Lay in supplies,
O tribe that loves boys,
Of a pleasure that will not be found
For all its vaunted joys.
Hakim Bey, O Tribe That Loves Boys, Entimos Press, Amsterdam, 1993, XLI
Are not this child's eyes all fire?
Feel the flush of the eggs
Between his legs!
Dearest, seize what you can seize,
If you please;
Fill your boyish fist with me
And then see
Will it go a little way,
Just in play?
The True Jihad
The belly of the virgin
And the rear of the youth,
A single lance pierces them both.
This is the true jihad,
And come the Last Judgement
You will be rewarded.
In the Bath-house
In the bath-house, the mysteries hidden by trousers
Are revealed to you.
All becomes radiantly manifest.
Feast your eyes without restraint!
You see handsome buttocks, shapely trim torsos,
You hear the guys whispering pious formulas
to one another
("God is Great!" "Praise be to God!")
Ah, what a palace of pleasure is the bath-house!
Even when the towel-bearers come in
And spoil the fun a bit.
Translated out of the Arabic by Geoff Puterbaugh
I Die of Love for Him
I die of love for him, perfect in every way,
Lost in the strains of wafting music.
My eyes are fixed upon his delightful body
And I do not wonder at his beauty.
His waist is a sapling, his face a moon,
And loveliness rolls off his rosy cheek
I die of love for you, but keep this secret:
The tie that binds us is an unbreakable rope.
How much time did your creation take, O angel?
So what! All I want is to sing your praises.
Love in Bloom; after Monteil, p. 95
A Boy Is Worth More Than a Girl
For young boys, the girls I've left behind
And for old wine set clear water out of mind.
Far from the straight road, I took without conceit
The winding way of sin, because this horse
Has cut the reins without remorse,
And carried away the bridle and the bit.
Here I am, fallen for a faun,
A dandy who butchers Arabic.
His forehead, brilliant like a full moon,
Chases away the black night's gloom.
He cares not for shirts of cotton
Nor for the Bedouin's hair coat.
He sports a short tunic over his slender thighs
But his shirt is long of sleeve.
His feet are well-shod, and under his coat
You can glimpse rich brocade.
He takes off on campaign and rides to attack
Casting arrows and javelins;
He hides the ardor of war, and his
Attitude under fire is magnanimous.
Comparing a young boy to a young girl,
I am ignorant.
And yet, how can you mix up some bitch
Who goes in monthly heat
And drops a litter once a year
With him I see on the fly.
How I wish he would come
Return my greeting.
I reveal to him all my thoughts
Without fear of the imam, or of the muezin.
Abu Nuwas, Le Vin, le Vent, la Vie, (tr. Vincent Mansour Monteil), Sindbad, Paris, 1979, p. 91
Many a vintner's tent perches on so steep a crag,
climbers fear to lose their grip.
Struck aslant by the sun it casts long shadows;
struck from above, it beckons the traveler in.
Here have we set our bags down,
routed by the dog day heat, flaming on without a wick.
The sun tarried a while,
then yielded to the shade of a poor thatched roof.
Stretched out on the rough,
as if hard up against an ostrich's breast too bristly for a nap,
There I milked the fresh milk of youthful passion for my friends:
A chilled white wine, the essence of the vines;
No sooner sipped, all worries beat a retreat from a young man heart;
And once twilight yielded to night I gave in to youthful passion,
and found beauty and delight in ugly things.
I chatted with my darling, all reserve cast aside,
and subdued this reluctant boy, not given to excess.
He burst into song, my right arm pillowing his cheek:
"How often have I sought what cannot be attained!"
So I shot my love between that kind boy's twin loins,
and him my best friend and honored guest.
I woke at dawn cursing drunkenness, though it had been generous to me...
how often has generosity burdened you?
Now I'm off to seek my fortune, be it as the Caliph's mate and peer,
or as the terror of a country road,
With any youth whose heart does not flinch
when two armies call out in the name of one who has been killed:
Let us grab God's tithe from every paunchy reprobate
who gobbles up the fat of the land!
Do you not see this tax stirs up my faith,
and the donor left penniless is no longer a miser?
From: Philip F. Kennedy, The Wine Song in Classical Arabic Poetry, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997, p. 270
Wine of Paradise
From: Abu Nuwas, Le Vin, le Vent, la Vie, (tr. Vincent Mansour Monteil), Sindbad, Paris, 1979, p. 72
ka rihi shihi,
wa ghayma dajni.
Wine of jar bright,|
sun of black night,
tear of the eyes,
wine of Paradise!
Sun globe of yore,
of a Persian
cast into prison!
I saw a savage
come from my village:
the jar he struck
with one blow he cracked.
Forth burst the wine
aged in the jar.
of wormwood in flower,
free drinkers crafted,
under skies a-glower.
An evil brew
This wineboy pours
water from rain
with wine entrained.
He flashes a wink,
a lethal drink!
as he saunters
your mind wanders...
Go to Abu Nuwás' page.