MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! ! On Being A Poet

When Hafiz
sang the poetry in his heart
in the beautiful gardens of Shiraz

they said his voice was like
pouring light into a cup
when the soul is thirsty

so no-one wrote it down; for
the page does not always sing;
better now, to seek out an old woman
who had heard Hafiz when she was young,
ask her to speak those verses
as she remembered them

or even to ask her grandchild
who remembered the light
of his voice in her grandmother’s eyes.

Because Hafiz
never saw anyone
who is not God

he called God sometimes Friend,
sometimes Beloved,
or Sweet Uncle, Generous Merchant,
The Immediate One,
The Problem Giver,
The Problem Solver, or
The Clever Rascal.

Because Hafiz
never saw anywhere
which is not God

he gave God’s address as
sometimes the holes in the roof,
or the cracks in the walls,
or even the back door
of a favourite pub

where God is the dancer,
the musician, the wine,
the beautiful companion.

Hafiz knew
we need poets
to bring rest and refreshment
because separation from God
is the hardest work in the world.

So don’t do a thing;
just rest there, and
we’ll bring you what you need.

*

[To Daniel Ladinsky, translator of 'Hafiz',
Shams-ud-din Muhammad,
c.1320-1389]

User Rating: 5,0 / 5 ( 1 votes ) 2

Comments (2)

sometimes the holes in the roof, or the cracks in the walls, or even the back door of a favourite pub Lovely imagery here... makes me smile... makes me pine for my favourite back door of the pub... God's address indeed! Loved it...
lovely michael, thanks for this.