Hafiz, a 14th Century Sufi poet
A Hard Decree

on the Tavern wall
A hard decree for all of love's inmates
Which read:
If your heart cannot find a joyful work
The jaws of this world
Will probably
Grab hold of your

His Ballet Company

Innocently watches the way
one manages their body
And silver.
One's care of form
Is as

Audition to
The Firmament's Ballet

It Felt Love

Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its
We all remain

from "The Gift"
(poems by Hafiz)

When You Can Endure

When the words stop
And you can endure the silence
That reveals your heart's pain
of emptiness
Or that great wrenching-sweet longing,
That is the time to try and listen
To what the Beloved's
Most want

from, The Gift (Page 143)

Forgive the Dream

All your images of winter
I see against your sky.
I understand the wounds
That have not healed in you.
they exist
Because God and love
Have yet to become real enough
to allow you to forgive
The dream.
You still listen to an old alley song
That brings your body pain;
Now chain your ears
To His pacing drum and flute.
Fix your eyes upon
The magnificent arch of His brow
That supports
And allows this universe to expand.
Your hands, feet, and heart are wise
And want to know the warmth
Of a Perfect One's circle.
A true saint
Is an earth in eternal spring.

Inside the veins of a petal
on a blooming redbud tree...

...are hidden worlds
Where Hafiz sometimes
I will spread A Persian carpet there
Woven with light.
We can drink wine
From a gourd I hollowed
And dried on the roof of my house.
I will bring bread I have kneaded
That contains my own
Divine genes
And cheese from a calf I raised.
My love for your Master is such
You can just lean back
And I will feed you
This truth:

Your wounds of love can only heal
When you can forgive
This dream.

from "The Gift" (Page 125)

So Many Gifts

There are so many gifts
Still unopened from your birthday,
there are so many hand-crafted presents
that have been sent to you by God.

The Beloved does not mind repeating,
"Everything I have is also yours."

Please forgive Hafiz and the Friend
if we break into a sweet laughter
when your heart complains of being thirsty
when ages ago
every cell in your soul
capsized forever
into this infinite golden sea.

a lover's pain is like holding one's breath
too long
in the middle of a vital performance,

in the middle of one of Creation's favorite

Indeed, a lover's pain is this sleeping,
this sleeping,
when God just rolled over and gave you
such a big good-morning kiss!

There are so many gifts, my dear,
still unopened from your birthday.

O, there are so many hand-crafted presents
that have been sent to your life
from God.

from, The Gift (Page 67)
Translations by Daniel Ladinsky
Published by Penguin Books Ltd.

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