Do not feel too secure in your houses. Though they keep
The rains out, the Word prepares its speaking while you sleep.

People in olden times also grasped Truth’s dress in their hands;
Faith reared their towers, and a loose word leveled them with the sands.

When rock cannot bear the burden of love’s word, and breaks—
Concrete will not respect honest men’s bones more than fakes’.

When the Word’s wind (through all God’s places) shakes the city in its teeth,
Where will be your Beloved of the radiant smile and perfumed breath?

The unreaped songs and the untrod journeying
Will remain buried awaiting love’s next spring.

Fortunate will be those who have only God’s feet for roof
When God-Man breaks his silence, and also becomes aloof.

‘Gone on holidays,’ will be scrawled on the wineshop door.
Inside, there will be two or three left drunk on the floor.


A warning and a wakeup call even for those who think they are secure in shelter or the loving side of the Beloved. He is readying people for the time when the jalal side of God is displayed, for the time when the sweet incarnated presence will not be available.

The last stanza brings it down to a humorous and sharply visualised level. No good having indulgent dreams when the tasks of the path are left undone.

Note that the coming catastrophe is the cleansing love of God’s word. The ‘next spring’ will be the next Avataric descent.

Concrete is used in modern houses but it like the stones of the past will come crashing down when judgment sounds.

» ghazal #94 »