When the sun flew his flag from my house-top, the bird of my throat
Soared aloft into the empty morning on its wildest note.

At that moment poets and angels did me obeisance,
And the word of today announced tomorrow’s renascence.

For this new lovely song a billion years I had toiled
With oceans of ink, and continents of paper had spoiled.

By God! there is more to a song than wild horses of words made tame;
One must sew up one’s lips with the thread of the Beloved’s name.

Yet there are many who still talk about the poet’s craft!
Shove them out to sea on a sail-less and rudderless raft.

There was disaster in heaven last night when the Master filled my cup,
And the ranks of angels and past poets cried in grief for one drop.

By the time the sun sang from my house-top his first golden note,
My spirit was a snuffed candle’s smoke that had become a throat.


As in the previous poem waiting is not bottled up desire. It is the abandonment of all maps and goals. It is abiding with sewn lips and the Beloved’s presence until the name burst forth in song. It is a joke to call it a craft, a learned or calculated activity, poetry is divine inspiration won at the cost of no less than everything.

Nothing we can imagine as heaven can compete with this bliss, this is why he calls it disaster in heaven. It is the hyperbole of wonder, not self-glorification.

The song burst forth but in the final stanza the poet reminds us that words can convey no more than the smoke and smell from the light that has been experienced, realised, in the moment of Grace. And even Francis after such a wondrous state is still in the world of time as he reminds us in the next and final poem.

And this song of bliss is not separate from the long wandering, struggle, battling and despairs which have led up to it and which have made the self a fit receptacle for the Self.

» ghazal #150 »