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I DIDN'T TRUST IT FOR A MOMENT by Lalla



The 14th Century mystical poet, Lalla was born in Kashmir in Northern India and was a contemporary of Hafiz...

Her name means “darling” or “seeker.” I came to know of her work through Coleman Barks who offers inspirations from the translations others have done in his book, “Naked Songs.”
Little is known about her life but it is said she left an abusive marriage and became a student in the Shaivism tradition of yoga and began a life of ecstatic wandering, often, barely clothed, sometimes, not at all.
There is a story told about how she was given a length of cloth, which she put around her shoulders. When someone would call out ridicule, she tied a knot on one side of the cloth. When someone praised her, she tied a knot on the other side. At the end of the day, the cloth weighed the same, as praise and blame have no reality. 
The following poems of Lalla (1320-1392) are renditions by Coleman Barks from “Naked Songs”.

I Didn't Trust It for a Moment

I didn't trust it for a moment,
   but I drank it anyway,
   the wine of my own poetry.
It gave me the daring to take hold
   of the darkness and tear it down
   and cut it into little pieces.

On the Way to God

On the way to God the difficulties
feel like being ground by a millstone,
like night coming at noon,
like lightning through the clouds.
But don’t worry!
What must come, comes.
Face everything with love,
as your mind dissolves in God.

Noor-Malika Chishti has been a student in the Sufi tradition since 1972; she serves as an authorized representative of Pir Zia Inayat Khan. She began writing poetry when she was in grammar school; it now serves her in processing the lessons life brings. NMC is very involved in interfaith and is a Founding member of the Southern California Committee for the Parliament of World Religions; she now serves on the Advisory Board.  Noor-Malika presented workshops at the 2009 Melbourne Parliament of World Religions on "Listening with a Heart of Mercy, "Listening to the Other: Building a House of Prayer for Christians, Jews and Muslims,” and “Spiritual Intimacy: Taking Interfaith Engagement to the Next Level.” She has two children that were born at home with a midwife and has three grandchildren.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 

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