A lover

'A lover', said the hoopoe, now their guide,
'Is one in whom all thoughts of self have died;
Those who renounce the self deserve that name;
Righteous or sinful, they are all the same!
Your heart is thwarted by the self's control;
Destroy its hold on you and reach your goal.
Give up this hindrance, give up mortal sight,
For only then can you approach the light.
If you are told: "Renounce our Faith," obey!
The self and Faith must both be tossed away;
Blasphemers call such action blasphemy --
Tell them that love exceeds mere piety.
Love has no time for blasphemy or faith,
Nor lovers for the self, that feeble wraith.


Category : Attar - Comments :   (0)

All who,reflecting see

All who, reflecting as reflected see (from The Conference of the Birds

All who, reflecting as reflected see
Themselves in Me, and Me in them; not Me,
But all of Me that of contracted Eye
Is comprehensive of Infinity;
Nor yet Themselves: no Selves, but of The All
Fractions, from which they split and wither fall.
As Water lifted from the Deep, again
Falls back in individual Drops of Rain,
Then melts into the Universal Main.
All you have been, and seen, and done, and thought,
Not You but I, have seen and been and wrought:
I was the Sin that from Myself rebell'd;
I the Remorse that tow'rd Myself compell'd;
I was the Tajidar who led the Track;
I was the little Briar that pull'd you back:
Sin and Contrition -- Retribution owed,
And cancell'd -- Pilgrim, Pilgrimage, and Road,
Was but Myself toward Myself; and Your
Arrival but Myself at my own Door;
     Who in your Fraction of Myself behold
     Myself within the Mirror Myself hold
     To see Myself in, and each part of Me
     That sees himself, though drown'd, shall ever see.
     Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw,
     And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
     Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide
     Return, and back into your Sun subside.'

Category : Attar - Comments :   (0)

The angels have bowed down to you and drowned (from The Conference of the Birds)

The angels have bowed down to you and drowned (from The Conference of the Birds)
The angels have bowed down to you and drowned
Your soul in Being, past all plummet's sound --
Do not despise yourself, for there is none
Who could with you sustain comparison;
Do not torment yourself -- your soul is All,
Your body but a fleeting particle.
This All will clarify, and in its light
Each particle will shine, distinctly bright --
As flesh remains an agent of the soul,
You soul's an agent of the sacred Whole.
But "part" and "whole" must disappear at last;
The Way is one, and number is surpassed.
A hundred thousand clouds above you press;
Their rain is pure, unending happiness;
And when the desert blooms with flowers, their scent
And beauty minister to your content;
The prayers of all the angels, all they do,
All their obedience, God bestows on you.

Category : Attar - Comments :   (0)

Look -- I do nothing; He performs all deeds (from The Conference of the Birds)


Look -- I do nothing; He performs all deeds (from The Conference of the Birds)


Look -- I do nothing; He performs all deeds
And He endures the pain when my heart bleeds.
When He draws near and grants you and audience
Should you hang back in tongue-tied diffidence?
When will your cautious heart consent to go
Beyond the homely boundaries you know?
O slave, if He should show His love to you,
Love which His deeds perpetually renew,
You will be nothing, you will disappear --
Leave all to Him who acts, and have no fear.
If there is any "you", if any wraith
Of self persists, you've strayed outside our faith.

Category : Attar - Comments :   (0)


Loghman of Sarrakhs cried: "Dear God, behold
Your faithful servant, poor, bewildered, old--
An old slave is permitted to go free;
I've spent my life in patient loyalty,
I'm bent with grief, my black hair's turned to snow;
Grant manumission, Lord, and let me go."
A voice replied: "When you have gained release
from mind and thought, your slavery will cease;
You will be free when these two disappear."
He said: "Lord, it is You whom I revere;
What are the mind and all its ways to me?"
And left them there and then -- in ecstasy
He danced and clapped his hands and boldly cried:
"Who am I now? The slave I was has died;
What's freedom, servitude, and where are they?
Both happiness and grief have fled away;
I neither own nor lack all qualities;
My blindness looks on secret mysteries --
I know not whether You are I, I You;
I lose myself in You, there is no two."


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I long for a



I long for a kind sentiment from the Friend
I’ve sinned and hope for Her pardon in the end.
I know She will overlook my crimes, though she is
Beautiful-faced, on her angelic nature I can depend.
I cried such that whomever passed me by
Was in awe of the stream of my tears descend.
Naught is that mouth there, of it I see no sign
And there is that fair hair, yet knowing transcends.
I see her image in my mind and can’t wash out
In spite of all the tears that my eyes spend.
With no talk of your hair, my heart is just dead.
With your enchanting hair, which talk can I defend?
A life time has passed since I smelled your hair
That aroma, in the nose of my heart has since remained.
Hafiz your perturbed state is bad, yet
Perturbation over Beloved’s hair is a good trend.

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, Ca
March 18, 2004

Category : Hafiz - Comments :   (0)

You are drunk



and i'm intoxicated
again and again
i told you
drink less
a cup or two

i know in this city
no one is sober
one is worse than the other
one is frenzied and
the other gone mad

come on my friend
step into the tavern of ruins
taste the sweetness of life
in the company of another friend

here you'll see
at every corner
someone intoxicated
and the cup-bearer
makes her rounds

i went out of my house
a drunkard came to me
someone whose glance
uncovered a hundred
houses in paradise

rocking and rolling
he was a sail
with no anchor but
he was the envy of all those sober ones
remaining on the shore

where are you from i asked
he smiled in mockery and said
one half from the east
one half from the west
one half made of water and earth
one half made of heart and soul
one half staying at the shores and
one half nesting in a pearl

i begged
take me as your friend
i am your next of kin
he said i recognize no kin
among strangers
i left my belongings and
entered this tavern
i only have a chest
full of words
but can't utter
a single one

"RUMI, Fountain of Fire", ghazal number 2309,
translated 22 September 1991 by Nader Khalili,
Burning Gate Press, Los Angeles, 1994.

Category : Rumi - Comments :   (0)

The blocked road


The Blocked Road

I wish I knew what you wanted.
You block the road and won't give me rest.
You pull my lead-rope one way, then the other.
You act cold, my darling!
Do you hear what I say?

Will this night of talking ever end?
Why am I still embarrassed and timid
about you? You are thousands.
You are one.
Quiet, but most articulate.

Your name is Spring.
Your name is wine.
Your name is the nausea
that comes from wine!

You are my doubting
and the lightpoints
in my eyes.

You are every image, and yet
I'm homesick for you.

Can I get there?
Where the deer pounces on the lion,
where the one I'm after's
after me?

This drum and these words keep pounding!
Let them both smash through their coverings
into silence.

-- Version by Coleman Barks,
   from a translation by A.J. Arberry,
  "Like This", Maypop, 1990



Category : Rumi - Comments :   (0)

The bright moon







The bright moon reflects your radiant face
Your snowcapped cheekbones supply water of grace
My heavy heart desires an audience with your face
Come forward or must return, your command I will embrace.
Nobody for good measures girded your fields
Such trades no one in their right mind would chase.
Our dormant fate will never awake, unless
You wash its face and shout brace, brace!
Send a bouquet of your face with morning breeze
Perhaps inhaling your scent, your fields we envision & trace.
May you live fulfilled and long, O wine-bearer of this feast
Though our cup was never filled from your jug or your vase.
My heart is reckless, please, let Beloved know
Beware my friend, my soul your soul replace.
O God, when will my fate and desires hand in hand
Bring me to my Beloved hair, in one place?
Step above the ground, when you decide to pass us by
On this path lie bloody, the martyrs of human race.
Hafiz says a prayer, listen, and say amen
May your sweet wine daily pour upon my lips and my face.
O breeze tell us about the inhabitants of city of Yazd
May the heads of unworthy roll as a ball in your polo race.
Though we are far from friends, kinship is near
We praise your goodness and majestic mace.
O Majesty, may we be touched by your grace
I kiss and touch the ground that is your base.

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, Ca
January 17, 2000

ای فروغ ماه حـسـن از روی رخـشان شـما

Category : Hafiz - Comments :   (0)

Where is sensible

Where is sensible action, & my insanity whence?
See the difference, it is from where to whence.
From the church & hypocritical vestments, I take offence
Where is the abode of the Magi, & sweet wine whence?
For dervishes, piety and sensibility make no sense
Where is sermon and hymn, & the violin's music whence.
Upon seeing our friend, our foes put up their defense
Where is a dead lantern, & the candle of the sun whence?
My eye-liner is the dust of your door and fence
Where shall I go, tell me, you command me whence?
Take your focus from your chin to the trap on the path hence,
Where to O heart, in such hurry you go whence?
May his memory of union be happy and intense
Where are your amorous gestures, & your reproach whence?
Make not restlessness & insomnia, Hafiz's sentence
What is rest, which is patience, and sleep whence?

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, Ca
Februaru 1, 2000

Category : Hafiz - Comments :   (0)
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