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My poets

Rabindranath Tagore

From "Gitanjali"

1.
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.
This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

7.
My song has put off her adornments. She has no pride of dress and decoration. Ornaments would mar our union; they would come between thee and me; their jingling would drown thy whisper.
My poet's vanity dies in shame before thy sight. O master poet, I have sat down at thy feet. Only let me make my life simple and straight, like a flute of reed for thee to fill with music.

9.
O fool, to try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders! O beggar, to come to beg at thy own door!
Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all, and never look behind in regret.
Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath. It is unholy - take not thy gifts through its unclean hands. Accept only what is offered by sacred love.

17.
I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands. That is why it is so late and why I have been guilty of such omissions.
They come with their laws and their codes to bind me fast; but I evade them ever, for I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.
People blame me and call me heedless; I doubt not they are right in their blame.
The market day is over and work is all done for the busy. Those who came to call me in vain have gone back in anger. I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.

18.
Clouds heap upon clouds and it darkens. Ah, love, why dost thou let me wait outside at the door all alone?
In the busy moments of the noontide work I am with the crowd, but on this dark lonely day it is only for thee that I hope.
If thou showest me not thy face, if thou leavest me wholly aside, I know not how I am to pass these long, rainy hours.
I keep gazing on the far away gloom of the sky, and my heart wanders wailing with the restless wind.

22.
In the deep shadows of the rainy July, with secret steps, thou walkest, silent as night, eluding all watchers.
Today the morning has closed its eyes, heedless of the insistent calls of the loud east wind, and a thick veil has been drawn over the ever-wakeful blue sky.
The woodlands have hushed their songs, and doors are all shut at every house. Thou art the solitary wayfarer in this desert street. Oh my only friend, my best beloved, the gates are open in my house - do not pass by like a dream.

24.
If the day is done, if birds sing no more, if the wind has flagged tired, then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, even as though hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.
From the traveler, whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended, whose garment is torn and dust-laden, whose strength is exhausted, remove shame and poverty, and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.

27.
Light, oh where is the light? Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
There is the lamp, but never a flicker of a flame - is such thy fate, my heart? Ah, death were better by far for thee!
Misery knocks at thy door, and her message is that thy lord is wakeful, and he calls thee to the love-tryst through the darkness of night.
The sky is overcast with clouds and the rain is ceaseless. I know not what this is that stirs me in - I know not its meaning.
A moment's flash of lightning drags down a deeper gloom on my sight, and my heart dropes for the path to where the music of the night calls me.
Light, oh where is the light! Kindle it with the burning fire of desire! It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void. The night is black as a black stone. Let not the hours pass by in the dark. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.

34.
Let only that little be left of me whereby I may name thee my all.
Let only that little be left of my will whereby I may feel thee on every side, and come to thee in everything, and offer to thee my love every moment.
Let only that little be left of me whereby I may never hide thee.
Let only that little of my fetters be left whereby I am bound with thy will, and thy purpose is carried out in my life - and that is the fetter of thy love.

38.
That I want thee, only thee - let my heart repeat without end. All desires that distract me, day and night, are false and empty to the core.
As the night keeps hidden in its gloom the petition for light, even thus in the depth of my unconsciousness rings the cry - I want thee, only thee.
As the storm still seeks its end in peace when it strikes against peace with all its might, even thus my rebellion strikes against thy love and still its cry is - I want thee, only thee.

40.
The rain has held back for days and days, my God, in my arid heart. The horizon is fiercely naked - not the thinnest cover of a soft cloud, not the vaguest hint of a distant cool shower.
Send thy angry storm, dark with death, if it is thy wish, and let lashes of lightning startle the sky from end to end.
But call back, my lord, call back this pervading silent heat, still and keen and cruel, burning the heart with dire despair.
Let the cloud of grace bend low from above like the tearful look of the mother on the day of the father's wrath.

41.
Where dost thou stand behind them all, my lover, hiding thyself in the shadows? They push thee and pass thee by on the dusty road, taking thee for naught. I wait here weary hours spreading my offering for thee, while passers-by come and take my flowers, one by one, and my basket is nearly empty.
The morning time is past, and the noon. In the shade of evening my eyes are drowsy with sleep. Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my eyes and answer them not.
Oh, how, indeed, could I tell them that for thee I wait and that thou hast promised to come. How could I utter for shame that I keep for my dowry this poverty. Ah, I hug this pride in the secret of my heart.
I sit on the grass and gaze upon the sky and dream of the sudden splendor of thy coming - all the lights ablaze, golden pennons flying over thy car, and they at the roadside standing agape, when they see thee come down from thy seat to raise me from the dust, and sat at thy side this ragged beggar girl a-tremble with shame and pride, like a creeper in a summer breeze.
But time glides on and still no sound of the wheels of thy chariot. Many a procession passes by with noise and shouts and glamour of glory. Is it only thou who wouldst stand in the shadow silent behind them all? And only I who would wait and weep and wear out my heart in vain longing?

45.
Have you not heard his silent steps? He comes, comes, ever comes.
Every moment and every age, every day and every night he comes, comes, ever comes.
Many a songs have I sung in many a mood of mind, but all their notes have always proclaimed, "He comes, comes, ever comes."
In the fragrant days of sunny April through the forest path he comes, comes, ever comes.
In the rainy gloom of July nights on the thundering chariot of clouds he comes, comes, ever comes.
In sorrow after sorrow it is his steps that press upon my heart, and it is the golden touch of his feet that makes my joy to shine.

47.
The night is nearly spent waiting for him in vain. I fear lest in the morning he suddenly come to my door when I have fallen asleep wearied out. Oh friends, leave the way open to him - forbid him not.
If the sound of his steps does not wake me, do not try to rouse me, I pray. I wish not to be called from my sleep by the clamorous choir of birds, by the riot of wind at the festival of morning light. Let me sleep undisturbed even if my lord comes of a sudden to my door.
Ah, my sleep, precious sleep, which only waits for his touch to vanish. Ah, my closed eyes that would open their lids only to the light of his smile when he stands before me like a dream emerging from darkness of sleep.
Let him appear before my sight as the first of all lights and all forms. The first thrill of joy to my awakened soul let it comes from his glance. And let my return to myself be immediate return to him.

50.
I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings!
My hopes rose high and me thought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou calmest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say "What hast thou to give to me?"
Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.
But how great my surprise when at the day's end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little grain of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.

52.
I though I should ask of thee - but I dared not - the rose wreath thou hardest on thy neck. Thus I waited for the morning, when thou didst depart, to find a few fragments on the bed. And like a beggar I searched in the dawn only for a stray petal or two.
Ah me, what is it I find? What token left of thy love? It is no flower, no spices, no vase of perfumed water. It is thy mighty sword, flashing as a flame, heavy as a bolt of thunder. The young light of morning comes through the window and spreads itself upon thy bed. The morning bird twitters and asks, "Woman, what hast thou got?" No, it is no flower, nor spices, nor vase of perfumed water - it is thy dreadful sword.
I sit and muse in wander what gift is this of thine. I can find no place where to hide it. I am ashamed to wear it, frail as I am, and it hurts me when I press it to my bosom. Yet shall I bear in my heart this honor of the burden of pain, this gift of thine.
From now there shall be no fear left for me in this world and thou shalt be victorious in all my strife. Thou hast left death for my companion and I shall crown him with my life. Thy sword is with me to cut asunder my bonds, and there shall be no fear left for me in this world.
From now I leave off all pretty decorations. Lord of my heart, no more shall there be for me waiting and weeping in corners, no more coyness and sweetness of demeanor. Thou hast given me thy sword for adornment. No more doll's decorations for me!

57.
Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.
The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.
The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion.
Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure. The heaven's river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is abroad.

58.
Let all the strains of joy mingle in my last song - the joy that makes the earth flow over in the riotous excess of the grass, the joy that sets the twin brothers, life and death, dancing over the wide world, the joy that sweeps in with the tempest, shaking and waking all life with laughter, the joy that sits still with its tears on the open red lotus of pain, and the joy that throws everything it has upon the dust, and knows not a word.

65.
What divine drink wouldst you have, my God, from this overflowing cup of my life?
My poet, is it thy delight to see thy creation through my eyes and to stand at the portals of my ears silently to listen to thine own eternal harmony?
Thy world is weaving words in my mind and thy joy is adding music to them. Thou givest thyself to me in love and then feelest thine own entire sweetness in me.

72.
He it is, the innermost one, who awakens my being with his deep hidden touches.
He it is who puts his enchantment upon these eyes and joyfully plays on the chords of my heart in varied cadence of pleasure and pain.
He it is who weaves the web of this maya in evanescent hues of gold and silver, blue and green, and lets peep out through the folds his feet, at whose touch I forget myself.
Days come and ages pass, and it is ever he who moves my heart in many a name, in many a guise, in many a rapture of joy and sorrow.

74.
The day is no more, the shadow is upon the earth. It is time that I go to the stream to fill my pitcher.
The evening air is eager with the sad music of the water. Ah, it calls me out into the dusk. In the lonely lane there is no passer by, the wind is up, the ripples are rampant in the river.
I know not if I shall come back home. I know not whom I shall chance to meet. There at the fording in the little boat the unknown man plays upon his lute.

79.
If it is not my portion to meet thee in this my life then let me ever feel that I have missed thy sight - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.
As my days pass in the crowded market of this world and my hands grow full with the daily profits, let me ever feel that I have gained nothing - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.
When I sit by the roadside, tired and panting, when I spread my bed low in the dust, let me ever feel that the long journey is still before me - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.
When my room have been decked out and the flutes sound and the laughter there is loud, let me ever feel that I have not invited thee to my house - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.

92.
I know that the day will come when my sight of this earth shall be lost, and life will take its leave in silence, drawing the last curtain over my eyes.
Yet stars will watch at night, and morning raise as before, and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.
When I think of this end of my moments, the barrier of the moments breaks and I see by the light of death thy world with its careless treasures. Rare is its lowliest seat, rare is its meanest of lives.
Things that I longed for in vain and things that I got - let them pass. Let me but truly possess the things that I ever spurned and overlooked.

95.
I was not aware of the moment when I first crossed the threshold of this life.
What was the power that made me open out into this vast mystery like a bud in the forest at midnight!
When in the morning I looked at light I felt in a moment that I was no stranger in this world, that the inscrutable without name and form had taken me in its arms in the form of my own mother.
Even so, in death the same unknown will appear as ever known to me. And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well.
The child cries out when from the right breast mother takes it away, in the very next moment to find in the left one its consolation.

96.
When I go from hence let this be my parting word, that what I have seen is unsurpassable.
I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on the ocean of light, and thus am I blessed - let this be my parting word.
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.
My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come - let this be my parting word.

97.
When my play was with thee I never questioned who thou wert. I knew nor shyness nor fear, my life was boisterous.
In the early morning thou wouldst call me from my sleep like my own comrade and lead me  running from glade to glade.
On those days I never cared to know the meanings of songs thou sangest to me. Only my voice took up the tunes, and my heart danced in their cadence.
Now, when the playtime is over, what is this sudden sight that is come upon me? The world with eyes bent upon thy feet stands in awe with all its silent stars.

103.
In one salutation to thee, my God, let all my senses spread out and touch this world at thy feet.
Like a rain-cloud of July hung low with its burden of unshed showers let all my mind bend down at thy door in one salutation to thee.
Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a single current and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to thee.
Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day back to their mountain nests let all my life take its voyage to its eternal home in one salutation to thee.

Jalaluddin Rumi


Each Note

Advice doesn't help lovers!
They're not the kind of mountain stream
You can build a dam across.
An intellectual doesn't know
What the drunk is feeling!
Don't try to figure
What those lost inside love
Will do next!
Someone in charge would give up all his power,
If he caught one whiff of the wine-musk
From the room where lovers
Are doing who-knows-what!
One of them tries to dig a hole through a mountain.
One flees from academic honors.
One laughs at famous mustaches!
Life freezes if it doesn't get a taste
Of this almond cake.
The stars come up spinning
every night, bewildered in love.
They'd grow tired
with that revolving, if they weren't.
They'd say,
"How long do we have to do this!"
God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.
Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.
Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.
Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!
Sing loud!


Ghazal Number 1375

I've come again
Like a new year
To crash the gate
Of this old prison
I've come again
To break the teeth and claws
Of this man-eating
Monster we call life
I've come again
To puncture the
Glory of the cosmos
Who mercilessly
Destroys humans
I am the falcon
Hunting down the birds
Of black omen
Before their flight
I give my word
At the outset to
Give my life
With no qualms
I pray to the Lord
To break my back
Before I break my word
How do you dare to
Let someone like me
Intoxicated with love
Enter your house
You must know better
If I enter
I'll break all this and
Destroy all that
If the sheriff arrives
I'll throw the wine
In his face
If your gatekeeper
Pulls my hand
I'll break his arm
If the heavens don't round
To my heart's desire
I'll crush its wheels and
Pull out its roots
You have set up a colorful table
Calling it life and
Asked me to your feast
But punish me if
I enjoy myself
What tyranny is this


Ghazal Number 1591

The time has come
To break all my promises
Tear apart all chains
And cast away all advice
Disassemble the heavens
Link by link
And break at once
All lover's ties
With the sward of death
Put cotton inside
Both my ears
And close them to
All words of wisdom
Crash the door and
Enter the chamber
Where all sweet
Things are hidden
How long can I
Beg and bargain
For the things of this world
While love is waiting
How long before
I can rise beyond
How I am and
What I am


Ghazal Number 1205

Don't tell me I had enough
Don't stop me from having more
My soul isn't yet satisfied
Last night an intoxicated friend
Handed me his wine jar
I broke the jar in spite of my desire
I'm not enslaved
By my craving body
I'll not pollute this endless longing
I've broken the barriers
Of the past and the future
Without being drunk
Love's message came to me this morning
Hiding itself as a healer
Taking my pulse and declaring I'm weak
"don't drink wine
given by anyone
but your beloved"
if I can only find I said
the fountainhead named love
what use is any wine


The Intellectual

The intellectual is always showing off;
The lover is always getting lost.
The intellectual runs away, afraid of drowning;
The whole business of love is to drown in the sea.
Intellectuals plan their repose;
Lovers are ashamed to rest.
The lover is always alone, even surrounded with people;
Like water and oil, he remains apart.
The man who goes to the trouble
Of giving advice to a lover
Gets nothing. He's mocked by passion.
Love is like musk. It attracts attention.
Love is a tree, and lovers are its shade.


If You Are a Lover...

If you're a lover, leave all grief and sorrow!
Look at the wedding! Leave the morning choir!
You be an ocean and throw out the boat!
You be a world and throw out the world!
Repent like Adam, regain Paradise
And leave behind you Adam's pit and jail!
Rise to the heaven as did Jesus once,
Leave back your donkey just as Jesus did!
And if you, Yusuf's lovers, cut your hands,
Then seize him, and thus find the healing balm!


Heartache

Learn from the Prophet an alchemy: Whatever God gives you, be content.
At the very moment you become content in affliction, the door of paradise will open.
If the messenger of heartache comes to you, embrace him like a friend!
A cruelty that comes from the Beloved - bestow upon it a warm welcome!
Then that heartache can throw off its veil, rain down sugar, and be gentle and heart-ravishing.
Seize the edge of heartache's veil, for she is beautiful but deceptive.
In this lane, I am the whoremonger, I - I have pulled off the veil from every beautiful face.
They all put on ugly veils so that you will think they are dragons.
But I am fed up with my spirit - I worship dragons!
If you are fed up with your spirit, then hear their call of welcome!
Heartache can never find me without laughter - I call the pain the "cure".
Nothing is more blessed than heartache, for its reward has no end.
If you do not show your manliness, you will find nothing.
I will be silent, lest a mistake jump from my mouth.


The Seed Market

Can you find another market like this?
Where,
With your one rose,
You can buy hundreds of rose gardens?
Where,
For one seed,
You get a whole wilderness?
For one weak breath,
The divine wind?
You've been fearful
Of being absorbed in the ground,
Or drawn up by the air.
Now, your waterbead lets go
And drops into the ocean,
Where it came from.
It no longer has the form it had,
Bit it's still water.
The essence is the same.
This giving up is not a repenting.
It's a deep honoring of yourself.
When the ocean comes to you as a lover,
Marry, at once, quickly.
For God's sake!
Don't postpone it!
Existence has no better gift.
No amount of searching
Will find this.
A perfect falcon, for no reason,
Has landed on your shoulder,
And become yours.


Love Is a Boundless Ocean

Love is a boundless ocean
In which the heavens
Are but a flake of foam.
All the turning heavens are turned
By waves of love
Were it not for Love,
The world would be frozen.
How else would a mineral turn into a plant?
How would plants sacrifice themselves
To become filled with spirit?
How would spirit sacrifice itself
For the sake of the Breath
By which Mary was made pregnant?
All of them would be solid and immovable as ice,
Not flying and seeking like locusts.
Every particle is in love with that Perfection
And mounts upward like a sapling.
Their silent aspiration is, in effect,
A song for the Glory of God.


Not Like This Before

I wasn't like this before.
I wasn't out of my mind and senses.
Once I used to be wise like you,
Not crazy, insane and broken down
Like I am now.
I wasn't the admirer of life
Which has no trace, no being.
I used to ask, "Who is this?
What is that",
And search all the time.
Since you have wisdom,
Sit and think
That probably I was like this before.
I haven't changed much.
I used to try to make
Myself better than everybody.
I hadn't been hunted
With the ever-growing Love before.
I tried to rise above the sky
With my ambition
Yet I didn't know
I was just wandering in the desert.
At the end, I have raised
A treasure from the ground.


Only Breath

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu,
Buddhist, sufi or zen. Not any religion
Or cultural system. I am not from the East
Or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal,
not composed of elements at all. I do not exist,
am not an entity in this world or the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless,
a trace of traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
Worlds as one and that one call to and know,
Firs, last, outer, inner, only that
Breath breathing human being


Love Has Taken Away My Practices...

Love has taken away my practices
And filled me with poetry.
I tried to keep quietly repeating,
No strength but Yours,
But I couldn't.
I had to clap and sing.
I used to respectable and chaste and stable,
But who can stand in this strong wind
And remember those things?
A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself.
That's how I hold your Voice.
I am scrap wood thrown in your Fire,
And quickly reduced to smoke.
I saw You and became empty.
This Emptiness, more beautiful then existence,
It obliterates existence, and yet when it comes,
Existence thrives and creates more existence!
The sky is blue. The world is a blind man
Squatting on the road.
But whoever sees Your Emptiness
Sees beyond blue and beyond the blind man.
A great soul hides like Muhammed, or Jesus,
Moving through a crowd in a city
Where no one knows Him.
To praise is to praise
How one surrenders
To the Emptiness.
To praise the sun is to praise your own eyes.
Praise the Ocean. What we say, a little ship.
So the sea-journey goes on, and who knows where!
Just to be held by the Ocean is the best luck
We could have. It's a total waking-up!
Why should we grieve that we've been sleeping?
It doesn't matter how long we've been unconscious.
We're groggy, but let the guilt go.
Feel the motions of tenderness
Around you, the buoyancy.


Saladin's Begging Bowl

Of these two thousand 'I" and "We" people,
Which am I?
Don't try to keep me from asking!
Listen, when I'm this out of control!
But don't put anything breakable in my way!
There is an original inside me.
What's here is a mirror for that, for you.
If you are joyful, I am.
If you grieve, or you're bitter, or graceful,
I take on those qualities.
Like the shadow of a cypress tree in the meadow,
Like the shadow of a rose, I live
Close to the rose.
If I separated myself from you,
I would turn entirely thorn.
Every second, I drink another cup of my own blood-wine.
Every instant, I break an empty cup against your door.
I reach out, wanting you to tear me open.
Saladin's generosity lights a candle in my chest.
Who am I then?
His empty begging bowl.


The Lover and The Beloved

Indeed, no lover seeks union without  his beloved seeking him.
But the love of lovers make their bodies into bowstrings,
While the love of beloveds make them happy and plump.
When the lightning of love for the loved one flashes in this heart,
Know that there is also love in that heart.
When love for God has doubled in your heart,
Without doubt God has love for you.
You have never heard one hand clapping without the other.
The thirsty man laments, "Oh sweet water!"
The water also laments, "Where is the drinker!"
This thirst in our souls is the attraction of the Water -
We belong to It and It belongs to us.


The World of Love

Since I have heard of the world of Love,
I've spent my life, my heart
And my eyes this way.
I used to think that love
And the beloved are different.
I know now that they are the same.
I was seeing two in one.


From the "Fountain of Fire"

9.
Restless
Now I go to the door
Now I go to the roof
Till I see your face
I'll never know rest

Neighbors speak of me
When you are away
As meek or mad
But when you return
Everything subsides

This heart of mine
Tears itself apart
And seeks no joy
But only wants to know
When you'll arrive

But when you return
And a wine-server is around
I hold a cup
Fondle your hair and
Caress your face

Just come and see me
Letting go of my wish
Letting go of my pilgrimage
Keeping one wish in my heart
Making love to your desired


11.
How very close
Is your soul with mine
I know for sure
Everything you think
Goes through my mind

I am with you
Now and doomsday
Not like a host
Caring for you
At a feast alone

With you I am happy
All the times
The time I offer my life
Or the time
You gift me your love

Offering my life
Is a profitable venture
Each life I give
You pay in turn
A hundred lives again

In this house
There are thousand
Dead and still souls
Making you stay
As this will be yours

A handful of earth
Cries along
I used to be hair or
I used to be bones

And just the moment
When you are all confused
Leaps forth a voice
Hold me close
I'm love and
I'm always yours

13.
Only you
I choose
Among the entire world

Is it fair
Of you
Letting me be unhappy

My heart
Is a pen
In your hand

It is all
Up to you
To write me happy or sad

I see only
What you reveal
And live as you say

All my feelings
Have the color
You desire to paint

From the beginning
To the end
No one but you

Please make
My future
Better than the past

When you hide
I change
To a Godless person

And when you
Appear
I find my faith

Don't expect
To find any more in me
Than what you give

Don't search for
Hidden pockets because
I've shown you that
All I have
Is all you gave.


16.
come
let's fall
in love
again

let's turn
all the dirt
in this world
to shiny gold

come
let's be
a new spring
a love re-born

find our aroma
from the essence
of all who
emit heavenly fragrance

like a fresh tree
bloom and spread
all the blessings
right from inside


27.
Whatever happens
To the world around
Show me your purpose
Show me your source

Even if the world
Is Godless and in chaos
Show me your anchor
Show me your love

If there is hunger
If there is famine
Show me your harvest
Show me your resource

If life is bitter
Everywhere snakes everywhere poison
Show me your garden
Show me your meadow

If the sun and the moon fall
If darkness rules the world
Show me your light
Show me your flame

If I have no mouth
Or tongue to utter
Words of your secrets
Show me your fountain

I'll keep silence
How can I express
Your life when mine
Still is untold


28.
Whenever you meet
Someone deep drunk
Yet full of wisdom
Be aware and watch
This person is enthralled
Only by love

Anytime you see
Someone who seems gone
Tipsy and happy
Filled with rapture
Be sure and observe
This is the condition
Of someone in love

If you see a head
Happy and thrilled
Filled with joy
Every night and day
This head was fondled
By the fingers of love

Every moment
Someone is blessed
A tree sprouts
An angel flies
Even a monster
Leaps with delight

When your body
Feels together
When your soul
Wants to unite
You are chosen
For a blissful love


29.
Rebellious I feel again
I swear I can tear
Every chain
You wrap around me

I'm that crazy
Fastened fellow who
Cages monsters
By his magical tongue

I don't want
This mortal life
I don't desire
This mortal soul

You my life
You my soul
You my love
That's who I want

When you hide away
I feel darkness in my faith
And when you appear
I'm filled with grace

If I drank from this jar
It's because of your reflection
And if I breathe without you
I regret it for the rest of my life

Without you I swear
Even if I fly
I'm sad
As a dark cloud

Without you
Even in a rose garden
I feel in prison
I swear again

The music to my ear
Is only your name
The dance of my soul
Is only with your wine

Please come again
And reconstruct
This house of mine
This is my existence

Going to an abbey
Or going to a mosque
I'm only there
In search of you


34.
I've come to take you
With me
Even if I must drag you along
But first must steal your heart
Then settle you in my soul

I've come as a spring
To lay beside your blossoms
To feel the glory of happiness
And spread your flowers around

I've come to show you off
As the adornment to my house
And elevate you to the heavens
As the prayers of those in love

I've come to take back
The kisses you once stole
Either return it with grace
Or I must take it by force

You're my life
You're my soul
There are a lot more
Than a thousand stages

Since I've taken you along
From town to town
No way will I abandon
You halfway down this road

Though you're in my hands
Though I can throw you around
Like a child and a ball
I'll always need to chase after you


40.
Rocking and rolling
What have you been drinking
Please let me know

You must be drunk
Going house to house
Wandering from street to street

Who have you been with
Who have you kissed
Whose face have you been fondling

You are my soul
You are my life
I swear my life and love is yours

So tell me the truth
Where is that fountainhead
The one you've been drinking from

Don't hide the secret
Lead me to the source
Fill my jug over and over again

Last night I finally caught
Your attention in the crowd
It was your image filling my dream

Telling me to stop this wandering
Stop this search for
Good and evil

I said my dear prophet
Give me some of
That you've drunk for ecstasy of life

If I let you drink you said
Any of this burning flame
It will scorch your mouth and throat

Your portion has been
Given already by heaven
Ask for more at your peril

I lamented and begged
I desire much more
Please show me the source

I have no fear
To burn my mouth and throat
I'm ready to drink every flame and more


49.
Look what have you done
Hunted my heart
Hunted my soul
But let them behind

You raptured my life
Broke my cage
But wounded my heart
Then wished to depart

Though I know your wish
Though I suffer the separation
I have no courage to ask
What have you done

I know why a candle burns
I know why a candle cries
Since you're the cause
Of pulling its life apart

I know why a harp
Bows as it is played
Since like a slave
You made it bend to obey

With all the tyranny you caused
As soon as I see your face
My poisoned life turns sweet
My pain is perfectly healed

Every leaf in hope
Holds its palm open
Begging for more
Knowing your endless bliss


53.
My secret beloved
Sent me a secret message

"Give me your soul
give me your life

Wander like a drifter
Go on a journey

Walk into this fire with grace
Be like a salamander

Come into our source of flame
Fire transmutes to a rose garden

Don't you know that my thorn
Is better than the queen of roses

Don't you know my heresy
Is the essence of spirituality

Then surrender your spirit
Surrender your life"

Oh God I know
A garden Is better than a cage

I know a palace
Is better than a ruin

But I'm that owl in this world
Who loves to live in the ruins of love

I may be that poor wandering soul
But watch all the aspiration and light

Watch the glow of God
Reflecting from my face


55.
I'm loyal
To the image and beauty
Of my beloved
Please speak of that image only
And say no more

Whenever you're with me
Speak only about
The generosity of candles
The generosity of the sugarcane
And say no more

Don't speak of any suffering
Show me the treasure that waits
At the end of the road
If you're ignorant of the path
Then say no more

Last night I was in flame
My beloved saw me and said
"I'm here at last
don't tear your clothes
lament no more"

I begged my beloved
To understand my condition
To sense my fear
My love said "When I'm present
You must seek no more

I'll whisper the words
Of secrets into your ear
And you must promise not to answer
Just nod your head
And say no more

The face of a sweetheart
Has penetrated your heart
The tenderness is all there is
Your journey is the journey of love
Sense it to the depth and say no more"

I asked if the face
Belongs to a human
Or that of an angel
"Neither this not that
sense it but say no more"

I said if you don't
Identify this for me at once
My life will be shattered
"Be shattered at once
But say no more

You're dwelling in
A house filled with
Images and dreams
Pack all your belongings
Move out but say no more"

You're simply expressing
The experience of God
I said to the beloved
"Yes this is the answer
but for God's sake say no more"


62.
How long will you hide
Your beautiful
Festive smile

Teach your laughter
To a flower
Manifest an eternity

Why do you think
The door to the sky
Is closed on your face

It allures and invites
Your magical touch
To open and arrive

An entire caravan
Is waiting in ecstasy
For your coming and leading

Come on my friend
Use your talisman and
Harness all their souls

Today is the day to unite
With your longing beloved
Wait no more
For an unknown tomorrow

A tambourine is in a corner
Begging your playing hands
A flute is sitting dormant
Begging your happy lips


mirabai

Mirabai

That dark Dweller in Braj
Is my only refuge.
O my companion,
Worldly comfort is an illusion,
As soon you get it, it goes.
I have chosen the Indestructible for my refuge,
Him whom the snake of death
Will not devour.

My Beloved dwells in my heart,
I have actually seen that Abode of Joy.
Mira's Lord is Hari, the Indestructible.
My Lord, I have taken refuge with Thee,
Thy slave.

***

Unbreakable, O Lord,
Is the love
That binds me to You:
Like a diamond,
It breaks the hammer that strikes it.

My heart goes into You
As the polish goes into the gold.
As the lotus lives in its water,
I live in You.

Like the bird
That gazes all night
At the passing moon,
I have lost myself dwelling in You.

O my Beloved - Return.

***

I will dance before the Consciousness-Charmer.
Having danced and danced, I will please my enjoyer. I will feel my lover.
I will tie on the ankle bells of love and affection. I will wear the dancing-garment of His Face.
Worldly modesty, family honor—I will not care for either of these.
I will go and lie in the bed of my beloved. I, Mira, will dye myself in Hari's color.

***

Come to my bedroom
I’ve scattered fresh buds on the couch,
Perfumed my body.
Birth after birth I am your servant,
Sleep only with you.
Mira’s lord does not perish-
One glimpse of the Dark One
is all she requests

***

Binding my ankles with silver
I danced –
People in town called me crazy.
She’ll ruin the clan
Said my mother-in-law
And the prince
Had a cup of venom delivered.
I laughed as I drank it.
Can’t they see?
Body and mind arem’t something to lose,
The Dark One’s already seized them
Mira’s lord can lift mountains,
he is her refuge

***

With my tears,
I watered the creeper of love that I planted;
Now the creeper has grown spread all over,
and borne the fruit of bliss.
The churner of the milk churned with great love.
When I took out the butter,
no need to drink any buttermilk.
I came for the sake of love-devotion;
seeing the world, I wept.

***

The plums tasted
sweet to the unlettered desert-tribe girl-
but what manners! To chew into each!

She was ungainly, low-caste, ill mannered and dirty,
but the god took the fruit she'd been sucking.


Why? She knew how to love.
She might not distinquish
splendor from filth
but she'd tasted the nectar of passion.


Might not know any Veda,
but a chariot swept her away-
now she frolics in heaven, esctatically bound
to her god.


The Lord of Fallen Fools, says Mira,
will save anyone who can practice rapture like that-
I myself in a previous birth
was a cowherding girl
at Gokul.

***

I have found, yes, I have found the wealth of the Divine Name's gem.
My true guru gave me a priceless thing.
With his grace, I accepted it.
I found the capital of my several births;
I have lost the whole rest of the world.
No one can spend it, no one can steal it.
Day by day it increases one and a quarter times.
On the boat of truth, the boatman was my true guru.
I came across the ocean of existence.
Mira's Lord is the Mountain-Holder,
the suave lover, of whom I merrily, merrily sing.

***

The saffron of virtue and contentment
Is dissolved in the water-gun of love and affection.
Pink and red clouds of emotion are flying about,
Limitless colours raining down.

All the covers of the earthen vessel of my body are wide open;
I have thrown away all shame before the world.
Mira's Lord is the Mountain-Holder, the suave lover.
I sacrifice myself in devotion to His lotus feet.

***

Oh oh! I'm love-crazy. No one knows my pain.
My bed is over the gallows. How could I sleep?
My lover's bed is in heaven's mandala. How could I get to him?
The one who is wounded knows what a wound means, what it means to be burned.
The jeweler knows what it means to be a jeweler, what it means to have a jewel.
Afflicted by pain, I wander from forest to forest. Can't get a doctor.
O Lord, Mira's torment will be wiped out when

***

I am crazy with pain,
and no one understands it.
Only the wounded knows the pain of the wounded
saving the fire in his heart
Only the jeweller knows the values of the gem,
not the one who lost it.
O lord, Mira's pain will only go
when the Dark One is the healer.

***

It is raining in the month of Savan,
I like the rain coming down.
In Savan, my heart starts to pine,
I hear the sound of Hari coming.
The clouds have rolled in from all sides,
lightening occurs and it pours.
Tiny drops come from the clouds,
and I enjoy the cool breeze.
O lord of Mira, called Giradhar Nagar,
The cloudy season is for singing joyfully.

***

Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night.

If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts
then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb!


If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves
then the goats would surely get to the Holy One before us!
If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way,
I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.

***

Do not leave me alone, a helpless woman.
My strength, my crown,
I am empty of virtues,
You, the ocean of them.
My heart's music, you help me
In my world-crossing.
You protected the king of the elephants.
You dissolve the fear of the terrified.

Where can I go? Save my honour
For I have dedicated myself to you
And now there is no one else for me.     

***

I planted the creeper of love
And silently watered it with my tears;
Now it has grown and overspread my dwelling.
You offered me a cup of poison
Which I drank with joy.
Mira is absorbed in contemplation of Krishna,
She is with God and all is well!

***

I've sat near the holy ones,
and I've lost shame before the people.
I've torn my scarf into shreds;
I'm all wrapped up in a blanket.
I took off my finery of pearls and coral,
and strung a garland of wildwood flowers.

***

Sleep has not visited me the whole night,
Will the dawn ever come?
O my companion,
Once I awoke with a start from a dream.
Now the remembrance from that vision
Never fades.
My life is ebbing as I choke and sigh,
When will the Lord of the Afflicted come
I have lost my senses and gone mad,
But the Lord knows my secret.
He who deals out life and death
nows the secret of Mira's pain.

***

The rainy season is abroad
And the skirt of my dress is wet.
You have gone off to distant lands,
And my heart finds it unbearable.
I keep sending letters to my Beloved
Asking when He will return.
Mira's Lord is the courtly Giridhara:
O Krishna, O Brother of Balram,
Grant me thy sight.

***

I send letters to my Beloved,
The dear Krishna.
But He sends no message of reply,
Purposely preserving silence.
I sweep his path in readiness
And gaze and gaze
Till my eyes turn blood-shot.
I have no peace by night or day,
My heart is fit to break.
O my Master, You were my companion
In former births.
When will you come?

***

The dagger of love has pierced my heart.
I was going to the river to fetch water,
A golden pitcher on my head.
Hariji has bound me
By the thin thread of love,
And wherever He draws me,
Thither I go.
Mira's Lord is the courtly Giridhara:
This is the nature
Of his dark and beautiful form.

***

Take my arm
and keep up your promise!
They call you the refugeless refuge,
they call you redeemer of outcasts.
Caught in a riptide
in the sea of becoming,
without your support I'm a shipwreck!
You reveal yourself age after age
and free the beggar
from her affliction.

Dark One, Mira is clutching your feet,
at stake is your honor!   

***

 This infamy, O my Prince,
is delicious!
Some revile me,
others applaud,
I simply follow my incomprehensible road.
A razor-thin path
but you meet some good people,
a terrible path but you hear a true word.

Turn back?
Because the wretched stare and see nothing?
O Mira's lord is noble and dark,
and slanderers
rake only themselves
over the coals.    

***

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.   


I WRITE OF THAT JOURNEY    

I remember how my mother would hold me.
I would look up at her sometimes and see her weep.
I understand now what was happening.
Love so strong a force
it broke the
cage,
and she disappeared from everything
for a blessed
moment.
All actions have evolved
From the taste of flight;
the hope of freedom
moves our cells
and limbs.
Unable to live on the earth, Mira ventured out alone in the sky –
I write of that journey
of becoming as
free as
God.
Don’t forget love;
it will bring all the madness you need
to unfurl yourself across
the universe.


 MIRA KNOWS WHY

The earth looked at Him and began to dance.
Mira knows why, for her soul too
is in love.
If you cannot picture God
in a way that always
strengthens
you,
You need to read
more of my
poems


A LIMB JUST MOVED

You taught Your songs to the birds first,
why was that?
And You practised Your love in the hearts of animals
before You created man,
I know the planets talk at night
and tell secrets
about
You.
A limb just moved before me,
the beauty of this world
is causing me to
weep