It’s a queer lot that fortune has brought together round this camp fire
From different walks in life in a common quest and desire.

To God butcher and banker, poet and plumber are the same
So long as ambition is dead and the heart is lit with love’s flame.

All those things which the world arduously pursues as prizes
Are beribboned bubbles of various colors and sizes.

As for painted prophets and false teachers—they are manure
To the roots of God’s saints and to lovers whose hearts are pure.

In one drop of love’s wine the worlds of the universe swim.
Is it not wisdom then to stake one’s life on love’s whim?

There is no affair in the world that is not settled by a coin’s toss;
At every step one takes the road forks to profit and loss.

To lose love’s favor is real loss, to lose the world is real gain;
This is what has drawn these fellows together on this empty plain.


So often the poems manage to convey the almost delirious enthusiasm which sustains the seeker on the path of love. To see the worlds swimming in a single drop of divine wine is the sort of hyperbole that can come with a licence to be a poet.

Our modern culture sees the world of ecstatic quest as little more than subjective indulgence. It has no idea of the freedom that comes in seeing, really seeing, how chance rules the world except for the truth that comes through love’s surrender.

The camp fire where the seekers after truth are gathered is on an ‘empty plain’. To stake one’s life on love’s whim brings no sheltered garden. But the heart is lit with love’s flame and all else is reduced to coloured baubles.

As so often with Francis Brabazon the beauty of his poetry lies largely in its sincerity.

Calmly he claims life should be staked on love’s whim. This is the only worthwhile gamble in town.

» ghazal #66 »