Thorny Flowers

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This vagabond’s heart has no desire
Other than the Ka'ba of ITs valley [1]
O! Lord grant this miserable his heart’s desire.
Heart lost and wandering in that valley [2]
I might as well go the same way [3]
That I might make the lost heart even more delirious.
Betwixt the thorns and sharp rocks
If You are in my company [4]
I shall call the thorns flowers, sharp rocks the satin.
If a piece of that cloak offered to this dervish [5]
Shall patch it into the rags of my torn attire.
Moved towards ITs Zolf, saw it tangled with the heart [6]
Other than I the night crawler
Who else can uncover the deceptions of that trickster? [7]
What use the knowledge amongst the dumb and ignorant?
What use to sprinkle jewels amongst the doves and birds?


Here are some historical notes about Ka'ba:
  1. The word in Arabic means cube.
  2. The foundation of this building has been moved a few yards through the centuries.
  3. It was meant as the first enclosed house of worship. Where Abraham used to pray is also preserved close by the building.
  4. This valley was shown by God to Abraham, the location was not his decision, Koran [22:26]: “Behold! We gave the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, (saying): "Associate not anything (in worship) with Me; and sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).”
  5. Abraham was promised that Allah will bring people from all over the planet to this house, Koran [22:27]

[1] In the biography of the Kamāl I have read that he went for Hajj and this trip had profound impact on him. Here I believe he is praying asking the Lord for that trip. Also this is more like praying to be in the House of Allah spiritually than just a trip attempt.
[2] Lost in the valley is from the historical facts about the wandering of the Abraham’s family in the valley of Makka. But again the artist using those words to share the experience of being lost… needing to find the home.
[3] What other use ‘I’ has for the heart? Yup! Making it more lost.
[4] O! Lover where is your home? In some flat or a mortgaged home? No the home of every lover is the Beloved’s company! Where the thorns are flowers and the rocks the silken satin of ITs love.
[5] A piece of the cloak I believe is the curtain over the Ka'ba which yearly is sewed and I believe pieces of it are sent out as gifts. Kamāl is not asking Allah for better garments, he is only asking for a piece of this curtain. And know that this curtain is the gown of the righteous who are invited to the House of Allah.
[6] ‘Zolf’ is a Koranic/Arabic word for ‘drawing near’ or coming close to. However in Farsi it means locks of hair. So the poet says the Zolf (coming nearer to the Beloved) is tangled with his heart i.e. trouble by being afar and lured to come closer.
[7] Trickster is the life of this world or the evil.

© 2005-2002,  Dara O. Shayda