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Sorrow in Khorasan

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

“What does life give me in the end but sorrow?

What do love's good and evil send but sorrow?

I've only seen one true companion - pain,

And I have known no faithful friend but sorrow.”

The poet Xāwje Shams-od-Dīn Moḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī, a quote from The Nightingales Are Drunk


Every one utters his hollow disbelief

At the cascading fall of hard-won cities;

Why the hyperbolic surprise?

How many generations have watched as

Myriad men, sans mercy, trample upon

All hope of resurrecting dignity?

Could resisting have lost its absurd appeal,

Abject amid planetary surrender to plague?

The West may well belittle Pashto whispers

Seeking their long-lost, Hafezian calm

Before ignorant infadels came to remain.

Changing your masks throughout agony's aeons

Of attendance at the torrid Winners Ball

You invaders who strive to strip precious jewels

From the veiled wrists of Kabul widows

Your ambitions borne by serial aquilifers

Will not afford you triumph in elusive Khorasan.

Gigi Bousquet-Williamson

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