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Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan



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mirza tahir ahmad

His Holiness Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Kalifatul Masih IV, (1928-2003) was the fourth successor of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community. He  was a graduate of the Government College Lahore, Pakistan, and he also attended the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, UK. He was an accomplished poet in his native language Urdu, and his work has been collected and published worldwide. As a great scholar of Islam, he wrote Christianity: A Journey from Facts to Fiction, An Elementary Study of Islam, and Some Distinctive Features of Islam, among others.







rehan qayoom

Rehan Qayoom is a poet, editor, and translator educated at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has featured in numerous literary publications and performed his work at international venues. He is the editor of the prose and poetry of Morney Wilson, published as Martyr Doll, Remains and The Recordings, (2011).






The Lover's Heart Dares Dream

Translated by Rehan Qayoom


Had you too kept some contact with me

I would not alas have been so alone


Had my name jumped from your heart to your lips just once

I would have been as unique as the quiver of those lips


This favour would have beat in my heart every moment

With its each strike would my breast have been enlightened


That same light would have eradicated all the heart's evils

How serenely sweet would have been its luminosity


When we would have created uproars of love

In the imagination's secret chambers it would not have been talked of


Who would have known of the dream of our desperate hearts?

Who would have seen what we would have seen?


We could have met in secret this way hiding behind the heart's veils

Who knows what things we could have done in our heart of hearts


We would have enacted in such ways the rituals and traditions of desire

And we would have loved each other open-heartedly


If we had ever bumped into each other at the crossroads both our hearts pounding

We would have been fearsome of fearlessly expressing our loves


You would have averted your gaze as your body accidentally touched mine

And then you would have glanced at me as if you weren’t looking


This charm would have immensely captivated but tormented my heart

To think what could have happened had you not been mine


All my visions would have scattered into mirages—Just one

Desert world would have been everywhere before me


Just to imagine if you had left me my heart would have always

Been yearning for even a single droplet of love's elixirs


Such a blood-flood would have burst from my eye

As no eye had ever shed before


The tale of our love would have drowned in that same teary flood

And when our eyes opened it would just have been a sort of dream


A flood of such calamity would have flowed from my eyes

As had never been witnessed before by any tide or river


The sobbing night of separation the night of grief

Would have engulfed me would have wrapped me in its arms


You would not have been visible anywhere around me—

It would have been just me lonely lying drenched in my own tears


Far off a tear trickling down the earth's cheek

Overflowing beyond the horizon from the eyes of night


In it each moment a trembling and flickering shadow

Would have been glimpsed of a lunar face


Who would have snatched away my darling's tranquillity?

In whose separation would I have tossed and turned?


In whose memory would that liquid beauty have flowed

From beyond the horizons ever-blending into new worlds—New islands?


I too would have searched for you aimlessly

Had the world of dreams been my sole resort and remedy


Where now shall I seek the cure to my loneliness

When no moon-muse remains to call my own

I have hundreds of thousands of people in this world but none

To offer me company in my lonesome moments




©2013 Mirza Tahir Ahmad and Rehan Qayoom.


Author Links


Books and articles by Mirza Tahir Ahmad at The Tahir Foundation

Blog by Rehan Qayoom

Poem translated by Rehan Qayoom






©2009 Southword Editions
Munster Literature Centre

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