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The Eager Traveler
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Even in the torture chamber, I was the lucky one;
When each lottery was over, unaccountably I had won.

And even the mightiest rivers found accessible refuge in me;
Though I was called an arid desert, I turned out to be the sea.

And how sweetly I remember you, oh, my wild, delectable love—
Like the purest white blossoms, on talented branches above.

And while I’m half-convinced that folks adore me in this town,
Still, all the hands I kissed held knives and tried to shake me down.

You lost the battle, my coward friend, my craven enemy,
When, to victimize my lonely soul, you sent a despoiling army.

Lost in the wastelands of vast love, I was an eager traveler,
Like a breeze in search of your fragrance, a vagabond explorer.

Published in the anthology Eastern Promise


I Cannot Remember
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I once was a poet too (you gave life to my words), but now I cannot remember
Since I have forgotten you (my love!), my art too I cannot remember

Yesterday consulting my heart, I learned
that your hair, lips, mouth, I cannot remember

In the city of the intellect insanity is silence
But now your sweet, spontaneous voice, its fluidity, I cannot remember

Once I was unfamiliar with wrecking ***** and ruins
But now the cultivation of gardens, I cannot remember

Now everyone shops at the store selling arrows and quivers
But neglects his own body, the client he cannot remember

Since time has brought me to a desert of such arid forgetfulness
Even your name may perish; I cannot remember

In this narrow state of being, lacking a country,
even the abandonment of my fellow countrymen, I cannot remember

Published in the anthology Eastern Promise


by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Come, even with anguish, even to torture my heart;
Come, even if only to abandon me to torment again.

Come, if not for our past commerce,
Then to faithfully fulfill the ancient barbaric rituals.

Who else can recite the reasons for our separation?
Come, despite your reluctance, to continue the litanies, the ceremony.

Respect, even if only a little, the depth of my love for you;
Come, someday, to offer me consolation as well.

Too long you have deprived me of the pathos of longing;
Come again, my love, if only to make me weep.

Till now, my heart still suffers some slight expectation;
So come, ***** out even the last flickering torch of hope!


Ahmad Faraz [1931-2008], born Syed Ahmad Shah, was a Pakistani poet generally considered to be one of the greatest modern Urdu poets. Faraz was a poet accessible to ordinary readers due to his “fine but simple style of writing.” Ethnically a Hindkowan, he studied Persian and Urdu at Edwards College, then at Peshawar University, where he became a lecturer after receiving his Masters. During his time in college, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Ali Sardar Jafri impressed him and became influences on his own work. Faraz was born in Kohat, Pakistan to Syed Muhammad Shah Barq. In an interview he recalled how his father once bought clothes for him and his brother on Eid. He didn't like the clothes meant for him, preferring the ones given to his elder brother. This lead him to write his first couplet:

Laye hain sab ke liye kapre sale se (He brought clothes for everybody from the sale)
Laye hain hamare liye kambal jail se (For me he brought a blanket from jail)

Faraz was an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s military dictatorship, saying, “My conscience will not forgive me if I remain a silent spectator of the sad happenings around us. The least I can do is to let the dictatorship know where it stands in the eyes of the concerned citizens whose fundamental rights have been usurped. I ... refuse to associate myself in any way with the regime ..."

Keywords/Tags: Ahmad Faraz, Pakistani, Urdu, Persian, translation, couplet, eager, traveler, love
Hamies Apr 18
tell me i'm the one remaining
tell me you don't give up on me
cause i was not claiming
when i told you, it's yours im gonna be
tell me you're still there
tell me you still care
about the way i do my hair
and that i'm going nowhere
tell me you're addicted
of the touch of mine
tell me you predicted
the eager i align
to kiss your smoke-tinted lips
before through my fingers, your soul slips
and i've had these trips
where i feel your fingertips
caress my lonely body
tell me i'm the magic
in your reality
tell me it's not tragic
that we will never be

tell me you won't leave
tell me you won't grieve
when i die tonight
remember the delight
we've received
from the divine
when we flew
and no one knew
Alex Z Jan 29
It's just a red ticket with a stamp on it.
People are willing to work for it all their life,
Like merciless machines doing their job.
Only for glories upon the top of the ivory tower.

Flesh and blood can be easily knocked down
The red ticket can make the so-called friendship
cheap enough to be sold out as household items.
How strong is the pledge of brotherhood?

You lied to yourself only love is the best,
Until she says "you can't give me happiness".
You realize that there are too few chips in your hand
and when you woke up to see how ridiculous the world is.
sol Dec 2019
I'm so obsessed
Obsessed with finding something real
Something more
Incomplacient with reality
I want something real
Something more
As time goes by I grow more dubious
Eager for Something more
©sol /the poems i never wrote
Hilary Sep 2019
love is an ocean
and standing on a cliff
the wind begins to blow
before it has the chance
to push me into a fall
i dive
fingertips steepled
pressed together
above my head
they direct me
toward that
i hold
i am tight
i hasten
my descent never pausing
never pining for the safety of the cliff
never looking back up
never checking
if the tide
is in
Time flies on wings of lightning
When you love the things you do
So when you give to others
Give what is uniquely “YOU”

Your tasks will flow more sweetly
When you’re working from your heart
When following your passions
And you’re eager just to start

Each day do what is needed
But try to spend more time
Each day on using talents
And your wealth will start to climb

Increase your skills and learning
Every day learn something new
And let your path be guided
By what is uniquely “YOU”
This is Prosperity Poem 46 at  and you can see it displayed on a beautiful background here at
Elemenohp Jul 2019
I will taste the lust on your lips,
For I have watched it linger there.
I will coax out those words you hide in your mind,
For I have seen sentances spark within your stare.
I will bite at these things that keep you contained,
For I also wish to be free from restrains.
Ilya Krivonosov Mar 2019
All your explanations are naive and out of place,
You're trying to persuade me in vain.
When I tell you we can't be together,
Why would you tell me they want to **** you?

Why no explanation for this behavior
Won't you read me some of your poems?
In response to the proposal to remain silent until you're blue
You'll tell me all of a sudden, so many unnecessary words.

For the crazy bunch of the usual promises
You will not explain to me the bottomless blue.
You will distort the meaning and spirit of naive predictions.
I'm right now too, my friend, and you're always right.
Hunter Green Mar 2019
Maybe I didn’t do it right.
Maybe I didn’t wait long enough.
Time let’s things fall into place,
And I wonder sometimes if they could have if I just insisted against the race.
I let your eagerness fill me with fear,
But I could’ve let my heart be more clear.

It hurts everytime I see you.
It hurts knowing I am uncertain.
Interest is rare these days,
And I often fear the lack of my
Judgment due to my idealistic ways.
I just hope you know you’re more than enough,
I can’t bear the weight of your heart in haze.
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