Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Beloved’s Veil

I have loved Her
   through many veils,
until one morning
   She said to me:
“You will not know
   the sweetest joy
of sorrow for Me
   until the day you
can love Me as if
   you cannot lose Me.
Believe me, love.
   I can never be lost.”

“And yet, Love,
   how many times
have I lost You
   through the veils
I have so adored
   in place of You.
I can neither lose
   nor possess You.
And so in my love
   for lovely veils
I have so often
   lost trace of You.
Not because You
   had left me,
but only because
   had left You.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

Life and Death

Tending to divisions is the work of death.

While life rejoices
in reconciling
the most
joining parts
in harmonious
wholes, moved by
her desire to resemble
the presence of that Oneness
which forever lives beyond life itself.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Who but the foolish lover

Who but the foolish lover
has dared endure
this painful wonder:
the awareness
of being from You,
while living apart from You;
this bittersweet
torment of yearning
for togetherness,
serenely poised
midway between
impossible union
and inescapable separation.

From the Divān of Hāfiẓ (2)

Ghazal 90, ll. 5-6

So that the army
of my sorrow for You
   does not ruin
   my heart’s kingdom,
I have send You
   as hostage
   my precious soul.
Come, O cup-bearer!
The voice of the Unseen
   has told me
   the good news:
“In the sorrow
you bear patiently
   I have sent
   you its remedy.

[my translation]

Monday, June 2, 2014


Really, O friend, what else do you expect,
smashing your heart against marble statues?