SOFTLY, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

D. H. Lawrence

Incense Man

As the tall, turbaned
Black, incense man
Passed the house
I called after him
And ran out to the street
Where at once we smiled
Seeing one another
And without a word
Like a sword that leaps from its lustrous sheath
He was swinging his lamp with abundant grace
To my head and to my heart and to my feet . . .
Self-imparted we swayed
Possessed by that One
Only the living praise

‘The dead do not praise Thee.’ –Psalm of David

Samuel Menashe

since feeling is first

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
– the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

E. E. Cummings

The Ring of Recurrence!

If I favor the sea and everything that is of the sea, and even favor it most when it angrily contradicts me:
If ever that joy of searching is in me that drives sails toward the undiscovered, if a seafarer’s joy is in my joy:
If ever my jubilating cried: “The coast disappeared – now the last chain has fallen from me –
– infinity roars around me, way out there space and time glitter, well then, what of it old heart!” –
Oh how then could I not lust for eternity and for the nuptial ring of rings – the ring of recurrence!
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I wanted children, unless it were this woman whom I love: for I love you, oh eternity!
For I love you, oh eternity!


A Fathomless Sea

Like the darkness in a fathomless sea darkened
by wave above wave,
and above it all, clouds.
Layers over layers of dark.
If one stretches forth his hand he can scarcely see it.
For he for whom God has not set up a light, has no light.

The Qur’an – 24:40