Laila Lokhandwalla: A Spring Poem for Shah Karim

A Welcome Message to My Beloved

Flowers at the Ismaili Centre gardens, Lisbon. Photo: Nurin Merchant

I am weaving together the flowers Shah Karim,
I am making a carpet of flowers,
So give them bloom and give them scent,
By treading my carpet of flowers!

These are the choicest flowers I have gathered for you —
But they bloom only in Spring!
But when is Spring, O our King?
They say — “We bloom at your coming!”

And this is the tune of nature and heaven,
And to this tune, they bloom!
So everything works in synchrony —
Your coming and the advent of Spring!

And as they bloom and as birds sing,
And as the earth turns green —
The wintry grey sky now turns to blue,
As nature dons every colour and hue,
And sings “Welcome” to you!

Just as Spring welcomes life,
Just as life welcomes hope,
Just as night welcomes day,
Welcome to our hearts — will you stay?

And the carpet of flowers,
Which are deep feelings of ours,
Will you tread and satisfy?
Will you touch and sanctify?
And let them bloom and beautify?
If I err, then rectify,
With your Grace, promise to dignify —
This soul to reach where you are nigh,
Where there’s no pain and no sigh,
Where nothing more can mystify,
Where I see you clearly, with my inner eye —
So my prayer now, is only this —
That in the Spring,
When nature sings,
And with your advent,
When my ear rings —
That my eyes, visualize that Face —
Whose trace I’ll see within —
Day by day — demystified!

What is this joy?
What my desire?
Do you know O friends,
For what I aspire?
Just a vision of His Radiant Face —
That by it, is eliminated —
The darkness of this “Night” (Laila) —
Yes every trace!
And what remains is only that Night —
Like the Night of Power, Lailatul-Qadr
A night, which when spent in prayer,
Brings Light — all by Your Grace!

So welcome King, welcome my Beloved,
Welcome to my heart and reign —
For if you don’t, I fear the rain —
Of my emotions, will pour forth in vain!

So now my heart,
See all these signs —
Of flowers and colours —
Of birds and songs —
Of tunes and hues —
Of Night and Light —
Of when it’s bright —
And when it rains —
Are beauteous signs,
That all proclaim —
The changing of the season — a new beginning —
A new becoming — at my Imam’s coming!


Please visit Laila Lokhandwalla: Reflections on the Golden Jubilee for the poet’s profile and poem, Golden Jubilee Reflections.

Also please read: Sayyid Shamsi’s Devotional Ginan “Eji Navroz na Din Sohamna”

6 thoughts on “Laila Lokhandwalla: A Spring Poem for Shah Karim

  1. I hope that one day I am able to just touch Mawlana Hazar Imam’s hand and put it to my eyes. Thank you very much for this poem.

    O’ what a beautiful poem, reminds me with all my happy days with hope and wishes:
    After nights comes the light
    After cold and winter be spring and flowers.
    Ba’d al-lail yegina al-nur
    wa-ba’d al-ghaim rabee’ wa-zuhur.


    by Al-Karim Jaffer

    Ponder Upon Time Vanished
    Embrace Newness This Fresh Day Conveys
    Gazing Ahead in the Journey Forward
    Be Grateful for Innermost Blessings

    Sacred Signs Obscured
    Visible Truly with a Sincere Eye

    We Bid you Kismet Galore
    As A Fresh Page Is Unveiled
    Reviving this New-Found Beginning

  4. The tradition of composing qasidas and ginans as well as poetry such as this one by Laila is a good way to convey the heartfelt yearnings to have the deedar of the beloved. It gives vent to the spirit of the festival of spring; where there is joy and colour all over the universe singing the glory of the Eternal.

  5. This poem is good. I think this initiative could be extended to every aspiring Poet.

    During the Festival of Poetic Expressions in Golden Jubilee in U.K we received quite a few poems and selected a few to be recited. I have tried to convince our UK Council to start Poetry Society in the UK.

    But this enthusiasm for writing Poetry can also be used by Simerg to promote poetry amongst your readers.

    Have a wonderful Nawroz.

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