Today heralds beginning of an era
Not of interest to meaningless minds
Regardless, time’s story must be told.
However, if you believe Time irrelevant,
So is yesterday, today, tomorrow
Thus, forget past and start afresh,
That’s all you’ve got…
Why assume present is from past
And future you seek does not come your way.
An assumption: time was, is, will be linear.
If Shams’ past an interpretation, future illusion
Then time was, is, will always be there
Narcissus observes a watch
Tiny cogs fitting perfectly
A rotation yielding time.
Time yielded – timeless
With time standing still, time appears limited
And yet there is so much; as much required – no more, no less.
Narcissus dances in head-heart, albeit intermittently
When he pauses for breath,
That time is limited in a sea of timelessness
“What next? Where do we go from here?”
He observes a cup brimming to capacity
The image is not only timeless, it is palpable
He could reach out and touch
Without distressing equilibrium.
Uncomfortable about his tactility
Narcissus is far from touching the surface.
He must even stop breathing
For his breath will tantalize,
Have you heard raindrops pattering on a surface?
And when the rain stops perfect stillness?
Silent, complete, satiated…
That calm Narcissus aspires to.
And in that stillness, esoterica from an insomniac’s dream must come to an end
Like the wavefront comes to an end at the shore,
No matter how calm or agitated ocean or land may appear
Where does boundary of self end and stars begin? Shams asked.
In time, the answer.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
‘Insomniac’s Dream’ has two protagonists, Shams and Narcissus, depicted along the actual (and revered) Shams of Tabriz and Jelaluddin Rumi. The latter’s poetry and the former’s extensive wandering, both seeking life’s meaning or purpose and perhaps finding mystical companionship, as a result, has been a great source of intrigue for many over hundreds of years. The Shams and Narcissus dynamic alluded to in the poem, is also reminiscent of God and Man…conversations between Shams and Narcissus (or between God and Man) have been depicted in verse.
Although I am a pediatrician, ER physician, and researcher by profession, at the Aga Khan University, my proclivity to writing is my means of creative exploration and expression. My articles on health, education, children, humor and popular culture have appeared in newspapers in the US and in Pakistan. Other than the Biloongra series of bilingual books for children, I have authored 'an itinerant observer' a book of short stories/essays first published in the US in 2014 that was updated and then reprinted by Bookgroup in Pakistan in June 2020.