How at young Dawn’s clear call my spirit used to leap!
Now I draw the blanket closer and would sleep and sleep.

The world is words, and words are pellets of lead on my skull,
And my brain has become as lead—as heavy and as dull.

These singers are parrots screeching news about Kingdom-come,
And to give senselessness rhythm some fool keeps beating a drum.

Two processions pass: one, To promote it; the other, To ban it.
Our beloved Master is the world’s pain sculptured in granite.

Was it yesterday or last year that we were sitting on the wineshop floor
Singing like the morning stars, and like the sons of God shouting, Encore!

That was the time when our spirits travelled faster than light,
And we could cover the universe of song in a single night.

I could sleep the whole world’s bedfuls of sleep and still reap
The abundant harvest of all its sowing of sleep.


Not easy it is, after having been given tastes of the transcendent to come back to the world of opposites; not just opposites out there but the hardships of our own negativity.

And how useless words can seem because they too are trapped in the world of opposites.

We were once spirits but we have sunk into the sleep of matter, the slumber of the world. Our own sleeping and that of the globe itself seem equally intolerable.

He shares with us a moment of feeling the intolerable weariness of inertia. The joy of morning has turned into an imprisonment in serial time.

The Master is not denied but His presence is not a light thing but ‘all the world’s pain sculptured in granite’ as He endures the burden of creation. No pretending to put on a brave face here. See too the opening line of 134. The metres which give us such pleasure from his lucid control are not quarried out painlessly. 

» ghazal #131 »