Selected Poems from Love’s Last Madness
When man himself is God’s purpose, why ask wherein God’s purpose lies?
God is hid in the human heart, yet man searches: Where is God?
Here is a clique of showy hypocrites—speak not of loyalty in love;
Everyone claims to be sincere, no one lacks devotion here.
All light is your reflection, all appearance your magic lantern.
Where to find your likeness, where is another like you?
Plumb the mysteries of self—complete the revelation of God.
Blind to your being, how can you realize Him?
This valley—my heart—desolate; alone, I’m engrossed in search:
Where the pilgrims of love, where the caravan?
Now ask our trusted captain to save our ship from the raging seas!
Deliverance lies with the Lord, not in expertise.
Let me kneel here forever, never to leave this place of rest;
Where else could battered Darshan find refuge save at your door?
How did I ever think silence the language of love?
What I thought would not come to light was in plain sight.
I hear my silence talked of in every lane;
The suppression of a cry is itself a cry of pain.
The beloved’s regard was but a flash of light;
How innocent to think I’d found eternal bliss.
This, too, in the end proved the gardener’s, the lightning’s and the wind’s:
That handful of pitiful straws I called my nest.
Darshan, the glances I’d fancied voiced my love—
Even they couldn’t convey the unplumbed depths of my longing.
How should I tell of the feeling that reigns in the court of the friend!
Dancing light is my beloved’s face, cup and carafe are ecstatic!
Every nook and cranny is effulgent with his light;
Every mote and grain celebrates the beloved’s face.
On earth from end to end I see his beauty,
In heaven after heaven I gaze on my beloved.
Seeker banished from beatific vision, look through the eyes of your heart!
How can you see the beloved’s light with eyes of flesh and blood?
Humanity’s sorrows I bore, this world I loved—
My whole life I gave to the work of my friend.
Brushing past me, it stirred my heart and was gone—
Even the morning breeze has learned to tease from my beloved.
Let them try to imprison him in temple, mosque and church!
The seeing eye finds the Beloved’s signs in every mote.
Very near your heart are seekers of your vision;
Those who look at the surface are exiled from the beloved’s light.
What can I say of the grace he showers on me within?
Darshan, the moment I close my eyes, the beloved’s light begins.
Content copyright 2011–2013. Barry Lerner & Harbans Singh Bedi. All rights reserved.