Only A Few

Only A Few

M. Shahid Alam — Prairie Schooner — Spring 2011

سب کہاں کچھ لالہ و گل میں نمایاں ہو گئیں
خاک میں کیا صورتیں ہونگی کہ پنہاں ہو گئیں

Not all, only a few come back to us in tulips.
Many more lie buried, dust on their sleeping eyelids.

All day, the Seven Sisters stay veiled, out of sight.
What is it that makes them part their veils at night?

My eyes pour blood on this night of savage partings.
I have lighted two lamps to sanctify my sorrow .

I will make them pay for the years of torment, if
By luck, these Sirens serve paradise as houris .

Sleep is his, rapture too and silken nights, if she
Unties her jasmine-scented hair in his arms.

I have no use for your coy approaches to the divine.
Beyond rites and creeds we worship God alone .

If Ghalib keeps crying inconsolably, your gardens
Will go to seed and weeds will choke your lawns.




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