Even after obtaining residence in Love Street
The journey seems unending—each breath is so indiscreet.

Obedience is impossible; and one is always caught
Off beat and off pitch in the song of this one one had so sought.

But this isn’t surprising since all the galaxies dance
In the light and rhythm of the divine Beloved’s glance.

Amazement seizes one, and the earnest desire for death,
Because one cannot love truly for the length of a breath.

To think of union is madness; and for what else could one ask
But a change of habitat and a slightly different mask?

I know I was mad in the first place to have entered this street:
My eyes were led by my nose which trailed a scent so magically sweet.

This scent was compounded of hints of wind and hair and lips—
The same, after all, which sets other men sailing in ships!


‘Each breath is so indiscreet’ might sound a bit odd but conveys the message that he still finds himself breathing to survive, not to love. Most of the time we don’t feel Baba is breathing us. Again this unbearable tension for the poet between what he is and what he might be.

As in the previous poem he is still out of tune and out of rhythm, not surprisingly as he ruefully admits as His harmony dances the universe. As separate humans we all suffer from a profound inauthenticity, and can only ask for a slightly different role on the stage.

It would seem madness even to start the journey to union. Just like those who pursued outer arduous voyages, lured by the wafted breezes from the Spice Islands.

Maybe Francis it was madness to be seeking after imagined rewards like this? But…this madness is the only way to Him!

» ghazal #144 »