How can I define this passion?
It s tempo and motion?
Its deep laments and pain?
It is something unspoken but felt,
Hidden but not-hidden- ‘’the Open Secret’’ says Rumi-
In the darkness I am lighted by it towards some oracle, some worthy and high
Pilgrimage, to Olympus or Delphi I do come.
My eyes are fixed upon something just beyond this horizon, some grave scene or word that is meant to ring out and grip me, to enthrall and burn to the very bone.
Where are the voices ? Coming down the mountainside and calling me to that ever-burning bush, that fiery tree on the gravelly slopes of Sinai? Why this sordid silence, this emptiness longing to be fulfilled ? The music of the soul is stilled right now. And I shed tears of separation.
How, then, shall I translate you, my Friend? My Beloved? How shall I interpret you , in some transcendent mode, bring down some epic code? How shall I address the people? How expound and enact some complex ritual of worship?
I leave now, then, towards a simplicity.
In my own reflection I see you. And that is all.
© 2016 Omer Tarin
The lambs are slaughtered and we leave-
By the spouting of their blood!
By the omens in their entrails!
By the riddles in their bones!
- We leave
This is no land for the tattered ones
We no longer belong to these hills
Our ploughs are blunted against furrows of stone;
The milk of our cattle has curdled in their udders;
Vultures feed on our wretched carcasses
As we leave behind our painted dawns and
Nights pregnant with desire;
We leave behind a heavy curse-
O land of tyrants!
O land of fools!
May your rivers shrivel into dust;
May the plague infest your fields;
This is no land or refuge for us,
The sons and daughters of the ages,
We who have been given mastery of these worlds
And those worlds beyond these worlds;
We have folded our tents under the scrutiny of our foes
And tomorrow, tomorrow we shall find ourselves, anew.
© Omer Tarin 2016, by special arrangement
Lodged up there, on an imagined elephant’s back
Your voice chants out with pride
A medal of triumph, great in itself,
Strange and shining in its innocent strength,
Like the stars, dazzling us both with precicious wisdom ;
The roaring cataract of love surrounds us
And your smile becomes a lion,
Golden-maned and true.
© 2016 Omer Tarin
Omer Tarin is a Pakistani poet in English, research scholar, social activist and mystic. Tarin has published five volumes of poetry in English, widely reviewed in Pakistan and abroad, as well as several poems published in anthologies and collections worldwide, including A Sad Piper (1994; 1996 UK), The Anvil of Dreams (1995), Burnt Offerings (1996, 1997), Riverbeds Flowing, and The Harvest of Love Songs (1997, 2000; and UK ed 2003). In addition to his literary and academic interests, Omer Tarin has established a private library for research students and scholars in a wing of his home and also donated a sizable collection to the National Archives of Pakistan and the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
with our hands tied
under our wings
For the perfect moment
to be gifted to us
Watching the Sky
Watching the stillness
of the burning stars
The Moon rose
golden in hue
And yet you stood still
You did not know what to do
So we waited
a little longer
Burned prayers and love letters
Sacrificed our chances
Gave everything up
to the Moon
Until the Moon fell
into our hands
And we stood silently
In awe of its graceful falling
from the Heavens
And we let go of everything
We ever believed
And I kissed you
Filling your hands with new stars
And you handed me new dreams
As we fell asleep in one another's arms
With the Moon fading into starlight