Longing for the Beloved

The Sufi writes words of longing for her Beloved but she’s not a poet for she knows that words cannot contain the One. It is the spaces between words into which she dives and drowns in the clear waters of love, and it is in the pauses where the vibrant silence of the Beloved’s Presence causes her to gasp in ecstasy. These words are a poor cladding of rags for the light that enthrals the dervish but she gives with love whatever she can bring.

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Drum your fingers gently,
Doum, tekke-te, doum!
First light is rising
And the white thread of dawn
Doum, tekke-te, doum!

Drum the Name of Beauty,
Doum, tekke-te, doum!
The goat skin sings,
And the rosewood blooms,
Crying, ‘Love!’
Doum, tekke-te, doum!

Drum the Name of Glory!
Doum, tekke-doum,
Tekke-te, tekke-te, tekke-doum!
Flames on the ocean,
Land aglow!
Doum, tekke-doum, doum!

Hush as the orb rises,
Tekke, tekke-te, tekke, te!
Lay the daf aside,
Stand and listen,
To the echo on the horizon,
Doum, tekke-te, doum!

Roses and Pomegranates

I recently spent ten days in Andalucia and was delighted to be back there again. The pomegranates were ripe and I feasted on the sweet juicy fruits. It was beautiful to be able to enjoy the vast night skies there  – so clear, and so many stars. In the garden at the house I stayed in the roses were still in bloom. It was a time of many gifts, some of them tough, but I found great joy in the way inspiration always arises so spontaneously in Andalucia. I wrote the following poem on the bus as I was leaving Granada.

Vessels at sea!

Pomegranate blood bursts

the dam of the heart,

pumps moonlight

and the dark of the moon

to feet that learn now-

Walk! Walk the path of love!

Her darkness is

the tranquillity of the moon,

hidden, she gazes

from the other side

Her light is

the reflection of the One

appearing, she dances

the kisses of lovers

A fleet wisp of a kiss

A smudged breath of a whisper

Rose petals everywhere, and stones

for a shamanic blessing in the round

Ya Wadud in all!

(Ya Wadud! is one of the Names of God and means the Loving One)

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A Poem of Sufi Love from Maryam

Sometimes I write about poetry here and sometimes I write poetry myself. Today I read the following poem on the tasawwuf blog of my sister on the path, Maryam It is beautiful and with its words it captures the impossibility of capturing the Ineffable, yet we can whisper the Names of the One and the soul can hear those words of love whispered from the silence of love, breath joining breath. Please go and visit Maryam’s site for more poems and thoughts on the Sufi path. Thank you Maryam.
This one sings the most beautiful love songs.
This one lost his voice; but he writes them.
This one weeps while he recites.
This one can’t speak a word,
so he just weeps.
The sky seems to be listening,
some stars sparkle quicker than others;
I don’t close my eyes. I just watch
The wonder of the sound of voices.
Silent voices, in the dark,
whispering countless names.
I breath in, breath out,
with a name forever in my tongue,
my lips,
my throat.
I breath Your name,
exhale Your name,
in, out,
and the effect it has on my dreams
reminds me of those songs I hear,
the weeping that conforts the heart,
and the silent voices in the dark.
I don’t get tired of saying it.
I only get surprised.
Because once more letters, numbers, sounds,
dance a perfect dance,
saying, like a secret,
that life is death, that death is life,
that mixture is balance,
that Love comes through untouchable matter.
The one who sings has retreated himself.
And the one who weeps is tired.
The one who whispers is confused now.
As for me,
I am asleep.
And your name is my breath.


Contemporary Sufi Poetry

This is a re-posting that was originally on my other blog, The Sufi Book and Music Blog but I thought it worth posting it here too as I get more readers here and contemporary Sufi poetry is definitely worth bringing to a wider audience.Lighthunting (13)

If you do a Google search on Sufi poetry the results will most likely bring up a wealth of sites with information and examples of the masters of the art. Honoured and respected poets on the Sufi path who wrote about what they experienced and ‘tasted’ on the journey of return to unity with the One. It is a journey of longing and struggle in which all things are seen as the signs of God, including our own selves. Metaphors of love are commonly used in such poetry where the lover longs for union with the Beloved. We see this in the images of the nightingale singing to the rose or the moth drawn to the flame. There are many translations from the original languages in which this poetry was written, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, to English. Some of these translations are more like free interpretations attempting to capture the spirit of a piece for contemporary readers. For example, the thirteenth century Sufi poet/mystic Jalaluddin Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the United States today. But what about Sufi poetry written today by contemporary students on the Sufi path?

Very little contemporary Sufi poetry is published for a mainstream readership. There appears to be little publishing interest in contemporary Sufi writing. Yet many of today’s dervishes, like Sufis of old, still feel compelled to allow words to flow and the recent phenomenon of the blog provides a structure for that expression. Try some of the following blogs for poetry from the heart written today. Just click on the titles.

Knocking from Inside

Poems from the Edge of the Continent

The Wandering Troubadour

Court of Lions

Ecstatic Exchange

Gathering of Thoughts