Poems by Annemarie Schimmel
"Make thirsty me, O friend, give me no
Let me so love that sleep flees from my door!"
flees, if he sees the burning eyelids,
be drowned if he would cross the sea
he would be poisoned
if he should
dare to drink
wine which you
the gobler of my eyes:
which once beheld your radians face
And try to
mirror it on every tear...
eyes which are a veil.
Make me more thirsty, friend, give me no water-
My thirst is proof that you are thirsty, too...
There are no birch trees in Konya
They grow further north
under the silvery sky
mirrored in brownish brooks
in the Sarmathian steppe
or in upstate New York...
But I know
that Maulana said:
shade of your tresses
and so cool
my heart slept
full of peace like
the dust beneath
Dust out of which
grass will grow
to praise your mildness
heather will grow
to sing your beauty
(taking its hue from my hood-stained tears)
dust which one day
will be covered by gold
when you, dervish-birch,
will shed your leaves
to attain perfect peace,
poverty, purity, love
Only your naked limbs stand there, on this silvery sky
and the wild grouse greet you
passing in winter nights into homelessness.
And I, the dust at your feet,
protect you , praying till spring...
satin and brocade
tears, O friend, to spread it
day beneath your feet...
Only from tears, Maulana?
Forms the weft of the endless fabric of love.
With every breath I weave the brocade of your name,
Golden letters inscribed in the satin-robe of my blood.
O, what garments have I prepared for you,
taking the ruddy dawn and the fist green silk of spring,
star-embroidered velvet, and feather-light wool!
Every thought embellishes your name, O my friend,
Weaving into the fabric the turquoise domes of Iran,
Dyeing the yarn in the pearl-studded depth of the sea.
Every pulse bears the drum of primordial love
Every breath is the flute of impossible hope
Every goblet is filled with you
new silken garments of words
to hide you.
There were some unicorns
in the forest of yore.
Playful and white
they walked through the waning moon
in early dawn.
Lilies grew out of their steps.
But, dear, once you smiled at them
and they bowed at your feet,
melting like dew,