The child swaddled in colorful weaves played scales
on the oud lute in concert to the feast while the rials loosed
to him were flowing, rich, and generous.
The cymbal rushes of the riq and the dum tak tak talk
of the clay skin drum moved them to dance, and give again,
so that the poor boy declared to his mother Allah is Generous.
But no drum came to whisper or thrum such immense joy
as the coins of silver and gold in their pockets, evenings,
when the porters brought out the wine—a vintage generous.
When the bloom of shiraz was poured, rich and silky patrons
broke their fast, and the Sufi lords danced against the customs
of all the peoples who dared not be generous
with their forgiveness, their love, fettered by bookish piety,
as with the sultan’s refusal of clemency in the final hour.
Such as these will not find that the Lord is Generous.
Give, give to the child raking the strings with the eagle feather,
flying over minaret on a carpet carrying girl, genie,
and music—let him find you dying with a heart generous.
I tell you when, and how you will deny Me. I abandoned
you not, I sing for you nightly. I am beginning and end
of this night’s ministrations, given to you in generosity.