Poet's Corner
Section Twentytwo

Hafiz related verses by
Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri
Hafiz related poetry (April 2014)

A Load of Love

I give not a jot for poetry of a professional sort,
When it comes to implication it comes up short.

But when the master, Hafiz, speaks in verse
To words like these the lover cannot be averse.

For beneath the cloak of beautiful words I see,
All the metaphors are pointing only to reality.

From the ninth heaven messages reach to me,
Its not for the coffee table, its from divinity

The sun of Hafiz's love shines into every corner,
To the dusty room of the heart it brings order.

O, Hafiz Saheb, dont leave me dangling here,
Like a crane without a load to lift I will appear.

A casket of rubies, crates of fine Shirazi wine,
Load these on to this empty hook of mine.

That from timeless time, the ever present past
A load of treasure into our time can be passed.

Love is not a theory to be talked about – its 'wow!'
Its alive, in, before, behind and above all - now.

A great gift was given to broken-hearted Zahuri,
When love became for him a present actuality


O, Hafiz how artfully you both  conceal and reveal,
The mysteries of love's way, that lead to the real.
With how many sleights of hand you distract,
While you steal our heart with your fine act.


The spring of Shiraz, Hafiz, brings to the door,
Of one like me, who in heart is one of the poor.
His words send sunshine, wine, and roses too,
All the while my head is placed on his holy floor.

Here is a Mystery

The essence of Presence, is the presence of the Essence,
True is the Essence that’s made manifest in Presence.

A myriad of pretences seem to obscure the Essence,
But pretences in truth rely on the truth of the Essence.

In the chamber of a myriad mirrors lover and beloved kiss,
Countless times reflected was that kiss and its great bliss.

Each reflection thought the kiss was uniquely hers and his,
But there was truly only one lover and beloved and one kiss.

Thoughts like these are in the dust of the doorstep of Hafiz,
Pray tell why anyone that doorstep would hesitate to kiss.

The longer you linger there the more enriched your heart is,
In the encyclopedia of your mind he makes so many entries.

Maybe if I stay long enough he will eventually grant me entry,
And wave away the fierce, justice-dealing, dutiful sentry.

In the ninth heaven he is, in a palace of pristine pure poetry;
Essence, word, and spirit unite there in a blaze of glory.

To enter there is to shed the load of a million iniquities,
Who can explain it? But be certain more than a mind trick it is.

To be candid I cant be sure who it is who is writing all this,
But it would come as no surprise to me to find it was Hafiz.

Hafiz's Heart

Being here, inside the heart of Hafiz, can there be any surprise,
If from every side mystic thought in rhyme continues to arise.
The walls of this great palace are alive; a well constructed song!
Inside, deep rivers of red wine, shining, bliss-full, glide along.
And dark-eyed, long-haired, beauties stand in lines, many deep,
With musicians fine enough to make all those beauties weep.
Inside the high dome, stars look down with knowing winks,
While from finely formed vessels deeply my eye drinks,
Beyond all this there is a true man, the ruby, metaphorically,
One with whom lies the wisdom of Love's deepest mystery.
O Hafiz see the many black books this beggar has written,
Since to the wilderness of Love, Zahuri’s little life was given.

Hafiz's Poetry

I give not a jot for poetry of a professional sort,
When it comes to implication it comes up short.

But when the master Hafiz speaks in verse
To words like these a lover cannot be averse.

For beneath the cloak of his words of beauty,
All the metaphors are pointing only to reality.

From the ninth heaven messages reach to me,
This is not for the coffee table, its from divinity.

The sun of Hafiz's love shines into every corner,
To the dusty room of the heart it brings an order.

O Hafiz Saheb don’t leave me dangling here!
Like a crane without any load to lift I appear.

A casket of rubies, crates of fine Shirazi wine,
Load these on to this big empty hook of mine.

That from timeless time, the ever present past,
A load of treasure into our time can be passed.

Love is not a theory to be talked about – its wow!
Its alive, in, before, behind and above us all now.

A great gift was given to heart-broken Zahuri,
When love became for him a present actuality.

Jan 2015

How should I care...

How should I care for this or that when Hafiz I have got,
He lights the way to any secrets that I might have forgot.
Into and through the heart his images come tumbling,
Like the beloved’s hair, they are manifestly illuminating.
Rising and falling, like the chest of a lover whose longing is,
For the beloved, are the changing images drawn by Hafiz.

Thoughts after reading 'Farukh' from Hafiz' Diwan

From the blessings of Hafiz, poetry gained sanctity,
His sainthood he did not get from writing poetry.
Those enchanted and enchanting images and rhymes,
But for Hafiz perfect purity, would be mere idolatry
Ah its so easy to get caught by culture’s hook,
But those succeed who for another bait look.
Gain the ruby of a loving heart and pure white soul,
Find the source of all art, the Mother of the Book.

More than all the beauty of a good book,
I found in your one long, lingering, love-look;
The Mother of the book I saw in your heart,
When away the veil of indifference you took.

An Extemporisation on a Poem by Hafiz

The Sufi’s drunken revelry what is it worth?
More than all the treasures of the earth.

More than the prayer mat that much is clear,
More than the Sufi garb of a pretentious Pir.

The kill-joy would prefer a different way,
But as dust of the tavern's doorstep I will stay.

The status symbols of the rulers of this world,
Not worth losing ones head for I demurred.

The ocean of life was profitable I deemed,
Error? In the storm jewels worthless seemed.

Best hide from the longing in those lusting eyes,
An army of griefs would be the price of that prize.

Like Hafiz be content to let the world pass you by,
The miser's gold worth less than the soul's sigh.

Khawaja Hafiz Shirazi

To be daily drunk on divine love and in ecstasy,
In the tavern of Hafiz, the pearl of Shiraz try to be.

To get from inspired poetry a light that purifies purity
Or the key to unlock the door of your own destiny,

Beyond the seven heavens you will need to journey;
Where beauty dances daily in patterns of harmony.

Become nothing but just a silent empty wine cup,
That the generous master Hafiz you pray will fill up,

Advice From Hafiz

'Try hard to be happy',
Sounds, short, sharp and snappy.

The best advice we can receive,
Separation’s  pangs it can relieve.

Well happiness comes really from You,
Though the words are from Hafiz its true,

He has a wondrous way of revealing,
In words what You are often concealing.

Let us be happy with what we’ve got
And ask You, please, to untie the knot,

Our own foolishness has woven us in;
Knowing Your Love can turn our sin,

Into something so true and good -
(You nod your head so you understood).

If the Way of Love seems unforgiving,
It is our own insincerity it is showing.

For some it is better than any other way,
Whatever the pious preacher may say.

So now that Your pen has spoken,
To a heart that has been broken,

Our prayer is surely just this,
Into our heart pour Love’s bliss;

For trailing in Love’s great wake,
Happiness comes, for Love’s sake.

Clinging to the trellis like a vine,
Whose fruit is ripe to be Love’s wine.

Khawaja Hafiz Shirazi

To be daily drunk on divine love, and in ecstasy,
In the tavern of Hafiz the pearl of Shiraz try to be.

To get light that purifies purity from sublime poetry,
Or the key to unlock the door of your own destiny,

Beyond the seven heavens you will need to journey;
Where beauty dances daily in patterns of harmony.

Become nothing but just a silent empty wine cup,
That the generous master Hafiz you pray will fill up,

Hafiz Shirazi - the Pearl

Ahh, Hafiz, in the night-dark, musk-scented, curl,
Of a lovely one’s tress, tell, what was the pearl,
That you found, to open your heart and mind,
Making you to ishq so perfectly resigned:

So that for centuries you yet still  live,
And advice and beauty forever still give?
Ahh! but that advice and beauty I will forgo,
If to Zahuri that precious pearl you will show.

The Way of Hafez

The essence of poetry must be this,
For us to taste the fine flavour of bliss:
This is what Hafez meant by a kiss,
Or is this something your mind did miss?

The description of a fair one’s charms,
Or of holding her tight in one’s arms,
Is intimacy with the divine ecstasy,
This all must clearly and surely see!

Though far beyond gender is this mystery,
A delicate heart by romance enlivened may be.
But for the gross mind reading it mistakenly,
A poison it could surely turn out to be.

That there is a deeper secret, we are aware,
But with strangers this we do not seek to share,
And if inquisitively you should seek to guess,
‘No step without a guide’ says sublime Hafez.

What Do I Know!

It may at first seem like a blasphemy,
But Hafiz I do not find in his poetry!
With all that magnificent mastery
In the end a shining mirror I see.

And if he happens take me to task,
Forgiveness I would surely have to ask,
And say it is due to my stupidity,
That I am in the fine mess that you see.

Aug 13

With Love

With love the bird our garden filled,
When that inspired songster softly trilled,
Of the beauty of your lovely face,
That on each flower has left its trace.

With love the gardener went to his toil,
To break the back of hardened soil,
Till the softened heart of the earth,
Was ready to bring about another birth.  

With love the evening lamp was lit -
A moon with the light of the sun in it.
And  your face shone so brightly,
The dark of night, day seemed to be.

With love you touched my heart so gently,
Joy in your beauty filled me completely,
Now the seven heavens lie beneath my feet,
And In the court of Hafiz I have my seat.

April '16

Would-be Lovers

Oh, would be lovers swear by all they hold dear,
Their only wish is that the beloved they be near,
Ah, but true love is not bought so cheaply my dear,
Though they try to buy it with an occasional tear,
It’s price is to put one’s life into the hands of a Pir,
To overcome every other kind of deeply hidden fear,
Except of missing the moment the beloved draws near.

O Hafiz Saheb,

From your station in the ninth heaven,
May the help we need to us be given,
Tell us what would you have us do,
To make our little labour accepted by you.


When words start slipping and sliding like this,
The spirit is rising higher, in the way of Hafiz.
Dipping and diving and from sobriety skiving,
On a pure white moonshine mountain skiing.
The spirit doesn't ask why; it just soars higher,
On the wings of prayer, it becomes a high flier.
On the sighs of longing lovers it is mounting up,
Drinking deeply from Hafiz's brimful dawn cup.
It takes us nowhere, because we’re already there,
Riding the waves of the
beloved's shining hair.

Tavern's Door.

Is this the tavern door? Yes it must be,
For the entrance step shines so brightly.

Daily swept clean by those eyelashes,
And the blood of love’s martyr, Hafiz.

Here must live the beauties I adore,
(The holy one said not less, nor more).

Here the tavern keeper and the drinkers,
Know I am not one of the evil speakers.

There are five hundred steps or even more,
A long climb, but that’s what our legs are for.

When the veil they withdraw know for sure,
There is fun but so much more, for the pure.

Listen to the one guiding, no backsliding!
With no thought our words are eliding,

Sliding down the banister as kids do,
High on wine, a gallon or maybe two.

Love drunk, drunk on wine, spirits, or beer,
It really doesn’t matter once you’re here.

Made to Measure

Made to measure you are it seems to me,
In your eyes the nature of my name I see,
In your form there is a fairness all can see,
But your soul’s beauty is reserved for me.

Go? Your charm and beauty won’t let me!
Isn’t that why you pout so seductively,
And arch your eyebrow the way you do?
Go! Where else should I be, but with you?

I am wondering about this poetic stuff,
To get you to come, will it be enough,
I wait in the vestibule, reciting ardently,
Should I knock or press the bell more firmly?

Your siren call comes to lure me to destruction,
You charms and sweet voice are the attraction,
Though I see through this plot, I cannot avoid,
Like it or like it not, Love’s eternal fascination.

Come into this heart of mine, and bring the wine,
Let’s empty a bottle or two! More, if that won’t do;
As long as it’s enough to forget the world its fine,
I have enough of mine to make one out of two.

When this love talk starts coming out of me,
What can I say but let it be, yes let it be,
Just write it the way it comes, from its journey,
Breathless, and taking the breath away from me.

Yes, you are right I am on a kind of roll,
You said it, and it sounded sort of droll,
But you urged me on so discretely,
That you stole my sense completely.

Seven is a number that is heavenly,
Eight is a place to cross over quickly,
Because it’s in nine I know he will be,
That master of the Divine mystery.

Yes here we are with the best of company,
Through a window see the play of divinity.
Entertained by one with mastery of wine,
Hafiz can I say it?  You are a friend of mine.

Feb 2015

Shiraz's Heart

If you love beauty you mean you love the heart of Fars, that’s Shiraz,
If you love that sweet city you mean of course you love Hafiz of Shiraz;
If the poetry of love on you casts a spell, that’s the magic he weaves,
That master of  intoxicated lovers, the eternal Saki, that’s Hafiz of

Hafiz the Saint

From the blessings of Hafiz, poetry gained sanctity,
His sainthood he did not get from writing poetry.
Those enchanted and enchanting images and rhymes,
But for Hafiz' perfect purity, would be mere idolatry.

Scaling Mount Hafiz

When we were invited to climb the mountain called 'impossible',
We found a love that made those rough, tough, tracts passable.

It seemed the mountain itself smiled, or so it seemed to me,
Or was it just drunk and happy to see our mad impetuosity!

Or maybe it just enjoyed the fact we had no kit with which to climb,
Only the gift of happy words, happy thoughts, and happy rhyme.

No pick to tickle that august mountain with, nor ropes to strangle it.
And boots, soft, made of gratitude, that leave no rough print on it.

A wise and wonderful friend told me 'the difficult is easy,
But the impossible takes a little longer' - how wise was he.

So in hope the mountain’s smile augers well for our trial,
We will continue, with God’s help, to try to climb the extra mile.


O I know when I start sleep-walking like this,
Unfeeling is the heart, and prayer a chore is.

Heart what is the matter with you? Asleep you are;
The beloved is present here and now - not far.

Yes bring the wine O wine bringer, I am too sober,
And that’s a bridge I want to quickly pass over.

Poetry records what you feel and how you are,
Even when love languishes seeming so far.

Grace comes from the friends I have, lovers,
Who lived and live still, lovers and love-givers,

From the rivers of light that flow from holy books,
From the beauty found in the beloved ones looks.

Ah listen to good advice that came to me,
In the words of the holy book for all to see;

If from sin and vice you want forever to be free,
Strive day and night for the soul’s present purity.

And on this the wise agree unanimously,
Love, Life and Liberty are gifts of God to thee.

Praise be to God and gratitude to the guide,
For the expansion our heart now feels inside.

The fine poetry of Hafiz is speaking freely now,
Words of beauty through  illiterate Jamil, somehow.


Where is the beauty of Shiraz to be found?
In two dark eyes so slyly glancing round,
Till they lite on me, and linger a moment there,
And I could wish myself in Shiraz - or nowhere.

A String of Pearls
12 short verses composed on the morning of 6th Sep. 2013

In the court of Hafiz Love is king,
To serve him, better than anything.
Rise above these worldly concerns,
Drink love's wine and love songs sing.

In the tavern the rule is - drink!
And into divine intoxication sink.
Embrace the beauty of a lovely face,
It reflects the bounty of Divine Grace.

O take me far from this world's store,
Carry me to the country of the pure,
There in the tavern set me down,
Into my empty glass, love's wine pour.

Death will come one day for sure,
With, or without, knocking at the door.
He may ask me what my life was for,
'To walk the way of love, like Zahur'.

Embrace this time, embrace this place,
When you meet the loved one face to face.
So much more than a faded photograph,
Burn into the heart this time and place.

Do not offend this muse of mine,
With her I have drunk so much wine,
Ink from the pen flows when she is here,
Blood from a martyr of love in every line.

Oh perfect grey skies, lovely rain,
Of you I will not again complain,
You make it clear it is in the heart,
That summer days sing love's refrain.

Round the Beloved like round Kaaba I go,
The Seeds of love everywhere I throw,
The Beloved great patience shows,
Till I stand still and round me does Kaaba go.

In these poetic fancies, vanity you may see,
You would not say so, if like me,
Love was coursing through your veins,
And the Beloved's pen you seemed to be.

if all this intoxicated verse,
seems to you a bit perverse,
Forgive i pray my drunken words,
O Lord of all the Worlds.

This world is in a drunken spin,
May as well put a pen in,
Then words of love and ecstasy,
Will burn up each and every sin.

Abstain not, for lack of  a rhyme,
It will surely come in time,
just continue to let Love flow,
And everything (else)- let it go.

Hafiz Saheb and the Sea.

*Fal = to take advice concerning future actions by opening the Divan of Hafiz (the holy
Qur'an is also used for this purpose by some and of course the I-Ching.

It is said that once Hafiz Saheb wouldn't go to sea,
On account of a storm, whilst still safe in harbour.
In case the whisperer in your low nature says -'See,
What a cowardly act for one who is a true believer.'
Know for sure that miscreant is being misleading,
Hafiz Saheb read the message from his beloved Maker,
Just as so many use his ghazals for decision making.
Hafiz obeyed signs the Divinity sent through nature.
Not to follow would have been the reverse of bravery.
He was even bold enough to ignore the gossip monger,
And wise too, for in any situation a “Fal” there can be.
For one who in the meaning of words doesn’t linger,
But seeks in their implication news of the sacred mystery,

The Breath of Hafiz

Hafiz Saheb from maudlin sentimentality you rescue me,
Like the saba breeze you speak of, you blow through me.
Vigour rises in the heart, when you breathe on love's flame,
It bursts into a new life, and behold I am back in the game.
The great game, the only game that is worth the candle.
The game of living with love, that only a lover can handle.
Away with calculation and with that foxy insincerity,
Welcome is love that thrives on longing and intensity,
Welcome to the love that is really my very life's blood.
The Beloved is the light that into my heart did flood,
Whoever, whatever, that light shines on appears to me,
As the beloved, but that beloved is something temporary,
The true Beloved is the light that one ignites in my heart,
Hafiz Saheb thank you, from that love may I never depart.

Those Beauties.

O those greedy-eyed, sad old men, constantly trying,
To remove the veil from the beauties of Hafiz’s writing.
They are not man enough to rip off that jewelled attire,
Thank God! It would set both the heart and liver on fire.


Be abundant

With nature’s choicest gifts generously gilded?
With the benefit of labour’s earnings loaded?
Then be abundant with your own generosity,
So your heart is not hardened nor eye clouded.

Love Is

Love is; it does not come nor does it go on its way,
It has neither fidelity, nor you will it ever betray;
It does not blink, nor bat an eyelid at what you say,
If it did, you and your existence it would take away.

Love is: it does not lift you up nor cast you down,
This comedy of errors comes from you – you clown.
You can try to swim in its ocean but you will drown,
In it all is one, all this’ rising up’ and all this ‘going down’.

Love is; though a thousand fantasies you may see,
They all arise from the illusion of – ‘you’ and ‘me’.
Love is; it is reality not a concept nor yet a vanity,
When you have passed away in love you will be.

Hafiz, your poetic genius is just amazing to me,
Thanks for letting me pass it off as “ by Zahuri”.


You came, and your coming was welcome to me,
I had been waiting for you so long, and patiently.
Your eyes shone with a light and my heart bled,
Like a shower of diamonds, the words you said.
Diamonds from great Hafiz they were as I recall,
That from Alast into my heart were destined to fall.

Hafiz's Verses on Display

O that long line of elegant high-spirited dancers,
O those high-kicking silver-limbed entrancers,
As one they move in perfect rhythmic harmony,
Every curve more eloquent than a symphony.
Every step mapped out by the hand of destiny.
O pious man turn away, it’s not for you to see.
Though in truth they are the Qur’an’s expounder.
These are elegant expressions of a great Sufi lover,
They can only make the narrow minded flounder,
To savour the grand show one needs to be a dancer,
It’s not enough to be an erudite linguistic ogler,
It’s not even enough to be a skilled prognosticator.
Come Hafiz let this grand show of yours commence,  
And the chattering assembly fall into amazed silence.