A Writer’s Vocation
As I sit at my study table with the fire warming the silence of this rainy afternoon,
a slender flame leaps out of the place of shadows,
making me profess that which may not go in vain.
As I lift the pen with my rough hand and bring the diary of my life so far, toward me,
I ask the flame of knowledge burning before my eyes . . . where do I go from here? What is my vocation?
Answer? It gave me naught but its bright words burnt my paper thrice;
Upon the words I wrote it bade them to leap from slumber and enter within.
It is just that every writer of prose will come to understand that his writings only
come from that one single pure fire that blemishes the red wounds of a sage’s flesh for us;
that every time you lift your pen to pour out your heart’s yearnings onto the papyrus,
your duty toward mankind is sealed in it.
A writer’s vocation is within the multitude of souls that can hear,
that taste the sound of the lover of the saints upon his pen nib.
Who yearns by his words for the betterment of mankind
and for the panacea required to soothe that ne’er answered question
within his bleeding chest . . . WHO AM I WHAT AM I?
To such a writer as this, the vocation is not easy; it pricks you at every step and stings you at every sentence.
For you do not speak of your own self, but from the flame that leapt out from the core of
your blood and from the divinity of His love.
For you speak the truth which can never be heard, of what no one speaks and yet wants to know.
You write of the misery of death, the simplicity of the pure;
the witness of the Christ and the duty of one’s birth;
of the rights of men and women . . . of the blind and of those who cannot see;
of young dying souls and of souls dying young;
of what is truth in the death of millions and the fuss about external beauty;
of the abortion of infants and the death of students;
of the flame that burns within the redness of existence . . . the flame that burns up eternity.
These are the words of my vocation I pen down from my study of sacred scripture,
and the flame ceases to come toward me.
O that the night never comes and I may ponder upon the banishment of my lot
to the realm of the green vine which no gardener comes to prune;
to the occupation of the material realm, cast out by the ruby flame.
But . . . vocation surpasses the winner and the bride has at last met her groom;
for no man can resist . . . the flame that resides within.
Copyright © 2014, 2017 Fiza Pathan (Preface to my poetry book: So This Is Love – Collected Poems). Photo by iphis at Morguefile.com