My Destiny

September 14, 2006



My Destiny

My destiny did
not include reunion with my Friend.

Even if I lived a
hundred years, this failure would be the same

Your promise
determined my life, but it was not believable.

If I had believed
it, I would have died of joy anyway.

What kind of
friendship is this when friends give advice?

I wish they knew
healing or simple, ordinary sympathy.

eventually kills us, but that’s the way heart is.

If there were no
love, life would have done the trick.

This night of
separation, whom can I tell about it?

I think death
would be better, because at least it doesn’t repeat.

Your hesitation
indicates that the thread you had tied is weak;

You would never
have broken the thread had it been strong.

Ask my heart
sometime about your arrow shot from a loose bow.

It would not have
hurt so much if it had actually gone through.

Rocks are hard,
so they don’t cry, but if your pain

Were genuine,
Ghalib, it would make even rocks cry.

After my death,
my reputation worsened. Maybe if I had
just drowned.

In a river, and
had no tomb, they would have let

Ghalib alone.

This great one,
who can possibly see her? She is this One.

With just a hint
of two, we might have achieved a meeting.

Your talk about
spiritual matters is great, Oh Ghahib.

You could have
been thought a sage if you just didn’t drink
all the time.



When I read Ghalib I always feel like we are just the two of us having a conversation. Well, actually, I am listening while he talks. I do not know how he does what he does. I struggle with image, rhythm, metaphor, sometimes I struggle too much and decimate the writing moment. He just sits on a rock and–talks.

I went searching for rocks on the internet.

But first, some rock stories.

Once I sat in a car watching the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine with my soul mate Verna. We were young, maybe 19, smoking pot, and looking at all this water and ROCK. If you have ever been to the Maine coast, you know that sand beaches are far and few between.

I looked at her and said, “I do not get rocks. I mean, how can I understand rocks?” She just looked at me. Granted, I was altered, but guess what? The first time I concsciously felt greed was in the Badlands of South Dakota 15 years later. I was hiking and over a small rise came upon, you guessed it, rock heaven.

I had to sit down, smoke and ponder it all. And, look. Then I had these feelings that I did not recognize. It took time and quiet until I knew; it was greed. I wanted to take every single rock home with me.

I went through this again on a beach in northern California. Cliffs, redwoods, the surf singing me to sleep, talks with my brother Chris over the campfire, gourmet camp cooking; I had it all. When we went to the beach the next day I learned that we were camping above sea polished rock nirvana. Folks came from all around to collect these gems. As we were drinking coffee, I looked at Chris and said, “I am having a moment here.” “What kind of moment?” “Greed. I want all the rocks. I want to take them all home.” He looked at me and said, “Go with greed and get some gems.” And , I did.

How rocks, pebbles, stones can pull me so compellingly is full circle since I could not seem to grasp them in my earlier life.

Rocks are what hold us here. Rocks tell stories, they give us history. The tell us where we are.

I found a photographer who knows this. Tony Howell.

Enjoy the tales.

Tony Howell

Poet: Ghalib

Country: India

Translation: Robert Bly and Sunil Dutta


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One Response to “My Destiny”

  1. Kristine said

    I have just wandered as many pages as I could consume…how pleasant to the eyes, organized, tidy, a well set feast for the reader. Yhank you. I am full for now and may return for seconds at a later time. My link will be back up in a few days, I’ve Privated the blogs for various reasons. Gracias for those links to my blog. I don’t want to disapoint readers…so, yes…I will be back in good form soon enough. Give it a week. Peace.

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