We urge on our endeavor to conquer the world of the senses,
Confident as a horseman putting his mount at the fences.

So far we’ve achieved eggheadedness and animality
And the singing word lost in abstraction and banality.

We would annex the moon, ride on to the planets—for what?
We don’t know—vaguely, they may have something that we have not.

A cosmic joke! For God-Man opens no wineshop there.
Wine, life’s crowning pleasure, may be obtained only here.

God! How many times have we ridden out towards new horizons—
And brought back merely slaves and gold to bolster our orisons!

Achievements are all in past tense: the grandeur that was Rome.
Security now a broken column and a fallen dome.

Beloved, it’s a rum go—and a long time between drinks.
My song comes to a close, and the lovely moon palely sinks.


A night song. A feeling of tiredness at having to point out the folly of it all.

We are dealing here once again with the primal sin, the turning away from inner questing for the divine to outer assertive venturing. The world goes on being obsessed with the wrong challenge. Head knowledge and instinctual gratification have resulted, not heart opening.

A cosmic joke that would make the angels weep. Expansion has brought back booty but not truth. ‘Orisons’ are prayers, here thanking God for our conquests. Time mocks such efforts. But humanity treats the universe as a field for its imperialism, a ‘terra nullus’ to be conquered. 

What can a man do but scratch his head and shrug at such futility, with a casual throwaway ending? He does need a sip of inspiration.

» ghazal #83 »