poetry

See Through

Seen but not seen

down the twisting ravine

the sun on the ocean floor

does the clear lake see

the sky?

the substance of soul

the mirrors of life go by

beyond pain and grief

the pool of water clear

nothing to veil, naught to hide

a white swan on emerald blue does glide

here is me, all of me

unspeakable me, unspeakable light

no form, no shape, no possession, no wealth

full disclosure, is the perfect stealth

The Love Divine

Written for the play “Shiva Calling,” showing this weekend at Q’La, New Delhi.

 

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Oh you, who waits
Oh you, who waits
if it feels like another day
that is because it is
may you go in peace
may you go to peace
may your heart be at rest

 

The river dances on
to the beat of the cosmic drum
it flows past the setting sun
to the valley
of the beloved one

all desires spent
to the high temple I went
the snowy mountain wept
with the winds it swept
my dreams along the breeze

what is left?
wish everyone well
in to the eternal river I fell
no sound was heard
but a distant ringing bell

the heavens will draw ever near
the swan of fury dives in water clear
I was here once
who is here now?

like the scent of fine wine
you know its a love divine
when my heart beats in yours
and your heart beats in mine

 

 

Ek Khwaab Hai

Ek khwaab hai

Ek khwaab hai

Dil mein ek sailaab hai

Jis din taqdeer avaaz lagaayegi

Maujud humein woh paayegi

Har ek sawaal tum karte jaana

Har ek hamare paas jawaab hai

Ek khwaab hai

Dil mein ek sailaab hai

Woh waqt bhi ek din aayega

Jab koi raaz nahin reh jaayega

Sach aasman se barsega

Us baarish ko ruh betaab hai

Ek khwaab hai

Dil mein ek sailaab hai

 

 

Everywhere is Home

The Nehru place flyover

looks out beyond the small hills

on to the giant orange setting sun

pigeons fly through

the gray air of dusk

Easy cabs flying past you

the misery of indentured labor

a man on the metro train

pays his respects to the Kalka maa

the slight bow with a momentary closing of the eyes

the soul of Chiragh Delhi lights up the evening

through the ever abundant headlights

of clogged traffic

broken dreams live in Panchsheel

holding strong through the smog

people gather in balconies

winter afternoons of determined smiles

oh You, the Ever-Living, the All-Sustaining

the Omnipresent, the most Compassionate

live you not only in the pristine valleys

and clean lakes of lands far and away

live You in the black sheen of the Yamuna

and in the squalor of Mina Bazaar

Your Glory not the domain of hermetic houses

You live also in the hearts of flat dwellers

no doubt

in the prayers of jhuggi dreamers

where shall I go?

everywhere is home.

* – * – *

Happy New Year to all my friends and readers. 

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Will the Wonders Never Cease

Running like a wild horse
On some untamed course
Flowers bloom and leaves fall
For whom is the crow’s call
Will the wonders never cease?

A laugh of madness laugh
A succulent green epitaph
I was here once, who is here now?
That looks out from beneath my brow
Will the wonders never cease?

From my heart all desires take
Silent all my prejudice make
Just a while I saw this view
Now it seems so washed and new
Will the wonders never cease?

For whom shall I chase my dreams
Violet buds grow in vivid steams
Why would I ever plan it how
When I can see it here and now
Will the wonders never cease?

I wrote this after a morning run. Beautiful Berkeley winter morning. To commemorate the start of a wonderful day I gathered some leaves and petals to make a little collage.

Running like a wild horse On some untamed course Flowers bloom and leaves fall For whom is the crow's call Will the wonders never cease?  A laugh of madness laugh A succulent green epitaph I was here once, who is here now?  That looks out from beneath my brow Will the wonders never cease?  From my heart all desires take Silent all my prejudice make Just a while I saw this view Now it does seem so washed and new Will the wonders never cease?  For whom shall I chase my dreams Violet buds grow in vivid steams  Why would I ever plan it how  When I can see it here and now  Will the wonders never cease?

Saif Ali is an actor and writer based in San Francisco.