Broken Plectrum

Spiritual Poems by M. Fethullah Gulen

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen (born 27 April 1941) is an authoritative mainstream Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker, author, poet, opinion leader and educational activist who supports interfaith and intercultural dialogue, science, democracy and spirituality and opposes violence and turning religion into a political ideology. Fethullah Gülen promotes cooperation of civilizations toward a peaceful world, as opposed to a clash.

“Poetry in this sense of the word is such an atlas of expressions arranged from pearls of words and such a magical composition played on the most delicate strings of the heart that one who owns it can make everyone listen and influence them with it. When a poem like that finds the right tune and rings out, the most magnificent expressions stand saluting it in awe.” M. Fethullah Gulen

Main Article: Poetry From A Humble Perspective

Never

–To the soul of Yunus–

Once the heart has found You,
Would it ever remember another?
Once it has burned in Your fire,
Would it ever burn in another?

Only those who have found You
Are purified in an incessant flow;
Satisfied with Your love,
Would they ever be content with another?

You gave being to the universe,
All life emanates from You.
Having found Your ocean,
Would they ever dive into another?

Your Name is recited everywhere;
It is the cure for the ailments of the soul.
Once having truly believed in You,
Would they ever assume their Lord to be another?

Absorbed in awe at Your beauty,
On the path of love,
Once having tasted the honey from Your comb,
Would they ever taste another?

Once having discovered You,
Hastening towards and meeting You,
Having entered Your sanctuary,
Would they ever seek another?

KIRIK MIZRAP or Broken Plectrum

On His Path

Those who have found The Truth found Him in their souls;
Those who have been detained halfway have been hindered by conjectures.

Who truly seeks will truly find Him, while the indolent can do neither.
For His servants on His path He is the final destination to reach in their hearts.

The souls who do not recognize Him as Friend, who do not die to themselves to beraised again in Him,
The souls who did not live nor will die for His sake are utterly bereft and destitute.

Come on, friends, let us reach our destination, let us reach the realm of the Beloved;
Ant let us see the rose of His beauty for a moment in light.

The world is pitiless and cruel, all around is fog and cloud;
It is a loss to remain like this for even the least amount of time.

We are travelers, and our home-coming is with Him alone; how great an honor to reach Him;
Faith is the only means of attaining this aim by His leave and grace.

Rise Up

Rise up, valiant one, stop sleeping!
Rise up, because my heart is lamenting…
During the days having passed without you,
I went back over the yesterdays,
Grieving all the while, and saddened
Since you had deserted your country.

O my valiant one, appear now!
Appear, for we are depressed.
Our hearts come into our mouths;
Our last words are on our lips…
The people need your smile,
And we are thirsty for your zeal.

No more strength is left to us:
We, a multitude of orphans,
Are pushed to and fro,
And detained along the way…
Wasting time in distractions,
We cannot bear anything extra…

You appear in dreams every night,
You are in words and in hearts…
This is so the whole life long:
Come to make your influence felt,
Have some pity upon us, please:
We go down on our bended knees…

The Reach of Ardent Desire

Everything in our world of ardent desire and delight is rose-colored
And so absorbs us we can hardly tell spring from summer;

The enchanting song of faith is on our tongues,
And in our hearts a love as deep as Majnun’s…

All who partake of our feast part from us glowing like emeralds:
From all directions, down pouring light enters our souls;

Do not suppose such blessings come from us but from the Eternal
Transcendent, in whose garden abide both lover and beloved:

Faces looking up to Him are like flowers turning toward the sun;
By virtue of that gaze, they open and grow as in springtime.

It little matters that their color is that of silver or of rose:
What their radiance reflects is the tincture of the Infinite.

Lovers of Light

On a clear night having fixed their hearts upon the Light 
they set out for eternity
And wherever the journey led, they carried their gift of radiance.

Gleams of Beauty unfading so entranced their souls, 
they heard at night in their dreams angels singing of 
bliss and the music of other worlds.

More enchanted, more earnestly they searched in every place, and 
cherished for their homeland
the dream of a beloved of matchless excellence, hero or saint or both.

Without let or pause they strove on in high, passionate hope; some 
perplexities of life they unraveled
as they journeyed apace, and at last obtained the promised happiness.

Lovers of the Light are pledged to a long journey, its end Unseen: 
the very roads are proud upon which they go:
the rhythm of their going is Certainty, and their rank slaves of the King.

Whoever disdains that rank, disdains his own good fortune, exchanging
hope for a regret everlasting:
he shall not attain, not ever, the further rim of all that is.

Only the lovers, passionate lovers of the Ideal, may behold that far 
horizon,eternity itself impressed upon their faces, and their names 
rehearsed in hymns of praise.

They desire life again only to be martyred again, hearts forever 
surrendered to the Light, forever remembered in our hearts.

They raise now light-filled eyes, in their hands are translucent beakers 
held aloft, at ease, filled to their brim from rivers of Paradise.

Man with a Cause

Along the winding road to The Truth
A hero, all selfishness banished,
The key to the mystery of creation in his heart,
Weaves his way through time to reach his goal.

Moving ever upwards he breathes the air of eternity;
He has met with Khidr: he knows the way.
And to fellow wayfarers he gives the good news of dawn;
A message of hope in a night of choking darkness.

In his hands burns a torch; he spreads light everywhere
And he brightens the Way for all who would follow;
His ascend radiates peace and serenity;
His amber fragrance permeates every atom of creation.

Wherever he treads finds life and becomes green:
The hills and valleys, plains and mountains are all dressed in color:
And on every breeze is borne the perfume of spring;
Blossoms appear, flowers burst into life, trees are quickened.

His mind nurtured ever by eternity,
And everlasting melody flows from his lips:
All he sees is the richly colored tapestry of life to come,
The belief in which is part of his every being.

Soldiers of Truth

Moths fly round the light of the inspired ones
Whose hearts are as warm as the corona of the sun,
Pained and worried are they for the destiny of the nation.
Yet lovely as Paradise are they and as deep as eternity,
Moths fly round the light of the inspired ones.

On their faces radiant as mirrors
Shines the light from beyond this world…
Winds blow in their afterglow scattering kinds of fragrance…
People find infinite peace in their presence,
And also on their faces radiant as mirrors.

They inject a new life wherever they pass;
Soil turns to gold in their palms.
Even poison changes to something sweet on their tongues…
Souls open to them one after another.
They inject a new life wherever they pass.

Their words, like the lamps of the Infinite, diffuse light:
Always ready to pour themselves out like rain-bearing clouds.
They boil inwardly, like volcanoes, with desires of serving the nation.
Words, as precious as jewels, flow from their mouths,
And, like the lamps of the Infinite, they diffuse light.

Time is pregnant, through their enchanting “breaths”,
Writhing with pains of giving birth to a sacred future.
I have come to understand it will be springtime for my nation
Whose light and color come from the other world…
Time is pregnant, through their enchanting “breaths”.

Who Suffers Long and Endures

He groans with the sufferings of the people,
trembling like the candlelight.
At break of day he walks amid mountains splitting with grief;
and he would desire their time of happiness, though himself in
Paradise.

Wherever he looks, darkness prevails:
lush-green hills, jewel-like islands, all are batched in gloom.
For him each new day begins a new autumn:
the people’s hopes tumbling like leaves,
his spirit bowed under the weight of their sorrows.

His heart beats in fear of new misfortunes,
his eyes burn with the fever of anxiety;
nights are slow and long;
mornings freshen hopes and pass;
on his lips still linger the songs of endurance.

At times brimful of high, ecstatic hopes,
so exalted he could touch the edge of the Infinite,
he calls out in a voice like impassioned thunder,
and if the people hear,
their hearts echo his passionate ardor.

Unseen by others, noble aims wrestle in his mind;
the holiness of his cause colors the ground he treads.
He resolves to set, each day,
one fellow-traveler upon the right road,
in the hope that day is the day when the gloom shall disperse.

At times, forces of unbelief knock him,
everyone, senseless; and persecutions,
like bloody spikes, are thrust into his soul.
At times, spring fragrances fan the air around him
and gentle breezes blow with diverse, subtle perfumes.

The Cry of Nightingale

At the moment when flowers are dancing,
The nightingale sings in gardens secluded.
Each of its tunes sounds like the whistling wind
To those seen as foreigners in their native land.

It cries, like my ceaseless wails and laments,
Each resonates, high and low through the slopes.
It bemoans all night until the sun rises,
Each breath comes out as a burning sigh.

On virgin trees untouched by man’s hand,
It groans unceasingly for a lifetime,
And sheds tears, full of grief; but who is there
To appreciate it, to sympathize with its pains?

The Eternal Light

The sun itself gets light from your face;
Why, then, is your face still veiled?
The years pass while we, in pangs of separation,
Go on waiting and waiting for “spring”.

Rise again with the proof from God’s Throne;
Let the world resound again with your message!
Inspire people to life through the fragrance
You spread everywhere in the name of Truth!

Speak so that other “speakers” mind their place;
That people, revived by your Divine breath
May rise again, as before, to their highest;
That is also the desire of those in heaven.

O Sacred Book, O Eternal Light,
Reaching to every place with radiant peace.
It is end of time, appear to us once more!
Already light has begun to remove darkness…

Even if it is not to be as gorgeous as “spring”,
Still may the world be filled with your voice!
May everyone hear it and come to know you
Before all are carried to the eternal abode!

God and Man

Every human being thirsts for knowledge of God, craving faith;
Their need is most dire whose minds have strayed the furthest.
A needy conscience is healthy: its need is faith in Him.
Minds lost in bewildering ways are recovered in search of Him.

Abstract knowledge cannot, nor formal reasoning,
Nor subtle logic, content the human need for faith.
Scholars, scientists, philosophers-disputing, deviant
Voices, so void of meaning while so full of wards,

Knowing nothing revealed about the other world,
Ignorant of the beginnings of things have understood
So little, yet have, by conjectures and frail hypotheses,
Snared and confounded whole nations of human beings

This is truth: every color and sound is a message from Him.
The subjection of existence to man is a portion of His wisdom.
Existence originates in or radiates from His Light
Who initiates all things. Only souls who apprehend this

Are contented, and only the contended reach Him.
Though the insightless are blind to Him, His sight reaches,
And His presence is, everywhere. And this is truth:
That man most deeply feels His relatedness to all being.

Those with senses alert to Him know near He is.
The universe is a fountain overflowing with the meanings
Of His Names, with diverse, prolific harmonies
Of God and man, continually played and resonant.

Realizing this, the human mind is wed to the human heart
And nightly finds a different path to take its way to God.
The spirit that thus leaps over the hurdles of matter,
To enter upon this realm, finds the true identity
At last of man, conjoined fulfillment of self and soul.

Young Man

Young man,
Give some thought to the terrible maladies,
now a century old, that afflict this society

on every side. There is no remedy known
for such fainting hearts and feverish minds:

crowds in the street shouting for no reason;
people, become like fish in the aquarium,

Blundering anywhere in aimless confusion-
how should, how could, they perceive?

How in such chaos could community survive-
Its people blind, deaf, emotionally numbed,

Their streets running filth sewage canals,
their young licensed to indulge every wantonness;

chastity publicly disgraced, decency a tattered veil,
dishonesty the norm, and deception swaggering like a king-?

A maggot has burrowed into the fiber of community:
the spirit of society has scattered therefore, the people suffered

You, young man , are
the one whose courage can end this wretchedness,
the one for long years expected in visions and dreams…

See, where dawn is breaking’s stretch to your full height
now that a light is everywhere overwhelming darkness….

Do not pause with the water hose in your hand. But rush
to attack the flames in every place-for that is your duty.

let the darkness vanish, that the clear road may appear:
step forward and stand true to the cause of holy Trust.

You, young man, are the hero, the one for centuries awaited. Come now. 
Come now-for with us is left no power to resist.

In the Pure Climate of Faith

The spirit soaring towards eternity like the birds,
Out of the mysterious windows one within the other in the heart.
Every side is light, a different clarity everywhere,
With a thousand and one kinds of light waves from beyond.

Firmament before them, and streams of light everywhere,
Spirits here have sunk into eternal repose.
Leaves like emeralds that never see the fall
Remain unchanged in this country of immortality…

In this place where no darkness stops by,
There are illuminated roads stretching to Eternity.
As they reach the Friend’s beauty beyond veils removed,
There are servants taut like bows with the enthusiasm of union…

They foam like the seas with emotion;
Thousands of ripples pursue thousands of waves.
They come here with nothing but leave satisfied… 
And find the unsolvable enigma is solved…

Submerged to the knees with the stars… and the spirit with the Unknown,
The imagined realms begin to emerge.
The perceived and unperceived become intertwined;
Man longing since before time to attain this station.

Fantasy is the golden-winged bird of this climate,
Neither land nor sea can stop it.
It flaps its wings and rises, continuing its flight;
It cannot be contained by land, sky, or horizon…

Music of Rain

Drops of rain, as if smiles from the worlds beyond,
Travel here and there seeking the seas they parted from.

They fall with the sound of plucked lute-strings:
And hearing it, the earth begins to breathe.

Drops of rain float down with the grace of butterflies,
As if arranging some meaning in most rhythmic verse.

They resonate in the ear like a sweet melody,
And skies seem to weep for the grass on earth.

Each drop has said farewell to its heavenly life,
And returns to its origin, which is a roaring ocean.

Everything on earth holds still to listen to rain;
Each drop descends to the ground like an angel.

Eyes seeing the rain fall in such thrilling harmony
See worlds beyond this world come into view.

The skies rejoice with smiles observed everywhere;
Everyone is enchanted by the heavenly rhapsody.

Vapor rises in masses as great as mountains,
Then it seeks the green, blue and orange on earth.

Rain always brings down a peculiar contentment,
And carries fragrance of Paradise and exhilaration.

That fragrance pervades everywhere, deep into the soul,
Earth awakens to life and flowers burst open.

The whole of creation finds peace and serenity,
The window open to the realms beyond becomes visible.

Emotions

We are on journey, equipped with belief and resolution,
Walking without stopping to surmount all obstacles;
With hopes fresh as days breaking after nights.
And the future worlds appear in mists from ahead.

Light about to rise on the horizon is red like roses;
First rays of the sun are touching the high hill-tops:
All obstacles fall away, one after another.
A spring awaits us finer than any that went before.

We are sailing over deep and limitless oceans:
Our eyes bright with happiness, and souls at peace,
Feeling from the heart the joy of our existence,
The fragrance of paradise pervades everywhere.

Rays of light pouring into our souls in abundance,
We are as if seeing in advance the happy times to come:
Night is about do die, it is the hour of day break
At the door of the future we meet the past unexpectedly

A gorgeous spring prevails where once was autumn.
Light breezes and leaves whisper to each other.
Tunes of eternity are sung in different pitches;
There are varied meanings in the waving of flags.

Let us go on and not stop, the destination being near:
Life like a mysterious dream, belief like a sweet melody,
Our lives are recorded on a permanent register.
As existence is so fine, its end is assuredly finer.

Love and Separation

In the heart, love is a flame, in the spirit a light.
Grief of separation consumes the lover, and yet even in gloomiest hours,
he never despairs of “spring”; journeying from desert to desert
amid bitter tears in ever-constant hope of the union he desires.

He weeps from deep within a heart like embers,
always alert and on the move as if chasing a gazelle,
drunk upon hope of the beloved who eludes him
and whom he finds again in his nightly dreams.

Phantoms of anxiety beset his spirit,
on his face now joy shines like sunrise, now sunset gloom;
at times the door is ajar on a far landscape just perceptible,
it’s colors and tones hinting Paradise.

A moment comes when despair overwhelms and hope seems unrecoverable,
and then another when dawn breaks in perfumed brightness.
At times he withers like leaves,
melts like candles, and his sobbing his heard from afar.

Even then, in never-ending autumn, the root of his desire flowers in hope,
he transforms the grief of separation into longing music,
makes deepest wells of sorrow brim with joy,
celebrating the immortality of Love.

In the deep wells of his eyes a meaning settles
from the eternal life and is present in his looks and smile;
his feelings sound the depths of eternity, the flow out
like soil-enriching river floods or fertile winds.

Whoever truly loves understands love is everything;
that it may be either fatal poison or elixir of life;
but whoever loves the Truth and pursues the ways to the Eternal Being
knows it as inspiration, as life.

In the Bright Climate of Belief

Absence of belief is like absence of light, a dark night never relieved;
it snares the unbeliever in a wild solitude, wretched in spirit,
facing a stride away the blackness where all his ways
come to dead end, where the light he can bring to bear,
his only light, is the torch of ignorance.

In that darkness his imagination is cruelly imprisoned disabling perception;
he discerns neither beginnings nor ends;
nothingness looms monstrously out of bottomless despair;
everything appears confused, ill-proportioned, futile, lost,
a chaos of particles blown by poisonous interstellar winds.

But the believer’s spirit, like his world, is consoled by light
as bright as sunlit sky, a wide-dimensioned space where time
unfolds in purposed direction; and earth displays its beauties
interlinked and opening out like petals; where all paths
turn through infinite, measured variety toward a brighter Paradise.

In that light his imagination is compassionately freed:
enabling vision of eternal spring under glistening clouds,
the spirit can surrender itself to a brief, peaceful sleep,
the heart flies like an arrow to its rest, and shining horizons
beckon to an infinite expanse of light pouring down.

Believing souls traverse that expanse to eternal life where their dreams
are vivid with memories of their past… their traversing is itself a dream-like journey
and surely they attain their journey’s end, having so earnestly desired it
in the depths of their hearts and in their spirits
battled so mightily against errors of selfhood and human arrogance.

The Door Half-Opened Through Death

What imaginations those coming to this world nourish!
Imaginations as sweet as the joy felt at religious festivals!
And yet the first step taken into the world is also the first step
those who have come to the world take toward the Last Abode.

At the same time as a bitter wind blows in the neighboring house,
the fragrance of spring is felt in the maternity hospital.
It is inevitable for one who has come to this world to travel on
to the eternal world, to the grief of those around him.

The mind falls into a void as wide and deep as skies,
Lightning strikes feelings deep in his heart,
and man finds himself dragged toward a place unknown.
He shivers with what he hears and is driven to frenzy.

As he advances in pains left from his life
far away from the shores where he once lived,
as he blindly limps through the pits in his soul,
he finds himself dragged into a dark inlet.

Finally that deep sleep comes to an end,
and it is seen that life is but an illusion.
Dreams end. Day begins to dawn in the real world,
on shivers as if the Last Trumpet’s been blown.

He moves on, looking first ahead and then back;
His old world destroyed, the new as yet unknown.
Death lifts up, one after the other, the veils
before the other world rising as silently as the full moon.

The spirit is surprised, man is startled in fear.
Throngs of men are dragged with no obstacles before them.
You think them like leaves scattered around,
Like leaves blowing in a strong, powerful wind.

They hasten forward with eyes fixed on a point,
where time is no more, no sounds of clocks heard.
There is no returning back, even if they want to.
A different ground, different skies, and signs of the final truth.

* * *

As for the believing souls, worship of God is a mount for them,
by which they fly to the clime where angels fly.
With hearts at rest, with spirits having reached their aspirations,
they hear God’s compliments distinctly, word by word.

The faces of the believers are bright with flashes of joy.
They overflow with emotions while walking illumined roads.
The merriment of union is heard from a few steps ahead.
Voices rise in the company of the melodies of houris.

Flowers shimmer all around like narcissi,
and hearts beat with a different sound.
Eyes shining brightly pour forth smiles.
If it were possible, a heart would stop for happiness.

Souls go to their ease in the highest realm of Paradise,
where colors, patterns and harmonies charm the eyes.
Sometimes beauties excelling those of Paradise are sensed,
and angels visit festival on their mounts.

The Rose of My Heart

As I mentioned you again, nothing else remained in my memory;
I imagined you traveling on the hills of my heart.
A mirage, I know, but it sufficed to calm the anguish of my heart.
As I mentioned you again, nothing else remains in my memory

I wish I could move the whole of time with love of you,
and travel in your horizons, rising high like spirits;
I wish I, finding a way, could fly into your heart.
I wish I could move the whole of time with love of you.

I’ve come to understand that it’s too late to reach you,
I will lament continually for the pangs of separation;
lamenting, I will wait with ever-fresh hopes of union with you.
I’ve come to understand that it’s too late to reach you.

My heart, like a pigeon’s, trembles following your  footprints;
I beg you to give me a feather from your wing,
so that I might continue after you and reach you.
My heart, like a pigeon’s, trembles following your footprints.

O Rose, which changed dry deserts into gardens of Eden,
come and, with your intoxicating color, enter my heart!
It’s time that you smiled into my weeping eyes,
O Rose, which changed dry deserts into gardens of Eden!

Let me be your slave who, like Majnun, runs after you,
spark such embers within me that I catch fire like a furnace,
and come out of this dream, enduringly bitter without you.
Let me be your slave who, like Majnun, runs after you.

I count how many days have passed without you,
and a gloom invades my soul, darkening it;
Let me see your face, as the sun is about to set.
I count how many days have passed without you.

Let my setting, the last moment of my life, be a new rising,
And my heart be invaded by the colors of your climate;
Let lutes be played everywhere, and reed flutes heard.
Let my setting, the last moment of my life, be a new rising.

Tears

Tears are poetry whose words are written in drops,
expressing joy and grief, hope and despair.
When consumed with pangs of separation, melting like candle,
man breathes in tears and speaks in tears.

A time comes when man rejoices child-like with tears of joy,
as he sees dawn begin to break all over the world.
At another time he burns with inward sorrow, like a furnace,
when his horizons are clouded over with grief.

Tears are water of life putting out fires,
a membrane protective against the fire of Hell.
By tears ideals find their realization in the outer world;
by tears the arid world changes into Gardens.

An eye sincerely tearful is like an eye vigilant at the front.
Eyes shedding tears for God’s sake do not see Hellfire.
The shedding of tears sounds the depths of desire.
Only they perceive this who sense God inwardly.

***

I am always gloomy with sorrowful tidings:
My loved ones are “flying away” one after another.
My feelings are hurt, my eyes filled with tears,
springs come only to terminate in autumn!

Life means hardship, and when you reach fifty-five,
desires are no more; ambitions fall like yellow leaves:
Limbs and organs become enfeebled for the unknown end,
and you feel the last stop is only a little way ahead.

On the horizon is either blood or an eternal light,
towards which believing souls walk without pausing.
Whatever is promised – happy or unhappy – will be revealed:
Some faces pitch-dark, and others bright with joy.

I am utterly at a loss, my head between my hands,
for fear that my flowers of hope should be frost-bitten:
I do not know how near I am to the final end,
but feel my spirit whispering to the Angel of Death.

We are, all together, on a way surrendered
to the music of eternity, with our spirits
like butterflies flying upward to eternity,
and yielding to the most pleasant of declines.

The spirit, like a flute, weeps bitterly a whole lifetime;
Neither its exile nor period of vanishing comes to an end…
Like Majnun, it wanders in unceasing pursuit of Him,
strained by sorrows of separation and a heart beating fast.

***

Shed  tears, O eyes, so that the sun may rise and set
over the streams formed of the tears you let fall!
Weep so that “Niles”  may flow in valleys, and fires enveloping Abraham
may be put out, and spells broken with the Staff of truth!

Weep so that the mountain said to surround the world may sunder
And water of life gush therefrom, and the dead be revived:
Weep so that the chains around the will may be broken,
And the cavalry of dawn come galloping one after the other!

Homesickness

For man this world is like a foreign land, a fearful ocean,
where he flounders a whole lifetime among waves of anxiety.
At every step and every station, he expects a dawn of hope to break:
Morning begins with pains, evening comes with the hopes of union.

Over and again, winds of mortality blow and are biting cold:
Lamentations as if from rejected orphans are heard everywhere.
By and by, arising from deep within his own conscience
come heavenly sounds laden with mystery and meaning.

A time comes when, like overflowing waves, he overflows
with longing to touch eternity and sails as far as the shore.
But he is stopped there, unable to move as if held in chains.
He brims over with zeal but remains in his narrow pool.

Confined within the walls of matter, man feels imprisoned
though knowing the horizons of being are of infinite breadth.
He always lives autumn in the corners of his heart
and travels through the dark pits of despair lamenting.

Those with hearts set on eternity live a honeymoon every night,
rapturous and joyful with the pleasure of endless spectacles.
Observing existence with the profound intuition of their hearts,
they welcome there the music from the higher worlds beyond.

Dressed in shirts of flame, with roses between their lips,
Even in the cruelest storms of the most painful days,
their spirits receive fresh life from the ardor of their hearts
and the profound contentment their conviction brings.

Every day man is washed in that ocean of purification,
and feels Him as deeply as angels, and at times
when he is utterly alone, he feels His care and nearness,
and tastes the delight of love and intimacy with Him.

Never Worn-Out

An eternal “textile” woven with silk threads,
pure as rain, cool as the shade of clouds;
its color and design address all the worlds,
unstained white like the river of milk in Paradise…

Not a transient hope, but peace everlasting,
from which begin all roads leading souls to heaven.
A source of strength for whoever affirms it,
a source of light for whoever takes refuge in it.

It unveils its wonders one after the other
to whoever enters its clime.
It draws the attention of all because of its message,
Never worn out, written in the moisture of Gabriel’s speech.

Its ever-green hills are pavilions
where the created meet with the Creator.
Satan is always defeated in its climate.
The greatest mystery between the Creator and existence.

Its voice is the most vigorous and enlivening;
souls thirsty for that mystery stand before it
in utmost respect and ready to follow its way,
enveloped with the fragrant scent of afterlife.

The days it promises approach in blooms of spring;
it points to eternal existence and leads to
eternity, and along all the paths it clears
welcoming breezes blow from gardens of friends…

Through all the succeeding years, time
overflows with the pleasures it brings.
It came with the most profound of messages
and its breath holds the cure for incurable diseases.

The spirit is never heard to wail in its climate,
those burning in love are cooled with the hope of union.
Though winter visits every year, those who enter it
gain immortality, suffering no autumn fall.

They advance to eternity with documents  showing
their absolution from punishment.. They meet with God
and seek intimacy with Him: Flying on wings of light that cannot tire
They pass impenetrable veils one after the other.

Dreams

When realities are too dark to endure, dawn comes in dreams.
The spirit wanders through night to find a way out
toward that which it seeks and longs for.
It travels with the hope of recovering what it lost.
When realities are too dark to endure, dawn comes in dreams.

There is a cold war between realities and imaginings.
I travel from the reason to the heart until bereft
of power to distinguish the hopeful among hopeless causes.
When events begin to drive me to give up hope.
There is a cold war between realities and imaginings.

Dreams are always vivid, full of color.
Therein man looks deep into unfathomed oceans,
beholds the past, the far future and what is near to come,
what is old and about to be replaced or renewed.
Dreams are always vivid, full of color.

In darkness man suffers the extreme of loneliness.
When everything turns pale in the dead hours of night,
when mouths are tight-lipped as if zip-fastened,
he wishes to sprout wings and fly to the realms beyond.
In darkness man suffers the extreme of loneliness.

The Pure Path

One night I had a vision of the future so bright;
there was a peaceful silence and was pouring light upon light.

Things were being done with the precision of clockwork;
centuries-old confusions disappeared one after the other.

All were respectful to each other and behaved in sincerity;
water of life was flowing through taps of porphyry.

Holy ones were as if on parade with faces bright with faith;
as they walked, they gave strength to our hopes.

People were busy with founding a new world;
the earth was so luminous as if to compete with the sky.

When those heroes with penetrating sight passed by me,
I came to understand that mankind were in the time promised.

I saw young men with clear signs on their faces and concluded
they were those promised to come toward the end of time.

I continued my way without stopping, nor becoming tired;
I met those who had absorbed light from the “grand fountain.”

Some, full of gratitude, were walking arm-in-arm;
finally all reached their destination, which is the Pure Path.

Fall

A faded adventure experienced with weary eyes.
Sound of leaves,
beating in the ear with the force of strong, cold winds:
A music of fall…

The roses of poetical spring weep everywhere;
Colors are plaintive.
Nightingales in quiet lands lament:
Single melancholy notes.

Fountains are lost in thick mists of sorrow,
waters drip tenderly
Swans draw in their slender necks
in the search for spring

Plains groan in tears, hills weep in pangs of separation;
every sound is an elegy
Blue, green, pink and orange colors are in mourning;
each is groaning deeply

Like the last minutes of a life about to terminate,
every wail is a farewell..
When looked to carefully, the end of the world is visible;
what an alarming scene!

Spring and summer are each an enchanting memory,
lost in romantic fancies
Yet those fancies open to hopes stirring in the conscience;
diverse routes to the realms beyond

Eternity is sensed in each impression of transience,
until man catches sight of it.
Reason and logic are refined to seek out that other world,
reaching the realm of inspiration

Man feels the mysterious silence of death;
problems are resolved finally..
Everyone sees the end of the way he treads;
kneels down trembling.

Tongue-tied with dread of going into non-existence,
faith opens up a way to new horizons.
Sobbing that his inevitable end is at last at hand;
eternity sends out lights.

Thought falls into earth like a seed
to prepare itself for spring.
It hastens to where it reaches gardens of Eden
to meet with the Beloved.

Without feeling pain or anguish,
As treasured as a welcome birth.
One overflows with delight to feel eternity
as enrapturing as eternity itself.

Fall is the sign that a new birth is on the way,
coming at the break of dawn;
Hope resounds throughout fall without ceasing at all;
spring awaits a few steps away.

The Horizon of the Spirit

When it is dark, souls busy themselves with afterlife, on the horizon nights appear to meet with Beloved.
Negative and positive poles join at the same point from which rays of light pouring everywhere.

Eyes are illumined, hearts beat in unison; what is unknown comes to be known by the heart.
Mysteries of the same tincture and design as stars pertaining to the realms beyond are solved in souls.

Faces of light travel around ceaselessly in pursuit of Him. For them the earth and heavens
are each a place of exhibition; the other world invites them, opening its doors.

Noah comes with the Flood, Moses with Speech; the Sinai comes together with Makka in this dream.
Jesus descends with the Spirit, and the Essence of Existence with the “essence” for Ka‘ba to become identical with the Sidra.

Joyful days of life appear beyond last clouds of darkness, time flows ceaselessly like a cataract toward the other life.
Forgetting whatever he has suffered of grief and sorrows, man begins to feel his existence all differently.

Conscience moves as if it found at last its native land, intoxicated with the breezes coming from the land of the Friend.
As if finding itself in the loveliest places of the other world, it feels the fragrance of Paradise so heady and enrapturing.

The roads to re-union with the Beloved appear everywhere; each color and sound and each design is a fine tune resounding.
Harbors of re-union appear from afar with all their charm to invite the wayfarers burning with of separation.

Let the sun set, shining no more, and the horizons darken, now it is time of prosperity with the days of decline left behind.
Let summer come to an end and the earth turn pale, now that the river of life has at last reached the earth.

Supplication

God, show compassion to my wounded tongue!
Open your door and bless this sinner, God!

Let me rub my face on the threshold, don’t turn me away;
I’ve roamed wildly enough, God!

I stood for years and wailed at the door of bounty;
Separate me from my wails and sighs, God!

Although I’ve always lived soiled by rebellion,
Still be generous to this helpless one, God!

Don’t light the fire of otherness, let me burn in Your hearth,
Let me become pure love and become Your prey, God.

I have finally arrived at Your door with rebellion as great as the mountains,
I’ve returned, helpless, with a leash on my neck, God!

Bless Kitmîr and allow this wail of misery to cease;
Veil my every trial with a thousand ardors, God!

To the Spirit of the Master of Beings

Again my heart is grieved and wails for separation;
It burns over and over in a burning fire this moment.

Like a violin every string of my heart ached.
My liver became a “kebab” oh, my Sultan, oh!

Spring passed and autumn blew, my spirit cries blood.
My fortune has faded, my chest has burned, my eyes have become streams.

Expectations were shaken, my hope dashed. Good-by to life!
Separation has begun, my heart has been carried away. Good-by to me!

I’m an addict of longing, I’ve reached separation, I’m pure melancholy.
Hey Friend, give me a glance for God’s sake. I’m powerless!

My heart and eyes open with You,
Impossible obstacles are overcome with You, 
When Your name is mentioned, light sparkles;

Come to my spirit, don’t burn me with longing!
For the love of God, don’t leave your servant alone!

I am a palace guard, You are the Sultan,
You’re a mercy to those who’ve lost their way,
If I’m a body, You’re the life in it;

Come to my spirit, don’t burn me with longing!
For the love of God, don’t leave your servant alone!

Lovers seek You everywhere,
The sherbet of your lips is a remedy for every problem,
If I am troubled, where is my remedy?

Come to my spirit, don’t burn me with longing!
For the love of God, don’t leave your servant alone!

I’m a disgrace with many sins,
Stumbling, I have no strength left, 
I don’t know what will become of me beyond.

Come to my spirit, don’t burn me with longing!
For the love of God, don’t leave your servant alone!

Once all seasons were spring,
I’m afraid those days have all darkened,
Have mercy! My road has become very steep.

Come to my spirit, don’t burn me with longing!
For the love of God, don’t leave your servant alone

Suffering Man

He wavers like a candle, and his chest aches sorrowfully.
He walks on the mountains lightened by dawn.
Even if he’s in Heaven, still there’s gloom in his soul.
In his daydreams he always walks through happy ages…

His horizon is pitch black like treeless mountains.
All the purple summits and lively islands are dark.
When his chest shakes with “autumn” every morning…
And his spirit is beaten in broken mortars.

His heart is timid like the birds, his eyes are feverish.
Events make the sound of a mallet in his spirit.
He fights with time every night and day-dreams every day.
He always walks singing a song of suffering.

Time comes when he overflows with hope, a secret pleasure in him,
His head is where the transient are separated from Eternal One.
When he shouts loudly with a voice of steel,
Shudders are aroused in hearts in rising pitches.

He aches with love in the most remote places.
He always moans and walks; the roads moan with him.
Every day he pursues a new prey, every day in a trench.
He awaits the season that will enlighten the horizons.

Sometimes loyalty gives no echo, everything is speechless…
And blood-red nails pierce his spirit.
Sometimes spring scents waft fragrantly.
You see the wind singing a lullaby with a thousand aromas.

The Truth in Daydreams

I sat down with my imagination in those old gardens,

Places where we lived joyfully at one time.
I opened out to the sweetest dreams veil by veil,
I became exuberant with happiness on the celebrated hills…
I sat down with my imagination in those old gardens…

Suddenly the gloomy clouds disappeared from the horizon,
Spring descended from the sky with the pleasure of a thousand memories.
It was colorful and deep like the slopes of Paradise;
The mountains lit up by the dawn each stretched,
Suddenly the gloomy clouds disappeared from the horizon…

A little further ahead a road was gleaming like silver,
There was light on the road from the sweet dream of the past…
It was presenting dreams and messages from its essence;
This overflowing was just at the time of extension in the breast,
A little further ahead a road was gleaming like silver.

I released myself to a realm that had no frontier,
Everything material disappeared from my imagination…
Now there were summer dreams in my feverish eyes,
It was a fantasy I had made since my childhood…
I released myself to a realm that had no frontier…

My Master

My eyes long for You, my heart watches your path,

If I could reach Your presence once, autumn would turn into spring…

If my head could touch your feet, if my teardrops could cascade,
If I could cry “You…You,” all obstacles would melt away…

Your village’s pink color can never be matched,
The faces that come with sin leave purified.

Those who come attain to light, each become a joy,
Mercy rains everywhere, the blind remain destitute.

From your soil and earth and sacred trail
Daylight flows to the dark worlds…

Exhausted, whatever I say to You, Your praise does not fall to me;
I said I’ll say something, but words did not suffice.

From Your profound compassion, from Your vast spiritual power,
Turn and incline towards me; my spirit yearns for your favor!

A Song for Spring

Time passes, you see all at once it is spring-time
With roses in bloom, nightingales singing, tulips cover all land.

Flowers breathe in profusion of color and fragrance,
Birds fly, insects spring enraptured with songs of spring.

Trees branch and leaf, swaying winds carry afar the perfumed air,
A dance of ecstasy rhythm animates all living things.

In such a setting death appears with a smile of hope:
for springtime is a light veil over the face of Paradise.

Whoever can raise this veil can find the Eternal One,
Transported within from this-to other-worldliness.

Let others complain how remote eternity is, how impossible to attain:
How can they be concerned who have attained it in themselves?

Let others complain how the world has shrunk and suffocates.
Those who believe will find everywhere spacious without space:

Whoever seeks peace can find it only in belief;
But only those moved by belief can understand this.

As the gaze moves on all those beauties of spring, themselves
Are drunk on messages contained in spring stroll at ease in Paradise.

What is death to them except dropping in soil like seeds,
To revive as sweet-blossoming, fruit-promised trees.

Separation and Hope

Again I remembered the days of separation,
Years mixed with tears passed by.
I shuddered and froze in my place;
Friends had become reconciled with enemies.
While the people swam in deep sleep,
Values were lost one after another…

There is blood and sweat on the brow of the past,
Iron fetters on its feet,
A bitter smile on its lips.
What a red spirit it clashed with…
There is still occasional darkness on the horizon;
However, day follows the night…

Autumn fell in and all the orchards decayed.
Leaves turned yellow and flowers faded.
The hero died, and his steed was tired;
He had fought with a huge malicious demon.
Now even if it seems impossible for him to return, 
We’re waiting for him at romantic dawns…

The crowns that once shone,
The slopes that opened their bosoms to the crowned.
Emerald trees on golden slopes,
Reached the caravan of separation and left.
There’s a spark from that frightful extinction
There are messages in the spark from the return…

National Spirit

There was a hero, they buried him on the opposite slope…
Later they stole his burial shroud and shirt.
Fearing he might get up, they heaped up rocks over him.
There was a hero, they buried him on the opposite slope.

My brave one, just explain what happened!
You’re troubled, the country’s troubled, sit up and let’s cry…
Let’s cry and cauterize our chests.
My brave one, just explain what happened.

Make a sound, my brave one, or don’t you hear me?
For years I have played with you in my imagination.
I live with the hope that you will rise up and come…
Make a sound, my brave one, or don’t you hear me?

A shirt of shame on my back, the sin of years,
My heart shining with hope awaits you.
At times it flies in the skies; it crawls on the ground at times.
A shirt of shame on my back, the sin of years!

Everywhere is in ruin, a festival for owls.
Bridges have fallen one by one and the roads are without travelers.
No one stops by anymore, the fountains have run dry…
Everywhere is in ruin, a festival for owls.

Will-powers almost paralyzed, a terrible shock in the spirits,
A dozen unfortunate ones “plundered” history.
Values turned upside down, sacred values are without support.
Will-powers almost paralyzed, a terrible shock in the spirits.

Arise and come just like in the dreams!
Early one morning on your white horse,
While watching you in my spirit with my closed eyes.
Arise and come just like in the dreams!

The Army of Light

Light on the bright foreheads of the army of light, 
Deep and warm happiness in their hearts. 
They take peace everywhere; 
Eternity mistfully appears in their eyes… 
Light on the bright foreheads of the army of light.

Chests emitting scents like incense burners, 
Colorful thoughts in their spirits every day. 
Moths flying around a candle, 
Their feelings and thoughts whole in the light… 
Chests emitting scents like incense burners.

In gardens resembling the mythical gardens of Eden, 
Rivers of Kawthar flow from porphyry faucets. 
In green surroundings that know no autumn, 
Every day is spring, every day flowers bloom 
In gardens resembling the mythical gardens of Eden.

Light falls from eternity to their hearts, 
On wings of light they fly to the beyond. 
Heavens wish to embrace them, they bow in humility, 
With undiminished resolution, unshakable convictions… 
Light falls from eternity to their hearts.

A festival begins for those whose years have passed in grief! 
The old wine shop is shaking from its foundations…
Greeting to the future, thousands of greetings to those coming! 

Rainbow

Sky in blue, earth in green, dyes of all shades.
Rainbows in all directions across the horizon,
Touched by all these dazzling colors, humankind.

Angels look on them with praise.
Their faces to the ground, their hearts God’s abode,
A heavenly invitation is their belief.

Humankind is an exalted ore made of dust and mud,
An incomparable mirror deep and brilliant,
Reflecting the infinite, facing the beyond.

Strive, and you can attain your essence!
Be one with your soul, boil with your spirit!
Wail a bit more, shedding tears.

Sprout slowly like a bud,
Follow the light until you are there,
Roots in the soil, eyes fixed on the light.

This mysterious struggle broke out in the heavens
And will go on until Doomsday.
Never stop! Stretch and run, for victory is on the horizon!

The Fountain, January – February 2008, Issue 61


The Rose of Medina

Whenever I commemorate You, all else fades from my mind,
Your phantasm treads on the hills of my mind;
Although a mirage, it assuages my affliction,
Whenever I commemorate You, all else fades from my mind.

I wish your love pervade each second of my life,
And I could soar like spirits and circumambulate your aurora,
And find some way to ooze into your heart,
I wish your love pervade each second of my life.

I avow it is too late to attain your blissful presence,
My heart will ceaselessly be lamenting still,
Forever anticipating you with the freshest hopes,
I avow it is too late to attain your blissful presence,

As my heart flutters like a dove, hankering for you,
I beg you to grant me a plume of yours!
So that I could flap after you forever,
As my heart flutters like a dove, hankering for you.

O Rose that turns scorching desert into Eden!
Come and lapse flow into my soul with your enchanting colors!
It is high time your smiles shone on the apples of my eyes.
O Rose that turns scorching desert into Eden!

Let me be your slave, like Majnun, in the quest for you,
Sprinkle embers on my soul, let me burn like a furnace.
And be relieved of this rancorous dream elapsing without you,
Let me be your slave, like Majnun, in the quest for you.

I count the days I have been severed from you,
That coils about my soul like gloomy dolor.
Let me see your face before the twilight unfolds,
I count the days I have been severed from you.

Let me see my dusk turn into dawn at my last gasp,
And my heart be filled with the newest colors of your horizon,
Lutes would be resounding then, and flutes would be heard,
Let me see my dusk turn into dawn at my last gasp.


Continuous Beauty

Everywhere is your Beauty, wherever I look, in whatever I see,
Dancing in the enchantment of Your love,
Like a moth, the world is rushing to meet You,
I wish I could reach You, even if only once it may be.

I await, on the horizon of my hopes, the rise of the moon,
Your hands caressing my anguish-burned face,
You opened to me the sanctuary in Your presence,
May the torment of these painful days conclude soon.

My heart is hungry for Your eternal love,
My life-long palpitations will not ease otherwise,
Nor can my bosom sing in its finest voice.
Would my lips move without You in my heart?

Come and clear the face of my night of sorrow,
Make my troubled bosom happy with Your compliments,
Satisfy with Your love my endlessly searching soul,
Appear in my heart, declaring it Your home…

The Fountain, July – August 2009, Issue 70


A Pristine Spring

A skyline of lively hills and purple mountains appeared
As sleepers floated in their deepest slumbers
In purple and pink, successive dawns were swelling
While in waters swans were elegantly gliding
We felt the shivering breaths of a new spring.

A cerulean serenity had enveloped our dreams
And the sky winked with hope from a distance
In a moment, we were left without defenses
At the point where providence meets resolve
God made our dreams bloom.

The overflowing fountain has come to life again
Breezes high and low promising a bright future
Everywhere embraced by a blessed joy
And the happiest days of life I longed for
Were being lived in the deepest sense, once again.

A pristine spring, with its fresh verdant hues
Like the patterns and colors of the past
The people found the touchstone they had lost
Making up for the great loss they sought
Purple rosebuds on heavenly hills.

With the breeze blowing, now grasses atone
In the lands, once struck lifeless by autumn, are new roses
As if the Trumpet has blown, the dead are resurrected
Along with them in this azure dream
Grieving hearts attain reunion.

This article has first appeared in the 80th issue of Fountain Magazine (March – April 2011). The Fountain can be reached online at http://www.fountainmagazine.com


Bustling Willpower

Fate sometimes blows
As gently as breezes;
At other times it blows as tough
As raging northeasters
Rendering huge mountains to dust,
Rendering feet to heads
Razing heads to the ground.
Sometimes caressing woeful bosoms
At other times dusting grief over merry faces.

A mysterious program
Far beyond our reasoning,
The ones open to mysteries
Never fall on their knees.
Do have the faith, then,
Never be felled by confusion!

Close not your eyes to the beauty
Do not be stuck in the ugly!
Behold Him as mountains do the sun!
Watch ever for His Holy Light,
Put the darkness aside!

Keep whirling within the phenomena
As the sage do!
Glimpse the good sides of both
pleasure and grief

Relinquish gloom and worry
If your willpower is bustling
Become the spring of hope for all,
If you can!

Till the seekers of a tranquil corner
Shall run to you;
And those joining your aura
Shall overflow with fervent happiness.

This article has first appeared in the 85th issue of Fountain Magazine (January – February 2012). The Fountain can be reached online at http://www.fountainmagazine.com

By M. Fethullah Gulen

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