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SEPEHRI, Sohrab


Oasis In A Moment

If you are coming to me,

I am beyond Oblivion.

Beyond Oblivion is a place

Where dandelions run into the veins of air,

Bringing news of a faraway blooming bush.

The sands bear the footprints of delicate horsemen

Mounting the hilltop of poppies.

Beyond Oblivion, the umbrella of desire is open.

As soon as thirst blows onto the root of a leaf

Rain sings songs of freshness.

One is lonely here.

Where an elm's shadow streams into eternity.


If you are coming to me

Approach gently, softly lest you crack

The fragile china of my solitude!


Beyond Presence

Tonight

Will journey

To the realm of words

In a strange dream.

The wind will murmur something.

An apple will fall,

Roll over the graceful earth

And traverse the distant home of night.

Illusions will cave in.

Eyes

Will see the sad vegetable mind.

Ivies will entwine to watch the grace of God.

Secrets will emerge.

The roots of piety will wither away.

The murmuring waters

Will give light

To the dark roads.

The mirror will understand with its heart.


Tonight

A friendly breeze

Will agitate roots of meanings.

Wonder will flap its wings.


Deep in the night, an insect

Will gnaw

At the green portion of solitude.

Morning will fall

Into the word of morning.


(Translated by Ismail SALAMI)


The Footsteps of Water

…..
I went to the party thrown by the world:

I, to the field of grief,

I, to the garden of mysticism,

I, to the illuminated veranda of knowledge, went.

I climbed up the stairs of religion.

To the end of the alleyway of doubt,

To the cool air of self-sufficiency,

To the wet night of love and affection.

I went to see someone who was at the other side of love.

I went, I went until women,

Until the lantern of pleasure,

Until the silence of desire,

Until the flapping sound of the wings of loneliness.

…..
I saw a train that was carrying brilliance.

I saw a train that was carrying knowledge and so torrentially it went.

I saw a train that was carrying politics (and so emptily it went.)

I saw a train that was carrying seeds of lotus and the song of canaries.

And an airplane, which on that height of thousands of feet,

through its windows the soil was visible:

the topknot of hoopoes,

The spots of a butterfly’s wings,

A frog’s reflection in a pond,

And the passage of a fly from the alleyway of loneliness.

The clear desire of a sparrow, when from a plane tree it comes toward the ground.

And the maturation of the Sun.

And the beautiful love making of a doll with the morning.


Stairs that ascended to the greenhouse of lust.

Stairs that descended to the cellar of alcohol.

Stairs that ran to the Law of Corruption of Red Roses

And toward the understanding of Mathematics of Life,

Stairs that ran to the roof of enlightenment,

Stairs that ran to the platform of manifestation.

…..
Love was visible, waves were visible,

Snow was visible, friendship was visible.

Words were visible.

Water was visible, and the reflection of things in water.

The cool shade of cells in the heat of blood.

The moist side of life,

The east of sorrow in the human heart.

The season of drifting in the alley of women.

The scent of solitude in the alley of seasons.

…..
The seed’s journey to flowering.

The ivy’s journey from this house to that house.

The moon’s journey into the pond.

The eruption of flowers of regret from the soil.

The falling of young vine from the wall.

The raining of dewdrops on the bridge of sleep.

The leaping of joy from the ditch of death.

The passing of events behind words.


The battle of a pit with the light’s desire.

The battle of a stair with the long leg of the Sun.

The battle of solitude with a melody.

The beautiful battle of pears with the emptiness of a basket.

The bloody battle of pomegranates with the jaws.

The battle of Nazis with branches of delicacy.

The battle of a parrot and eloquence.

The battle of the forehead with the coldness of prayer-stones.

…..
The murder of a ratchet on the mattress in the afternoon.

The murder of a story at the entrance of the alley of sleep.

The murder of a worry by the instruction of songs.

The murder of moonlight by the command of neon lights.

The murder of an oak tree by the hands of government.

The murder of a depressed poet by a chimonanthus.

…..
I’m a native of Kashan, but

My city is not Kashan.

My city is lost.

I, with endurance. I, with fever,

Have built a house on the other side of nighttime.

In this home I am close to the humid anonymity of grass.

I hear the sound of the breathing of the garden.

And the sound of darkness, when it drops from a leaf.

And the sound of brightness, coughing from behind a tree,

The sneezing of water from every crack of rock,

The dripping of swallows from the ceiling of spring.

And the clear sound of opening and closing of the window of loneliness.

And the pure sound of the mysterious moulting of love,

The concentration of the passion for soaring in wings

And the cracking of the soul’s self-restraint.

I hear the footsteps of longing,

And the methodical footsteps of blood in the veins,

The pulsing of the dawn of the pigeons’ well,

The beating of the heart of Friday night,


The flowing of carnations through thoughts,

The pure neighing of truth from afar.

I can hear the sound of the blowing of matter,

And the sound of the shoe of faith in the alley of excitement.

And the sound of rainfall on the wet eyelids of love,

On the sad music of adolescence,

On the song of pomegranate orchards.

And the sound of the shattering of the bottle of joy at night,

The tearing of the paper of beauty,

And the wind filling and emptying the cup of nostalgia.

…..
I am content with an apple

And with smelling a chamomile bush.

I with a mirror—a pure connection—am content.

I will not laugh if a balloon bursts,

And I will not laugh if a philosophy halves the Moon.

I know the sound of the flapping of a quail’s wings,

The colors of a bustard’s belly, the footprints of a mountain goat.

I know well where rhubarbs grow,

When starlings come, when partridges sing, when falcons die,

What the Moon is in the dream of a desert,

Death in the stem of desire,

And the raspberries of pleasure, in the jaws of love-making.


Life is a lovely ritual.

Life has wings as vast as death,

It has a leap the size of love.

Life is not something that, on the windowsill of habit, to be left forgotten by you and me.

Life is the rapture of a hand that reaps.

Life is the first black fig in the acrid mouth of summer.

Life is the dimensions of a tree from the eyes of an insect.

Life is the experience that a bat has in the dark.

Life is the homesickness that a migrating bird feels.

Life is the whistle of a train that turns through the dream of a bridge.

Life is observing a garden from the obstructed windows of an airplane.

It is the news of the launch of a rocket into space,

Touching the loneliness of the Moon,

The notion of smelling a flower on another planet.

…..
Wherever I am, so let me be,

The sky is mine.

The window, thinking, air, love, the Earth are mine.

What importance does it have then,

Sometimes if they grow,

Mushrooms of nostalgia?

…..
Let us taste brilliance.

Weigh the night of a village, the sleep of a deer.

Let us feel the warmth of a stork’s nest,

Tread not on the Law of Lawn,

Loosen the knot of tasting in the vineyard.

And open our mouthes if the Moon emerges.

And not say that night is a bad thing.

And not say that the shining moon is unaware of a garden’s eyesight.

…..
Behind our backs there isn’t a thriving space.

Behind our backs no bird sings.

Behind our backs no wind blows.

Behind our backs the green window of poplars is closed.

Behind our backs dust has settled over the whirligigs.

Behind our backs what there is is the weariness of history.

Behind our backs the memory of waves throws cold shells of silence on the coast.

…..
Let us curse not the Moonlight if we have fever,

(Sometimes I have seen in fever, the moon descends,

The hand can touch the ceiling of heaven.

I have noticed that the goldfinch sings better.

Sometimes a wound that I have had under my food,

Has taught me the ups and downs of the ground.

Sometimes in my sickbed the size of a flower has multiplied,

And increased it has, the diameter of an orange, the radius of a lantern.)

And let us not fear death.

(Death is not the end of the pigeon.

Death is not a cricket’s inversion.

Death flows in the soul of acacias.

Death has a seat in the pleasant climate of thinking.

Death in the spirit of the village’s night speaks of morning.

Death with a bunch of grapes comes into the mouth.

Death sings in the red larynx of the throat.

Death is responsible for the beauty of a butterfly’s wings.

Death sometimes picks basil.

Death sometimes drinks vodka.

Sometimes it is in the shade watching us.

And we all know,

The lungs of pleasure, are full of the oxygen of death.)

…..
Translated from Persian by Ikram Hawramani, S lêmanî, Iraq, 2008.