We present this work in honor of the poet’s 215th birthday.
Confide ye aye in Providence, for Providence is kind, And bear ye a’ life’s changes, wi’ a calm and tranquil mind, Though pressed and hemmed on every side, ha’e faith and ye ‘ll win through, For ilka blade o’ grass keps its ain drap o’ dew.
Gin reft frae friends or crest in love, as whiles nae doubt ye’ve been, Grief lies deep hidden in your heart or tears flow frae your een, Believe it for the best, and trow there’s good in store for you, For ilka blade o’ grass keps its ain drap o’ dew. In lang, lang days o’ simmer, when the clear and cloudless sky Refuses ae wee drap o’ rain to nature parched and dry, The genial night, wi’ balmy breath, gars verdure spring anew, And ilka blade o’ grass keps its ain drap o’ dew.
Sae, lest ‘mid fortune’s sunshine we should feel owre proud and hie, And in our pride forget to wipe the tear frae poortith’s ee, Some wee dark clouds o’ sorrow come, we ken na whence or hoo, But ilka blade o’ grass keps its ain drap o’ dew.
O Allah shower Your blessings upon him from whom burst open the secrets, From whom stream forth the lights, And in whom rise up the realities, And upon whom descended the sciences of Adam, by which all creatures are made powerless, And blessings upon him before whom all understanding is diminished. None of us totally comprehend him, whether in the past or the future. The gardens of the spiritual kingdom blossom ornately with the resplendence of his beauty, And the reservoirs of the World of Dominion overflow with the outpouring of his light. There is nothing that is not connected to him, Because if there were no intercessor, everything to be interceded for would vanish, as it is said. So bless him with a prayer that is worthy of You, from You, as befits his stature. O Allah indeed he is Your all-encompassing secret that leads through You to You And he is Your Supreme Veil raised before You, between Your Hands. O Allah include me among his descendants and confirm me through his account And let me know him with a deep knowledge that keeps me safe from the wells of ignorance, So that I might drink to fullness from the wells of excellence. Carry me on his path to Your Presence Encompassed by Your Victory, And strike through me at the false so that I may destroy it. Plunge me into the seas of Oneness, Pull me out of the morass of metaphorical Unity, And drown me in the Essence of the Ocean of Unicity Until I neither see, nor hear, nor find, nor sense, except through It. O Allah make the Supreme Veil the life of my spirit And his soul the secret of my reality And his reality the conflux of my worlds Through the realization of the First Truth. O First! O Last! O Manifest! O Most Hidden! Hear my call as You heard the call of your servant Zachary And grant me victory through You for You, And support me through You, for You, And join me to You And come between myself and anything other than You—
We present this work in honor of Western Australia Day.
We are sated of songs that drone the praise, Of a world beyond our ken; We are bored by the ballads of beaten ways And milk-and-water men; We are tired of the tales the lovers told To the cooing amorous dove; We have banned the minstrelsy of old, And the lyrics of languid love; We are done with the dirges cut and dried In the London square and slum; But we’re ripe for a rhyme whose metres stride Through salt-bush scrub and gum. Sing us a song unsung by men Of the narrow and cautious creed; Write with a strong and strenuous pen The rhymes our hearts can read.
While we stand where the ways of men have end, And the untrod tracks commence, We weary of songs the poets penned In pastoral indolence; The sleepy sonnet that lovers make Where weeping willows arch, Can not the passionate soul awake, Of men who outward march. Our harps are hung in the towering trees And the mulga low and grey; Our ballads are sung by every breeze That flogs the sea to spray. We want no lay of a moonlit strand, No idyll of daisied mead, For the rhymes that our hearts can understand Are the rhymes our hearts can read.
We need no monody planned and built, In the shade of an abbey grey, But the pulse and throb of a lusty lilt That quickens the human clay. Tell us of men whose axes bite The hearts of the mountain gum; Sing of the pioneers who fight To waken the desert dumb. We want to hark to the heart within, Of the men who feel and know; For only the men who’ve sampled sin Can write of its joy and woe. Give us a ballad that swings along With the bound of a striving steed; Give us — whether it’s right or wrong — The rhymes our hearts can read.
We want to travel from page to page Through dusty drive and stope, To catch the hiss of the rushing cage, The roll of the winding rope. Give us the rip-saw’s grind and scream As it sunders the giant log; The groan and the creek of the bullock team As it flounders across the bog; The swish and the crack of the stockmen’s whips In the roar of the night stampede. Give us the music that bites and grips — The rhymes our hearts can read!
Sing of the days of hasty camps, When Bayley blazed the track. Write of the shining starry lamps That beacon the wild out-back. Sing to the soul of the hardest case That bears his swag of sin; Of nights of wine and the bold embrace When revelry roped him in; Tell of the times we’ve fought for fun, A wearisome hour to wile, And whether we lost or drew or won Swung out with a cheery smile. Write of the men for whom God waits — Men of a Christ-like creed; Sing of the mates who die for mates, In the rhymes our hearts can read!
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 90th birthday.
Lord what’s still not in store for us.
I’m sitting here and sitting. It’s raining without raining just as when a shadow returns to us a body.
I’m sitting here and sitting. Me here, my heart opposite and still further away my weary relationship with it. So we might seem many whenever emptiness counts us.
Empty room blowing. I hold tight to the way I have of being swept off.
I’ve no news of you. Your photo stationary. You stare as if coming you smile as if not. Dried flowers at one side incessantly repeating for you their unadulterated name semprevives semprevives—eternal, eternal in case you forget what you’re not.
I’m asked by time how I want it to pass exactly how I pronounce myself as edging or ageing. Foolishness. No end is ever articulate.
I’ve no news of you. Your photo stationary. Just as it rains without raining.
Just as a shadow returns to me a body. And just as we’ll meet one day up there. In some lush sparseness with shady unexpectations and evergreen rotations. As interpreter of the intense silence that we’ll feel —developed form of the intense intoxication caused by a meeting down here—will come a void.
And we’ll be enraptured then by a passionate unrecognition —developed form of the embrace employed by a meeting down here. Yes we’ll meet. Breathing fine, concealed form attraction. In a downpour of heavy lack of gravity. Perhaps on one of infinity’s trips to ad infinitum; at the ceremony for loss awards to the known for its great contribution to the unknown; guests at destination’s starlight, at cessation’s galas on behalf of dissolving causes and the skies’ farewell importances once great. Expect that this company of distances will be somewhat downcast, cheerless even if non-existence finds cheer from nothing. Perhaps because the soul of the party will be absent. The flesh.
I call to the ash to disarm me. I call upon the ash by its code name: Everything.
You’ll meet regularly I imagine you and the death of that dream. The last-born dream. Of all I had the best-behaved. Clear-headed, gentle, understanding. Not of course so dreamy but neither worthless or mean, no toady to all and sundry. A very thrifty dream, in intensity and errors. Of the dreams I raised my most loving: so I’d not grow old alone.
You’ll meet regularly I imagine you and its death. Give it my regards, tell it to come too without fail when we meet there, at the loss awards ceremony.
Love me as long as you don’t live. Yes yes the impossible’s enough for me. Once I was loved by that. Love me as long as you don’t live. For I’ve no news of you. And heaven forbid that the absurd should show no signs of life.
A man pulls his cart piled with clay olas maneuvers the knotted traffic olas for sale to contain cool water quench the sand starched mouth
Futile to unlock this tongue I’m lost here mazed into a pattern of textures and rhythms snatched by the clutches of the tied bird of prey in the zoo out of tune with the peacock caged in the pet store stitched into the canvas of human sweat to divulge the secret of this magnet that draws us near a reckless gesture stumbles into the ola cart scatters clay shards and continue
Listen to my words, echoes of noble breeding. You cannot deny I was snatched as a spoil of war, I, the daughter of a Banu Abbad king, a great king whose days were soured by time and chased away. When Allah willed to break us hypocrisy fed us grief and ripped us apart. I escaped but was ambushed and sold as a slave to a man who saved my innocence so I could marry his kind and honourable son. And now, father, would you tell me if he should be my spouse, and I hope royal Rumaika would bless our happiness.