The moon fell in the desert’s lap
Its dark dunes birthed a brilliant white
His face burned bright black from love’s flames
The longing of the depth of night
A blackness pure, so dazzling
Its shadow is the morning light
The sun squints at his face, blinking
Straining so hard to catch his sight
His dark face so intense and bright
He had to shroud himself in white
Like clouds veiling the Heaven’s gleams
That makes them both hidden and seen
Like scents upon the morning breeze
The echo of a midnight dream
The dazzling dark flows through his veins
Like ink pregnant with poetry
And fills his eyes and skin with verses
Teeming with love’s mysteries
How do you see us from your seat
Beneath the shade of Heaven’s Tree?
The baobabs must look like lightning
Flashing from the earth and falling
Skies must seem a fickle frailty
Whirling ‘round your finger’s ring
The shadow of the shade of God
Leaping from your pure heartstrings
Floods the dry and dusty lands
Sweeping the old bones along
Dancing in the secret rapture
Of the silence of your song

Rabi’a al ‘Adawiyyah-Two loves

عـرفت الهـوى مذ عرفت هـواك                                     واغـلـقـت قلـبـي عـمـن سـواك
I’ve known love since I’ve known your love
 I’ve closed my heart to all but you
وقمت اناجيـــك يـــا من تــرى                                     خـفـايـا الـقـلـوب ولسـنـا نـراك
I began to whisper with you who sees
the secrets of hearts while we don’t see you
احبـــك حـبـيــن حـب الهـــــوى                                وحــبــــا لانـــك اهـــل لـــذاك
I love you with two loves, one of passion,
and one because it is your due
فــاما الــذي هــو حب الهــــوى                              فشـغلـي بـذكـرك عـمـن سـواك
And as for the love of passion
it busies me with remembring you away from all that is not you
وامـــا الـــذي انــت اهــل لــــه                              فكـشـفـك للـحـجـب حـتـى اراك
And as for that which is your due
it’s your lifting the veils until I see you
فـلا الحـمد فـي ذا ولا ذاك لـــي                             ولـكـن لك الـحـمـد فـي ذا وذاك
I’m not to praise for this or that
But praise is yours for this and that
أحبــك حـبـيـن.. حــب الهـــوى                               وحــبــــا لأنــــك أهـــل لـــذاك
I love you with two loves, a love of passion
and a love because it is your due


Dark Night of the Soul -St. John of the Cross

La Noche Oscura Del Alma
San Juan De La Cruz

Cançiones del alma que se goça d’auer llegado al alto estado de la perfecçion, que es la union con Dios, por el camino de la negaçion espiritual

En una noche obscura,
con ansias en amores imflamada,
¡oh dichosa uentura!
sali sin ser notada,
estando ya mi casa sosegada.

A escuras y segura,
por la secreta escala disfraçada,
¡oh dichosa uentura!
a escuras y ençelada,
estando ya mi casa sosegada.

En la noche dichosa,
en secreto, que nadie me ueya,
ni yo miraua cosa,
sin otra luz ni guia
sino la que en el coraçon ardia.

Aquesta me guiaua
mas cierto que la luz del mediodia,
adonde me esperaua
quien yo bien me sabia,
en parte donde nadie parecia.

¡Oh noche que me guiaste!
¡oh noche amable mas que el aluorada!,
¡oh noche que juntaste
amado con amada,
amada en el amado transformada!

Y en mi pecho florido,
que entero para el solo se guardaua,
alli quedo dormido,
y yo le regalaua,
y el ventalle de cedros ayre daua.

El ayre de la almena,
cuando ya sus cabellos esparzia,
con su mano serena
en mi cuello heria,
y todos mis sentidos suspendia.

Quedeme y oluideme,
el rostro recline sobre el amado,
ceso todo, y dexeme,
dexando mi cuidado
entre las açucenas olvidado.


1. One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
– ah, the sheer grace! –
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

2. In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
– ah, the sheer grace! –
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

3. On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

4. This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
– him I knew so well –
there in a place where no one appeared.

5. O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

6. Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

8. I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.


From: THE COLLECTED WORKS OF ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD, and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD, revised edition (1991).  Copyright 1991 ICS Publications.