by Hiraa Kazmi
Indus swallows the tears of Sindh1
Embracing the land loved by the Saints
The waves turn melancholy
remembering the once glorious past
of our ancestors and others…
Thar2 still echoes the soft footsteps
Of Shah Bhittai3 _ with misty eyes
seeking the sublime force of love.
The luster of his golden words
Rendering voice to the long silent
beauties of the land…
to Marvi, Moomal and Leela4
snatching their stories out from
the murky depths of Indus.
The music of their white bangles
audible still to the hearts filled
with the noblest of passions.
Indus guards their secrets
though the sound of waves
occasionally carry whispers,
Prayers and cries…
Invoking the Sufi Saint to rise again
and sing the drowned stories of
countless daughters of Sindh.
The City Loves the Saints
The city loves the saints
With their green robes engulfing
them like lush foliage.
The beads that hug their
necks and chests
Chant a series of ancient mysteries.
(They’ve travelled more
than the saints themselves)
Igniting images of tomes and shrines
Of greens and blues and whites….
Their bare feet falling in cadence
on the slippery floor of
newly tiled courtyard.
The crowd watches them stunned
swept away in the powerful surge
of metaphysical ocean.
The saints do not spare a glance.
Each a solitary figure
amidst the crowd_
submerged in the desolate isles
within their physical frames
Their cheery dispositions
A soothing balm to the
feverish forehead of Sindh,
creating euphoric hypnosis
sweeping away the dust off the
Sufi engravings on rusty mirrors.
The city loves the Saints.
Poets Notes on Indus:
1. Sindh. A province of Pakistan flanking the Indus River.
2. Thar. A desert in Sindh. It is World’s 17th largest desert. About 85% of the Thar Desert is in India, and the remaining part is in Pakistan.
3. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (1689-1752) was a Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, and poet.
4. Marvi, Moomal and Leela. Sindhi Folklore characters that appear in the poetry of Shah Bhittai.