I wish every man the love of a woman beautiful and tender.
Unless he has first died on her breast, he can never fully surrender.

One must be victorious in order to know one is defeated,
To appreciate that in dust the purpose of life is completed.

‘The good women for the good men.’ But a man is good
Only to the extent that he loves God as he should.

The worst men are the guardians of the commonweal
Who starve women into harlotry and make honest men steal.

Let a man but open his heart to one ray of his soul’s splendor,
Then God will give him the love of a woman pure and tender.

Then I will station myself all night outside their window
And praise those holy nuptials from which no sin can grow.

I will sing him as Odysseus from long wanderings returned
To his faithful Penelope who ever for her true lord yearned.


The fulfilment and surrender of human love is a preparation for the real surrender of becoming dust at the Master’s feet.

The country (ironically called the ‘commonweal’) is run by men who do not pursue the inner journey and who therefore do not become good – capable of love. True married love consummation is for those of splendour of soul. Goodness is a matter of loving God as we should.

Odysseus to Francis was the heroic voyager who overcame all obstacles to reach reunion with the chaste Penelope. Love for a woman accompanies a man’s noble character and symbolizes all dying to love. No simple opposing the carnal to the spiritual here. Francis’ great idealism shines through , hopefully not seeming old fashioned to the reader.

» ghazal #58 »