Shah Latif `s Poetry (Translated In Verse By: Elsa Kazi) Khahori-VIII (Wandering Ascetics)

1
Traversing far off realms, O friendsKhahoris have returned at last;Their feet covered with dust...what landsit came from-oh, how do I know.
2
On wild growths hill-ascetics feed,they seek the land ne'er known or heard-Upon the dusty, stony groundsthey lay their flanks when rest they need;To seek the light they do proceedand seek it from infinity.
3
The hill-ascetics I did see,those who do not in houses dwell;In biting wind they weep like rainwith longing for Divinity-With sorrow they keep company,and live on sorrow day and night.
4
Old ragged ropes for shoes they wear;their faces are dried up, and wan-Oh, at that land they had a peepthat learned ones could see no-whereSecretive ones, have secrets rareof regions that still further lie.-
5
Their arms hold water-bags all dry-and on their feet ropes old and torn;Eyes pouring rain...O passer-byAscetics such did e'er you meet!
II
6
The load of truth cannot be borneupon the head, I fear,And deaf you have to be, the callof Reality to hear.-Make yourself blind, so that the dearBeloved you may see.-
7
How beautiful is darkest nightin which you lose world's way-Your greed for this and that,-O quiteforgotten it will be.
8
The common road do not go near;but walk where 'they' walk not;Cross over then by longing mereand nothing take with thee.-
9
Wanderers need no conveyance, no!for horse do not care-Although their minds are set ondestination far and fair;In wastes search food...torn rags they wear,and that their sign-mark is.
10
I saw the wand'rers that a peepat the Beloved had;One night I in their place did staytheir company to keep.To know them, is in drowning deepto have a safety raft.
11
Dust-covered they do walk their way,and mix themselves with clay;No secrets tell to stupid folk,nor gossip or delay;Some secret of the Loved-one theybear in their heart all-time.
12
Knowledge hides snakes, and many findfolly as honey sweet,Who passed them both...left both behindhe found the 'Reality'.
III
13
Those who had lost their way were witha deep emotion stirredThose seers in the waste stood blindand nothing more they heard-Their ears were closed-like dumb they walkedas if their minds were blurred...Their only sorrow separation was which they incurred-All they gave up for 'Lahut', butfor this they hungered-Asleep...awake...longing was spurredbut never was alleyed.
14
The spot where One Beloved dwellshow happy't is, how sweet-Turn off from places where you meetall the inhuman crowds.
15
Those who the bare hills came to knowno more for harvests cared-To Ganjo-hills they longed to goLahutis to become.
16
Those who the bare hills came to knowfothwith all books did close...Their sleep had gone, for Ganjo-hillstheir longing hearts did glow...They yearned Lahutis to becomewhen dust from hills did blow.-From smell of hills left wordly showLahutis to become.
17
See where the bird can never fly;a tiny fire twinkles there-Who could have kindled it so highexcept the wandering, homeless kind?
18
Restless Khahoris did destroytheir bodies in a holy moodAnd so their spirit gained the foodthey had wished to obtain.
19
Wand'rers had girded up their loins...on heights they one with dust became,So they at last had reached, their aimthrough sorrow mountains top had found.

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