Monday, September 26, 2011

Mevlana Rumi - You've So Distracted Me

You've so distracted me,
your absence fans my love.
don't ask how.

Then you come near.
"Do not..." I say, and
"do not..." you answer.

Don't ask why
this delights me.

Mevlana Rumi (translations - coleman barks/john moyne)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kabir - My Body is Flooded

My body is flooded
With the flame of Love
My soul lives in
A furnace of bliss.

Love's fragrance
Fills my mouth,
And fans through all things
With each outbreath


Kabir - Do Not Blame Love

Do not blame Love for the agony it brings;
Love is the King of all paths,
And the heart not wild with longing
Is already dead, already a burial ground.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bakharzi - You Are The Sun

Glimpsing your lovely face, my poor eyes stare
And brim with water like spring clouds; but there -
You are the sun; the eyes of anyone
Will water if he gazes at the sun

- Tajaddin Bakharzi (Seljuk period, Bakharz)

Am'aq - Love Makes Me Wish

Love makes me wish that everyone were blind
And only I could see you and revere you,
or that my own two eyes were blind-and then
I would not see the others hovering near you

-Am'aq (12th century, Bokhara)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rumi - The Minute I Heard My First Love Story

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.
-Mevlana Rumi

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What Is the Heart?

What is the heart?
It is not human, it is not imaginery,
I call it you.

Dissolve in Sunlight - Rumi

This is how I would die into the love I have for you:

As pieces of cloud dissolve in Sunlight.

I Too Have Been Covered With Thorns - Rumi

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too.
I have come all this way eager for you,
without shoes or shawl.
I want you to laugh, to kill all your worries, to love you, to nourish you.
Oh sweet bitterness, I will soothe you and heal you.
I will bring you roses. I too have been covered with thorns.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Awakening - Mevlana Rumi


In the early dawn of happiness
you gave me three kisses
so that I would wake up
to this moment of love

I tried to remember in my heart
what I’d dreamt about
during the night
before I became aware
of this moving
of life

I found my dreams
but the moon took me away
It lifted me up to the firmament
and suspended me there
I saw how my heart had fallen
on your path
singing a song

Between my love and my heart
things were happening which
slowly slowly
made me recall everything

You amuse me with your touch
although I can’t see your hands.
You have kissed me with tenderness
although I haven’t seen your lips
You are hidden from me.

But it is you who keeps me alive

Perhaps the time will come
when you will tire of kisses
I shall be happy
even for insults from you
I only ask that you
keep some attention on me.

-- M. Rumi

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

There are no words for that

I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand
And the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow
I wish I had a thousand words for love
But all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep
and there are no words for that

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ghalib - You Say it is not love

(You say) It is not love, it is madness
My madness may be the cause of your fame
Sever not my relationship with you
If nothing then be my enemy
What is the meaning of notoriety in meeting me
If not in public court meet me alone
I am not my own enemy
So what if the stranger is in love with you
Whatever you are, it is due to your own being
If this not known then it is ignorance
Life though fleets like a lightening flash
Yet it is abundant Time to be in love
I do not want debate on the sustenance of love
Be it not love but another dilemma
Give something O biased One
At least the sanction to cry and plea
I will perpetuate the rituals
Even if cruelty be your habit
Teasing and cajoling the beloved cannot leave 'Asad'
Even if there is no union and only the desire remains

- Ghalib

Mirabai - Strange is the path when you offer love

Do not mention the name of love,
O my simple-minded companion.
Strange is the path
When you offer your love.
Your body is crushed at the first step.

If you want to offer love
Be prepared to cut off your head
And sit on it.
Be like the moth,
Which circles the lamp and offers its body.
Be like the deer, which, on hearing the horn,
Offers its head to the hunter.
Be like the partridge,
Which swallows burning coals
In love of the moon.
Be like the fish
Which yields up its life
When separated from the sea.
Be like the bee,
Entrapped in the closing petals of the lotus.

Mira's lord is the courtly Giridhara.
She says: Offer your mind
To those lotus feet.

-Mirabai, India, 1498-1546

Khusrau - I wonder what was the place..

I wonder what was the place where I was last night,
All around me were half-slaughtered victims of love,
tossing about in agony.
There was a nymph-like beloved with cypress-like form
and tulip-like face,
Ruthlessly playing havoc with the hearts of the lovers.
God himself was the master of ceremonies in that heavenly court,
oh Khusrau, where (the face of) the Beloved too was shedding light
like a candle.

-- Khusrau

Monday, March 21, 2011

Am'aq - Love Makes Me Wish

Love makes me wish that everyone were blind
And only I could see you and revere you,
Or that my own two eyes were blind-and then
I would not see the others hovering near you.

- Am'aq, Persian poet, 12th century

Marvazi - Why tease me

Why tease me? In the twinkling of an eye
Your beauty and my love will both be gone
Don't set your price extortionately high
You'll see it plummet--and before too long.

-- 1037-1157, Persian poet, Rafi' Marvazi

Monday, March 14, 2011

This is To Love - Moulana J Rumi

This is love: to fly to heaven, every moment to rend a hundred veils;
At first instance, to break away from breath
first step, to renounce feet;
To disregard this world, to see only that which you yourself have seen I said, "Heart, congratulations on entering the circle of lovers,
"On gazing beyond the range of the eye,
on running into the alley of the breasts."
Whence came this breath, O heart?
Whence came this throbbing, O heart?
Bird, speak the tongue of birds: I can heed your cipher!
The heart said, "I was in the factory whilst the home of water and clay was abaking.
"I was flying from the workshop whilst the workshop was being created.
"When I could no more resist, they dragged me; how shall I
tell the manner of that dragging?"

- Rumi

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eric Clapton on Layla

So many years after I discovered sufi, mystic, and other poetry, and heard and studied the story of Layla & Majnun, I found that Eric Clapton (who wrote my namesake song, per dad, p.s. my brother's name is Erik) used Nizamai's poetry from Layla & Majnun word for word on his Layla album...


by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon
Based on Nizami's 12th century epic poem, "Layla and Majnun"

What'll you do when you get lonely
And no one's waiting by your side?
You've been running and hiding much too long.
You know it's just your foolish pride.

Layla, got me on my knees,
Layla, Begging, darling please, Layla,
Darling, won't you ease my worried mind?

I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.
Let's make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don't say we'll never find a way
And tell me all my love's in vain

I Am Yours

by Eric Clapton
Based on Nizami's 12th century epic poem, "Layla and Majnun"

I am yours.
However distant you may be,
There blows no wind but wafts your scent to me,
There sings no bird but calls your name to me.
Each memory that has left its trace with me
Lingers forever as a part of me.
I am yours.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On Layla e Majnun - Nezami

These two friends are one, eternal companions.
He is Majnun, the king of the world in right action.
And she is Layla, the moon among idols in compassion.
In the world, like unpierced rubies they treasured their fidelity affectionately, but found no rest and could not attain their heart's desire.
Here they suffer grief no more.
So it will be until eternity.
Whoever endures suffering and forebears in that world will be joyous and exalted in this world.

Break Your Cage - Majnun/Nezami

For how long then do you want to deceive yourself?
For how long will you refuse to see yourself as you are and as you will be?
Each grain of sand takes its own length and breadth as the measure of the world; yet, beside a mountain range it is as nothing.
You yourself are the grain of sand;
you are your own prisoner.

Break your cage, break free from yourself, free from humanity;
learn that what you thought was real is not so in reality.
Follow Nizami: burn but your own treasure, like a candle -- then the world, your sovereign, will become your slave.

- Majnun for Layla, many years later

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Pass By These Walls -- Majnun

I pass by these walls, the walls of Layla
And I kiss this wall and that wall
It’s not Love of the houses that has taken my heart
But of the One who dwells in those houses
- Majnun (for Layla)

Old Sweet Beggar -- Hafiz

Path to the Beloved
Made me such an old sweet beggar.

I was starving until one night
My love tricked the Beloved Himself
To fall into my bowl.

Now Hafiz is infinitely rich,
But all I ever want to do

Is keep emptying out
My emerald filled

This tear stained

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

O Love - Mevlana Rumi

O Love, O pure deep Love, be here, be now,
Be all – worlds dissolve into your
stainless endless radiance,

Frail living leaves burn with your brighter
than cold stares.
Make me your servant, your breath, your core.

- Mevlana Rumi

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Am Mad - Mirabai

I am mad with love
And no one understands my plight.
Only the wounded
Understand the agonies of the wounded,
When the fire rages in the heart.
Only the jeweller knows the value of the jewel,
Not the one who lets it go.
In pain I wander from door to door,
But could not find a doctor.
Says Mira - Harken, my Master,
Mira's pain will subside
When the Beloved comes as the doctor.
-- Mirabai

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Know the Way You Can Get - Hafiz

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
The innocent
And into one's self.

O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:

You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.

You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's

That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering the Beloved,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
And Wanting,
Just Wanting to help.

That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!

All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!

-- hafiz

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Golden Compass - Hafiz

Forget every idea of right and wrong
Any classroom ever taught you

An empty heart, a tormented mind,
Unkindness, jealousy and fear

Are always the testimony
You have been completely fooled!

Turn your back on those
Who would imprison your wondrous spirit
With deceit and lies.

Come, join the honest company
Of the King's beggars -
Those gamblers, scoundrels and divine clowns
And those astonishing fair courtesans
Who need Divine Love every night.

Come, join the courageous
Who have no choice
But to bet their entire world
That indeed,
Indeed, the Beloved is Real.

I will lead you into the Circle
Of the Beloved's cunning thieves,
Those playful royal rogues -
The ones you can trust for true guidance -
Who can aid you
In this Blessed Calamity of life.

Look at the Perfect One
At the Circle's Center:

He Spins and Whirls like a Golden Compass,
Beyond all that is Rational,

To show this dear world

That Everything,
Everything in Existence
Does point to the Beloved.

Someone should start laughing - Hafiz

have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

What is the Beloved?

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

Can pass through that tiny opening Called the mouth,

O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly Laughing –Now!