We who are not lovers ....

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Noon Meem Rashid Poetry

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We who are not lovers ....

We who are not lovers, and never were
Not even a remote resemblance!
Love is an expression of a maddening obsession.
Love is nothing but self-imperfection!
But in our expression, there is much talk of gain and loss
and worries and pains of the passing days.
But there isn't any mention of the divine caress
which makes the silent lips of revelation to move,
which arouses the lips of time to life!

....We are like infants who've just opened there eyes.
Struck by awe at how words cry with expression.
How scribbles on a paper are charged with sound.
And how sounds open hidden treasures of understanding!
But we are not aware
that understanding has opened many other doors as well.
Laid bare the paths of man's conversation with the soul
The refreshing springs of self-discourse are not present in any paradise
that were brought forth by our eternal thirst for expression.

We sit by a spring, head hung, lost in thought.
Morning and evening goes on the counting of waves.
As if there is a fear that numbers will run out.
As if there is an anguish of existence in our hearts!
The labor for bread, or the beneficence of walls and doors of the world
Aloofness in union, or the pleasures of parties of song and wine
The ability to sing and paint, the desire to create.
These have always justified the reason for existence.
Now the beneficence of walls and doors isn't there anymore
A reason for existence isn't there anymore.

.... We spent another day today ... and like every day
The morning comes with a radiant 'however'.
The evening settles into a 'but's darkness.
Another morning dawns with hope's treasure.
The day goes by helpless, like righteous folk.

.... Everywhere there are circles, circles, more circles
Ring after ring we are in discourses
In whirling dances
Immersed in our creations of songs, faces, verses.
Lost in the search of pretty tresses!
In bad luck of being caught in love.
From afar we catch a glimpse of a goal,
and sometimes we rush towards it,
but don't reach far, only towards our rear.
As if we are lost in endless mazes.

....'The Self was within reach once'
Self .... a lost man's light.
Self .... future's faintly sight.
Self was the eloquence of broken hands,
a sound sweeter than which does not exist.
Today where to find that Self's roar ?
Where to find that secrets' knower ?

Today that self is an actress, dressed in black
with just roses and jasmine adorning her breast.
We are fully aware of her sudden, public death.
But we do not acknowledge it,
lest we fail to shed tears when the time is right!

Lets become uncultured brutes, deserts dwellers,
for we feel no shame in a naked dance.
Let us light up the pile of wood
which has, scattered in it, the trees of our sodden past.
Let us burn a fire in this dark winter night.
So that the lonesome deaths of our desires may come to an end.
The warmth of the delight besides this raging fire,
there isn't a time more joyful than this.
See how the dry trees of this desert have started to shine.
See how the footsteps of ancient travelers have started to shine.
How everything has started to shine!

.... But where to get songs for our naked dance?
Where to get a drum and a guitar?
Where to get a sword and a harp?
When the tongue is shriveled and hangs from a cave,
the soul is a parched wilderness where,
the sound of life's song is lost in sand!

.... But how the henna painted hands of innocence's bride were washed clean
we washed them clean in an unfamiliar town!
People cried out in shock "What did you do?
This wealth, this rare treasure, you squandered it?"
We laughed and said, "You crazy people!
Her beauties are still there, just look at her.
Isn't it enough that she wasn't stripped bare in public?"
People were very upset but could only say this:
"Yes it is true that she wasn't stripped bare in public.
Isn't it enough that her purity is still intact.
Isn't it enough that her life is still intact!"

.... But whether it is amusement, or grief, or hate or pity.
We continue to keep each other busy like useless babblers.
We swing between the material 'how' and 'how much'
but cannot enter the paradise of true emotions.
Emotions that never separate from each other,
locked tight like lover's embrace.
Where to get such elegant emotions?

.... We who are scared of our own feelings
lest their expression becomes a promise's night,
the dawn of whose fulfillment is not to be.
Vastness upon vastness upon vastness lies ahead.
One this side heart's pessimism, icy, heavy and cold.
On that, ... faith's warm recompense.
The heart fights the waves on this side, what is on the other?
A maelstrom, that if we sink no one will ever find a trace!
Is it a joke made by the conscience?
Is it a negation of existence?

.... No, nature has always been that beloved, a spectator,
on whose lips are the words: if not you, someone else,
someone else, someone else......

How many lovers lay on the paths of love,
after just one night of union, or maybe three, or nine.
(Their every "effort", they considered it to be the eternal reward!)
On their lips is neither a smile nor a cry
In their eyes twinkles only a deep secret!
We who are not lovers, and never were.
Our illusions of grandeur would devour us, I fear.
This infinitely avaricious earthen body!
Let us too bring some sacrifice for life
Let us too bring a sign of our life!


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