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Love, love
rest your sleepy head
your in no shape to make amends
I swear, all will be fine in the end

The winds are silent,
the waves crash low
Doubt no more that the world
will stream once more

Hear the chirping
sing to the humming
Hear that?
The nightingales are singing

I swear to you
All will be fine in the end

Now rest your sleepy head

Diljeev Feb 3
And then a year later,
the ship sets sail
fleeing a year long sorrow,
into the tomorrow.

Each breath
calling out your name
a yearning for a last gaze,
every ear's thirst
for your voice,

a desire to quench it all
one of these days,
on you and me if there may
never dawn this tomorrow.

From the captain
to the cleaner himself,
they all yearn for it,
before they depart.

From the sky
to the ocean herself,
envy the troop's pining
for she who on the port
detract's the beauty
of this scene
for she who in their eyes
poses to be better than art.

- Diljeev
His whistling rises with the moon;
softened trills and murmurings
grow louder in the dusking sky,

drift across my ceiling, down
into my waiting ears.

A halo of satisfaction rings his face,
sweat drying on his chest
as he leans back upon my balcony.

I gather his things
and place them by the door.
I know this tune is not meant for me.

But I listen to it, still,
and dream of my hands
tangled in his soft feathers.

Who will sing me to sleep
when the nightingale is paired?
Shofi Ahmed Nov 2020
A love buried in the depth of the earth
skipping the grave that can be lit up
and the bottom of the sea
water billows out of this abyss
netting the eyeballs of the sky.
Then the bottom of the night
was skipped likewise.

Taring the shades of black
there the moon rolls out
in the enchanting half-light.
So it had to be tucked away
only at the bottom of the earth.

Everything the all-inclusive pi  
could pop up from that safe womb there
that carries the weight of the matters  
but never shows up an equating pattern!

The nightingale scurries to the red rose
bubbling on the morning tessera
as if it mined out the treasure of the earth!
Oh it doesn't seem to be the only one scorer
upon the rose a mirror is up in the sky
‘Love’ is in the eyes of the sun!
Dali Jul 2020
let it be night
let me see those eyes
And oh, the spark in his eyes
Would shame those stars
Owl’s deep hooting at night
Deep as his natter about life
Birds dancing in gale
Did we wake them?
Or was it the nightingale
Let us dance like those birds think it were not night
And let me lay
Upon your soft skin
As I watch your eyes
Like they were one of those stars
O, my dear my love
Did you feel the fast thud of my heart?
Hammering, pounding wanting to be out
And a touch of yours would calm me through the night
Shofi Ahmed Jul 2020
The moon sparks the stars
in the depth of the dark
and mesmeric cool walks the walk.

Everyone else maybe then was in sleep
the nightingale goes out and sings.
The sun touches down the rose in the morning
unleashes the blue sky in the broad daylight
a canvas for everyone, draw your mind.

Forget the twilight is not a finishing line
at the end of the day, there is still a searchlight
right on the horizon an ode to the evening star
a choreographed popup - the moon is on the way!
Again art in silence - Taj Mahal flower in stone
the beauty subtlety is beauteous
and a mesmerised parrot lost for the word!
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Withered Roses
by Allama Iqbal
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

How can my words describe you,
desire of the nightingale's heart?
The gentle morning breeze was your nativity,
the aromatic afternoon garden, a tray of perfumes.

My tears welled up like dew,
till in my abandoned heart your rune grew,
this dream-emblem of love:
this spray of withered roses.

Coal to Diamond
Allama Iqbal, after Nietzsche
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My flesh is so vile, I am less than dust
while your brilliance out-blazes the mirror's heart.
My darkness defiles the chafing-dish
before my cremation; a miner's boot
tramples my cranium; I'm covered with ashes.

Do you know my existence's bleak essence?
Condensations of smoke, black clouds stillborn
from a single spark; while in feature and nature
starlike, your every facet's a splendor,
gleam of the King's crown, the scepter's jewel.

"Please, friend, be wise," the diamond replied,
"assume a gemlike dignity! Carbon must harden,
to fill one's ***** with radiance. Burn
because you are soft. Banish fear and grief.
Be adamant as stone, be diamond."

O, Colorful Rose!
by Allama Iqbal
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You are not troubled with solving enigmas
O, beautiful Rose! nor do you have sublime feelings in your heart

Though you ornament the assembly, still you flower apart
(In life's assembly I am not permitted such comforts)

In my garden I am the complete orchestra of longing
While your life is devoid of love's passionate warmth

To pluck you from the branch is not my custom
(I am not blinded by mere appearances)

O, colorful rose this hand is not your tormentor
(I am no callous flower picker!)

I am no intern to analyze you with scientific eyes
Like a lover, I see you with nightingales' eyes

Despite your innumerable tongues, you have chosen silence
What secrets, O Rose, lie concealed in your *****?

Like me you're a leaf from the garden of Ñër
Far from the garden I am, far from the garden we both are

You are content, but I am a scattered fragrance
Pierced by the sword of love in my quest

This turmoil within me might be a means of fulfillment
This torment, a source of illumination

My frailty might be the beginning of strength
My envy might mirror the cup of divination

My constant vigil is a world-illuminating candle
And teaches this steed, the human intellect, to gallop

Bright Rose
by Allama Iqbal
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You cannot loosen the heart's knot;
perhaps you have no heart,
no share in the chaos

of this garden, where I yearn (for what?)
but harvest no roses.
Of what use to me is wisdom?

Having abandoned the garden,
you are at peace, while I remain anxious,
disconsolate in my terror.

Perhaps Jamshid's empty cup
foretold the future, but may wine
never satisfy my mouth,

till I find you in the mirror.

Jamshid's empty cup: Jamshid saw the reflection of future events in a wine cup.

by Allama Iqbāl
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A candle among roses
In the evening garden
A shooting star
A flash of the moon's gown
A spark of the sun's hem
In syncopated eclipse

Emissary of day
In night's dark kingdom
Unseen at home
Lucid in exile
Opposite of the moth
The firefly is light

The Age of Infancy
by Allama Iqbal
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The earth and sky remained unknown to me
The expanse of my mother's ***** was my only world

Her every movement communicated life's pleasures to me
Yet my own voice conveyed only meaningless words

During infancy's pain, if someone made me cry
The clank of the door-chain would comfort me

Oh! How I stared at the moon those long, lonely hours,
Regarding its silent journey through broken clouds

I would ask repeatedly about its mountains and its plains
Only to be surprised by some prudent lie

My eye was devoted to seeing, my lips to speech
My heart was inquisitiveness personified

by Allama Iqbal
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

"Why didn't you make me immortal?"
Beauty asked God, perplexed.

God, vexed, replied: "The world is a fiction
fashioned from emptiness."

"You were born bright, ever-changing:
true beauty is transient, estranging."

The moon overheard their discord,
beamed it on to the morning star

who whispered dawn's clouds their dark secret
till the dew heard it all, formed a tear,

and drenched all the shivering rose petals
(now survived by the hardier nettles).

Excerpts from "The Tulip of Sinai"
by Allama Iqbal
loose translation by Michael R. Burch


My heart is bright, from burning inwardly.
My eyes weep blood, for all the world to see.
Am I the fool, or is it only he
Who calls all Love mere wild insanity!


Love grants the gardens gentle gusts of May.
Love teaches the meadow flowers to be gay.
Love rockets bright rays deep into the sea
So that fishes' schools can find their way.


Love reckons the price of eagles cheap.
Love surrenders pheasants to the falcons’ steep
Murderous dives. Our offended hearts weep
till suddenly, out of ambush, Love leaps!


Love paints the tulip petals’ hue.
Love stirs the bitter spirit’s rue.
And, could you could cleave this clod of carrion clay,
You would behold Love’s bloodshed too.


A spent scent in a garden: men expire.
I know not what I seek, no, nor require.
But whether I am satisfied, or starved,
Still here I burn: a martyr to desire.


How long, my heart, will you be like the moth,
Infatuated with a bit of cloth
Or winking flame? Just once, my foolish heart,
Be fully consumed in yourself, or else depart.

Excerpts from "Cordoba"
by Allama Iqbāl
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Linker of day and night,
Creator of events,
Foundation of life and death,
Two-toned silken thread,
Weaver of possibilities,
Suggester of future prospects ...

Linker of day and night,
sitting in judgment over us,
determining our worth
whenever we're lacking ...

Death, man's destiny.
Death, my destiny.
Is there any other reality?

The pulse of an age,
caught between day and night
as all human works vanish,
as black and white blur,
annihilation, our end


And yet in this form:
hints of Eternity,
of the splendor of Love ...

Love, life's foundation!
Death has no power over Love!

Love, the tide, the greater torrent,
Love, the nameless eons,
Love, Gabriel's breath,
Love, God's Prophet,
Love, the Word of God,
Love, the radiant rose,
Love, the transcendent wine,
Love, the royal goblet,
Love, life's music,
Love, life's passion,
Love, desire's inferno.


O, Mosque of Cordoba,
born of Love with no prior existence,
nor color nor mortar nor stone,
nor lyre nor song nor sermon ...

O, man's passionate creation!
As a drop of blood turns
cold stone into beating hearts,
so the heart fills with joy,
illumination and melody.

You brighten my heart;
my song wells up in my breast!
You lead a man's heart
Into God's loving presence!

But man's passionate love
for God is man's alone:
you ignite a man's desire,
although his sight is finite,
to seek the Infinite.

His heart's more expansive than the sky!
So what if God's desires rule?
He doesn't ordain man's pain!

I am an Oriental infidel:
witness the fervor
of my heart's prayers,
of these blessings on my lips.

Love, my lyre!
Love, my song!
My every bone singing
"God is God!"


You witness man's worth.
Your glory reflects his.
Your stone columns soar.
Your palms freshen Syrian sands.
Sinai's rooftops gleam.
Gabriel enobles the minaret.

Muslims can never despair
standing in the place of the Prophets,
their horizons infinite
as the Tigris, Danube and Nile surge through their veins.

Cup-bearers and stallion-riders,
warriors of Love
armored with swords of Love, crying:
"There is no god but God!"


You reveal man's destiny:
his days' ardor,
his nights' dissolution,
his submission to God's will.

So it is with believers:
a man prospers according to his deeds.

He is both clay and fire,
Divinely seared within
and free to inhabit both worlds,
whether small in ambition
or with immense purposes.

Pure-hearted whether in war or peace.

God's compass eternally revolves
around a man's faith
because this world is illusion
and the man of faith is reason's horizon,
Love's firstfruits,
The fire of the ingathering,
Heaven's passion.

Keywords/Tags: Allama Iqbal, translation, Urdu, Pakistan, Pakistani, love, rose, nightingale, garden, heart, beauty, diamond, coal, firefly, Cordoba, mosque, God, soul, wine, music, mrburdu
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Sappho's Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy Michael Burch

Hushed yet melodic, the hills and the valleys
sleep unaware of the nightingale's call
as the dew-laden lilies lie
this is their night, the first night of fall.

Son, tonight, a woman awaits you;
she is more vibrant, more lovely than spring.
She'll meet you in moonlight,
soft and warm,
all alone...
then you'll know why the nightingale sings.

Just yesterday the stars were afire;
then how desire flashed through my veins!
But now I am older;
night has come,
I'm alone...
for you I will sing as the nightingale sings.

Keywords/Tags: Sappho, lullaby, mother, mother and child, song, sing, singing, melancholic, hush, hushed, melodic, nightingale, lilies, night, fall, autumn, son, mother, lover, spring, moonlight, stars, flash, desire, pulse, veins, older, mature love, nurturing, calm, comforting
Shofi Ahmed Dec 2019
Ask not the rainbow
what did it paint first
the first light?
With its first splash
of colours on the rose
it begs in the eyeballs
of all the stars.
Listen to the nightingale
why it still cries?
to write
the diary
of a flower,  
of how the
pages were
as the
of her
mind the
for the
eyes of
a book
her private
where her
being had
came to the
and so
her heart,
the rest
In waves
as her
stroked her
her skin
was the
not fairer
than her
as a blue
sea with
the softer
of clouds,
her home
lyed within
the deepest
part of the
to the cafe,
her heart
wished to
sees beauty
In others
veiled to
the eyes,
she meditated
upon the light
waiting to be
sought, the
to touch
her palms,
fell as
she walked
through the
garden by
the moon,
with the
the poet
of love who
gazed upon
a symphony
of dew-beads
as stars,
as shrines
of memory,
as the night
lights of a
for only
as she
upon them,
with her
she sang,
“can I call
this love,
or the words
of falling rain?”
as she watched,
with the leaves,
and the gentle
dew, opening for
love letters
her lips
the petals,
and tears
fell from
her eyes,
and upon
the white
the night
the tears
the far
of an
love is
the rose
of suffering
and beauty,
and the one
whom has
known it
lives forever
as a home
for others,
the nightingale
sings as her
ink flowed as
upon her
where she
wandered, with
meditations upon
Monet arose
as lullabies
of a secret
songs of
and wisteria
than the
of fairies,
the small gifts of
precious wonders
she held with all
the curiosity
in her hands,
as she
to herself,
were these
lights, or
the few
her to
she reaches
the waters,
and the
fair form
the moonlit
where she
the truth
the tear
petals, the
moon sings
the symphony
for her, “are you
the one I have
been seeking?”
as it’s light
touches her
steps, she
returns to
her home,
and in her
she writes,
“to my lover,
I will remember
how we met
each other
as waves,
from the
lost, far
of the
we found
the shores
eyes, they had
sought themselves
to be lost in legions
of constellations
in the galaxies
of hearts,
with the stars
that waited
to be born,
the flecked
specks of light in
divinations of the
midnight hours,
and reminisced
the dappled
dreams of
colors and
musing, in
the cafe,
where our
the seas
into cups
of tea, and
the question
of metamorphosis
through words,
shifting time
through the
touching of
marble cups
and the colloquy
of our eyes, the
artistry in the
miracle of the
gentle, I walked
In flight with you,
as we shared the
unspoken stories
of our hearts
woven through
the rain,
under the
to your
where we
the paintings
of the night
skies as the
of us, the
by the
where I
her hands
then closed
the pages,
and her eyes
rested upon
the pillow,
and the
“O fair
you are
the one
Is loved, the
has sung to
you upon
It’s branch
near your
fairer is
you are
the gentle
one who
turns all
of what
you have
seen to
you love,
all is in
la fleur
de lune.
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