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Eddie Murphy

In the original script, my character was a basketball player rather than a boxer. I didn't think I could pull that off. I'm a little short to be a basketball player!

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I Heaved A Sigh

i heaved a sigh
passing by the store
seeing this handsome man
tragically falling on
a manhole

(or was he eaten
swallowed hole)

because there was this mirror
on the store walls
and he was looking at himself
rather than his steps


his name is Narcissus

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Why Are We Both So Stubborn?

i hate that my emotions show,
i didn't think i could be,
that transparent,
i look at you and i see,
a sweet, nice, caring guy,
i can't help but like that about you,
you say what's on your mind,
call me out on my bluffs,
you know when i'm serious,
yet, you know when i'm joking,
it the best of both worlds,
we both know how to make,
the other person blush,
mostly without trying,
it so cute when i get to you,
you freeze up and look in amazement,
i don't even realize my actions,
when i am around you,
i like to go inside my head,
my body has a mind of it own,
it does what it feels,
just like i have no control,
you are normally in the spot light,
but it's ok,
you not hard to look at,
actually i'm starting to enjoy it,
you can put on a show anytime,
i just sit back any watch,
it just hard to put on a poker face,
when i wear my heart on my sleeve,
i hate to get hurt,
but i'm hoping you are different,
than the other guys i've dated,
i'm afraid to open up,
afraid to get close,
but no matter what i do,
there's like a gavitational pull with you,
the more i fight it,
the more i am drawn to it,
why are we both so stubborn,
to admit we both like each other?

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The Original You

So damn... do you know that
I can do the things you say
Whatever it might be, again
I show you what you wanna see
So come on now, I am the wrecking ball
and you control the swing
We're gonna go far, far tonight
my queen cause I am the king
So boom boom can't you see
that this is how I wanna be
I'm coming up hard, mean and lean
I am the fighting machine
You're gonna go down if you
push me far enough,you will see
I'm coming down hard, hard on you
if you go up against me
You better believe I was born on top
because I'm better than the rest of you
And you'll never see me coming 'til
it's too late
I'm gonna go wild like the berserk
I always wanted to be
The original rude boy
Why is it that you always have to be
Someone else than before,
why can't you see
I just wanna hold on to what I had
The original you
Why is it that you always try to be
Someone I can no longer stand to see
I just wanna hold on to what I had
The original you
So damn... do you know that
I can do the things you say
Whatever it might be, again
I show you what you wanna see
So come on now, I am the wrecking ball
and you control the swing
We're gonna go far, far tonight
my queen cause I am the king
You better believe I was born on top
because I'm better than the rest of you
And you'll never see me coming 'til
it's too late
I'm gonna go wild like the berserk
I always wanted to be
The original rude boy
Why is it that you always have to be
Someone else than before,
why can't you see
I just wanna hold on to what I had
The original you
Why is it that you always try to be
Someone I can no longer stand to see
I just wanna hold on to what I had
The original you...
You come with a whole lot of words
but I have no ear for you

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The Original Sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

The devil knew that Eve was weak;
So chose to tempt the lady first;
A Liar by nature, Satan,
It asked Eve tell what God had bid.

Poor Eve knew not the wily snake,
And the Tempter's evil design;
She blurted out the truth God said;
‘They could eat fruits of every tree.

But not the one, God had forbade,
For, death befell the one who ate.'
But Satan told innocent Eve,
It wasn't the truth what God had said.

By eating fruit of ‘knowledge' tree,
One came to know the good from bad!
Your eyes open, you'll be like Gods,
And never die as God had said.

Poor Eve believed the charming words
Uttered by mouth of wily snake!
The tree looked good, so would its fruit;
She thought the snake had told the truth!

The apple looked so enticing
That Eve decided to taste it.
She longed for the wisdom it brought,
And so decided to eat it.

She ate some fruits and took one to
The sleeping Adam; made him eat!
Adam also ate the fruit brought;
They realized they were naked!

Eve was the first to fall in sin
And succumbed to the temptation;
She did not stop with her folly
But made her husband do the same!

The moment, they had eaten then,
Their nakedness, they realized;
They made loin-cloths out of fig leaves
to hide their nudity from God.

They hid amidst the garden trees,
But God called them in a loud voice;
Adam threw the blame upon Eve,
And ate the fruit because she gave!

When God asked Eve, she threw the blame
Upon the snake who tempted her;
Thus was the original sin
Committed by our first parents!

The Tempter knew how to deceive
The lady first, through her the man;
To make the man first eat the fruit
Was perhaps not an easier thing!

And so, the crafty devil lied;
The woman Eve in him believed;
They committed the first big sin,
For now, the Liar seemed to win!

The snake became accursed of all
Bellying its way all through its life;
And eat dust as long as it lived.' -
The punishment pronounced by God!

When God had asked both Adam, Eve,
If they disobeyed His command,
They tried to blame the next for it,
Persisting in their lie to God.

Eve would bear children with great pain;
And yearn for her husband all life;
Adam would have to till the soil,
And get food-crops by sweat and toil!

As Adam put the blame on Eve;
As though he knew not God's command;
They weren't aware of God's wisdom,
And hence were banished from Eden!

Had they accepted their fault then,
Perhaps God could have forgiven;
And mankind could have still been saved,
From exile from Eden Garden!

Copyright by Dr John Celes 2-7-12

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The Original Wrapper

I was sittin home on the west end
Watchin cable tv with a female friend
We were watchin the news, the worlds in a mess
The poor and the hungry, a world in distress
Herpes, aids, the middle east at full throttle
Better check that sausage, before you put it in the waffle
And while youre at it, check whats in the batter
Make sure that candys in the original wrapper
Hey, pitcher, better check that batter
Make sure that candys in the original wrapper
Reagan says abortions murder
While hes looking at cardinal oconnor
Look at jerry falwell louis farrakhan
Both talk religion and the brotherhood of man
They both sound like they belong in teheran
Watch out, theyre goin full throttle
Better check that sausage, before you stick it in the waffle
And while youre at it better check, whats in the batter
Make sure that candys in the original wrapper
Hey, pitcher, better check that batter
Make sure that candys in the original wrapper
White against white, black against jew
It seems like its 1942
The baby sits in front of mtv
Watching violent fantasies
While dad guzzles beer with his favorite sport
Only to find his heroes are all coked up
Classic, original, the same old story
The politics of hate in a new surrounding
Hate if its good and hate if its bad
And if this all dont make you mad
Ill keep yours and Ill keep mine
Nothing sacred and nothing divine
Father, bless me, were at full throttle
Better check that sausage, before you put it in the waffle
And while youre at it better check that batter
Make sure the candys in the original wrapper
Hey, pitcher, better check that batter
Make sure that candys in the original wrapper, hey, hey
I was born in the united states
And I grew up hard but I grew up straight
I saw a lack of morals and a lack of concern
A feeling that theres nowhere to turn
Yippies, hippies and upwardly mobile yuppies
Dont treat me like Im some dumb lackey
cause the murderer lives while the victims die
Id much rather see it an eye for an eye
A heart for a heart, a brain for a brain
And if this all makes you feel a little insane
Kick up your heels, turn the music up loud
Pick up your guitar and look out at the crowd, and say, -
- dont mean to come on sanctimonious
But lifes got me nervous and little pugnacious
Lugubrious so I give a salutation
And rock on out to beat really stupid
Ohh, poop, ah, doo and how do you do
Hip hop gonna bop till I drop.
Watch out world, comin at you full throttle
Better check that sausage, before you put it in the waffle
And while youre at it better check that batter
Make sure the candys in the original wrapper
Hey, hey, pitcher, better check that batter
Make sure the candys in the original wrapper
Hey, pitcher, better check that batter
Make sure the candys in the original wrapper, hey, hey, hey

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The Original Stays With Me

Like that...
You gave it to me!
And now you want it,
Back?
Like that?

And I'm suppose to let it leave?
Like that?
Because you want it,
Back!
Like that?

Here...
That's your copy.
The original stays with me.
To do with it,
As I please!
Since you did,
Afterall...
Gave it to me to keep.

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Allow him the freedom with which he was born.

Through teenage wastelands I have come to know truth beyond all reason.

Freedom flies upon the wing
We sing the songs we were born to sing
Bring me Love for a Love is won
Run a race – A race is run
Seek a Love to make you young.

Allow nature to educate the child
Allow him the freedom with which he was born.
Allow nature to reveal the harmony of her wilderness
Before from the child his dreams are torn.

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The day I met you was a bad hair day

The day i met you was a bad hair day. This one piece of hair just wouldn't stay. You must have noticed, you must have seen. You were just a little distant, your mind in another place I could see it in your face. So after we talked for a while you excused yourself with a pleasent smile. But what would have happened if my hair had looked good? Would we have talked longer flirted more? We could have shared a night of fun but instead you turned away, It's scary to think that my feature could lay, on one piece of hair that just wouldn't stay.

-Author Unknown

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The old savage dream again was back

The old savage dream again was back
of enemy tanks coming down the track,
useless the light machinegun was stuttering
as exploding shells made both my ears sing
while I could find no kind of escape,
events caught speed like a winding video tape,

I was firing from the hip without effect
had no ready rocket launcher to select,
heard the nearing enemy tank tracks groan,
while my limbs were slow, turning to stone;
from the blue sky a screeching eagle fell,
death was in its claws, triumph in its yell,

while it dropped scorching deadly flame,
heroic returning under fire to do the same.

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Asia At The Edge

I wished
a solitary temptation,
to write off karma
and become responsible for the spattered blood.
You were generating hatred, Asia,
in the land of Buddha.
I can hear the glaciers receding.

Answerable to belonging,
the change of generations,
makes me free to become deaf and dumb.
Only I wanted to see, and see through
burning walls,
the hands, who lighted the torch
to burn the transparent shame.

Rejecting the original script
of fighting a god, in the midst of
non-truths, how far the time will decide
the destiny of man? I break off
from the cliches, wait for the leaves to fall
and its drifting darkness on the open land
of wounded whispers.

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Morning on the Beach and wish I was with Sweetie

Morning on the beach and wish I was with Sweetie
Wind whines and whines the moments away
The crazy sea keeps moving and groaning
Oh.. how I wish it was me moving and groaning with Sweetie

From the far end, white sands of the beach
Grey sea comes to the shore and back
Some old tourists touch and play with the water
Oh.. how I wish it was me touching and playing with Sweetie

From the east the sun rises over the beach
Red big, bright and mighty rays
The Sun promises to be happy and hot as always
Oh.. how I wish I was happy and hot with Sweetie always

From the grounds plants waking up to a bright day on the beach
Darkness disappearing as the sun rises
Just like fear disappears when love and joy comes
Oh.. how I wish, my joy and love remove fear from Sweetie

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Time Tells Time' 2 of 2 of the original

Your mirror is telling you that you’re a beautiful…
Listen to it, not like me, who tried not to hear
It reflects a face as fresh as a recently cut rose

Do not look for wrinkles
Admire the shining stars
Do ponder past moons, then
Anticipate all moons ahead


My dear, distance before is not far back…
So near you can smell sweet- cut summer grass,
Laugh at your children ringing around roses,
and help fill their pockets with poses

Fall trees in back yard stand barren
Just you stand tall to bear all
Just keep in mind the golden rule
Your golden years will happen

Dear daughter, waste not time on bygones
Just make right that you think went wrong


(Dedicated to my daughter Heather L. Knight:
A juxtaposition of the original: Times Tells Time)


Almedia S Knight (ASK)
September 22,2009

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The Kool-Aid, Although Tasty...Was Never Free

Can you excuse a tendency I have,
To be direct, thoughtless and somewhat abusive?
I grew up reminded I was dysfunctionally deprived.
Although encouraged to dream,
And master the art of discipline.
I was not allowed to feel sorry for myself,
Until I got older to realize how poor we were.
But we dressed to impress and remained stylish.
And sought to be cute.
You know how 'some' kids do?
However...
I was never sold on having what I couldn't have.
My sisters and I were taught to be grateful.
And to eat a sandwich somebody first had to earn it.
So...
If it seems as if I can be direct, thoughtless
And somewhat abusive...
I have memories of earning many sandwiches.
But I didn't realize that the meat was extra.
So was the lettuce and tomato.
Mayo too!
And the kool-aid, although tasty...
Was never free.

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my world would be worth giving if the last thing I saw was you

If today was the last day I could see…oh baby if you knew
That my sight would be worth giving if the last thing I saw was you

If today was the last day I could ever hear a sound
Baby I wouldn’t give a hell, as long as you would be around

Sweetheart if today was the last day I could feel your touch
I would savor the last moment you hugged me so I wouldn’t care as much

Babes if It happened that someone took my voice away
I wouldn’t care because you know already what I would say

Oh if someday I did something to which you would not agree
It would be okay, because baby I know you would forgive me

Baby, maybe Im addicted
Just by this love afflicted

Because Maybe, baby this is untrue
But I figure if I never have you, ill never lose you

Or maybe baby Im over thinking just a bit
Maybe ill never get this message to transmit

Maybe, baby, I just want to stay
Maybe this crush isn’t really going away

Maybe, baby….I might love you
baby if you only just knew
That my world would be worth giving if the last thing I saw was you……

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The Good Memories Of What Was

I was not any use at Gaelic Football or Soccer though I played in Millstreet Townpark in the rain
And I played Soccer in Neily Duggan's Inch Field but these things I will never do again
With my young friends for us it was enjoyment but few things in life stay the same
The fire of youth in us was burning but it now is a flickering flame
We never thought about growing older the gift of youth is a great thing
Though of the past we have our memories and till death to them we will cling
The thought that we age with the Seasons does seldom enter the young mind
But the years leave us frailer and older eternal youth not for air breathing kind
But for as long as we have the gift of memory of our prime years good memories we retain
And often in our flights of fancy the past we do visit again
I still recall the joy and laughter as we chased the football up and down
On Summer evenings often wet and windy in the Townpark of old Millstreet Town
The years leave us all looking older and the clock on our lives ticking on
But the good memories of what was bring us comfort of the past to the forever gone.

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The Golden age which never was.

Trebizond the fabled city.
Where everything was fair and just.
Lost to mankind, more’s the pity
Torn apart by greed and lust.

It seems that Mankind’s doomed to be
discontented for evermore.
Because he is too proud to see
he has enough and needs no more.

He has sufficient for his needs
but he is never satisfied.
His discontentment sows the seeds
for lasting peace to be denied.

What you have got he wants to take
by any means he can employ.
His lust and greed he cannot slake
and what he has he can’t enjoy.

He has to guard it constantly.
He is afraid the he might lose
his treasure to some enemy.
Although it is of little use.

For wealth cannot buy happiness.
Dissatisfied he pursues more.
He cannot understand that less
His peace of mind might well restore.

He is condemned by his own greed
to amass more than he can use.
Acquisition is his creed
He does not see that he could choose.

To be content with what he has
and does not need to strive for more
But sadly he will not: Alas
the systems rotten to the core.

Mammon rules the world today.
The cult of the celebrity
to ostentatiously display.
What you have gained dishonestly.

I would we could regain again
The values which our forebears knew.
An honest man was valued then
and what he promised he would do.

Today this rule does not apply
It is acceptable to lie
deny responsibility
and not incur a penalty

.08/05/2009
http: // blog.myspace.com/poeticpiers

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The Death of Parson Caldwell's Wife

THE outrage of innocence in instances too numerous to be recorded, of the wanton barbarity of the soldiers of the King of England, as they patrolled the defenceless villages of America, was evinced nowhere more remarkably than in the burnings and massacres every that, marked the footsteps of the British troops as they from time to time ravaged the State of New Jersey. In their late excursion they had trod their deleterious path through a part of the country called the Connecticut Farms. It is needless to particularize many instances of their wanton rage and unprovoked devastation in and near Elizabethtown. The places dedicated to public worship did not escape their fury; these were destroyed more from licentious folly than any religious frenzy or bigotry, to which their nation had at times been liable. Yet through the barbarous transactions of this summer nothing excited more general resentment and compassion than the murder of the amiable and virtuous wife of a Presbyterian clergyman, attended with too many circumstances of grief on the one side and barbarism on the other to pass over in silence. This lady was sitting in her own house with her little domestic circle around her and her infant in her arms, unapprehensive of danger, shrouded by the consciousness of her own innocence and virtue, when a British barbarian pointed his musket into the window of her room, and instantly shot the her through the lungs. A hole was dug, the body thrown in, and the house of this excellent lady set on fire and consumed with all the property it contained. Mr. Caldwell, her affectionate husband, was absent; nothing had ever been alleged against his character, even by his enemies, but his zeal for the rights, and his attachment to his native land. For this he had been persecuted, and for this he was robbed of all that he held dear in life, by bloody hands of men in whose benevolence and politeness he had had much confidence until the fated day when this mistaken opinion led him to leave his beloved family, fearless of danger and certain of their security, from their innocence, virtue, and unoffending amiability. Mr. Caldwell afterward published the proofs of this cruel affair, attested on oath before magistrates by sundry persons who were in the house with Mrs. Caldwell and saw her fall back and expire immediately after the report of the gun. 'This was,' as observed by Mr. Caldwell, 'a violation of tender feeling; without provocation, deliberately committed in open day; nor was it ever frowned on by the commander.' The catastrophe of this unhappy family was completed within two years by the murder of Mr. Caldwell himself by some ruffian hands. His conscious integrity of heart had never suffered him to apprehend any personal danger, and the melancholy that pervaded all on the tragical death of his lady, who was distinguished for the excellence and respectability of her character, wrought up the resentment of that part of the country to so high a pitch that the most timid were aroused to deeds of desperate heroism. They were ready to swear, like Hannibal against the Romans, and to bind their sons to the oath of everlasting enmity to the name of Britain.

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A Memorial for the lives lost in Karbala was done

A Memorial for the lives lost in Karbala was done
And the bodies and the heads had finally become one
And Husain’s slain army was remembered by all
And the children of Mohammed lamented His son
For three days and nights in the desert they mourned
Embracing His grave as though never to be torn
Hearts lit like candles, their love for Him bloomed
Their sons, like flowers, scattered around His tomb
Remembering those killed, they cried out in grief
And clutched at their hearts and in pain swooned
“Where are those who watched over us?” they cried
“Now we wander, unveiled in broad daylight”
The air was fraught with sobs as the widows wept
And the noble sister’s face on His tomb did rest
And cried “Oh my beloved brother Husain
For three days and nights I’ve been your guest”
“Heartbroken and forlorn I am indeed
For I feel as though my services are not well-received”
The will of the Imam, I will gladly accept
But the bruises on my arms I haven’t shown you yet
I am alone today, no friend in sight
Without you I am nothing, how can you forget?”
I’ve lost sons and brothers and you in this war
An my back is bruised with the tip of the spear” “I cared for the orphans, the fathers lay dead
Their tender ages and prison, the pain and the dread
To divert them from their misery, I narrated your tale
I was their mother, their aunt, or their father instead”
“And I will live on to see them suffer and die
For it is not my destiny to see beloveds thrive”
I had imagined that pilgrims would surround Your grave
And angels would gather to applaud the brave
And I would hold a memorial to remember the souls
But there is no one here today, I am amazed”
“By your graveside I sit alone, my Brother, and weep
And console my heart though my pain is deep”
Saying this, Zainab inconsolable, sobbed
And the tomb of the Prince shuddered and rocked
Basheer approached Abid and asked, head bowed
“May we leave Oh Imam? Your aunt is distraught”
Abid approached His aunt, weary and concerned
He asked “Dear aunt shall we return?”
Zainab replied, “As you wish my dear Imam”
And preparations to leave for Medina began
The tents were untied and the camels lined up
And around the holy graves gathered Ali’s clan
Bidding farewell to those who slept in their graves
The old and the young stood around in a daze
At the thought of leaving her brother’s tomb
Distraught, Zainab cried “How can I leave you alone?
In this forsaken desert away from us all
This empty, desolate city now your home”
“Where nothing grows and nothing lives
Such a place you have chosen to gather and rest” “Oh noble Lord of Karbala, farewell
Oh the sands that cradle His body, farewell
Dear grave of the noble lofty Prince, farewell
My brother, I part from you, bid me farewell”
“You do not answer me, ill is my fate indeed
For it means that you not pleased with my deeds”
“How do I face Medina having left you here?
What if the Prophet questions, how can I bear?
If I go to Najaf, the same question I will face
‘Where is Husain?’ That is all I will hear”
“You have not asked me to stay, so I must depart
But where do I go with my broken heart?”
“Won’t you come, hold my hand as I alight?
Won’t you shelter my being from strangers’ eyes?
Won’t Abbas or Akber come to bid me farewell?
Won’t you bring Asgher for whom Banu cries?”
“You are our leader, come lead us ahead
We’re ready, yet you sleep, the grave your bed”
“Although I weep my Brother and call out your name
You do not answer O Prince, I am amazed
If only you will come and embrace me now
I will leave for Medina, though never the same”
At this, the Prince answered “My dear Zainab farewell
Give my love to Soghra, my daughter who is ill”

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The Mosque Of Cordoba

The succession of day and night
Is the architect of events.
The succession of day and night
Is the fountain-head of life and death.
The succession of day and night
Is a two-tone silken twine,
With which the Divine Essence
Prepares Its apparel of Attributes.

The succession of day and night
Is the reverberation of the symphony of
Creation.
Through its modulations, the Infinite
demonstrates
The parameters of possibilities.

The succession of day and night
Is the touchstone of the universe;
Now sitting in judgement on you,
Now setting a value on me.

But what if you are found wanting.
What if I am found wanting.
Death is your ultimate destiny.
Death is my ultimate destiny.

What else is the reality of your days
and nights,
Besides a surge in the river of time,
Sans day, sans night.

Frail and evanescent, all miracles of
ingenuity,
Transient, all temporal attainments;
Ephemeral, all worldly accomplishments.

Annihilation is the end of all
beginnings.
Annihilation is the end of all ends.
Extinction, the fate of everything;
Hidden or manifest, old or new.

Yet in this very scenario
Indelible is the stamp of permanence
On the deeds of the good and godly.

Deeds of the godly radiate with Love,
The essence of life,
Which death is forbidden to touch.

Fast and free flows the tide of time,
But Love itself is a tide that stems all tides.

In the chronicle of Love there are times
Other than the past, the present and the
future;
Times for which no names have yet
been coined.

Love is the breath of Gabriel.
Love is the heart of Mustafa.
Love is the messenger of God.
Love is the Word of God.

Love is ecstasy lends luster to earthly
forms.
Love is the heady wine,
Love is the grand goblet.

Love is the commander of marching troops.
Love is a wayfarer with many a way-side
abode.

Love is the plectrum that brings
Music to the string of life.
Love is the light of life.
Love is the fire of life.

To Love, you owe your being,
O, Harem of Cordoba,
To Love, that is eternal;
Never waning, never fading.

Just the media these pigments, bricks
and stones;
This harp, these words and sounds, just
the media.
The miracle of art springs from the
lifeblood of the artist!

A droplet of the lifeblood
Transforms a piece of dead rock into a living
heart;
An impressive sound, into a song of
solicitude,
A refrain of rapture or a melody of mirth.

The aura you exude, illumines the
heart.
My plaint kindles the soul.
You draw the hearts to the Presence
Divine,

I inspire them to bloom and blossom.
No less exalted than the Exalted Throne,
Is the throne of the heart, the human breast!
Despite the limit of azure skies,
Ordained for this handful of dust.

Celestial beings, born of light,
Do have the privilege of supplication,
But unknown to them
Are the verve and warmth of
prostration.

An Indian infidel, perchance, am I;
But look at my fervour, my ardour.
‘Blessings and peace upon the Prophet,' sings
my heart.
‘Blessings and peace upon the Prophet,' echo
my lips.

My song is the song of aspiration.
My lute is the serenade of longing.
Every fibre of my being
Resonates with the refrains of Allah hoo!

Your beauty, your majesty,
Personify the graces of the man of faith.
You are beautiful and majestic.
He too is beautiful and majestic.

Your foundations are lasting,
Your columns countless,
Like the profusion of palms
In the plains of Syria.

Your arches, your terraces, shimmer with the
light
That once flashed in the valley of Aiman
Your soaring minaret, all aglow
In the resplendence of Gabriel's glory.

The Muslim is destined to last
As his Azan holds the key to the
mysteries
Of the perennial message of Abraham
and Moses.

His world knows no boundaries,
His horizon, no frontiers.
Tigris, Danube and Nile:
Billows of his oceanic expanse.

Fabulous, have been his times!
Fascinating, the accounts of his
achievements!
He it was, who bade the final adieu
To the outworn order.

A cup-bearer is he,
With the purest wine for the connoisseur;
A cavalier in the path of Love
With a sword of the finest steel.

A combatant, with la ilah
As his coat of mail.
Under the shadow of flashing
scimitars,
'La ilah' is his protection.

Your edifice unravels
The mystery of the faithful;
The fire of his fervent days,
The bliss of his tender nights.

Your grandeur calls to mind
The loftiness of his station,
The sweep of his vision,
His rapture, his ardour, his pride, his
humility.

The might of the man of faith
Is the might of the Almighty:
Dominant, creative, resourceful, consummate.

He is terrestrial with celestial aspect;
A being with the qualities of the
Creator.
His contented self has no demands
On this world or the other.

His desires are modest; his aims exalted;
His manner charming; his ways winsome.

Soft in social exposure,
Tough in the line of pursuit.
But whether in fray or in social
gathering,
Ever chaste at heart, ever clean in
conduct.

In the celestial order of the macrocosm,
His immutable faith is the centre of the Divine
Compass.
All else: illusion, sorcery, fallacy.

He is the journey's end for reason,
He is the raison d 'etre of Love.
An inspiration in the cosmic
communion.

O, Mecca of art lovers,
You are the majesty of the true tenet.
You have elevated Andalusia
To the eminence of the holy Harem.

Your equal in beauty,
If any under the skies,
Is the heart of the Muslim
And no one else.

Ah, those men of truth,
Those proud cavaliers of Arabia;
Endowed with a sublime character,
Imbued with candour and conviction.

Their reign gave the world an
unfamiliar concept;
That the authority of the brave and
spirited
Lay in modesty and simplicity,
Rather than pomp and regality.

Their sagacity guided the East and the West.
In the dark ages of Europe,
It was the light of their vision
That lit up the tracks.

A tribute to their blood it is,
That the Andalusians, even today,
Are effable and warm-hearted,
Ingenuous and bright of countenance.

Even today in this land,
Eyes like those of gazelles are a common
sight.
And darts shooting out of those eyes,
Even today, are on target.

Its breeze, even today,
Is laden with the fragrance of Yemen.
Its music, even today,
Carries strains of melodies from Hijaz.

Stars look upon your precincts as a piece of
heaven.
But for centuries, alas!
Your porticoes have not resonated
With the call of the muezzin.

What distant valley, what way-side abode
Is holding back
That valiant caravan of rampant Love.

Germany witnessed the upheaval of religious
reforms
That left no trace of the old perspective.

Infallibility of the church sage began to
ring false.
Reason, once more, unfurled its sails.

France too went through its revolution
That changed the entire orientation of
Western life.

Followers of Rome,
Feeling antiquated worshipping the
ancientry,
Also rejuvenated themselves
With the relish of novelty.

The same storm is raging today
In the soul of the Muslim.
A Divine secret it is,
Not for the lips to utter.

Let us see what surfaces
From the depths of the deep.
Let us see what colour
The blue sky changes into.

Clouds in the yonder valley
Are drenched in roseate twilight.
The parting sun has left behind
Mounds and mounds of rubies, the best from
Badakhshan.

Simple and doleful is the song
Of the peasant's daughter:
Tender feelings adrift in the tide of
youth.

O, the ever-flowing waters of Guadalquivir1,
Someone on your banks
Is seeing a vision of some other period of
time.

Tomorrow is still in the womb of
intention,
But its dawn is flashing before my
mind's eye.

Were I to lift the veil
From the profile of my reflections,
The West would be dazzled by its brilliance.

Life without change is death.
The tumult and turmoil of revolution
Keep the soul of a nation alive.

Keen, as a sword in the hands of Destiny
Is the nation
That evaluates its actions at each step.

Incomplete are all creations
Without the lifeblood of the creator.
Soulless is the melody
Without the lifeblood of the maestro.

[Translated by Saleem A. Gilani]

Not: This poem was written in in Spain, especially Cordoba

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Imagery And Poetry

Imagery

Though often written off as decoration or illustration, imagery lies at the heart of a poem. Much of any language is built of dead metaphors, and metaphors in poetry are more sleeping than dead. To put the matter concisely: imagery is the content of thought where attention is directed to sensory qualities: mental images, figures of speech and embodiments of non-discursive truth.


Discussion

Psychologists identify seven kinds of mental images — those of sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, bodily awareness and muscular tension. All are available to poets, and are used by poets, though rarely to the same extent. The key point is the purposes to which imagery is put. Metaphor, simile, allegory, personification, metonymy (attribute for whole) and synecdoche (part for whole) all involve imagery. Often the things compared are both images, but one of them may also be a feeling or concept. The effects achieved are very various, therefore, and the matter is further complicated by literary fashion and a poet's individual obsessions.


Imagery has adjusted to changing cultural outlooks. The medieval view of art was rooted in morality, and its descriptions of the world never forgot that the smallest thing must also serve God's purposes. The Renaissance writers studied the classical authors, and employed imagery to clarify, enforce and decorate. Imagery was often elaborate, but not generally constitutive of meaning. The growth of a homogeneous reading public in the 18th century brought a polite and plain diction into general use. Images became mental representations of sensory experience, a storehouse of devices by which the original scenes of nature, society, commerce, etc. could be recreated. With Romantic transcendentalism, when the world reappeared as the garment of God, and the abstract and general resided in the concrete and particular, poetry came to embody the sacred, and images to be symbols of an indwelling deity. In Modernism and Postmodernism, the interest has focused on the images themselves, which are an inescapable part of language, and therefore a way of interrogating the world.

Suggestions

Consider using imagery to:
1. Externalize thought.
2. Create mood and atmosphere.
3. Give continuity by recurring leitmotifs.
4. Develop plot or increase dramatic effect by abrupt changes in imagery.
5. Exploit the etymology of words to subtly revive their original meanings.
recommendations
1.Don't mix metaphors too wantonly. Shakespeare did, but fashions change.
2. Find images that are new-struck, resonant and apposite.
3. Avoid imagery altogether rather than employ cliché.
4. Imagery constructs a world: make sure that world is real and vibrant with contemporary issues.

Poetry Lessons: Writing Cycle



One question is often asked in poetry lessons: is there some cycle to writing? Can the process be standardized, or made more efficient?

The answer is yes, up to a point. Poets keep files of poems in various stages of construction, and work on them as circumstances permit. The various stages call on very different skills, moreover, and a working session often sees several poems being attended to at the same time.

Discussion

Professional writers soon learn the elements of construction, indeed must to survive in a very competitive market. The slant, number of words, diction suitable for the intended audience, quotes required, references for further reading — all these will be have been set by the publication in question, and the writer's task is simply to gather material and then shape it.
Not so poetry. Poems grow much more haphazardly: in odd directions, by fits and starts, never to foreseen conclusions or any conclusions at all. Many, probably the great majority, are never accepted by reputable magazines and simply have to be aired in poetry groups and then filed for attention years later.
There are nonetheless strategies to make best use of your time. The stages below do not need to be followed mechanically, and there are poems that spring almost perfect from first putting pen to paper. But first blooms are rarities, and may be no better than the products of prolonged toil, in which art has concealed art. You need to develop your own working methods.
Suggestions
1. First comes a theme, which may be anything from a few words to a fleshed-out plan. Belonging to this stage are jottings, detailed notes, references to poems similar in shape or content. Also a long, hard look at the chances of success. Poets are not paid on an hourly basis, so that time lavished on one thing is time stolen from something else.
2. First draft. Here the poem takes shape. Content will be worked out: what the poem says and how. Verse type, rhyme scheme and stanza patterning will have been decided, and in overall shape the poem is looking like its final version.
3. Crafting. Now the draft is taken apart. Commercial writing omits this stage because there isn't the time, and such writing is anyway constructed in various stereotypes and phraseologies. Poetry is written with the deepest attention to language, however, and each shift in imagery, metaphor, verse style, word choice brings changes throughout the poem.

4. Evaluation. Stages 1 - 3 above, which are commonly repeated, give what has now to be critiqued. The poem is analyzed from various viewpoints — New Critics, Freudian / Jungian, mythological, stylistic, rhetorical, metaphorical, Postmodernist traits, and so forth. Some of these methods are evaluative; others simply reveal the poem's depth, understanding and interest. Objectivity is important, and ideally the critiques should be carried out with the help of sympathetic but astute critics in workshops and poetry circles.


5. Polishing. The poem, together with its originating notes and comments, is now put away, generally for some weeks or months. It is then read with fresh eyes, and anything less than excellent is immediately marked for attention. Changes and improvements are made, and the piece again put away for rereading later. When this process no longer brings changes, the piece is ready for publication. Note the repetitions: most poets find it very unwise to make large changes immediately before publication.


6. Submitting for publication. Many poems are first printed in small magazines, which helps generate interest and reputation. The appropriate magazines need to be selected very carefully, and their guides for submission adhered to.


7. Publicizing. Most poetry gets known through networking, attending poetry groups and readings, serving on committees, writing reviews, helping to edit anthologies, etc. Publicizing your work is an essential but commonly overlooked aspect of the poetry writing business.

Most people join poetry or literature circles for pleasure. They have always enjoyed poetry, and now have the time — through retirement, unemployment or the children leaving home — to try their own hand at this absorbing genre.
How to get started, find like-minded friends, engage in collaborative associations and publications?
Discussion
The pursuit can hardly be bettered. Poetry is the most versatile and wide-ranging of literary forms, enabling things to be said that cannot be encompassed in prose. It can be finished in odd moments, unlike the novel, which takes long years of effort. Whatever its standard or style, a poem can usually be published somewhere, given the determination, the research and the contacts. Poetry forms a good introduction to more commercial types of writing, and is usually included in creative writing courses.
Nonetheless, poetry is not easy. The medium is a compact one, needing great concentration to read, and even more to write. First efforts are not always rewarding. Nevertheless, even the most pedestrian poem occasionally lifts into the vivid and memorable, and kindles a warm response in its reader. And that is worth a great deal, despite what poetry has become in recent years. With the Modernists' love of experimentation, anti-realism, individualism and intellectualism came a great narrowing of aims and accomplishments. Poetry was not writing at its highest pitch, but something fabricated altogether differently. With Postmodernism these trends were accentuated. Writers became the self-appointed spiritual guardians of language, championing its creative and arbitrary nature over its more prosaic powers to represent, analyse and discover.
Those writing simply for pleasure can ignore these subtleties. At least at first, the opportunities seem boundless. Despite all the advantages enjoyed by contemporary plays and films — the technology, the 'real-life' dramas, modern idiom in speech and attitudes — Shakespeare is still the most performed of dramatists, giving us a gallery of recognisable characters that no one has rivalled. Dante provides us with a sharp-etched picture of fifteenth-century Italian politics. Byron manages to work in slang and details of a water pump into Don Juan, and Ezra Pound incorporates views on capitalist economics in the Cantos. Philip Larkin paints the domestic nihilism of the contemporary welfare state, and Ted Hughes's animals are exactly observed. What are these but the smallest examples of what lies open to talent, honesty and determination?
Success brings pleasure, and pleasure may be the truest mark of a writer. Without talent, nothing of importance can be achieved. But without increasing absorption, fascination and sheer pleasure in literary craftsmanship, that talent will never see the light of day. Native ability and hard work are both essential to poetry, and pleasure is the stimulus to both.
Suggestions
1. Join a local poetry writing group or literature circle. Writing is a lonely enough activity, and moral support and shared aims will help you through the barren stretches.
2. Be realistic. Good poets are not household names, and earn little or nothing from their efforts. The pleasure of writing has to be sufficient reward.
3. Develop some street sense. Like all the arts, poetry is a world of sharp infighting, excellent achievements and a good deal of chicanery, hypocrisy and plain madness. Carry on just the same.
4. Read biographies of poets. You will understand their work more, and the struggles they faced.
5. Consult books or attend classes on poetry appreciation. Your style will be different, but the underlying principles remain the same. You can't write well without thoroughly understanding what poetry is about.
6. Enjoy the literary life. Curl up with books. Sit with notebook in hand at local cafés. Join literature circles and societies. Poetry is an excellent way of making friends, for all that writers are competitive and fretful creatures.

Poetry for Pleasure



Most people join poetry or literature circles for pleasure. They have always enjoyed poetry, and now have the time — through retirement, unemployment or the children leaving home — to try their own hand at this absorbing genre.
How to get started, find like-minded friends, engage in collaborative associations and publications?
Discussion
The pursuit can hardly be bettered. Poetry is the most versatile and wide-ranging of literary forms, enabling things to be said that cannot be encompassed in prose. It can be finished in odd moments, unlike the novel, which takes long years of effort. Whatever its standard or style, a poem can usually be published somewhere, given the determination, the research and the contacts. Poetry forms a good introduction to more commercial types of writing, and is usually included in creative writing courses.
Nonetheless, poetry is not easy. The medium is a compact one, needing great concentration to read, and even more to write. First efforts are not always rewarding. Nevertheless, even the most pedestrian poem occasionally lifts into the vivid and memorable, and kindles a warm response in its reader. And that is worth a great deal, despite what poetry has become in recent years. With the Modernists' love of experimentation, anti-realism, individualism and intellectualism came a great narrowing of aims and accomplishments. Poetry was not writing at its highest pitch, but something fabricated altogether differently. With Postmodernism these trends were accentuated. Writers became the self-appointed spiritual guardians of language, championing its creative and arbitrary nature over its more prosaic powers to represent, analyse and discover.
Those writing simply for pleasure can ignore these subtleties. At least at first, the opportunities seem boundless. Despite all the advantages enjoyed by contemporary plays and films — the technology, the 'real-life' dramas, modern idiom in speech and attitudes — Shakespeare is still the most performed of dramatists, giving us a gallery of recognisable characters that no one has rivalled. Dante provides us with a sharp-etched picture of fifteenth-century Italian politics. Byron manages to work in slang and details of a water pump into Don Juan, and Ezra Pound incorporates views on capitalist economics in the Cantos. Philip Larkin paints the domestic nihilism of the contemporary welfare state, and Ted Hughes's animals are exactly observed. What are these but the smallest examples of what lies open to talent, honesty and determination?
Success brings pleasure, and pleasure may be the truest mark of a writer. Without talent, nothing of importance can be achieved. But without increasing absorption, fascination and sheer pleasure in literary craftsmanship, that talent will never see the light of day. Native ability and hard work are both essential to poetry, and pleasure is the stimulus to both.
Suggestions
1. Join a local poetry writing group or literature circle. Writing is a lonely enough activity, and moral support and shared aims will help you through the barren stretches.
2. Be realistic. Good poets are not household names, and earn little or nothing from their efforts. The pleasure of writing has to be sufficient reward.
3. Develop some street sense. Like all the arts, poetry is a world of sharp infighting, excellent achievements and a good deal of chicanery, hypocrisy and plain madness. Carry on just the same.
4. Read biographies of poets. You will understand their work more, and the struggles they faced.
5. Consult books or attend classes on poetry appreciation. Your style will be different, but the underlying principles remain the same. You can't write well without thoroughly understanding what poetry is about.
6. Enjoy the literary life. Curl up with books. Sit with notebook in hand at local cafés. Join literature circles and societies. Poetry is an excellent way of making friends, for all that writers are competitive and fretful creatures.
------- Originality in Poetry



Any writing that is true to your personality, authentic and original, is apt to begin as dark poetry. How do you generate these qualities, and then develop them?
The author's personality is always to be found in a good poem: it is something that only he or she could have produced. But we also expect that the personality will facilitate and further the poem's intentions. The authentic is that individual voice, unquestionably theirs, which genuine artists find as they seek to represent what is increasingly important to them. Originality does not mean novelty — which is easily achieved — but the means by which experience is presented in a more distinctive and significant manner.
Personality, authenticity and originality are therefore linked, and achieved only by continual effort. Gifts and character make artists, and the two are interdependent.
Discussion
As in life generally, success comes at a price. The creators of dark poetry are often: 1. indifferent to conventional procedures and behaviour,2. inner-directed, making and following their own goals, and 3. keenly interested in contradictions and challenges.
Better poets can therefore find themselves at odds with society, and there is no doubt that such conflicts make for solitary, cross-grained and somewhat unbalanced personalities. Many past writers had difficult and neurotic personalities, and the same traits are all too evident today. Nonetheless, absurd posturing, sharp feuds and strident ambitions also appear in writers of no talent whatsoever, which suggests that difficulties are the unfortunate side affects of originality and not its sustaining force. Artists may be sometimes unbalanced, but not all unbalanced people are artists.
Creativity differs markedly between the arts and sciences, and even between different art forms. Nonetheless, most creativity shows four phases: challenge, incubation, illumination and exposition. Driving these phases forward, through many interruptions and loopbacks, is the earnest desire to succeed, which naturally taps some inner need. We make poetry out of the quarrel with ourselves, said Yeats, and these fears and obsessions are highly individual. The lyric poet is very different from the dark poet, and neither of these will wish to be the poetic spokesperson of their age in the way that Tennyson, Larkin or Betjeman became in England.
Suggestions
How is originality fostered?
1. By personal difficulties, particularly in childhood, that have been worked through. Analyse and meet these difficulties.
2. By unswerving self-honesty. Ask yourself: is this what you really hoped to write? Could you not dig deeper into the wellsprings of the poem?
3. By starting afresh, expanding your repertoire with new techniques and new themes.
4. By pacing yourselves, drawing up timetables of writing that extend and build on previous accomplishments.
5. By working in related fields: writing novels, short-stories, articles: particularly where these unlock new perspectives and energies.


Modernism in Poetry

Most serious poetry today is still Modernist. Modernism in literature is not easily summarised, but the key elements are experimentation, anti-realism, individualism and a stress on the cerebral rather than emotive aspects.
Discussion
Modernist writing is challenging, which makes it suitable for academic study. Many poets come from university, moreover, and set sail by Modernism's charts, so that its assumptions need to be understood to appreciate their work. And since Postmodernism still seems brash and arbitrary, writing in some form of Modernism is probably the best way of getting your work into the better literary magazines. How much should you know of its methods and assumptions?
You need to read widely — poetry, criticism and literary theory. Modernism was a complex and diverse movement. From Symbolism it took allusiveness in style and an interest in rarefied mental states. From Realism it borrowed an urban setting, and a willingness to break taboos. And from Romanticism came an artist-centred view, and retreat into irrationalism and hallucinations.
Hence many problems. No one wants to denigrate the best that has been written this last hundred years, but the forward-looking poet should be aware of its limitations. Novelty for novelty's sake ends in boredom and indifference, in movements prey to fashion and media hype. Modernism's ruthless self-promotion has also created intellectual castes that carefully guard their status. Often the work is excessively cerebral, an art-for-art's sake movement that has become faddish and analytical. The foundations tend to be self-authenticating — Freudian psychiatry, verbal cleverness, individualism run riot, anti-realism, overemphasis on the irrational. These concepts may not be wholly fraudulent, but as articles of faith they have not won general assent. Modernist work will give you accredited status, but possibly neither an avant-garde reputation nor wide popularity.
Suggestions
1. Modernist work is often the most accessible of today's poetry, thanks to education, public libraries and a vast critical industry. Start therefore with Yeats, Frost, Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Williams, etc., and follow your interests — back into traditional poetry or forward into Postmodernist styles.
2. Model your first efforts on the better poems of Modernism. You will learn much about the poet's craft, and produce work that is still acceptable to the better poetry magazines.

3. Read the biographies of Modernist artists to understand how and why they made their innovations. Then read aesthetics and nineteenth-century continental philosophy to get a broader view of the matter.

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