Would that You were sweet

Would that You were sweet
Even while this life is bitter.
Would that You were pleased while people are angry,
Would that what is between You and me
Were filled and flourishing, and that
What is between me and the world were a ruin.
If Your love proves true,
Then all is easy, and all which is on earth is earth.
Sidi Ali al-Jamal


fierce eyes

Brick walls,
are they all the same?
Embracing , desperately seeking a home.
On a sidewalk a mother combs a child’s hair,
the sun disappeared with her dreams.
We place her in Arequipa, Tower Hill, Konya.
Is it more, is it less we have?
She is excavating for her something.
Plastic carrier bags of cotton buds,
block ears to the sound that pulls.
She clips her hair back and finds her fierce eyes.
We are her, recognised by worn shoes and a new dress catching the moonlight.


(Image: David Joaquin)



Gritty I think,
sometimes a little oily.

The dust I am sure I cleared.

It’s an old thing.
Not so much of left behind,
but the parts that become
as useful as my bones,
my veins.

I wonder, is it really so useful
this polish?

Clarity, like a gazelle in the far distance
it runs at sight.

It’s too late.

Once you see clarity
nothing else
seems to work.

It was so lovely to meet you…



for Sie as in Pie

The Tuft of Flowers

I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the levelled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been,—alone,

‘As all must be,’ I said within my heart,
‘Whether they work together or apart.’

But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a ‘wildered butterfly,

Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night
Some resting flower of yesterday’s delight.

And once I marked his flight go round and round,
As where some flower lay withering on the ground.

And then he flew as far as eye could see,
And then on tremulous wing came back to me.

I thought of questions that have no reply,
And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;

But he turned first, and led my eye to look
At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,

A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared
Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.

I left my place to know them by their name,
Finding them butterfly weed when I came.

The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
By leaving them to flourish, not for us,

Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him.
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.

The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,

That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.

‘Men work together,’ I told him from the heart,
‘Whether they work together or apart.’

By Robert Frost

You are Joy

Mevlana Rumi – from the Mathnawi

Oh my God, our intoxicated eyes have blurred our vision.
Our burdens have become heavy, forgive us.
You are hidden, and yet from east to west You have filled the world with Your radiance.
Your light is more magnificent than sunrise or sunset,
and You are the inmost consciousness revealing the secrets we hold.
Your an explosive force causing our damned up rivers to burst forth.
You who’s essence is hidden while your gifts are manifest.
You are like water and we are like millstones.
You are like wind and we are like dust,
the wind is hidden while the dust is plainly seen.
You are the invisible spring and we are your lush garden.
You are the spirit of life and we are like hand and foot,
spirit causes the hand to close and open.
You are intelligence we are your voice,
Your intelligence causes this tongue to speak.
You are joy and we are laughter,
for we are the result of the blessing of Your joy.
All our movement is really a continually profession of faith,
bearing witness to your eternal power.
Just as the powerful turning of the milestone professes faith in the rivers existence.
Dust settles upon my head and upon my metaphors.
For You are beyond anything we could ever think or say,
and yet this servant cannot stop trying to express Your beauty,
in every moment let my soul be your carpet.

Recited beautifully by Camille Aney
19.33 seconds –On the Subject of Love


the humming song…

is the sponge dry?
Every ounce, every drop is precious.
When you lay your head down,
will you say,
did I?
Did I squeeeeze every drop?

How many pearls roll into the gutter…
The chorus will sing to her last breath,
oh heart, turn and say –
Squeeze, every ounce, every drop is precious.

Oh my I, my me, my who, my questions,
tangled in spaghetti words we are…
take the discarded me, and the well kept I and say;
Squeeze – every ounce, every drop is precious.

As harsh as wires wrapped tightly around my wrists,
her throat is dry
You look down, pen to paper but even with the dearest heart it’s gone.
We gamble an hour and somewhere,
she’s screams.

And they are present, immersed in writings,
decaying in open fields,
humming ‘we were here, we stood in flight’.
Oh heart, turn and say – it’s only a single dance,
every ounce,
every drop
is precious.

and not one questioned remained,


i would return it all
body parts
even the pieces that shine in the dark
so I bought some stuff
things and rings
books and pencils and pens
i turned it all upside down
and the inside came out
i wrote letters and emails and stories and essays
magnificent poems
songs that would make an ocean cry
it took days and years
before I knocked on the door
my breath lost its point
not enough
so I returned with medicines and cures
pills and rejections
rulers and scars
it was a few more years before
i knocked on the door
my breath got caught on a fishing line
i was spinning
and all of me fell on my head
i took out my list of many thousand questions
i stood
“this is it, all of me
may i return it?” –

‘No’, You said
so I stood, in all of me
and not one questioned remainedquestionsstars


1. having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.
”the snowdrops gave a feminine touch to the table”
2. synonyms: womanly, womanlike, ladylike, girlish, female; soft, delicate, gentle, tender, graceful, refined, modest; informal girly; archaic feminal “a very feminine young woman”
of or denoting a gender of nouns and adjectives, conventionally regarded as female.
1. the female sex or gender.
”the association of the arts with the feminine”
a feminine word or form.

It began with a burning in my chest,
a scream bound by control,
they want me in a box,
and pleased.

Smiles brought a fog,
the fog brought the missing.
cascaded pieces, swimming, jolting…
In pockets we are here,
in the joints absent,
I won’t be pleased,
I won’t smile,
I won’t hurry,
take back your arms,
I am held,
held by freedom.

I am angry
I am silenced
I am the womb
and that’s kind.
Voices tied to poles,
anchors locked in a vault,
they sold us with magicians and roses.
Distracted by care I fell,
what is yours?
Desire displaced in make believe,
your veils, not mine.
Responsibility packaged carefully in a cage,
you take the room
you take the space.

We are parts, pieces, extensions
plastered by clay
caught to watch.
As you
I won’t be pleased
I won’t smile
I won’t hurry
take back your arms
I am held.

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