Miscellaneous verses by
Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri
I intended to walk and to work,
Instead in this poetry I lurk;
Well my excuse can only be,
You got me drunk again I see.
I keep trying to crawl toward the door,
Across the tavern’s endless floor;
But, every time, I take another drop,
I am wondering does this ever stop?
Well love is surely a very fine thing,
But it seems I have lost the ring,
I think I have been here before,
But in this state I can’t be sure.
If one day you find me in the gutter,
And ‘love’ is the only word I utter,
Do not think me quite insane,
Sometime, soon, I’ll be sober again.
Rise upward from below,
Ever up you must go,
Beyond this world, don’t slow,
Leave Paradise and Hell below,
Into the Empyrean’s glow,
Space and Time, let them go,
Piety, or passion? no need to know,
Till you hear the words ‘Keep coming!’
Then keep on coming
Till you are here, and knowing.
The Maid of Shiraz (in gratitude to Hafiz)
At the appointed time I came to the appointed place,
But of that intoxicating loved one, saw no trace.
Have you seen her? That beautiful Shirazi maid,
In that city of beauties the one all have praised.
Her smile turns winters into verdant springs,
Her eyes, to the heart, the sun’s warmth brings.
The swing of her hips makes the old men young again,
And the shyness of her glance - may the antelope attain.
The lilt of her laugh causes the roses to bloom,
And the narcissus trembles like a nervous groom.
The hyacinth with envy cries – ‘so sweet, so sweet’,
And apple blossom fights to fall beneath her feet,
But me she leaves drowning in my own tears,
She has my heart, and to break it intent appears.
If some radiant beautiful image come in the eyes,
It is really only her shadow that the lover espies.
Who could see her true beauty and yet still live,
Those still breathing air of her no news can give,
I will seek the company of those who from love did die,
‘Maybe she left a message for me’, to them I will cry.
Come, now, my very dear one,
Give me that tear that I won,
That from heart to eye did flow,
Take it with a fingertip, so!
And touch it to my lips too,
Now the sorrow and love
That was in you,
Has also become my love
And sorrow too.
This simple act is enough to do.
Intertwined bodies are not so near,
As we two, now, just sitting here
Penetrating, that look is, so bold and so free -
Ah yes - I have felt that look directed at me!
O this loving! Drunken and debauched it may be,
But in the waves of your hair I am all at sea;
Drowning here is the sure way to love’s ecstasy,
Becoming ocean - so from the waves turmoil free.
Living with Love
To be alive with Love the wise say is a prayer,
And if idly Love out of the window starts to stare,
Then ask what it is Love really wants of you,
And whatever Love asks then that thing do.
You need Love to stay, for more than a day, so say;-
'Now that you have come please, do not go away!
Make the same promise you made to a dear friend,
And stay with me also, until and beyond the end'.
The Language of Love
Suffused with love’s glow, your cheeks surely are,
Flashing bright with love, your eyes really are,
Moist from deep longing are those ripe red lips,
So I know your words, really, sweet lies are.
Lightly, your feet, wind-blown rose petals tread,
The book in your hand remains still unread;
The food before you has not passed your lips,
I know that your words your heart has not said.
Those soft sighs of yours are full of longing,
Your heart to you is no more belonging;
So instead of love songs moving those lips,
Should your feet not to your love be coming?
Precious the moments when love has arrived,
And by them your whole life can be revived.
Let no more sweet subterfuge pass those lips,
Come, and of these moments be not deprived.
aatasheh ishq ast kandar ney fetaad,(
jooshesheh ishq ast kandar mey fetaad: Masnevi Bk 1 lines 19/20 translit by Goli)
'Tis the fire of Love that is in the reed, 'Tis the fervour of love that is in the wine. (Trans: Nicholson)
This fire is Love’s spirit, in sound;
Loves passion, in Love’s wine is found (Zahuri tribute poem)
This poem can be taken as a commentary on the lines in the Masnevi,
or an expansion of my own tribute to those lines – God knows best.
Love’s spirit in its essential nature is fiery,
The poet of poets has told you and me,
In the first eighteen couplets of his Masnevi;
So rightly famous for its great profundity.
I pray that Mevlana will not be adverse,
To an attempt at a short commentary in verse.
The fire is spiritual of course, of necessity;
And distinguished from Love’s wine, specifically.
In fire this characteristic we can surely see,
Movement, in patterns so profound, only He
Who made the universe, and you and me,
Can fully see, how it pervades Reality.
Movement is the Spirit’s special subtlety,
It is not something in itself we can hope to see;
Just as a bird on the wing glides in the air,
On currents invisible, however hard we stare.
Though these movements are a universal affair,
Only the Spirit in us can apprehend they are there.
When we lessen the burden of coarse materiality,
The Spirit within us begins to stir and feel free.
We say within, because that is easily understood,
But dividing without and within is only good
If our perception of our self by the body is bound;
But if we see truly, it is the other way round.
The soul is the host and our body is its guest,
But it is hard to distinguish the bird from the nest.
Anyhow to return to our theme of Love’s fire,
Before your kind attention begins to expire :-
That movement begins within, but if it is His Will,
Even our clay begins to move, so great is the thrill.
Then the body, a leaf on a stream floating helplessly,
Is moved as the currents and whorls cause it to be.
But what is within and what is outwardly manifest,
Unite mystically, if by Divine Love we are blest.
The turning of the Dervish aspires to this,
Drawing in unseen currents, that mystic is;
Till a veritable whirlpool he finds himself in,
Or, more truly, sees his own body in a spin.
But the eddies, whorls, twists and flows,
That only the Spirit itself really knows,
Are found not only in a whirlpool alone,
But in every situation can be so known.
Now if this is the fire of love we have found,
Hidden within the Ney’s plaintiff sound,
What of passion for which Love’s wine is renowned?
The passion in which a rational mind is drowned!
This, I believe, the Soul’s very essence to be:
Or we might say that essence’s substantiality.
Or further we could describe it, without pretence,
As the essence of the substance of that essence.
Its main quality truly seems to be, unblemished purity,
For however diverse are we, it’s is the way of unity.
When through our heart, mind, and body also,
Its ecstasy floods, rational thoughts hastily go.
Bliss it is, bliss it is, bliss - till we put the glass down,
Or till a blessed night such as this, ends in a dawn.
Or the light of the moon is gently effaced,
And by the rays of the sun is slowly replaced.
Further it is possible to go than all this, ultimately,
Because the fire and the wine cannot distinct be,
Or remain so; for He Whose creation this all is,
Is One, and in His Unity all must dissolve, even bliss.
But more Mevlana does not say here, and I will not risk,
It is enough for any poet or sage to simply say - Ishq.
‘What is it in your smile, that says so plainly,
Leave those idols behind, adore me only?’
‘What is it in those eyes makes me so wild,
When to others I appear so meek and mild?’
‘What is it in the way you move and walk,
Makes me inclined to all this love talk?’
‘What is it in the shapes you display,
Makes me want with you alone to stay?’
‘Give me a clue, so the answer I can find,
And thus may gain greater peace of mind!’
‘Fascinating, the waves that reach the shore,
Speaking of the Ocean’s power and more!’
And I realised:
‘Ahh! Now the secret you have opened up;
The answer is in the wine, not in the cup!’
Patience’ parlour is now the place to be,
In quiet contemplation of all you see;
So the tumult of day-dreams and desires,
Remain locked in the heart till He says ‘Be’.
But I want in some way to draw you closer to me,
To weave we two into one wonderful destiny,
So your hair twined round my finger, love requires;
And to abstain from this wine, is to cease to be.
The answer to this is not in me - or in you,
But in Love itself, so seek, and to it be true;
For in Love's domain all things tend to unite,
Here words no more matter, but actions do.
In Love desire melts from its own fulfilment,
Peace fills the place with its fragrant scent,
But pity rises for souls seeking this birthright,
Thus it is that a poem like this Love has sent.