Every night I scan

the heavens with my eyes

seeking the star

that you are contemplating.


I question travelers

from the four corners of the earth

hoping to meet one

who has breathed your fragrance.


When the wind blows

I make sure it blows in my face:

the breeze might bring me

news of you.


I wander over roads

without aim, without purpose.

Perhaps a song

will sound your name.


Secretly I study

every face I see

hoping against hope

to glimpse a trace of your beauty.



Abu Bakr al-Turtushi

(1059-1126) Eastern Andalusia

(from Poems of ARAB ANDALUSIA, translated by Cola Franzen. City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1989)