The God who only knows four words
Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don'ts,
Not the God who ever does anything weird.
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
"Come dance with Me."
I sometimes forget
that I was created for Joy.
My mind is too busy.
My Heart is too heavy
for me to remember
that I have been
called to dance
the Sacred dance of life.
I was created to smile
To be lifted up
And to lift others up.
O’ Sacred One
Untangle my feet
from all that ensnares.
Free my soul.
That we might
and that our dancing
might be contagious.
Deepening The Wonder
Death is a favour to us,
But our scales have lost their balance.
The impermanence of the body
Should give us great clarity,
Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes
Of this mysterious existence we share
And are surely just traveling through.
If I were in the Tavern tonight,
Hafiz would call for drinks
And as the Master poured, I would be reminded
That all I know of life and myself is that
We are just a mid-air flight of golden wine
Between His Pitcher and His Cup.
If I were in the Tavern tonight,
I would buy freely for everyone in this world
Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty
Of time and space cannot endure very long.
Death is a favour to us,
But our minds have lost their balance.
The miraculous existence and impermanence of Form
Always makes the illuminated ones
Laugh and Sing.
Last night, as half asleep I dreaming lay,
Half naked came she in her little shift,
With tilted glass, and verses on her lips;
Narcissus-eyes all shining for the fray,
Filled full of frolic to her wine-red lips,
Warm as a dewy rose, sudden she slips
Into my bed – just in her little shift.
Said she, half naked, half asleep, half heard,
With a soft sigh betwixt each lazy word,
‘Oh my old lover, do you sleep or wake!’
And instant I sat upright for her sake,
And drank whatever wine she poured for me –
Wine of the tavern, or vintage it might be
Of Heaven’s own vine: he surely were a churl
Who refused wine poured out by such a girl,
A double traitor he to wine and love.
Go to, thou puritan! the gods above
Ordained this wine for us, but not for thee;
Drunkards we are by a divine decree,
Yea, by the special privilege of heaven
Foredoomed to drink and foreordained forgiven.
Ah! HAFIZ, you are not the only man
Who promised penitence and broke down after;
For who can keep so hard a promise, man,
With wine and woman brimming o’er with laughter!
O knotted locks, filled like a flower with scent,
How have you ravished this poor penitent!
Translation Richard Le Gallienne
Love seemed a simple game
When I encountered it …. but then
The difficulties came!
The breeze brings from her hair,
Such blood wells up in lovers’ hearts,
Such suffering and despair….
At love’s stage, in my heart?
When every instant now the bell
Cries: “Load up, to depart!”
Should dye your prayer mat … dye it!
Pilgrims should know each stage’s rule
And seek to satisfy it.
The whirlpool’s fearsome roar
What can they know of our distress
Who watch us from the shore?
It’s ruined my good name –
The secret ’s out, and everywhere
Men talk about my shame.
You cannot hope to find
The One you’re looking for until
You leave the world behind.
Alas, my secret pain, the world is soon to know
That we may visit the friend we so dearly prize
Friend! Goodness to friends is a trait to pursue!
'Saki! Bring wine! Come to life! O drunken throng! '
So, seek - at least - to cheer up this dervish's face
'Love to every friend and civility to every foe.'
Should you not approve it, seek my fate to change
Tastes much sweeter than a maiden kiss to me
This alchemy of life can beggar to Croesus turn
Adamant melts like wax under the beloved's touch
Everything in Darab's kingdom reflected in its mold
Saki! Hasten and give this word to pious men of sense
O upright Master! Hold us innocent of this foul
Nam de touwtjes in handen en stal mijn hart;
Ik geef Samarkand en Bokhara voor die
Hindoe schoonheidsvlek waar ze mij steeds mee tart.
O minstreel, breng me het lot, mij goed gezind.
Het aangezicht van mijn Geliefde flonkert in mijn kelk,
Je kunt haast niet bevatten waarom ik de wijn omhels.
Eeuwig leeft hij wiens hart voor de Liefde is ontwaakt
Zo zullen de Eeuwigheidsboeken mijn balans hebben opgemaakt.
King of the world is my slave on such a day in such a place.
Bring no candles to this, our festive feast, tonight
Full moon is pale beside the light of my lover's face.
Drinking of wine, our creed has sanctified
Yet without you, drinking wine is disgrace.
My ears only hear the song of the harp and the reed
My eyes see your ruby lips, and the cup chase.
Keep perfumes away from our feast tonight
The fragrance of your hair, our feast will grace.
Speak not to me of sweetness of candy and sugar;
Since my lips, sweetness of your lips, did once trace.
Your treasures are hidden in the ruins of my heart
And my path to the tavern has now become sacred space.
Speak not of disgrace; that's my fame and my base
And fame and high place, I despise and debase.
Drunk and disconcerted and demented and deceived
Show me one who's not, within our town and our race.
Fault not the pious one, because he, also, like us,
Is seeking love and grace, in his own way, at his own pace.
Hafiz, wine in hand, always your lover embrace
'Cause flowers and joy fill this festive time and space.
Whoever had found his way to the tavern’s block
Would have to be insane if on another door knock
Fate never crowned any with drunkenness, except
The one who considered this the highest luck.
Whoever finds his way into the tavern
From the bounty of the wine, temple’s secrets unlock.
He who read the secrets of this wine,
Found the secrets in the dust upon which we walk.
Only seek the obedience of the insane
In our creed, logic and sanity we mock.
My heart asked not for longevity of beauty
Because sadly this is the way of the clock.
From the pain of the fading morning star at dawn
I cried so much that I saw the moon, though Venus my eyes struck.
Who talks about the story of Hafiz and his cup?
Why would the king know where the policemen flock?
Praise the King who considers the nine heavens
A mere crevice in His courtly block.