The burden of dust is the hardest burden to bear—
Dust that has a heart and nerves and eyes which stare and stare.

Eyes’ stare into nothingness, waiting, forever waiting
News from beloved behind curtain, of brother behind grating.

Dust’s flesh dully aches. The doctor says, Vitamin lack in food.
How can its food be used when dust is existence without blood?

Mind mirrors messages from beyond the season’s coiled scope,
But interest is unengined by sweet unreason’s hope.

Dust is the end glory of evolution where actions cease
In resignation to the Beloved—but it knows no peace.

The Beloved’s cool, rose-scented breath stirs it to ecstasy—
But its burden is greatest when it dances feeling itself free.

Then grief overwhelms it, ripening it for new birth.
It was dust’s weeping in the Great Dark which formed the earth.


The dust is tormented in its separation form the Self. However it is this very need, this tormented necessity, which has been the engine behind the whole push of evolving into sentience and consciousness.

The lead up to this makes for a breathtakingly dramatic poem. No earthly food can nourish this hunger which is inscribed on our very bones. The waiting for the beloved behind the veil is like the longing for a close one in prison. The phrase ‘interest is unengined by sweet unreason’s hope’ suggests that ordinary aims cannot relate to rapturous trust.

Only when dust becomes conscious by consciousness becoming dust can the glorious purpose of the universe fully manifest.

What a tension is created between the dry ground down waiting and the glory it awaits. Only this tension can make it respond to the breath of the Spirit.

The whole poem endows the last line with a profound richness.

» ghazal #108 »