Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘poetry’

The Beauty of Death

From Rumi: Poet and Mystic 1207-1273. Translated from the Persian with Introduction and Notes by Reynold A. Nicholson (1950).

The Beauty of Death

He who deems death to be lovely as Joseph gives up his soul in ransom for it; he who deems it to be like the wolf turns back from the path of salvation.

Every one’s death is of the same quality as himself, my lad: to the enemy of God an enemy, to the friend of God a friend.

In the eyes of the Turcoman the mirror is fair; in the eyes of the Ethiopian it is dark as an Ethiopian.

Your fear of death is really fear of yourself: see what it is from which you are fleeing!

‘Tis your own ugly face, not the visage of Death: your spirit is like the tree, and death like the leaf.

It has grown from you, whether it be good or evil: all your hidden thoughts, foul or fair, are born from yourself.

If you are wounded by thorns, you planted them; and if you are clad in satin and silk, you were the spinner.

Know that the act is not of the same complexion as its result; a service rendered is not homogenous with the fragment given in return.

The laborer’s wage is dissimilar to his work: the latter is the accident, while the former is the substance.

The latter is wholly toil and effort and sweat, the former is wholly silver and gold and viands.

When the worshiper has sown a prostration or genuflection here, it becomes the Garden of the Blessed hereafter.

When praise of God has flown from his mouth, the Lord of the Daybreak fashions it into a fruit of Paradise.

Trying To Wear Pants

From The Gift: Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master. Translations by Daniel Ladinsky.

Trying to Wear Pants

You are
A royal fish
Trying to wear pants
In a country as foreign
As land.

Now there’s a problem
Worth discussing.

Your separation from God has ripened.
Now fall like a golden fruit
Into my hand.

All your wounds from craving love
Exist because of heroic deeds.

Now trade in those medals;
That courage will help this world.

One needs to love those they have yet to love
To stand near the Friend.

Why
Be a royal fish
Trying to wear pants?

Hafiz,
What are you talking about?
Has something happened to your once
Brilliant
Mind?

A Literary Seduction

A LITERARY SEDUCTION

Catching sight of it across the room,
pushing desks and chairs aside, I circled the stacks slowly, edging closer to the object of my literary desire.

Acting as if I didn’t care, my sleeve brushed invitingly against its spine.
Not succumbing to the obvious temptation I turned,
casually trailing my fingertips across the leather bindings on the shelf below.

Dizzy with discovery I slipped and fell against the stacks.
To my delight, the prized edition I longed for fell before me,
opening to reveal its fullest form.
“Prose! Prose!” my heart pounded with renewed anticipation.

Rushing to its side I knelt possessively.
“Too soon. Too soon.” I whispered into its creamy wanton pages.
Resisting the urge to devour its succulent stories,
tenderly closing its velvet covered hardness,
I held it tightly to my trembling body.

Spying a private corner behind the ferns I made my way to darker recesses.
Drawing the magic to my lips, breathing infinite possibilities,
I slowly lifted the cover and caressed the fly page.
The table of contents undressed its willful intentions
as I fingered through the waiting pages of blissful madness.
Wetness willed its way down my aching body.
I swallowed hard as my mind prepared for an invasion of ecstasy.

Subtle framing grabbed my soft tender throat,
as the turbulent dialogue licked me speechless.
The plot thickened with fully developed characters.
Metaphor wrapped its meaning around my memory,
and the rhythm rocked me head to toe, moving in three-four time.
I tangoed with luscious adjectives as the verbs drummed a gyrating beat.

Is this the middle or the end?
Did I miss the story in the first line, is it coming now, or is it all a fake?
“Don’t lead me on.” I cried.
“Take me to the edge, take me now!”

The words smiled cunningly.
I laughed at my seduction,
and made plans to come again.

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