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The Burning

In flying close to fire I am aflame,
A moth singed by desire, a lover’s game.
I weep. My body is a coal of shame.
I am a ruin – see, grave-robbers came !-
In exile from all men of honoured name.

I freed my mind and made the world stand back.
Look where you tread. Turn into ashes black,
Fly, fly – and burn, whichever way you tack.
Oh, you must read “ana’l-Hak wa mina ‘I-Hak”.
I gulp down wine to try and drown the blame.

Folk don’t enjoy me, I don’t them enjoy.
Fire burns! I do not any mirth employ:
I wouldn’t buy this world for gold alloy.
My friends are enemies who just annoy.
Misunderstood, I stand here scorched and lame.

My mind dwelt in a magic realm of thought
Where soul was in a net of slumber caught;
My body vanished set my heart at nought -
By love and all its magics overwrought.
Thus I became a madman without name.

Here’s Makhtumkuli, weeping, out of shape,
Sunk in a mire of thought, without escape.
My inner citadel has suffered rape,
The soul’s outside the corpse, sockets agape.
Work lies ahead. Recovery’s my aim.

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