I knew I had known her
From a time before the earth had been born.
She glanced at me!
Overcome with desire
I wrenched off my locket of Mary
Cast it in the river.
I returned her gaze
Joked with her to hear her laugh
My ears blessed with a chorus of nightingales.
I touched and caressed her
Became drunk with the scent of her skin
I remember feeling the roundness of her belly
Nestling my cheek in her curls.
Every word of love she spoke to me
Increased her radiance.
Until I could not see her face for the light.
Layla vanished from my gaze
I felt my head had been cut off
My tears overflow the banks of the river.
My name now is Majnun.
In desperation I returned to the river,
Retrieved my silver locket of Mary.
When I picked it up
It turned black in my hand.
Layla was gone all winter
That winter was my hell.
What have I to fear of it now?
Because of her I became a lion of courage.
When spring came,
It was Layla winging into the garden like an angel
Like the May breeze she was just as warm.
Every blossom opened in her presence.
I sought her fire
She showed me her light.
I sought her splendor
She revealed her beauty.
I'm now so shattered in her presence
I don't know the moon from the sun
It doesn't matter. They both call out her name.
At night beside her,
Even in the afterglow of love,
I cannot sleep.
All I do is drink her perfume.
At dawn that scented memory disperses
Transmutes into luminous longing
And as that sun rises
A longing rises in every heart
Like some new dawn.
- Doug Roberts