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

What Would I Know

That Ancient Tree

On our ancestral estate

Beneath it’s roots

Great treasures lay

I would sit by your side

As a young child

You became a silent witness

As Shahid and Mashud

To my heart’s facade

Shedding tears

of separation

For my future master

I knew even then

Of master and disciple

Without a teacher

who taught me these lessons

Who brought me to Hu

Being taught the wird

As I sat in solitude

And transcribed my words

In mystical metaphors

Speaking of Ayyaz

and the land of Shiraz

Who taught this to me

What would I know

Was it you

I would sit with your friends

towering evergreens

Shading the famed veranda

Alone with the Alone

I would sit

on cane chairs and cotton cushions

Maids offering exotic fruits

and butter biscuits

pomegranates the fruit of mystics

Wine forbidden for this young soul

Yet she desired to drink more

Underage as a determined femme sage

But what would I know

Gardeners running to and fro

Ambassador cars and foreign delegations

A common scene in the presence

Of this royal tree

of ancient wisdom

Remotely in silence

I continued to sit

Until the ink of my heart began to stream

I sat and observed my thoughts

In order to take heed of

Idris Shah’s wisdom

who planted the seed

I would write

After moments in silence

To allow Divine Tajjali to traverse through

From heart to pen

On pages of old

by words turned to gold

During those days

Where you became my gaze

And I yours

Like a grandmother

Overseeing my affairs

You watched and taught

Through a language unspoken

I was lead to Khayyam

Upon a dusty shelf

The room I slept in

Housed his works

Like forbidden imagery

I dusted the pages

Glaring at Persian delights

What would this young soul know

Of the truth of red wine

The secret of lovers

I dared to ask for more

What would I know

As I turned the pages

Khayyam pierced into my eyes

Infecting my soul

With a rare Sheraz

Rubayyat I sought

In awe of poetry

As a young spirit

What would I know

I decided for the life of my life

That I would drink eternally

And pen my heart openly

That same summer

Of starry nights and rainy days

Where the winds of monsoons

Would moan in pain

I received your blessings

And composed like the ancients

Of Persians and Sumarians

Of Rabia and Mirabai

Of Hashimites and Bakhtites

They opened my heart


A spiritual surgery

Something was deposited

My memory recalls

But what would I know

This happened not once or twice

But thrice and more

While asleep and awake

Sealing my heart with

golden threads and silver brocade

a  honey dew love for ahl al bayt

But what would I know

The Journey Has Begun

Two rivers merge as one

in the presence of the sun

where two equals one

the sum of one is none

is she the future me

a sign of how to Be

is she the key to my

forgotten ancestry

we wonder with

sheer curiosity

as the crescent arrives

within certainty

moon of muharram

I bow to thee

verily we are Hussaini

she marks the awaited destiny

of asserting progeny

of a Makkan Badawi

commissioned to Mali

to marry a Senegali

a scholar a mystic

a Hussaini statistic

Sukina’s young spirit

trained in his presence

of noble eminence

on travels and sermons

over Saharan sands

and Tuareg lands

lessons on demand

Sukina a soul mistress

light work her business

eloquence granted

from Masters of Grace

her message beyond

color and race

she arrives by command

to a Fatimi base

designed to efface

women of grace

guides of inner space

by a Zainabi embrace

to the select and elect

I’m here to double check

to perfect and object

light absence of them

we outright reject

come one

come all

to the rivers of Fatima

Lee Khamsatun

Utfi Beha Harral Waba’il


Al Mustafa wal Murtaza

Wab’naa Huma

wal Fatima