Duet of Grateful Longing

Duet of Grateful Longing / by Ihsan Jaffar & Halima bint Ayuba

a response to Ihsan Jaffar’s “My Beloved” interwoven into the original; Ihsan’s original lines are in italics

My Beloved,

You have saved me from myself
How to return the favour?

My gratitude wanders, homeless.
It sleeps on benches beneath stars.

What does a beggar offer
The King of the worlds?

Anything I could bring has already
been in your Hands — what stick
might this dog retrieve to place
at your feet, Beloved Master?

You brought me back from the dead
I was far beyond the edge

I am too small today to reach
the basin, splash water on my face
perform ablutions — I kneel,
that One might lift me.

Now I’m moved by your Power
I have wings to fly

Racing through life, breathlessly,
breathlessly, calling to You:
“Look Pa! No hands!”

You have forced open my eyes
I see what I am inside

Before I could see anything,
I had to dust and sweep.

A vessel of your Beauty
And a soul of Love

This cup–You crafted.
This wine–You poured.

Only you know who I am
The world doesn’t understand

None can know the vessel
as the One who shaped it,
placed it in the kiln.

I want nothing in this life
But to sit with You

Burnish me to a brightness,
place me in service
at Your table.

My Beloved,
You give me the strength to stand
You are the one who guides
You bring meaning to my life

What value the cup,
if the Beloved is not thirsty?

Please don’t ever
For a moment
leave my side.

What value the cup,
if the Beloved does not lift it up?

Ihsan Jaffar & Halima bint Ayuba, 04/29/14





Transmutation / by Laura M Kaminski

a response to Ihsan Jaffar’s “Love’s Shadow”

on a full moon night
stand out beneath the sky
in the late evening

stand barefoot as
the pauper that you are
and face the light

feel your body now becoming
a transparent figurine, like a glass
chess-set knight or king

let each beam
of reflected sunlight
bounce off the moon

and flow right through your clarity

without appropriation or delay

and when you turn
you’ll find those shadows
you were carrying inside

have piled up behind you
weightless now

–Laura M Kaminski, 2014


misdirected / by Laura M Kaminski

a response to Ihsan Jaffar‘s “Our Heroes”

misdirected, only
these aspirations

misunderstood, only
these desires —

does not each
sapling yearn
to grow into a larger
tree? each cherry
blossom beg
the bees for pollen
that it too might
make fruit?

even this idolatry
is a reflection
of our wanting

the dawning
of our craving
to be part of something
greater than our

even this idolatry
is only misdirected

does not Rumi say
the One accepts
all coin, bad
and good?

–Laura M Kaminski, 2014