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"ISMAILI-SUFI-DARWISH-MYSTIC"ESOTERIC" POETRY
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Words of Wisdom


Wisdom, gazing on my flesh and on my soul

wept sincerely for that pair of wretches.

Your soul s an alien stranger here it told me

Do it a favour, pay it some care, for after all

your body s quite at home and can fend for itself.

To help a stranger - that s the flower of virtue,

the root of noble disposition. It takes

an idol-worshipper to decorate an idol -

ignore your body lest you fall into idolatry.

Watch where you re going, take care not to stray.

Can you imagine a troll and a fairy embracing?

Wee, your body s is a demon, your soul an angel;

brother, why is your angel naked and cold

when your demon parades around in mink?

In philosophic terms the body s garb

is accidental but the soul s is essential ;

cleanse your soul with fine bleach, the soap of religion

then robe it in the robe of knowledge

(for ignorance is the cause of unbelief).

In religion - science and sciences, fruit of the garden

of Prophecy - avoid that asininity

which is synonymous with irreligion.

The wiseman - he is far from ignorance

as from a disease for which the knowledge is the cure.

Surely Reason is better than sugar

for it cures the pain of baseness. Reason

in the path of faith guides to felicity

with far more accuracy than the Zodiac.

Will a flower stay fresh without water?

Only the Rose of Intellect! Speak and act

in that virtue which for you is the root

of all good fortune. The purpose of creation

is Man - all the rest is but trash -Man

who holds dominion over heaven and earth,

lord of discernment and noble intellect,

deliberation and eloquence. Do not turn your head

O Man! From Him Who gave you

all this greatness and sovereignty, or

from His Command. Pay Him by the coin

of obedience in gratitude for His gifts.

Gratitude is an angel, blessings a fine

plump partridge - only gratitude

wins the reward of blessing.

Give thanks to Him alone who buys

your words in the bazar of Paradise.

Work here below to gain a kingdom far beyond

which will not vanish nor pass away with time.

If God created you to be a king

why do you debase yourself with slaves?

Beneath the dome of creation all things

are subject to generation and corruption.

Seek you for Eternity. But do not scorn

this world like an ignorant fool, for she

has over you the rights of motherhood;

contemplate Him in His works, give praise

to Him Whose handiwork is glorious.

The wise dispute: what is to be found

beyond the realm of the revolving spheres?

A vast and verdant world wherein our realm

is smaller than a finger-ring. To him

tomorrow belongs that world who today

has patience in obedience. There no one

will hunger or thirst (a foolish notion, worthy

of the exoterists!) So what will they need

with wine, however with celestially delicious?

Beware the chatter of the rabble

if you incline to the way of Ali

but listen instead to the proofs of the PROOF

whose words are not idle nor vain.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

On the praise of Mowlana Imam Shamsud-Din Muhammad(Peace be Upon Him and His Family)

In Persian Language

"Muhabbati tu chunan muhakmast dar dili mun,

Ki aetekadi Nizari ba khandani Ali,

'Darunam Chunan pur kun az hubbi aal,

Ki digar na ganjad daran kilo kal."


Translation

My heart is so full of your (Imam's) love
as the faith of Nizari is firm on the descendants of Mowla Ali.
Fill my heart with the love for Prophet's progeny
so that no room for anything else is left.


Another poem

"Taji deen shahzadia Aalam
Ourat-ul-ain Khisrui Muazzam
Bul Maali Muhammad ibn Ali Mewai lutfi baghi lamayzli."


Translation

O'crown of the faith
Prince of the Universe
the light of the great King's (Prophet's) eyes
exalted and the fruit of God
Almighty's garden of Grace, Hazrat Ali.


By : Th Great Ismaili Dia, Hazrat Hakim Nizari Quhistan (Pbuh)

http://www.ismaili.net/hero/hero21.html[/quote]
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

A Parable of Jesus


The sword is in your hand

but do not slay

for God will recompense you

on that day;

the blade was no more forged

for the unjust

than grapes for outlawed wine

are pressed to must.

The Prophet Jesus, strolling

on a day,

found at his feet a man

slain on the way;

and in amazement, spoke thus

to the corpse;

Whom did you murder, that now

with such remorse,

yourself lie slaughtered in

the dusty lane?

By whom in turn shall he

who killed, be slain?



Don t spoil your knuckles knocking

at the gate

of strangers; and be spared

the blows of Fate.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

On the Qur an


Look with inward eye

at earth s hiddenness

for the outer eye

cannot see it.

Was it?

you noble folk

do not know the esoteric

but only the exterior.

It is the world

and you must bind it

in chains of iron

shackles of wisdom;

even if this globe

seems too wide, too loose

to be bound, two things

will do: knowledge and obedience.

Your body s a mine

your spirit the buried jewel

of these two treasured qualities

so exert yourself, body and soul.

The days of youth

were fleeting as dreams

whims and fantasies which

never abide.

Do you expect stability

from the heavens

when the sky itself

is rootless?

This world s a ladder

towards that world

so climb

to the top rung.

In the whirling dome

and unmoving earth

behold the craft and wisdom

of Him Who made the Invisible;

see how He has made

(undriven by Necessity)

the luminous soul a mate

in corpulent flesh.

Who has suspended magically

beneath the green cupola

of heaven this colossal globe

of uncertain grey?

How can you say this twirling sphere

will run down

when countless centuries

have passed?

He has not made

earth to die

nor the flow of water

nor the blowing winds to cease.

He is wise and made all

in wisdom and art

so do not whisper these words

but to the People of Truth

for it is not meet

to reveal the secrets

to every astray

and unbridled scoundrel.

Time and Space are the play

of the Divine Artisan

and thus know

no limits or bounds.

If you protest There s nothing

of this in the Qur an

I reply that you have not

read it very well;

the Qur an s a treasure

guarded by one to whom

God has given the rule

of all men and jinn.

The Prophet appointed him

under divine command

shepherd to the endless

flock of believers -

but you!

against that Chosen One of God

and Muhammad have referred

who s-it, What s-his-name & So-and-so.

You do not know

the meaning of the Qur an

because you have disobeyed

the spirit of the Qur an.

The Book is a table laid

with a spiritual feast -

tell me, reciter of the Book:

who is the host?

for only he who knows

the kind giver of the feast

can eat at this good table

and be blessed.

If you re truly human

that food will be made human flesh;

haven t you noticed that dogs

turn bread and water to dogmeat?

The greatest of Man, the Prophet

for that reason has banished

from his table the enemies

of his Household;

like fallen angels

these foes must stand

drylipped before the Euphrates

for their evil thoughts.

If you would be

a lover of the Family

you must (like Nasir) abondon

to the enemy your wealth;

do not regret

your riches

for they will not remain

in any case with Sultan or Khan.

What you lose of this world

you gain in religion

as much as you scorn your worldly loss

for the sake of the Hereafter.

You are a guest in another s house;

behave yourself

and do not act as if

it belongs to you.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Ode to Night


Night: shoreless shadowed stormwracked sea;

the sphere of Night: a desert of roses smeared with indigo.

Slopes, hillocks, high places stand still and silent

as terminal giants hunched in cureless melancholy.

Heaven has washed its face in tar and rests unmoving

as if God the Singular had never created it.

Wilderness, bewildered with sadness, grows no lighter

with the bilious dawn. Rays of light

cannot move from eyes to touch faces,

echoes cannot find their way to any ear

as if Earth the Sorcerer had taken existence away

from all things and left the whirling sky a lunatic.

The Empyrean grinds to a halt - one might think

in all the world no creature stirs or breathes.

Under the narrow ebon canopy of night I open my eye

- nothing. I close my eye upon no dream.

My physical eye looks upon night, the eye of my heart

looks upon the void, like a lonely sentinel

in the midst of the sleeping army. My physical eye

sees the stars as vigilant guards. The heart s eye

sees no one awake, no wiseman, no sage.

The stars: a paradise of black-eyed girls;

the clouds part and reveal their smiling eyes

like a bit of luck amidst the general bane -

Go, have a look: the Pleiades, cluster of white roses

shining in dark grass like lost gems of ancient kings;

Capella s bloodshot eye in the West, like a bersker

staring down in foe; Jupiter like Joseph

in the inky well, Venus pale and perplexed as Zulaikha;

the sky, Mary s jewel-encrusted tabernacle;

stars like monks, the Hyades a crucifix.



My eye, ear, heart, breathlessly wake, hoping

for a streak of dawn, a sound in that terrible stillness,

for if my soul forgets, my learned intellect recalls

that in all the Universe, nothing begins but comes to an end.

Night s raven crosses the boundary from Jabulsa to Jabulkqa,

dawn rises at last, a griffon from a ruby s heart,

legions of darkness flea before the ranks of morning

as error dissipated before Truth s face;

the stars blush like maidens in purdah

caught by their mothers without their veils,

and fall, fall headlong into the Sun, as in the end

all parts rejoin the Whole at last.



Ah, Nasir, you speak too much of stars and night;

look in your wisdom on the world s affairs;

the universe, a sea of eloquent pearls,

the Ocean of Time, men its frail ships.

Praise God, Who makes His ablutions and shakes

the water from His hands, which falls

into the heavens, each drop a star.

The constellations of good fortune are nothing

without the light of His face; the skies

have no breadth but in His Kingdom s expanse.

Such ranks He bestows on me in His generosity

no sage before me is wise, no prince sublime.

From this world I seek but fellowship in Faith,

companions such as never Heaven not earth have known.

I praise the peerless Lord, the Almighty Friend

from Whom all power flows. I have woven

a silk brocade and sewn it with Wisdom

such as never left the looms of Byzantium;

I have raised a tree, fresh and tall as the Ash of Paradise,

every leaf a gold word, every line sweet as a date.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

The Way of the World


That s its custom, the World: to vex and disturb us -

but whatever you do don t try to hit back!

It ll never leave off its swordplay, but the best

you can do is to make a shield of your intellect.

I see you wear the amulet of loyalty

to the world around your neck - take it off

quick, or your master will surely strangle you.

The generous man, accustomed to doing good

to people of faith and virtue, shins the mob

as if they were dogs, as if they were briny desert

where no wise farmer would think to sow a crop

or hope to fertilise it with irrigation.

Companionship with fools is but a thorn

to prick out the eye of faith and manliness -

don t give your heart to the world; no free

or noble man would sell himself to a tramp.

Never feel secure from the vicissitudes of Time

that serpent which devours even the elements;

if one day you manage to escape her tricks

tomorrow she ll back with something worse.

Mankind sees little mercy from this world

however much he begs and weeps and laments.

Look how she paints her face, the whore,

the husband-murderer, the witch who hides

away in her closet mixing poison with

his glass of wine - but worse, her lover, who takes

a cup of arsenic from this drab and thinks

it honey - how can he be reckoned a man

who falls in a woman s deceitful snare? Wisdom

is a magic potency bought with piety

and faith, which pours down its rain from the cloud

of language on the field of the intelligence.

He who makes Wisdom his master will see as clear

as day the banal machinations of

his foe, the World which mixes honey with gall -

he who has Wisdom in his head will never

dare to bed down with a demon of Hell !



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

The World Defends Itself


O World, you may not have lasted more than

the usual fourscore and ten for anyone, but still

you are necessary. You may be as wretched as

a thorn on the eye, but essentially you are

as necessary as sight itself. You may have

broken, but you have mended as well.

Like a chameleon you take on the colour

of corruption from the corrupt, but to the pure

you are pure. To those who despise you

sayYou have not known me.

If you are modest and sedate you ll find me

modest and sedate as well. I gave you

righteousness but you sought from me

only ill. If you are wise you will be

saved from me. Why hate that from which

you ve been saved? God has given me

to you as a thoroughfare - why do you

loiter along the way? You are a branch

of the tree God planted for your sake -

if you grow up crooked, you will end up

in the fireplace - grow straight

and you will be saved. Yes, crookedness

will land you in the flames, and no one

will ask if you were almond or pistachio.

You are the arrow of God to His enemies -

why have cut yourself on your own point?

You yourself have gone astray from deliverance -

why complain to me that you have lost

and cannot find the way again?



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

World Defends Itself


The World knows the GAME -

don t cut yourself in.

Even swiftflying hawks

will fall in its snare.

I build a palace

the world pulls it down:

what do you call this

but Play?

What is it; Ludus?,

that from which nothing

is gained. But you

are mad for it.

In the claws of the worldhawk

your hair goes piebald grey;

now turn back

from this pointless Play.

Youth was a downward slope

- easy breathing, head held high -

now the upward climb of old age

and you hang your head.

Youth a descent

you rushed unchecked;

but now before the hill of age

you gape and yawn.

>When I was young

I did so-and-so

but now you ve grown old

why boast over nothing?

When you were so rich

why didn t you stash something

to tide you over now

you re down and out?

Yourstates are like

fish in the sea:

in the sea who owns them

mon brave?

World s face embroidered

with playfulness:

turn away and sew up

your own affairs.

Unless you turn body and soul

to gnosis and devotion

those two uncaring frauds

will cheat you blind.

Circling . . . circling -

close the circle - die.

If you do not start NOW

when will you start?

Screwing around, ballgames

injustice, backbiting, theft

lying, conning, putting it on,

pride, impudence and slander:

demongames

set-ups for the Fire -

get out of them

heave them overboard.

At school they force knowledge

down your throat;

ignorance sings harmonies with you

when you harmonise withNature@.

Why aren t you greedy

for knowledge? You re usually

voracious, a glutton for

whatever you don t have.

I heard you boasting of

your eloquent Arabic.

Idiot! Arabic - its only value

is to read the Qur an

the Treasury of Knowledge

for those who read it passionless -

and what enticed you to poetry

if not your passions?

Mine of Divine Mysteries

you scorn it

intimate playfellow

of lying devils.

If I m to be called

your fellow-religionist

you ll have to cut yourself

off from such friends.

O Nasir ! Cut yourself off indeed

O PROOF! From braggrats

and seekers of fame, for you

are a man of truth and piety.

It s enough of you can

escape from their clutches -

cut the story short and leave off

talking about the Persians.

For in your heart are

ambergris-scented rose-tinted

brocades with you

the perfumer, the draper

will offer to

the wise.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Homo Ludens


The World knows the GAME -

don t cut yourself in.

Even swiftflying hawks

will fall in its snare.

I build a palace

the world pulls it down:

what do you call this

but Play?

What is it; Ludus?,

that from which nothing

is gained. But you

are mad for it.

In the claws of the worldhawk

your hair goes piebald grey;

now turn back

from this pointless Play.

Youth was a downward slope

- easy breathing, head held high -

now the upward climb of old age

and you hang your head.

Youth a descent

you rushed unchecked;

but now before the hill of age

you gape and yawn.

>When I was young

I did so-and-so

but now you ve grown old

why boast over nothing?

When you were so rich

why didn t you stash something

to tide you over now

you re down and out?

Yourstates are like

fish in the sea:

in the sea who owns them

mon brave?

World s face embroidered

with playfulness:

turn away and sew up

your own affairs.

Unless you turn body and soul

to gnosis and devotion

those two uncaring frauds

will cheat you blind.

Circling . . . circling -

close the circle - die.

If you do not start NOW

when will you start?

Screwing around, ballgames

injustice, backbiting, theft

lying, conning, putting it on,

pride, impudence and slander:

demongames

set-ups for the Fire -

get out of them

heave them overboard.

At school they force knowledge

down your throat;

ignorance sings harmonies with you

when you harmonise withNature@.

Why aren t you greedy

for knowledge? You re usually

voracious, a glutton for

whatever you don t have.

I heard you boasting of

your eloquent Arabic.

Idiot! Arabic - its only value

is to read the Qur an

the Treasury of Knowledge

for those who read it passionless -

and what enticed you to poetry

if not your passions?

Mine of Divine Mysteries

you scorn it

intimate playfellow

of lying devils.

If I m to be called

your fellow-religionist

you ll have to cut yourself

off from such friends.

O Nasir ! Cut yourself off indeed

O PROOF! From braggrats

and seekers of fame, for you

are a man of truth and piety.

It s enough of you can

escape from their clutches -

cut the story short and leave off

talking about the Persians.

For in your heart are

ambergris-scented rose-tinted

brocades with you

the perfumer, the draper

will offer to

the wise.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

The Eater of Dust


He will not spend the coin of his days on sleep and food

who knows the secrets of the Turquoise Wheel

- only the fool who s crushed beneath the disgrace of ignorance

will trust himself to the gourmandise of a drunken dragon.

Seduced by sweet repose and tasty victuals

you cannot feel the world gnawing away at your side;

eater of Dust, know in the end dust shall devour you.

The fruit of earth is mixed (by Nature s powers)

with salt, with fat or sugar to your taste -

without those herbs and spices do you think

the taste of dirt would please you half so well?

The earth is poison. Your enemy lurks in your stomach

and is fed up with your soul, no matter what

you feed him on - but if you neglect to pour

his ration of dirt down his throat, then how

he will howl and complain down there in your gut.

What magic furnace lies hid within a grain of wheat

that lets it alchemise dung and dirt into itself?

How does that headless toothless intestineless grain

devour dust, moistened by Spring rain?

He who does not marvel at such craftsmanship

must ne counted blind by those with wisdom.

Inside the grain the portions of the seed

have each their separate work and avocation

to carry on their labours for mankind -

but the sage, when he sees in each bit of corn

a creator, will not take it for his god,

and tiring of his scientific search among

these hidden artisans of Nature, will not raise

his sight in vain to higher things than intellect.

Let him sow seeds of gratitude in his eyes

who is lucky enough to receive from his Lord

such blessings as these, for if he should pay

for happiness with hurt, must he not be

hurt in return? The sage who s done a favour

will return it, for nothing flows from a jug

of vinegar but vinegar. Think and imagine

meditate and write of nothing but Good;

seek counsel from the wise, for they will pour

for you a beverage much to your liking,

pressing the heart s cluster with the hand

of the intellect. Are you sorrowful my brother

and find that religion brings you only grief?

Then read the poems of the PROOF, for they will scour

and polish this sorrow from your soul. But you

who are slain by ignorance, must come to him

if you desire the resurrection he provides

for your ignorance, he dare not come to you!



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Ode to Spring


Winter flees, Spring returns new youth

to this aged world, the Azure pool

is filled with sparkling wine, the silver desert

set with emeralds, and the wind,

whipping the flags of February, now

in march takes on a hint of incense.

The poor naked willow now is clothed

in fine gray silk and ear-rings. The meadow

has washed its face, the flowers eyes

have opened, earth has regained awareness,

for the Morning Breeze has breathed upon it

the Messiah s revivifying incantations.

The garden grows fresh as the sky;

the narcissus sparks like the Pleiades.

The clouds - are they not Joseph s miracle?

For the desert has grown fair as the face

of Potiphar s wife. Tulips blush

like so many young girls, the narcissus

stares about like a frenzied lover.

Violets, released from the persecution

of winter snow, have donned the robes

of Christians. Crystal spools are shady,

the air clear, the raven slinks away,

the nightingale begins to practise his scales,

the garden is paradise, the tulip s cheeks

grow luminous as the skin of black-eyed

houris. The crow, like a conquered blackamoor

enslaves himself to the rose and nightingale -

a trellis of white rose-vines punctuates the air

like the silver mosaic of the heavens.

Winter bows to Spring like the enemies of Faith

before Ali; the raven cowers in fear

like the foes of the Imams - hypocrisy

is woven in its black robe, like the gowns

of the Abbasids. The Sun shines forth

like a Fatimid as it ascends the slope

from its winter exile, its rays as bright

as Zulfiqar, giving vigour to the rose

as to the pearl-white steed of Ali.

Reaching the battlefield of the Equinox, the Sun

declares war on the cold season - Day

increases like Faith, like the People of Friendship;

Night shrinks like unbelief and grows dark

with melancholy as the People of Hypocrisy.

The world like a heart which remembers

now swells with light, beneficence and virtue.

It was till now as gloomy as a forgetful soul,

but has grown bright as a wiseman,

now that the Lord of the Planets in the sign of the Ram

has grown powerful in justice, the principle

of all goodness (was not Chosroes known

throughout the world for his justice?)

Behold what marvels rise with the Sun

in the Vernal Equinox: how this rotten mire

has been transformed to rubies and ambergris.

He is saved who waxes eloquent of knowledge

and justice, wherein are all blessings; who fulfils

the intellect s desire (for the world was made

only for wisdom and equity). True beauty

is knowledge, not the world s false tinsel.

Be not deceived by noise: seek truth,

and not the world. Do not swell with pride

to hear you ve been appointed Judge

in Balkh or Bukhara - know that true knowledge

of religion is eclipsed when the affairs of Faith

are entrusted to the rabble. Close your ears

to the words of an ignoramus, even if

he s famous; seek the Why and How of things

lest the world constrict about you like

a shrinking ring. Try to convey your ideas

to your opponents, for unless it is tried

in the fire of debate, science cannot

be purified. (He who goes to a court

without judge, jury or counsel for the prosecution

will naturally bring back a verdict

pleasing to himself - but perhaps wrong!)

Imitate the truly great, and be humble

before those who have risen through knowledge:

look how the black earth, by obeying

the palmtree, is turned, bit by bit

into sweet dates. The truly rich have

gained their wealth through knowledge and patience -

imitate the noble, for a noble mind

is the alpha and omega of a lofty spirit.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Anti-Ode to Spring


How long have you praised the spring,when the dry stems

shall blossom and the almond bear fruit; when

the garden, like my beloved, shall blush

and its meadows grow fresh as her skin;

when dew shall polish the waxy petals

of the pomegranate, and the nightingale leave

his rose to fly and salute them. The songster

burns with love and haunts the garden

till the mournful raven comes to chase him away.

The rose rides upon its steed of ruby,

the tulip marches before, bearing its banner.

The garden was scattered with Winters white camphor

but now is strewn with Spring s pearls.

The moonfaced children of the rose,

with its uncles and cousins now join it for a picnic.

The willow signs a peace-treaty

with the boisterous wind, the tulip

embraces and kisses the narcissus. The garden

is a constellation from which Venus,

in the early dawn, peeps down upon earth . . .



Bah! Enough of such futile nonsense! Such blather

merely embarrasses me! Spring has returned

as my guest now sixty times - it will be the same

if I live to be six hundred. Those whom Fate

has stripped of all adornment can take no joy

in the garden s decorations; to me its loveliness,

this Spring of your, is but a daydream

concealing pain beneath its charming robes,

poison in its sugar, thorns in its roses.

The cheerful day will come after the sorrows

of stygian night - but when mad Winter

cannot drive away your bile, what use

are Spring and its blossoming meadows?

The changing seasons are but ravenous lions

which steal forth each night to stalk us -

whoever raises his head will have it

bitten off. These beasts are not filled even

with the blood of thousands of victims.

Yes, the world is a sweet place to fools

but to me disagreeable and hateful. Whatever

character of a man, the world offers him

the same portion. Everything s proper

in its proper place - wetness from water,

corrosion fro acid - and even the tasteless thorn

seem moist and toothsome to the mouth of

an ass. We must learn to compromise

with the habitual injustice of the world,

when evil always follows after good,

and (I suppose) good after evil - for they make

a pulpit and a gallows from the same tree.

Sometimes you need defences, a strong castle

with a dungeon and chains - but then again

you are blamed for being toosensitive !

One day the shrewd spheres raise an army

against you, the next they smile and pat you

on the back . .

Ah, now I have shocked you.

Go away you shout,you irreligious maniac

and just wait till Judgement Day!

But to me, my forelocks are blades of sweet basil

even if to you, coiled black rattlesnakes.

To the children of Fatimah I am a branch

laden with fruit, even if to you I seem

a sterile weeping willow. How can I take pride

in religion when you too claim to be a Muslim?

I choose the friendship of Ali, whose sword

brings dark night to his foes, bright day

to his Partisans. Light is far superior

to smoke, even if both come from fire.

A neighbour can never take the place

of a brother, even if he comes with you

to the mountains and caverns. Test gold and flint

with the same touchstone, they cannot posses

the same value. Islam is a palace built for all

to take rest therein, by the Prophet himself.

Ali and his children are its gates. Welcome, O you

who enter here, and hail to him who has rolled out

the red carpet of knowledge and action.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Encore


Eloquent PROOF, open your book of poems or from the point

of your pen shower forth your pearls of speech.

Your verses are perhaps too long, too many - but

since I find them

sweet and instructive, I cannot have enough of them!

I ll write a panegyric on a king whose gifts are precious

even if he gives me so many of them I can t stagger away

under their weight! So refresh those words growth hoary,

give new life to old saws, rain down a cloud of gems

and ancient earth in Springtime. This book

which at first looked too heavy, has become a joy

for me, just as an old shirt looks elegant again

when it comes back fresh from the laundry.

Poems from a heart-full of knowledge must be sweet

as spring-water poured from clean clay jug.

What is the spice of speech? Meaning and metaphor -

and yours is a cook s garden of poetic herbs.

Repetitive? Yes, but one need not fear repetition

in poetry which can only improve the more we read.

God seasons the pot of earth with tastes, smells, colours -

apples, oranges, walnuts, quince and pomegranate;

the grapes of the vine never clog your palate

even if they taste the same as last year s or

the year before. To the intelligent reader

wisdom and knowledge are the seeds of literature;

come, Sage, sow these seeds in my heart,

leave behind you a harvest of verse which will keep

your memory fresh (on its own level) as that

of the Prophet himself. Was it not eloquence

which spread his Faith to Earth s four corners,

was it not by his words he raised himself

on Seventh Heaven?

Earth s creatures may be

conquered by Wisdom only because the Almighty Lord,

the Subduer, is also the All-Wise. Contemplate

your body, see the soul that hides within it:

how can it be, when this too too solid flesh

sinks to sleep, that something remains awake,

seeing, speaking, aware? This dead carrion lives

only by a magic jewel, the amulet of gnosis:

shame and speech, praise and blame belong to it alone,

and when it departs, your body s no more than a corpse

why do you value skin and bones, and despise the true

and only Lord of your body? You consort with slaves

but have not met the master; know both

as they are in REALITY, for in this knowledge

(all wisemen agree) all wisdom resides.

Old fellow, if you neglect your better half,

don t complain if wisemen refuse you the

title of MAN. Body ad soul are comrades

in knowledge and action, but you have neglected

the affairs of the older and better of the two.

You treat your soul as if it were a stranger,

your body a suspicious and inhospitable

town-dweller; the wanders the streets unhoused,

unfed. Is this the custom of the noble host?

How can you train your soul if it remains

unknown to you? Make its acquaintance,

treat it well; your soul goes naked while

your body is cosseted in silks and furs. Shame!

What a state of affairs! Weave a cloak

with meaning as warp and words as weft,

for the soul must clothed in the texture

of Wisdom. Wisdom is a citadel, just as

the Prophet was acity of knowledge and Ali

its worthyGate (this is a sound tradition,

recorded by honest men). The knowledge and advice

which have issued forth from this Gate

are too exalted even to be calledknowledge andadvice ;

they bear the same relation to the ordinary sense

of these words as a rose to a thorn.

If you find Wisdom something mean and hateful, no wonder!

Even the camel (gourmet of thorns) refuses to eat

your wormy flower. I offer you a clue, a way

to that House of Wisdom; keep it secret, guard it

from the frivolous. If you find the Gate and

enter the palace, you escape forever this

caravan of demons, you will learn at least

why the cosmic dance was begun, and what

shall be the end of its monotonous revolutions.

The Architect of the galactic dome has brought you

here for a certain task - why do you shun it?

Feed your soul till it s fat on wisdom -

don t let it end its prison days lean

as a boneyard cur. Everything s found is its

proper place - to reach elsewhere is to make

unnecessary trouble. The world cotains only

fraud and deceit; if you want Wisdom, listen to me

and seek it in religion. This upturned bowl,

this sky under which you sit (as you imagine)

so safe and secure, is really as ocean, about

to fall on your head. Watch out! God has

chained you up in this cave only to protect you

from Satan s marauding band - you will never

realise how lucky you are till a day comes

which is a thousand times worse. The world

is a bazar where you must shop as if

for an endless journey, before you return

to your empty house - for perhaps you may

fall ill, and never find the market again.



O noble reader, act according to my words,

for in the great BALANCE, your deeds

must measure up to what you say.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:16 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

A La Mode


even if a life which lasts but one brief hour

must be lived in obedience to God.

Divine gifts are seeds, gratitude the fruit -

and these are not on permanent reduced sale.

If worship is the root of devotion, life

is the fountain of all nobility and blessings -

but if you don t think life is something

to be thankful for, you must think I m

a lunatic. A fellow with a pretty face

- the sages say - is an idol. Why?

Because he takes up space but isn t

worth a centavo. If you call himhuman

because he s rich, why then, the Emir s

horse is human too - it s draped in gold.

One really must pity, like a worn-out

beast of burden, the man who doesn t know

who Man is. His humanity hides so deep

within him, he appears to be a piece

of pottery. The wise identify the man with

his speech; the rest is a toy. Speech

is the only ticket, the only mode of transport

to the Kingdom. All men are equal - only

speech makes one more equal than the others.

The true man is God s Messenger - the rest

(the ones you call thereligious community )

are but pack-horses. The eloquent man

has a rapier, and the energy to use it.

Thetouche , theau point , the shield

and the due - these are his proof and demonstration,

his question and answer. A much more difficult

battle than your common warfare. After all

even a desert lion is the equal of a soldier;

it has its claws for a sword, its fangs

for arrows. But you, who desires theinner

Holy War , have words for arrows, your tongue

for a bow, and the wounds they make

are painful and incurable. In such conflict

the wiseman sees the unwise as naked.

No, do not turn away from speech and knowledge

- more precious than this world and the next.

The sage s greatest reward is to feed his soul

on good words. Don t despair; the star

of knowledge shall rise at last, even if now

it is dark and in decline. Don t worry if

the rabble strut their brief hour -

to the wiseman, an ass with a hundred

bags of gold is still a worthless ass.

Every finger may shine with diamonds like lamps -

he s still in darkness. Knowledge suffers no

deflation even in the land of fools. Why

should a lion repent of his lion-ness, even

when surrounded by a herd of lazy and undignified

camels? Good and evil, like day and night, follow

each other on the stage. One moment you rage

the next you smile - that s the way of the world.

One man s catastrophe is another s apotheosis.

Night follows in Day s wake, like bad luck.

Pigs arf repulsive, evil omens. Sheep are

nice and useful. The pig will never achieve

the status os a sheep - pigginess is written

in its horoscope. Fools think the devil

a capital fellow, a real fashion-plate -

stay away froma la mode like this!

Lawyers nowadays - the cleanest money they make

is from bribes. And as for the hermits

they slide about a mud like drunkards in April.

Love sings, farce and buffoonery are all the rage -

all the more reason for you to stay home

and pray. Vanity of vanities - cast it away!

The words of the PROOF should be proof enough

for the likes of you. And if you are not in need

of the PROOF, the PROOF is not in need of you

either.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

A wasted Pilgrimage


The pilgrims had returned, reverenced and honoured,

giving thanks to God for His compassion and mercy,

from the dangers and hardships of the Arabian journey,

and saved - no doubt - from hell and painful chastisement,

having walked from Arafat to Mecca and answered

the pilgrim s call with joy, having performed

all the duties of the Hajj and retuned home

hale and hearty. I decided to go and welcome them back

but I m afraid I asked too many questions

and put my foot in it. Among the caravan, one

was a particular friend of mine, a dear man.

Tell me how you made it through this dangerous

journey I said.All the time you have been away

I ve had nothing but sorrow for companionship.

Congratulations, Haji! There s no one like you

in our whole province, I m sure. Tell me

how you visited that sacred place, with what

honour and dignity you beheld it. Tell me

about the donning the pilgrim s robe, and what

your inner intentions were at that moment.

Did you prohibit to yourself everything other

than the Eternal Lord?

Well . . . . no , he admitted.

Did you answer the call out of knowledge

and with due reverence? Did you hear the summons

of the Lord, and answer back, like Moses?

Well . . . . um . . .

At Arafat, when in the presence of God, did

you welcome His Knower, and the denyer of your self?

Did the breeze of Gnosis blow upon your you?

. . . uh . . . to tell the truth I . . .

When you sacrificed the obligatory sheep

did you see yourself in proximity to Him

and think of the sheep as your carnal soul?

My what? I say . . .

When you entered the Sacred Grounds were you safe

from the evil of your lower self and from the sorrow

of separation, the chastisement of Hell?

You see, actually . . . .

When you threw stones at the Accursed One

did you fling out of yourself all bad habits

and reprehensible acts?

Umm . . . um . . .

When you prayed at the Station of Abraham

did you, in truth, faith and certitude, submit

the very core of your being to the Absolute?

The what?

At the time of circumambulation, when you

were no doubt running around fast as an ostrich,

did you remind yourself of the circling cherubim

around the Celestial Throne?

Really, Nasir, what . . .?

Did you behold in your purity of heart the Two Worlds

and become inwardly free of both Paradise and Hell?

NO, NO, NO!

Now that you have come back, is your heart

pained by separation from the Kaaba?

Did you bury your selfish ego in the tomb

. . . or are you still no better than a

decaying bag of bones?

I must admit

he answered,that in all these matters

I seem not to have known the true from the false.



Then, my friend , I said,you have not made

a pilgrimage, and have not taken up residence

in the Abode of Annihilation. You have simply

visited Mecca and come back, having purchased

the toils of the desert with your silver.

If you ever go again, bear in mind

all that I have said.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:20 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

To a Merchant


You've washed your face with Zam-Zam water,

made your pilgrimage like a man, escaped all sorrow,

worked hard for forty years - given away very little,

true, but taken very little - etc., etc. But

how many times have you sold plain linen

and charged the price of silk? If you wish

to purify yourself at last from sin, forget

the business world - does a slave of vinegar and salt

ease the pain of a wound? More and less of

measure and balance - these things are not washed away

by the water of Zam-Zam. You might hide

your connivance even from yourself, but not

from God. Your unlawful fortune came to you

as id on a breeze - a breeze will puff it away.

Wake up! Recite a chapter from the Qur an

and breathe it into your body and soul.

The devil s cheated you, sold you a felt rug

for the price of a silk carpet. You say

you re enjoying yourself, but from where I stand

your festivity looks like a funeral. Lost

in a salt desert, you imagine it an orchard.

Don t pay your way to Mecca with

a pickpocket s silver - don t mingle honey

with poison. You are human, my son,

and must repent of your sins, like Adam.

If the sun of your sins burns your eyes, take refuge

under the shady roof of repentance.

If you want to dwell in the pasture of mercy

graze today in the field of knowledge,

tomorrow in that of action. Moisten the seed

of action with knowledge - the seed

does not grow by itself. Look: a stout rope

hangs down from the Seventh Sphere -

you ll never see it with your darkened eyes

and shadowy heart. Go, take hold of it,

lift yourself up from this aimless caravan,

this shepherdless flock. The rope stands

for one who is the embodiment of wisdom

- no one sees knowledge except in him.

My heart knows - he is God s Trustee,

guardian of the Qur anic wisdom and the realm

of Jamshid. On Judgement Day only those

will be honoured who have been honoured by him.

He soars above all men in wisdom, and men

can raise themselves by his lofty precepts.

The world would be a fair price to pay

for him - he is the celebrated gem, the world

his bezel ring. As for me, he has appointed me

shepherd over a flock - and I shall not

wander away in search of another.

Do you thirst? Of you re sober enough

I ll show you a way to a sweet sea.

And if you listen to my advice, I ll see you

pulled out of the well, raised to the spheres.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Astrology and Poetry


. . . something in my horoscope . . . stars are against me . . .

Good heavens, drive these vapours away! It ill befits

the wise to rebuke the sublime and distant spheres.

If they make a profession of cruelty, in any case,

you make a habit of patience - and don t put off

till tomorrow what ought to be done today.

If you create an evil star for yourself

you can hardly expect a favourable horoscope.

He who acts like an angel acquires an angel s face.

Have not seen Spring come to the desert

giving each freshborn tulip the countenance of a star?

You, an intelligent being, ought to imitate

and accept for yourself the virtues of the wise.

Look, the narcissus, spun of silver and gold

like the crown of Alexander; the orange tree s

aureate fruits give it the grace of Caesar s pavilion.

The poplar is sterile because it has chosen fruitlessness;

if you turn away from Wisdom how will your head

be exalted? Trees which do not produce

are burned for fuel, which all they deserve.

If your tree bears the fruit of knowledge

you can govern the stars yourself. But beware

not to count among the sciences the arts

of penmanship and poetry, which are simply aimed

at acquiring worldly status and wealth - no,

that is something else entirely. One finds various words

in human speech, but after all, the magic spells

of a sorcerer and the revelations of a prophet

are by no means the same thing, any more

than a noble falcon can be compared

to a partridge. Prophets give the science of Truth

to those they deem worthy of such sovereignty;

Moses bestowed knowledge of Aaron - Samari

had no hand in the affair, just as you,

shackled, stumbling on your feet before the horseman

are not worthy of anything but slavery.

Admit it: you have sold yourself to the King of Shugnah

or the Emir of Mazandaran - aprofessional poet

or a minstrel (the only difference being that a poet

stands up to a declaim his flatteries, the minstrel

sits to pluck or toot). Bah! Someone ought to

slice out your insolent tongue before you write

another bloody poem about the box-tree or the tulip

or the bright moonface and curly ambergris-scented locks

of some insipid beloved, or produce yet another ode

in praise of the vast erudition of some nobleman

who in fact can only belch forth ignorance as a marsh

ferments illsmelling bubbles. You versify lies

out of greed, and falsehood is capital in the bank

of unbelief. Well, I am one who will reuse to cast,

beneath the feet of swine, this pearl - the Persian language.

I will show you how and when to bow and prostrate yourself

like a cypress in the morning breeze, the wiseman

humbles himself before the one whom God has chosen

among all creatures for a Guide, the whose works

of justice have erased from the world s face

every smudge of oppression: the Imam of the Time.

What sorcerer could make a magic to compare

with that of his lovers, the Partisans of the Imam?

So wise one might think him more than human,

so much more generous than his station demands,

justly seated in the place of highest honour,

the planet Mars set as a jewel in his bezel ring.

God to him, in whose Father s hand is written

the talisman of the bold feats of Khaybar, to him

in whose outward form one might discern the

the character of Ali, whose bright light of knowledge

binds the exoterist s eye. If he (this exoterist)

were truly seeking to become human he would drive

the donkey like qualities from his head - how can he

reckon me a stupid as himself? How can counterfeit

be compared with genuine gold? Shouldn t it be obvious

that compared to his, my prose and verse so adorn

plain white paper that it gains the beauty of brocade?

Read my two books of poetry and discover how

the eloquence of Persian, the precision of Arabic verse

have combined in me.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

The Shark


Ah the busynessman, engage des affaires

what have you to pride yourself in this passing show?

You are theprophet of a world which

- consider ! - has made you a boob.

Run, run after it! now to the Spring

now to the Autumn of its ends.

If you have not sold your life to demonologies

why must you scuttle after a demon?

It strides hugely before you swollen with rancour -

why, why do you follow it in joy?

D you not fear some day this shark

may kiss you between its teeth?

If you ve a shred of brain

turn your face from the Big Lie of the Time.

Every today avarice lulls you with promises

which tomorrow will not fulfil

your youth has grown grey with grief,

hardships and suffering in hopes of future bliss -

and moment by moment in utopian dreams

the clock of earth ticks off the flow of years.

My son the world is your adversary

and in you covets nothing but your soul.

For you it wears a silk brocade

which swarms beneath the sleeve with scorpions.

Arrogant fool, feel free - for you

yourself are not safe from such disgrace.

You sought refuge at its gate but it

sharpens its razors on the strop of your throat.

The dragon has chewed on many

and clever as you - watch out for its fangs.

Here, take this volume, dusty with tales

of the kings of Persia, carry it home and read:

where is Feraydun, Kaykubad

where the August banner of Kaviyan?

Where is Sam the son of Nariman, Rustam

the generalissimo of Mazandaran?

Where now is Babal the son of Sasan, Ardashir

where? Wehre? Bahram and Nushirvan?

All of them have gone away with their herds and treasures

the shepherd departed, the sheep vanished.

This world is a dark and vacant haaway

not a true house. Detach your heart, free your soul.

God summons you, - now -

Ah sweetheart of heaven and earth

how will you wander to left and right

nor follow straight the caravan;

how long will pirate and go on pirating

your neighbour s provisions for the road?

Do you not blush to set up your roadside stall

and sell straw and call it fine saffron?

Tomorrow when you rise fro sleep

your cries and lamentations will buy you nothing.

Does that not frighten you, that Gathering Day

where old and young alike will come

and where no one will take your hand,

neither your son nor your loving father?

Sacks of guilt and chests of sin

weigh your neck and turn your back to water

but still you will face the Kaaba

till they lay you out on a bier

nor will your tongue will touch the Testimony of Faith

till the last breath rattles in your throat.

Why? Why? A grain of godfearing repentance

would lift the burden from your shoulders.

You build yourself a fine new house and suddenly

your neighbour s out on the street without a straw.

O ancient raider of the army of ignorance

now just once tighten your bridle.

Why are you running away with Satan himself

if you heart harbours no suspicions of the Qur an?

Your misgivings about the Book

will be punished, rest assured,

and on the day they surface, believe me,

your signs of regret will get you nowhere.

The soul is only webbed in this House of Bone

that you may bow to God;

the body s a quarry, your devotion a gem

which you must dig from the tenebrous veins of earth;

your spirit s a cavalier, the flesh its horse -

do not ride it except toward the Good.

Don t go running after the pleasures of the flesh

like a mangy cock after a hen.

Your world s an ocean, your body a ship

your life a fair tradewind and you the merchant:

my words are money in the bank -

why are your wasting your dividends?

O Nasir-i Khushraw you should say

give us words of wisdom as long as you can.

O you who are hidden in Khorasan like a Simurgh

your name is everywhere, your body concealed.

In the legions of the sciences of the Truth

your tongue is a bow, your speech a feathered shaft.

Day and night as always dive in the ocean of words

fetch back pearls and hand them around

so that something survives for posterity

when you leave on the eternal journey.

Arise at the command of the IMAM OF THE WORLD

and set sail upon the sea of speech.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Excuses


O nitwit body, how could you ever have lost

(as one might drop something in the street) your strength,

your paradisal face? When you had them

you acted ugly enough - now you ve grown ugly

better make at least your actions beautiful.

Your back is pale as winter. Once a peacock,

now a porcupine. If that beauty had really

meant something, it would never change, would it?

It only came on loan, it s been repossessed.

Ah corpus indelectable, don t weep, don t moan,

frail scallop on life s plumbless sea, brief breeze,

thin sail. Like a slick perfume salesman

(snotty and sexy) for a while you drenched your hair

in hyacinth and ambergris. Those hyacinthine locks

look now like frayed ropes, which you weave

upon Death s spindle. Yesterday fell

through a hole in your pocket, long before

you managed to get hold of tomorrow.

Tomorrow you ll pluck the bitter roses sown

- was it only yesterday? Fifty years from

cradle to grave along this ghoulhaunted highway:

the poor travel no worse than the rich -

no first-class compartment for Muslim or Jew.

However, there does come a fork in the road

- one way to heaven, one to hell. Fire

burnt in your gut and singed your heart

and offered you an excuse to tear up

the scroll of religion. Slave of instinct,

worshipper of fire (like a Magi) you whine

I don t know nothin , I didn t do it . . .

and really how could you be considered guilty

of your own murder? The ignoramus, devoid

of worship and devotion, expects to find in paradise

only good huntin and good fishin. You yourself

are fit - ugly devil - only to be bagged

gutted, hunted and roasted. O PROOF OF KHORASAN

the noise you make reaches every corner

of the earth, as if a boulder dropped

from heaven and shattered this great bowl

to splinters.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Storm Warnings


CLOCK, what do you want from me?

Go somewhere else to peddle your fakes.

I know your game - go and bother

someone else - anyone you like.

Only yesterday I was ambling along

ignorant of your tricks,

bumbling, grinning idiot,

handsome as a tailor s dummy.

You joined me - all at once

youth and delight drained away,

picked out of my pocket -

thief! Callous highwayman!



Friends, let me warn you:

a whale, once it s decided

to eat you, may take its time,

but sooner or later - GULP

- down the hatch - and so it is

with the world. Innocenti,

sooner or later you re going

to have to climb up out of

that well, that smoky

gravity-laden pit you call

your body - source of all grief and perversion.



Mon vieux, you ve started

to shrink alarmingly. Stretch

out the hand of worship,

quick, quick . . . dear me,

what an unsightly hump

you seem to have acquired.

Can t you straighten up?

Speak sense? get hold

of yourself? Pray more?



The soul is whole-wheat

and the body is chaff. Have you

ever considered that? All

those sweet temptations of the

flesh - nothing but empty

husks? You re like a fly

who boasts about his tailor -

the Spider. Or a goldfish

set free in the Atlantic

just before hurricane season.

And let me tell you:

you re thinking of leaving

and making it to dry land

you d better learn how to

grow yourself a pair of

feet. Because fish don t

make much progress on

sandy beaches.



Your Majesty, cast an eye

on these poor dervishes

and learn how to be grateful

for your good luck and power.

Because the moon may shine

at the bottom of a well,

but it never loses any of its

silvery sheen. Because the stars

have robbed many a monarch

of is throne like Attila the Hun.

Listen to the PROOF:

he s nor selling any

professional flattery.




Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:23 pm    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

The Aging Rake


you can count, old man. Figure up

how many Springs and Summers you ve lost

remembering how your hair before was black

as pitchy raven s wing, spine fletched like an arrow -

was it June that rained and spilled

milk upon your tarblack head?

Then your fancy was to while away your time

eating or in idle talk, aimless strolling

till from such good works as these your body

grew to that of a senile beast.

Elegance - no penury - awake or asleep

smothered in silk - sweet songs in your ear

while round you swarmed mate-hungry friends

with ebony muskblown swaths of curls.

Gone to the meadow like an ass in Spring,

in Fall sprawl beneath the twisting vine

with a jug of red beside your elbow -

you would admitThere was no one

in the world like me: clever, comme il faut,

poet and penman, deep emotions, and on my lips

le mot juste held as lightly as the

inktipped reed in my fingers. I stretched

my hand to the moon; never was the Emir

seen with goblet and vase if I

were not present. He used to call me

AYour Grace@ - you can imagine how that

sat with the ministers and whatnot.



And always your eyes strayed to the hands

of the rich, looking who brought sweetmeats,

who brought a new robe. A year went by

and no one made his way past your door

- certainly not that orphan brat of your

distant cousin or that neighbour of yours

fallen on evil times. Tongue long for a jest,

fingers short, too short for the bottom

of the purse of charity. An eleganttongue

indeed - for a jest; a luminous heart -

for verse.

If you called all this to mind

mightn t your face and your heart go black

as once your pomated locks? Tick tock

the cruel months counted off your

Junes and Julys while you slept pleasantly

as a donkey in the manger. Time s

Walpurgis Nacht, whirling, swirling

each moment a backnosed witch to blunt

the edges of your youth. The cypress

of your stature s a languid hunchback,

that moonlike visage pale and pocked.

Where are they now, yesterday s sponges,

the hopeful hangers-on? They spit

when you walk by. What s left?

What survives of your days but a sigh?

You never cared for religion -

and you missed the world - like wet bran

which is neither dough nor bread. The world

exiled you from an innocent faith, and for the rest

The Quest (it s your last quip) for barley

kept from Parnassus . The world

and its works are devil s fare - but faith

is pure. And one kept you

from attaining the other. Bit by bit

the days will gnaw you away like cheese

in the mousetrap of Time.

Time . . . .

perhaps there s still time to stuff your ears

against these songs and grow sober.

The milk of time soon fills the gut -

have you not drunk enough? Get hold of yourself.

Hire Wisdom as your Vazier. Meditate:



Why did they make the Macrocosm?

O Microcosm, ask yourself. The elephant

the lion, the camel are mightier than man -

why did God not send a prophet to the camels?

The Galactic Craftsman, why did he call me?

What does he want with an old rake like me?

Of all the animals he summons me -

he must have some business with me, his poor slave.

If knowledge of Him is obligatory

how and why? No, without the How and Why

the task is beyond me. He has neither

body nor weight (unlike us) but He does have

hearing and seeing . . .?

Your body is your grave.

Now don t go apoplectic on me -

gouty old fools like you find it hard

to take advice. Listen: in this grave,

this mausoleum of yours, do you think

your soul and intellect will suffice

for those Recording Angels who visit

the freshly buried? This tomb (I quote

the Messenger of God) is either Hell

or the Garden of Paradise - choose.

Yes choose - it s up to you -. but if you d follow

the better path, find yourself a guide.

And beware of false gurus, those

who call themselves men of sight but in fact

are blind as yourself. Remember

what the Prophet himself said on the day

he delivered his sermon by the Ditch,

whom did he name trustee? What did he say?

He tookAli by the hand and gave him his seat.

If the Prophet took his hand, shouldn t you?



Old man, if you confess, I m right

then Ali is your Imam and after him

Hassan and Husayn. Don t deny it, don t tell me

that after the Prophet you need no mediator.

The Gnosis of Ali is nopersonal opinion

of the eminent So-and-So - it s priceless

as some rare and mythical gem. Acknowledge him,

larn from him, strengthen the sinews of faith

and delight the heart s inner eye. The Water of Life

flows beneath his sweet words - drink

and die no more forever. The PROOF

gives you advice, the PROOF makes allusions -

my son, take the blessed counsel

of your sire.




Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Autobiography



Almighty God, my Creator,

I thank Thee for Thy favours

for in my dotage I have no cure for grief

but such gratitude to Thee.

A hundred thanks that I have no work

but to compose these pious and devotional poems.

Help me not to sow in my heart

any seed but that of Thy good pleasure.

Thou knowest the secret of all souls

and that my hart ails within me

that here in Yamgan I am alone

weak, abandoned and afflicted.

The world venerates a happy drunkard, but I

a teetotaller, am sad and despised.

In fear of my oppressors I am helpless

and hide within my mountainous fort

condemned by them as a sinner

for my love of Thy Messenger;

in love of him and his Household

I remain in misery and trouble.

On the Day of Reckoning judge between me

and that herd of stray cows

with which I can never wander -

for I am not a donkey.

Even though for my sweet and virtuous words

I deserve to be compared

with the delicious fruit of the datepalm

the blind eyes of the rabble

see me as a despicable thorn.

O my God, I take refuge with Thee

from this herd of ravenous wolves.



I dare not be your friend

O friend of the Grape,

the harp and the jug,

for I do not love, I do not share your taste

for these three evil companions.

Drunkards need drunkards - why do you

quarrel with me because I am sober?

Go, follow your own caravan, for I

am not of your breed of camel.

Ride forth and seek the world, leave me

to canter on the steed of Reason.

You may be a king, but I

have the precious pearl of my words;

you may rule the realm of Balkh, but I

am a monarch in my own domain.

I shall never accept the burden of your rule

just for an ass-portion of hay.

My inner and outer natures are equally manifest:

sometimes I am soft, sometimes

sharp as a thorn - yes, to the ignorant and unwise

sharp as brambles; to the wise

soft and forbearing. I do not want you

any more than you want me.

I am unacquainted with perfidy: my warp and weft

are of the same thread.

If you re ready to apologise

I m ready to forgive and forget.

My tongue is clean of obscenity,

my trousers unstained by fornication;

I pay no attention to evil and cunning,

I do not churn the cream of falsehood.

I do not need to boast of my virtues -

others will point them out

while I, living as I do,

discharge my duties towards the virtuous.

In my past, I slept in ignorance

and the world seized me in its talons,

plundered me while it embraced me

and coo d in my ear.

One moment it promised the harvests of Autumn,

next the green pains of Spring,

and seeing that I was an easy prey to love

perfumed my face with roses and musk.

Today you see me enfeebled and bent

but in those times you would have thought me

straight as a pine. Ah, the stars

tugged gently at my bridle

like a camel to pasture. Robust and happy . . .

and today I tremble and lament,

my ruby red cheeks gone bilious

my jetblack hair grown white as a milk.

I drank so much wine those days

I m still breathing out fumes!

But when I learned the ways of the world

I grew grey and downcast;

I awoke from my slumber . . . .no -

it was my Lord Who woke me.

I soon polished the intelligence-rust

from my eyes, blew the mist from my brain,

washed the dust of wantonnes

from my face and cheeks,

uprooted the tree of ignorance and aberration

from my riverbank garden.

Many the battle I fought with the world

till I was saved,

till I became the chosen one of the

Imam of the Time

(since I had chosen faith and devotion

for myself).

Now, ask me a difficult question

and I will not scratch my head;

my ear is sharp, for knowledge

hangs from it like a ear-ring;

my eye is clear because I have gazed

on Truth and Certainty.

I will no more be prey in the hunt

of the falcons and panthers of this world.

In the old days I boasted of my ancestors

but today my ancestors, and indeed

all the world s inhabitants, boast of me.

Then I was worth no more

than a chamber-pot - today

I am gold.

You don t believe me?

Try it yourself

and test the worth of my poem -

read it and memorise it!



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:21 pm    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

A Warning to Missionaries


Seeking wisdom? Imitate the wise

who know how to make things easy for themselves:

their conversation, their economy is geared

to those same laws which the elements obey today,

the elements of the Cosmos, harmonised

with spheres and stars, and by their powers

moulded into to living things. The stars are fingers

which the artisan spheres use to animate

the unborn earth - hands of Heaven

which as willing slaves run errands

for galactic lords - eyes of the universe

who cast a glance at earth and spark to life

delicate corals and pearls. Behold the Throne,

the bearers of the Throne, and how they turn

rotating constantly; your Throne is Earth

and round it in celestial minuet

the stars in orbit dance. King of beasts

and green things are you and to your order

all life in obedience revolves,

genuflecting, prostrating to their lord.

Study their ways and do likewise. Contemplate

the creaturely signs of Truth and learn

the meaning of their allusions to the Divine.

Habituate yourself to benevolence

towards those beneath you, that in time

superior forces will treat well of you.

All moral creatures are as if intoxicated

with the wine of ignorance; you who are sober

take heed and follow a different path.

Meat is hung in salt to keep it fresh

but when the salt itself goes bad, what can be done?

Speak not to fools of holy truths

or the Household of the Prophet, for fools

are like sterile rain, like owls who flee

the City of Knowledge for their ruined haunts.

From pulpit-steps they sermonise the rabble

whetting appetites with talk of paradise

and its mountains of food. Go if you dare,

speak eloquently to such as these of Ali

if you do not fear my fate, to be enchained

in the mountains of Yamgan. Of course they crey

and clamour in hope of heavenly victuals! When

you mention barely, do not the asses bray?

Take care not to tell them their paradise

is no place of banquets and coition, lest in rage

they slay you with arrows of their eyes.

Take refuge in the Citadel of the Household

that its inhabitants may scatter on your head

pearls from the treasury of their holy sire.

Proofs of the Hands of Mercy, Imams of the Time,

when they desire Qu ranic hermeneutics

stretch their hands to Saturn. They weigh

in their scales your science and religion

for only the undiscerning do the work of faith

without the BALANCE. True religion is Man,

its spirit gnosis, its body right action -

this is the founding stone on which is raised

the roof of Sages. Do not disdain to act

simply because the philosophers have called

work the punishment of the weak. No,

the multitude are in error - do not follow

their path, lest you fall in the same way.

Drunkards are many; be silent and let them pass.

When have you ever seen a horde of sots

obey a sober man?



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Dissimulation


Weak as we are - and alone - and dangerous the way -

how can we tread the Prophet s path?

If the road is plagued by day with highwaymen

my son, perhaps we d do better to travel by night,

hidden like stars against the noontide from all eyes

but after sunset, vigilant guides, awake;

corporeally concealed from the ignorant but

to the wise openly visible as sunlight.

Physically all are equal: rank depends on intellect,

dignity on wisdom alone. Again, everyone speaks,

but some speak with knowledge, others not -

judge the speech and you have judged the man:

I and thou in silence are but paintings on a wall.

The Cosmos to its Lord is a garden in which we

are so many trees; come, judge this harvest-tide:

which of us drops the more succulent fruit?

But cease your wrangling - strife such as you concoct

long since exiled me from home. Muhuammad and Ali

are surely supreme amongst all men - should we

not honour them more than any So-and-So?

God s treasures, they reveal His Mysteries

to us, the People of Secrets, Companions of the Cave

(not just any hole in the ground, but the Cavern

of True Religion), pure hearts, friends of the Messenger.

Our portion is wheat - yours but chaff;

never believe we share your bovine taste for straw.

The wine of religion goes to your head; we,

who remain sober, find no satisfaction

in your company; yet day and night we work

for your salvation, knowing that in your madness

you have flung yourself to perdition. We know,

we understand that you are drunk and foolish;

we turn the other cheek; we know that you

cannot abide our words of wisdom;

in your presence we nail shut our mouths.

You could seek from us the cure

for snakebite - but you fancy us the snakes?

What is the purpose of the intellect with which

we sometimes turn to sin, sometimes to the

worship of God? Why should He bid us Do good,

shun evil if we had not been endowed

with free will? The ravenous wolf is not held

responsible for his acts - but we are. Why?

Why blame man for spouting noise, but not

condemn the pickaxe for its thwack! Thwack! ?

Why are you and I weighed down with such tasks

as prayer, but not the deer or the game-birds?

What is the one thing God gave us which makes us

lords over the beasts of the field? Intellect!

And the same faculty which sets us higher

than a donkey, makes us the slaves of the Almighty.

With it may investigate all hows and whys,

without it we are no more than tress without fruit.

It will tell us why we should - for example -

fast all day from morning to night in Ramadan.

If God knows we are murderers and tyrants

why doesn t He simply wipe us all out at once?

He commands us not to sin - and we sin;

does that make us omnipotent ? On the other hand

if we sin only because He wills us to sin,

why should we be blamed? Untie this Gordian knot

and I ll offer you my humblest respect!

But if problems like this scare you, away with you!

Because WE dare to search for answers.

With glowing hearts we raise to the skies

the complex, gold-leafed palace of our thought;

we are warriors, Quranic and Shariite, Partisans

of Ali, the warrior-knight. Invalids

find the taste of sugar disgusting - no wonder

you think us unbelievers. Five hundred snakes,

a thousand ants, ranged against one MAN

scarcely constitutes a threat. Is it

any marvel we ve never reckoned you an army?




Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

The Decline of Khorasan


Let us closely observe

what the devil s happening tot he world -

how Virtue and Rectitude seem

to have flown - not that the fleeting world

itself has changed its nature

but that people s temperaments have undergone

some transformation.

Your body

in the Child of Nature, babe of the Spheres,

its state forever shifting under Heaven -

one can only imagine therefore that you

- who were so subtle - have fallen

into such a carnal and inferior state

because the spheres themselves have somehow

gone awry.

Humanity (by way of simile)

was like an ALEEF

Arabic alphabet -ALEEF- placed here



Erect and straight -

how could the letter of humankind

have been itself to the hump

Arabic alphabet - NUN - placed here



Of a NUN?

Virtue and learning have become the slaves of Bread

the dough of knowledge cut with fraud and deceit.

Piety and justice are broken pots and pebbles,

ignorance and stupidity taken for gold and the precious Pearl.

You!

Chameleon World!

Woe to him

who falls for your seductive routines -

he who cannot see the way round you

with the candle of REASON

trips and falls. There s nothing left

for you here: humanity has absconded

from the last human being.

All deeds are but cruelty, con and cant

all words but fraud, perfidy and crime.

I swear one would scarcely know the difference

if the world had already fallen to the rule

of all the devils of the Inferno.

Stupidity has reared itself into the heavens,

humanity and nobility hidden themselves in some cave.

The sirocco of petty meanness blows hot across earth,

everything good wilts and decays.

As for the province of Khorasan, once

the Abode of Learning, it has become

a cavern of sordid and effeminate demons.

Balkh!

The House of Wisdom -

And now

fit for the axe, its fortune topsyturvy

turned upon its head. Khorasan

once the kingdom of Solomon - how

has it become the domain of Satan?

One might think the land had become a maw

which gobbled Religion, or that Religion

in Khorasan has become the companion of Qarun

(that miser whom earth swallowed

with all his wealth). Aye, Khorasan

serves a fit example for the house

of the sinister Qarun.

Tatars

were their slaves, but they have become

the Tartars valet - is not the star

of Khorasan afflicted by some evil conjunction?

The Kipchak lout has proclaimed himself

a nobleman, while the Duke has become

the Tartar s girlfriend s butler.

The talentless have made themselves the Emirs

virtue shrinks and mediocrity swells itself.

You

may mortgage your soul

But I

shall not pawn myself to the world;

you may trust the wolf, but the wise

will keep his distance.

Your miserable mind

has become a fetid slime in a corpse

of ignorance, tyranny and evil;

in your greed you prefer the wicked Zahhak

to Feraydun the Just. So much the slave

of desire: my hart chokes with bood

in pity of you who sold yourself

like 100,000 others for a taste of lust.



Try to reform yourself. Think of great men

like Aaron the Alexandrian. Aaron

was made Aaron by knowledge. Garments

are cleaned with soap; wisdom

is the best detergent for the Spirit.

He who makes wisdom his prop

is saved from the fire of ignorance.

Listen

my son

to a father s advice

for my own days have been made auspicious

because I heeded helpful words

and my subtle spirit soars above the spheres

through knowledge

even

If my body

lies chained

imprisoned

beneath the earth.




Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:07 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

In Yamgan


You cannot - O wiseman -

on the Worldtree

see other fruit than

the man of Wisdom;

to a gnostic like you

the sage is a plum

and the ignorant

are thorns

- the good are hidden

among the bad

as a lonely datepalm

in a desert of brambles.

But you object: Nasir!

If you re such a noble spirit

why do you vegetate here in Yamgan

lowly and alone?

For me Yamgan

is God s refuge.

Look well! Don t imagine me

some sort of prisoner.

No one claims

that silver, diamonds, rubies

are base or held captive

in the mine;

Yamgan itself may be

base and worthless

but here I am held

in high esteem.

After all if the serpent

is abject and vile

the snakestone in its head

is treasured and praised

and a perfect pearl s worth

is none the less to the buyer

for having been born

in a scabby shell;

the fragrant bloom

is unstained

even if it roots itself

in furrows of dung.

And you, my visitor

- to return to my first simile -

are a sublime tree

whose fruit is speech.

It s up to you: choose

whether to be fruit without thorns

(choose now!)

Or thorns without fruit.

The apple of wisdom

can be yours -

otherwise you re are nothing but

a sterile poplar -

for the wiseman s branches

yield a produce

of precious gems

and leaves of gold dinars;

but knowledge and wisdom

are better than gold and gems

to him whose heart is illumined,

eyes open and awake.

Then come,

speak,

pour down your

yield of words

and as much as this fruit

is rich and sweet

so will your deeds be judged

as virtuous as your talk -

but if you re a man of

words without action

you re no better than

counterfeit coin.

Utter the right word

in the right place -

a fine stallion s at its best

in the battlefield

- and utter it only

to one who knows its worth,

for what use is turban

without a head to wear it?

Only the heat of battle

can tell

a coward deserter

from a fierce brave.

Know what you want to say

then say it:

fix the compass point

before drawing the line.

If your words are not free

of stain and rust

how will they polish

the hearts of others?

Keep silence

when you do not know:

don t be the type who flashes

his genitalia in the bazzar!

How dare you ride an ass

before noble arab steeds?

You re roped

in ignorance s bonds

led astray by demons -

you deny it?

Why then have you bulled

through the rosebed?

You? A doctor of souls???

Never!

How can one sick man

treat another?

Please - don t rasp my soul

like some wretched file

with words like

jagged bits of steel.

Are you not ashamed

of your ignorance?

Do you not blush

before true learning?

Bow your head,

submit - or else

on the Final Day you will not snatch

your soul from the bonfire.

Mortify your flesh

with pious deeds

that tomorrow your soul

may go un-singed.

You claim to be

free of guilt - what!

When your back s bent double

with burden of sin!

If future bliss

is what you want

cease now to work so hard

for the world -

for the world

couldn t care less.

Don t let it agonise you

with fleshly cares:

it s an evil-tempered leviathan;

beware!

Furious, merciless

greedy.

How often do you need

to try and taste again -

it s the same world you ve seen

a hundred times before.

Hold fast to Faith;

religion conquers the world

and sews up its maw

with spikes.

If you become

a prince in religion

the surely the world

must become your slave.

You! Look well

into your own affairs:

if you want justice

do justice.

If you want

to be upright

don t bow your neck to earthly kings

as the hoopoe to Solomon.

Shun the eagle of Greed

for its beak

and vicious claws drip

with venom

and if you d like

avoid a quarrelling with dogs

give up your taste

for carrion meat;

otherwise - admit it -

your aching face, weary hands:

the cause of suffering

is yourself.

Take this advice from the PROOF

for he is awake

to the habits of this tyrant,

the revolving sphere.

Of all the people in Khorasan

no one has battled

as much as he with the

vicissitudes of Fate

and was saved at last

from the claws through Faith,

the decree of God

the One, the Almighty.

If the world causes you pain

follow in his wake.

Other than this there is no

better Way.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:37 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Retirement


Have I changed? Or is it the world that s changed?

I think it must be me; the world seems the same as ever.

It would bound away when I used to chase after it

but now things are different - it s me who turns away;

or perhaps we ve both changed: I have become

more like the world and the world more like me.

I used to be precious ore in its mine, but now

I myself am a mine of golden speech in the rational soul.

What could have happened to everyone, that they seem

so severely frightened just at the mention of my name?

I never spilled the cup of anyone s reputation

or snatched bread from a hand by force;

I never worried any young men into greybeards

so why am I so hated by young men and old alike?

I never asked for sermons to be read in my name

neither in Kashgar nor in Baghdad - so why

do the Ruler and the Emir now revile and abuse me?

I feel no greed for blood or carrion. I wonder

why so many dogs have become my enemies?

I won t write any eulogies for you, Emir,

so don t send me any dinner invitations;

if you do invite me, I won t call you Emir

and if I do praise you, please don t call me

a human being! The Creator of heart and soul

has set the Book of Freedom in a secret place

in my breast; slavery s chains has been struck

from my ankles - that s why I never bow down my head.

Before I received this boon, I was a slave to anyone

and suffered a great deal of pain in this world,

much as I kicked against it. You who know it not

can run after it - I who know it,

know too much. Unless you toss him out with a

sound beating, the born rascal will never

become obedient - that s why I drive away from my door

the rapscallion world. O seeker of that world

don t bother to seek me out as if I were (like you)

lost on the way. As hastily as you dash

after the world I run horrorstruck from its gates.

Your autumn winds do not agree with my sighs of sorrow -

unlike you I do not praise the sad season s beauties.

The world s kiss moistens your lips but

dries my mouth with terror. By day Repentance

is my bosom companion, by night the Quran

my confidante. O you who reel in hilarity

around the wine-jug, I do not circumambulate

the amphora nor stagger upon a drunk s pilgrimage;

I am intoxicated with pain and sorrow by the blood of Husayn -

how can the vine s blood make me gleeful again?

My hand and tongue do not imitate your deeds;

my subtle soul is saved even though dense

and heavy under the burden of Time. Sages see

my angelic essence, even if to your eyes I am still

merely human. My body s the banner of angels

even if hidden in Yamgan from devil s spite.

If the whole kingdom of Solomon couldn t wipe out

a single demon, what can I do against a horde?

I am a shepherd hired by the Moses of Time,

to a flock which grazes on knowledge in the dark night

of the world. No shepherd is without crook or bowl -

my bowl is the Book, my staff my tongue.

Come to me and eat the bread of Divine Law

softened in the milk of my eloquence. O you

who think me ugly, I am ugly; if you are beautiful

then beautiful too is my face. Learn wisdom

and you will find me wise; become a jewelled sword

and I will be your whetstone. The hand of the Lord,

the Imam of the Time, has sown the seed of humanity

in my speech. Come, climb my tree, and I will seat you

on humanity s branch. I am flowing water

to freshen the tillage of Wisdom in religion s fields

by my speech, to wash away demon dust

with counsel precious as pearl; I am vigilant,

tempered spearhead pointed always towards

the devil, who can never disgrace me. Speech

is my arrow head, my pen is the arrow, my fingers the bow.

If my enemy comes from the East I will easily

slay him with my speeding shafts.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

The Exile s Lament




Pass by, food of his heart, sweet breeze of Khorasan

Here to a dim prison in the vale of Yamgan

Where he sits narrowed by poverty, comfortless, cold,

His fortune gone, possessions lost, landless and old.

Unjust Fate has stripped from his soul in its tyranny

All repose, and from his body all luxury;

He knows more sorrows than a pomergranate has seeds,

His limbs possess less power than the winter reeds;

That elegant frame, that once too-handsome face

Have decayed now to ugliness, distraction and disgrace -

That face, once luminous as Spring anemones,

Now withered like autumn leaves in exile s miseries.

His kinsmen turn their back on him and cut him dead;

No sustenance now but God s mercy, the Divine bread.



I committed no sin but somehow the Turk

the Arab, the Iraqi and the Khorasani all alike

have been my foes. Always looking for some pretext

to hate me, calling me unorthodox , an enemy

of the Companions. What can I say to this army

of demons? God has not given me Solomon s

magic spell. They come from far away

barking and howling like dogs in the barn.

A million like them still wouldn t bother me,

for on Judgement Day . . . Thou knowest, O Lord,

Thou knowest well! But still it s only reasonable

to take certain precautions against demons -

even the greatest and most eloquent sage,

attacked by desert ghouls, wouldn t be able

to talk his way out! The ignoramus

recognises no proof - there s no point reciting

the Quran to a calf. The wiseman wastes no words

on a horde of idiots - who would season

coarse barley bread with expensive spices?

They call me unorhodox - bah! - what do they know

of Islam except the name? O you who wear

upon your head the hat of false claims and hide

your soul beneath the garments of stupidity,

tell me: to whom should one pay allegiance

after Muhammad? - and how do you prove your claims?

After whose mule are you driving your crippled ass?

Whose silk brocades are you boasting about when you

yourself are still dressed in tatters and dirty rags?

After all, isn t it better to have a clean and simple

linen shirt for yourself, than for your uncle

to go about decked out in all the latest fashions?

The virtues of friends (if they exist) will

avail you naught on that morrow when the

HIDDEN POWER is revealed. Anyway, your patrons

seem not to have seen fit to bestow upon you

any of that virtue and excellence of theirs -

why, if they are such a renowned ascetics, do you

lead the life and display the character of an imp?

Yes, you look like a stick-up man or a mugger to me -

so where s your take? You know - the booty?

All day you fast and moan and twiddle your beads -

come nightfall you re down at the tavern,

jiving and enjoying a glass of sweet wine. Ah,

you ve memorised the Book of Con - that s why

(no doubt) you ve been appointed Grand Mufti

of Balkh, Nishapur and Herat. Your words

are heavy with fruit as a date palm, but

when it comes to action, your thorns appear.



I hate your master the devil, that s all

I have to say, I have turned my face away

to the door of the Prophet s Household, where

I expect the blessings of the Two Worlds.

I may be exiled, far away from the family and hearth,

but I ve gained the wisdom of Luqman.

I ve tattoo d the name of Mustansir on my

breast and forehead - that king whom Caesar

would humbly thank for a job as doorman.

The stone of his stoop is more precious

than Badakshan rubies, just as the sky

is higher than dusty earth. In is courtyard

the sons of Emirs and Vaziers from Tehran, and

people of all clans and tribes are waiting to serve

just as their ancestors came before them.



O Imam, in whose noble essence God s purpose

in making the world has been fulfilled,

know that to me, the slave of devotion,

the flinty stones of Yamgan valley are worth

more than the pearls of the Gulf.

When you have bestowed upon me all Eternity

why should I bother with this insipid world?



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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From_Alamut



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

Letter from an Acquaintance


Fifty years in Yamgan . . . why am I in jail?

Two sets of chains: Reason for my spirit,

and devil s shackles for my body. No wonder

the demons don t obey me: am I Solomon?

In fact I am more like Salman.

My words shine like the sun, even if

you haven t seen me in the flesh

for . . . how many years? Your heart:

a moon to the wisdom of my

pearl-scattering sun. Yamgan:

the gold-mine of knowledge and sagacity

(aren t I buried in Yamgan?)

I ve changed a lot since we met -

at least that part of that s

bound to the material realm. But

I have not turned away from the

Path of Faith. For unlike my flesh

my spirit soars. You write

Why don t you leave, come back?

Don t you realise -I m escaping

from demos? Don t blame me!

Don t aks me to make my home

amongst asses and cows - you know

I m not a herdsman. Comedians!

What do you have in common with

comics and their audiences? I m not

interested in laughing or cracking jokes.

Yesterday I laughed; today I weep.

Fools laugh; wisdom s got me by

the neck. Fools eat and enjoy themselves;

je regret, je regret . . . .all that.

The pink tulips of cheeks have

rotted like straw; if I thrash my wheat

with your breezes, I ll have nothing

tomorrow but a bag of wind.

Why has God made me this way?

Yesterday I was a rolling stone;

today I m a moss-grown ruin.

Yesterday tuxedo and tails

today rags. If I leave my hovel

whee should I go. I fear -

or rather I don t fear - I ll never

leave; I will stick to present evil.

I could try to hang on to the world

by the skin of my teeth - but

they d soon have my teeth out

by the roots. No, now that I

am aware of this secret I shall

rise and brush the mould

off my lapels. Before they come to

cart me away, I ll read over

the record once agin. Tomorrow

they ll strip me bare - why should I

bother to conceal anything today?

Repentance turns evil to good

- do God promise us in the Book -

I shall stick to good and stay away

from what doesn t concern me.

Do unto other . . . . that s what it means

to be a Muslim. If I am the servant

of the All-merciful, shouldn t I follow

His Messenger? At least I m

sensible enough to not to think that

two opposites can both be true.

Once again, off again . . .that s a

drunkard s act. I d never expect

you to summons me to join

the inebriates - and if anyone

does call me . . .sorry. No. I ll stay.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977
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Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 666

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject: Re: "THE ISMAILI SUFISM POETRY AND POEMS" Reply with quote

In Praise of Ali (1)


The heartspring of Ali s lover reflects and is full

with the image of him - so is my heart his spring

and his knowledge my shield. O lovers, pluck his blossoms

but save the thorns for his enemies.

No one of the Community is worthy of greatness

but his lover, for the Shiite rests immune

from the wiles of Satan in his citadel.

He is the Prophet s kinsman, but no one

belongs to Ali s tribe but the lover of Truth.

A thousand years of praise will not exhaust

a thousandth of his qualities; I take pride

in his Four Virtues, his manliness, knowledge

piety and munificence, and my back is bent

with gratitude, the burden of Ali.

I imitate his way of dress, robed in faith and gnosis.

Nasibi, be silent - you have not learned

of his warp and weft, or you would

think more of him. Act not the snake with me

lest you think you can bear the sting

of the serpent of Ali. Why do you rank

every lowly weed with him?

He was a lion, the battlefield his veldt,

the unbelievers his prey, his sword,

his Zulfiqar like a dragon

in is claws, slayer of three armies,

his right hand, armour-piercer that

cast to the ground the severed heads

of great commanders. Gabriel called his spear

at the battle of Hunayn, and his heart

was steady as a mountain in the sin

of war. Lions shrink away like foxes

at the sight of his blade.



If you fear the devil will plunder you

hide yourself in his cavern

where no one enters but by the command

of his deputy, and which is made not of stone

but of knowledge (for how could the pride

of Ali descend to stone?), and where are stored

his house, his estate, his chattels.

On the trees and meadows of Ali the rain

falls as hermeneautic exegesis, for he

chose no silver and gold, but knowledge and faith.

How but by his sword-wielding hand

could the Divine Law find protection?

How should the unbelievers of Mecca

not feel him as an inward affliction?

Free from taint, his tongue, hands and loins -

where was the best woman of the world

but by his side? Hasan and Husayn, those

mirrors of the Prophet, were his mirrors.

Satan s hands and feet were amputated

in the uproar he caused, and no one

will be safe from fire but in his refuge.

His sword ruined the good name

of countless warriors in the battles

of Badr, Uhud and Khaybar, which were his work.

Send him my challenge, the boastful knight,

for I am the chevalier of Ali.

Even his enemies I shall convert

if they lend me their ears, and in spite

of all they do, I shall bind them fast

with the bridle of Ali; but if they

turn their heads away from this knowledge

sweet and boundless, they will come

on Resurrection Day, disgraced,

heads dragged in the dust before

ALI.



Reference
Forty Poems from the `Diwan' of Nasir Khusraw. Transl. by P. L. Wilson and Gholam R. Aavani. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1977


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