An Apology and Warning


Dialogue Poem Set 3.11: On Love Robe Turquoise

Robe Turquoise replied:


An Apology and Warning


Dear friend, I apologise

If that is how you feel.

You must not be affected so.

My words fail me.

Perhaps silence is best. Or worst.

I did not intend to offend.

Please note that I too did

Traverse the known world aforetime,

With tattered map, and battered boots

(Till compass was re-found)

On foot, a-sail, hazarding brigand and pirate

Of mine,

In lowly, incline, disgrace

To suffer those ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’

Paying a high prince for my procrastinations –

Dilly-dallying with time, wasting away thoughts with strife…

Try worry not with indecision,

The destroyer of delights1 will set you aright.

“If it be now…” or

“If it be not now” – “the readiness is all.”


No more on that!

Those healed wounds oftentimes split anew

When I stop to memory-whistle a tune…

But they heal over

Again, quick as life, when I dhikr2

By action the cause of my being…


…And when you issue a complaint

Try not to apply to Adam’s sons

But to The All Hearing3, Protecting Friend4,

The Satisfier of All Needs5, and Guide6 to man.


And my tone? Why yes!

I know it seems much to ‘barking mad’ discordant so,

But sometimes – we are so conditioned to such falsities

So habitual, so ‘set

In our own ways’ – that to monotone statements

Of hyper-polite nothings is

Keeping us further, yet further unmoved.


Please, dear friend, we are mind-lead

Away from truth every second breath

And fail, at first, to contextualise our lives from the lies.


Be better. Be wise…


By Arif uz Zaman

February 2013

For the REPLY to this poem, please read Love Divine.

For the PROBLEMATIC poem, to which this is the reply, please read Hope i.

To find out more about ‘the Dialogue Poems’ please read this.


1 “The destroyer of delights” (hâdim al-ladhdhât) is an old Arabic reference to Death, an honorific title and euphemistic epithet. See footnote 14 in

2 Remembrance. That is ‘of God’. (‘Dhikr’ is pronounced ‘th [as in ‘the’] – ik – er)

3 As-Sami (One of the Ninety Nine Names of God)

4 Al-Wali (One of the Ninety Nine Names of God)

5 As-Samad (One of the Ninety Nine Names of God)

6 Al-Hadi (One of the Ninety Nine Names of God)



Filed under Arif uz Zaman: Dialogue Poem, Arif uz Zaman: Poetry, Poetry

2 responses to “An Apology and Warning

  1. Masha’Allah wonderful poem that makes beautiful use of Allah’s names. Especially liked the beginning and ending of the poem. More great advice offered and I really like the voice in the poem.

    “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” is a very familiar line to me, I’m sure from Hamlet. Shakespeare is a favorite of mine, and I use a line here and there from his various works in my poems. Sometimes reading just one line of his inspires an entire poem. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf did a talk I believe or wrote an article about Shakespeare and Islam. I think it is very fitting that you are using Shakespeare in these series of poems. Keep writing and inspiring!


    • Wow, Jazakallah Khairan Maryam for your feedback. I do enjoy Shakespeare to be honest. I just enjoy his conversational style and ‘japes’. Hamlet is a definite favourite of mine. I must check out HY’s reference, that sounds excellent. From a certain angle, this poem could be seen to really end the sequence… but like real conversation, there is not always a clear beginning or ending 😉


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