In search of the mystic opening was I !

A teacher op’d my eyes,

Touching magically,

Lids numbed by ignorance,

Leading me towards

The gateway to heaven,

The castle of knowledge guarded

By gnostics from centuries.


But suddenly the glitzy world

Enamored a naive me.

Then, in my heart, desire swelled

Thumping at my ribs like

A cresting wave about to crash

And rend my ribcage

With its deafening roar.

Fear arose, blinding me.


I let the mystic’s words disappear,

Choosing the husk instead of kernel.

Like Faust I realised too late,

When blood had congealed;

Desire needed to be caged

Like a Djinn in a cork- stopped glass phial.

Fervently, I cupped my palms in prayer

Invoking light, knowledge

Alchemy and occult  to discipline me.


Then was revealed the magic of Aleph:

The alphabet unfolded universal mysteries,

Opening, arching doorways

 To horizons gleaming distantly.

‘Twas not a book, but my teacher

Who unlocked gateways to


My gaze captured by

Myriad bud-like silences,

Each unfolding truths

Passed down through centuries.

Then I knew for sure, that books

Were mere vessels wise men

Poured their wisdom into.


Time lapsed, disappearing

Into a mere dot of creation.

All dimensions- space, time and

Planes of existence froze.

I looked at my original image

In God’s mirror, transformed by

Divine alchemy.

© Mumtaz N Khorakiwala

  • 02-01-2021

Photograph credit: Justin Leubke

Aleph is the first letter in Semitic and Arabic tradition of knowledge, it is believed to be the gateway to mysteries, as it enables enlightenment as all reading does. 

Reading as an act involves understanding letters and messages but each letter according to scriptures unfolds a secret : so here goes the letter “A”

Indian philosophy emphasizes on the importance of guru shishya, teacher or master helping the student evolve under tutelage.

This poem is a tribute to Borges, Hesse, Metaphysical poets, Marlowe and Tennyson. 


What do you think?


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  1. Every time, I read you, I learn something new. Thank you for that. This is a beautiful poem, though I wouldn’t claim to have understood everything at the first reading itself. Thanks for enlightening me always. God bless your poetry 💚💚💚

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Written by Mumtaz N K

Trainer, reader, littérateur  & wayfarer...many selves wrapped in one physicality

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