Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Walking Out of the Treasury Building"


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Walking Out of the Treasury Building

Lord, the air smells good today, straight from the
mysteries within the inner courts of God.
A grace like new clothes thrown
across the garden, free medicine for everybody.
The trees in their prayer, the birds in praise,
the first blue violets kneeling.
Whatever came from Being is caught up in being,
drunkenly forgetting the way back.

One man turns and sees his birth
pulling separate from the others.
He fills with light, and colors change here.
He drinks it in, and everyone is wonderfully
drunk, shining with his beauty.
I can't really say that I feel the pain of others,
when the whole world seems so sweet.

Face to face with a lion, I grow leonine.
Walking out of the Treasury Building, I feel generous.
Anyone still sober in this weather must be afraid
of people, afraid what they'll say.
Enough talking. If we eat too much greenery,
we're going to smell like vegetables.

-- Ghazal (Ode) 805
Version by Coleman Barks
"Open Secret,"
Threshold Books, 1984

The media:

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