What an indictment of our world
that love of freedom
and the desire of escape
from oppression and hate
has to be called “Revolutionary.”
Isn’t this normal? Isn’t this the way
it should always be? Free
to do what we want, free
to think what we want, free
to be what we want, free
to love who and how we want:
This is basic, bedrock. A foundation
of life. It is true
that life can be tough
and things aren’t always what they seem
but this, this insane atrocity
of nature doesn’t even deserve mention
in the pages of our bloody history
books, films, and fictions, much less
become reality. But it has
and worse yet, it could again.
This then is the reason
for revolution. We need revolutions
in hearts and minds and souls.
We need a revolution inside
Mother Earth herself, alive
with eternal love and respect
and sacred duty to each other:
she will give birth
to our ever-growing, ever-shining
redeemed and hopeful future.
It is a revolution
against the horrors of death itself.
by Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)
Original Language English
The sun once glimpsed God’s true nature
And has never been the same.
Thus that radiant sphere
Constantly pours its energy
Upon this earth
As does He from behind
With a wonderful God like that
Why isn’t everyone a screaming drunk?
Hafiz’s guess is this:
Any thought that you are better or less
Than another man
Breaks the wine
|— from The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master, by Daniel Ladinsky|
English version by Kabir Helminski & Refik Algan
Original Language Turkish
Those who became complete
didn’t live this life in hypocrisy,
didn’t learn the meaning of things
by reading commentaries.
Reality is an ocean; the Law is a ship.
Many have never left the ship,
never jumped into the sea.
They might have come to Worship
but they stopped at rituals.
They never knew or entered the Inside.
Those who think the Four Books
were meant to be talked about,
who have only read explanations
and never entered meaning,
are really in sin.
Yunus means “true friend”
for one whose journey has begun.
Until we transform our Names,
we haven’t found the Way.
|— from The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems of Yunus Emre, Translated by Kabir Helminski / Translated by Refik Algan|
Let your senses and bodies stretch out
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
Upon our intimate assembly.
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Are sitting around a fire
Into the Great Circle inside of
There’s a shadow on the window
In stenciled definition
Shaped in the outline of a rose.
The shadow’s of a cane
With a flower at its tip,
Leaves and thorns
All along the length of it.
On the dusty window pane.
Real as a shadow
But not as a rose
It moves although never touched
By the wind
Outside, the real rose
Glows in the morning sun.
Last Days of December
Time to be tranquil now
no longer the consonant prattle of leaves
in tussle with vowels of the wind,
whatever must fall
to the brumal ground,
flower by flower,
seed by seed.
Colors linger in the sky,
of rose bouquets and tiger lilies,
and the poetry of April crouches
in fetal position
within the uterus of vaporous
snow clouds —
Time to be still.
by D. G. Vachal © 2012
*** Photography by Paolo De Faveri