instead, the mind spins on its spindle

Going where the West Wind blows

Or the East

Instead of finding its true direction

And setting its course

Here, there are no signs to guide me by

The sky is dark and stars have blanked out

And the world words has turned dark

Like a dull and dark insidious mist

Obscuring the earth, the sun, the stars

O Griefs! O Sorrows!

O Hatreds! O Hate!

O Rage! O Anger!

O Love! O Lost!

And the tears of children.

Where are you going,

Little one?

Little lost one?

Do you know,

And your mother who watches over you?

Does she know?

In my mothers home,

My home

She had woven a picture of flowers in a garden

In bright reds, greens and blues

And lettered underneath

God is Good

Now and then – it guides me still


The Sorrows of Old Hindenburg 

Tonight, new sorrows coffin my brain

In a hearse through the streets of old Berlin

I should have shot the man

But I gave him the emblems of power

He has taken our country into his hands

And crushed it

And though I had seen the shadows in his smile

I doubted my own eyes

And though I had seen the shadows in his eyes

I doubted my own mind

Everything I have known has come now to no good

Dark eagles fly overheard

Cities burn

O My Madonna, cradle thy son in thy arms



If I am a hole in the air,

O Allah, then fill me up

If the ground is stony and dry

O Allah, then stir the sap up

Thy falcon has flown the wide and wild

Tides of the sky, O Allah

And now he seeks thy hand

To alight there, to perch there

The hills and mountains in the clouds

He has seen

And the crevasses and abysses underneath

He has seen

He had hidden himself in the wind

Thy light, O Allah, thy light

Is thy truth

And is everywhere

Seeding the world

Seeding the voids

There is none to compare

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