Caged Soul Bird

Caged Soul Bird

We heal when we express

the act of letting our emotions

run wild

inking on paper


by penning our heart

we free ourself from

cellular memory

holding pain

if failed to release


spiral and binds

constricts and confines

to suffocate our soul

numbing our heart

so to be cold

deaf dumb and blind

this is not why we came

we came to feel

one another’s pain

expression is release

so to relate

from me to we

we are free

you’ve unlocked

your caged soul bird

setting her free

Women Who Blaspheme

in order to survive

i had to let go

of what others would say

my words akin to blasphemy

for many, for the majority

I blasphemed my way into

palaces of gold

dynasties of old

hearts of coal

blackened by immorality

distorted spirituality

softened by my words

infused in ishq

as fire to ore

you ask for more

your elements transmuted

you melt in her presence

i am a witness

a spiritual seductress

as my pen inked itself

I held it gently

as I hold your heart

so not to disrupt this flow

on papyrus and tablets

this is our art

women who blaspheme

the likes of Scherazade

shunned saints

storytellers we are

in perfumed bazars

of Khorasan

sipping the wine of Attar

inducted into harems

dates dipped in rum

pomegranate delicacies

tender Turkish delights

powdered in ecstasy

a lover’s haven

assumed gardens of Eden

rose scented hammams

infested with chanters

maidens and ghilmans

we scandalously sing

we women who blaspheme

lay on Persian rugs

wrapped in chiffon

as the moon glares


on skin and smiles


inhaling oud like shisha

dusty clouds form

disguising lost lust

Marjina seeks Ali baba

Laila embraces Majun

orientalist or literalist

they ask for more

saqi O saqi

I hear your pleas

shall I pour Shirazi

or cherried Maysara

Emotion is All

Pen the nostalgia

emotion can be captured

in order to extract the


emotion is not to be wasted


for the mystic

emotion is all

it is Haal

being aware allows


if we listen

that is

to our heart

unless we

silence ourselves

how then shall we


how then shall we


The Guest is God

Feelings are guests of the heart

How do we treat our guest?

In the Path of Love, the guest is ‘God’

or a guest of God.

This particular guest arrives without notice and leaves without notice

seat your guest on your finest interior

where heart rules and mind inferior

the guest has a role

listen to her

she has lessons to teach

her language is silence

so listen attentively

when she leaves

is up to her

your job is honor the guest

pen your heart and whirl

or so as inspired

once the lessons are learned

the guest usually


and when you least expect


another shall be sent

these guests are all

messengers of love

why not rejoice

you have a guest

the guest

is a sage

a saint

a mad man

a dancer

an ashiqa

a melancholic

a drunk

honor every visitor

seat her on your

finest interior

where heart rules

and mind inferior

This Poetic Licence

this poetic license

served a mystic

so conveniently

who by other means

would be condemned to

a death penalty

for uttering


poetry saved her

from the cross

of Jesus

the be heading of Husaaina

and a Hallaji destiny

Gulistan or Bustan

the one who speaks to your soul
you ignore
you came of your own accord
the one who sees you as light
you slight 
you came here by birthright

these guides hide behind
as the sun 
peeks through clouds
as hearts lack recognition 
of roses in their very garden
Gulistan or Bustan
Junaidi or Bistami
every nation has a Saadi;
the nightingale of Shirazi
a Jami or Rumi
what does it matter
when their utterances
are one 
no former or latter 

learn from
the Persians 
who bowed to their poets
raised them as prophetess 
as saviors and sages 
flocked to tombs 
to be perfumed
in rose gardens 

contempt and skepticism
you hold for causes and isms 
poets who breathe empathy
remind us of reality 
their heart’s sing
a heavenly melody 
you listen discreetly
assumingely a stranger
yet her words speak volumes
to hearts who seek 
the wine of Divine
through words sublime 
the time is nigh
to hang poetry high 
in mosques and temples
where once upon a time
idols reigned 
when Okaz brought fame
to tribes and nations
now what has become
of Arabs estranged  
from the language 
of love that runs in 
their blood 

Wine of Shiraz

poetic being

do not hasten to express

allow emotion to ferment

at times repress

to compoud the effect

in the cellar of your heart

the aged wine of Shiraz

compares not

with the Chardonnay of


then seek permission

from the soul

to pour as Saqi

your wine in words

to the guests

of your Divaan