The Beach

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At the beach,
I dig my toes
into the sand
of time,
resting upon
a mosaic of grains,
multicolored like memories
of past and future,
a magic carpet,
where I lie
in a reverie.

A fragrance lingers
in the salty air.
The scent of your skin
upon mine.
I am a supplicant
before this eternal mystery.

I wait
for you
to take me
like the tide.

Timbuktu

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I am

an ancient city,

my love.

Of stark poetry,

of hidden delights

and unseen treasures,

a womb in the desert

you may return to

someday.

 

You may see me as

crumbling walls

and ramshackle forts,

desperate hunger

and impoverishment,

but in the patient quiet of the night

I am vividly alive,

lighting the sky

with the soft glow of my million hazy stars;

singing my lullabies that are

traditional story-songs,

my willowy melodies

gently haunting.

 

I will lead you down my long romantic winding pathways,

into the hidden crevices of myself,

and there you will glimpse

my illustrious manuscripts,

read my magnificent golden script,

the vastness of my humanity

and my wisdom

unveiled

and laid bare

for you.

 

Come,

my love,

enter

inside my city,

enter

inside my story,

enter

inside me.

Hamza Al Din

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Nothing in this world is as amazing as something that is neither clear not unclear.

I was contained
within the hypnotic rhythm of the desert
the way cloudy wine of the Sufi
floats within a clay vessel.
My heart danced
and inside it the Nile was a whisper of majestic hypnotic sound,
a winding river
meandering on a musical journey
through mysterious Time.

Beat of the tar,
shimmering curtains of reverberating strings, thickly woven skeins of melody
that I channeled through my fingers as they plucked oud.
Materializing complex tapestries of ancient sound,
evoking magic
out of thin desert air.

I can tell you
that there was a richness to this life.
It was a richness
like the sheen upon the surface
of a pot of Turkish coffee.
It was the richness of date syrup;
how sweet it was!
It was a quality of light,
like the delicate dawn some mornings
of my childhood,
the sun’s rays spread in gentle waves over the desert, billowing,
like my mother’s skirts
in the breeze.
And behind the whistling play of hot wind I heard within my own Nubian ears a twisting symphony
of flutes.

Between each note,
silence speaks.
Music quivering upon the depths of the quiet.
My gentle song was always soft whispers,
intimations
of what lay beyond
in invisibility.

Like the fragrance of jasmine,
so subtle, yet so sweetly aromatic.

Reach beyond the bounds of yourself, the thin curtain, into the depths…
and there you will find me, your own ancestor,
archivist of the human heart,
a greater library than ever thrived in Alexandria,
where the spark of knowledge
emerges out of the void
and sacredness lives beyond simple light
and sound.

Baul

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I am:
Baul.
I am
mad for God,
crazy for journeying
through the world
within,
singing my inner song
to the wind and the dirt grooves of the road,
to the stubbly grass and ancient watching trees,
to the blossoming flowers that grow
along the way.
A wild string of
heartfelt words,
each note
a cry
from the depths.
please return to me.
I am seeking the
“moner manush.”
The man
of my very own
heart.
So I will walk the path that knows no bounds.
I will keep playing my ektara,
plucking the strings,
desperately,
pouring out my soul
in one ephemeral moment
of delicious touch.
I will wander like a minstrel
through the faraway lands
of my own consciousness.
she has learned what she wanted to know,
but only she understands.

 

Ghazal

I once was an islamic poet, presiding over my table at the cafe in Sudan,
drinking coffee sweetly scented with cardamom,
telling folktales…
Then was an Ethiopian expatriate, gathered with friends
at Dunkin Donuts in Central Square, debating politics
over styrofoam cups of cold coffee,
nibbling stale French crullers…
And throughout my journeys across this world,
I held the power of language close to my bosom,
my poet’s pen poised in the breast-pocket of my jalabiya…
and from my heart poured forth
my song:

 

Ghazal.

I dreamed of you, my lover
each night, 
until you came 
to me.

Like halwa 
you were sweet to the taste,
like guava, like mango,
that I relished, so sweet
to me.

And still I craved more,
and tossed and turned 
in my sleep,
still called you again
to me.

So I will search for you 
to the ends of the Earth,
recreate you anew,
somehow bring you 
to me.

For this is what
the sweetness of
your love
means
to me.

So I have fasted
like a holy man
on Ramadan
and though I may break my fast
with a handful of dates,
I will not be satisfied
until I am one
with you.

Beloved.

Sufi Poetry

Belly_dancer

I decided to include some of my Sufi Poetry on this blog.  I feel it goes well with the erotic poetry, as they are really one in the same to my mind.  It is the creative tension of longing, the longing to be filled with something greater than we currently are, that lies behind our human dance, that is both erotic and spiritual.  To touch something beautiful beyond the bounds of our known selves, whether within us or without us, is the essential crux of our desire.

Outside of this realm there is only fullness.  I know because I have journeyed there as consciousness (another story for another time).  And so we are in anguish here, but we are in pleasure too.  For we cannot know the deliciousness of being filled until we have been empty.  And is this not why we have chosen to live this dream here as humans?  To experience something that cannot be understood any other way.

“He has learned what he wanted to know, but only he understands.”

— Conference of the Birds by Farid ud Din Attar