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Birds Of The Air

Meditating on all things afresh,
I heard my soul cry “God” -
That soul1 when free in wisdom1 wisely clothed
In blood and nerve and evanescent flesh.

Perchance you do not find the path traversed1
Perchance you do not know1
Perchance you cannot seek the way to God;
You’ll find yourself in sorrow deep immersed.

Observe the palms that grow so bounteously.
You see the rose that blooms,
You see the grass. 0 blind man, also see
All are part of one great Unity!

Temptation urges pleasure. Oh, to sport
Freely with women fair!
To feast and drink – enjoyment without mind!
To sleep within some lofty palace court!

My heart, you’re little but a market-stall,
With pride bartered for love.
Too cheap! Every affair’s an auction sale:
You cry aloud your wish to have it all.

Unpreened, the wings of birds are opening,
Pages of books spread wide.
Yon flocks of pigeons rise with murmurous call,
Flying, yet starving, starving on the wing….

Nightingale says, ~l guard bowers,
Awaiting blessed spring.
My love is for a rose-bed
In a garden full of flowers.”

Lover says, “Illallah”, yes
Swallow says, “Hamdu lillah”.
Stork says, “Kul huwallah”,
With open heart and tenderness.

Bat calls out, ” O Lord”, in flight,
“You led me to this path,
So save me from the moon,
The sun, the wind. Hide me in night!”

Phoenix cries, “I’m passenger!”
Hoopoe says, “Here in
This world of falsity
For Solomon I’m messenger.”

Bustard is in a state of shock.
Flying round surprised
By life he wheels about
In time and circles like a clock.

Crane proclaims he flies with care.
“I drink of Baghdad’s pools,
Winter in Hindustan,
And nest among the tulips there.”

Owl says, “My problem’s one of thought.
I have beads and I pray.
Ruins provide a home
For me, by pain always distraught”.

The horned owl says, ‘I’m poor and stark,
A servant merely, I,
Who calls the Lord’s name loud
Repeatedly into the dark”.

The sparrow says, ‘I know I flitter
Here and there, flying
Between these three small trees,
To lay my eggs in such a twitter”.

The peregrine says, uln a spell
Of drink and ecstasy
I quite forgot my God
Within my darkened prison cell”.

Francolin is full of praise.
Duck is hard at prayer.
And while the goose honks loud
Its eye seeks out the sea always.

Canaries sing in calm or wind.
Peacock pursues its whims -
Peacock with many hymns
Flies to the ravaged heart of Ind.

Wails from the parrot’s painted face
Come as it waits for death.
Speaking the tongue of man
It mingles with the populace.

The fallow deer says that she’s wailing.
“I am true to you.
But for my precious young
Who suffer pain my heart is failing”.

Wolf says, “Mine are the splendid chases.
I gain a livelihood
Wherever I may run
In stony desert or oases.

Seven earths are built, so vain
That everyone sings praise.
Grasses say1 “Rabbana”
Shining in the Nawruz rain.

On Judgement Day, the day when each is
Judged, you will be told
“Give up your evil ways”,
Just as the Holy Koran teaches.

As Joseph was, hopeful remain,
As Job was, patient be,
If you’re suffering
As Jacob was in Canaan’s plain.

Hark, my soul’s ecstatic sound
My passion says “Rejoice !” -
Your generosity
Won’t fail when Judgement Day comes round.

O Makhtumkuli, look at me
And let your tear drops flow,
Nor blame me when I talked
Among my loved ones, privily.

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