Monday, August 08, 2011

[Sunlight] Hamza's Nothing -- Ghazal 2041



"Hamza's Nothing"

A moth flying into the flames says
with its wingfire, "Try this." The wick

with its knotted neck broken tells you
the same. A candle as it diminishes

explains, "Gathering more and more is
not the way. Burn, become light

and heat and help melt." The ocean
sits in the sand letting its lap

fill with pearls and shells, then empty.
The bitter salt taste hums, "This."

The phoenix gives up on good-and-bad,
flies to nest on Mount Qaf, no more

burning and rising from ash. It sends
out one message. The rose purifies

its face, drops the soft petals, shows
its thorn, and points. Wine abandons

thousands of famous names, the vintage
years and delightful bouquets, to run

wild and anonymous through your brain.
Empty, the flute closes its eyes

to Hamza's nothing. Everything begs
with the silent rocks for you to be

flung out like light over this plain,
the presence of Shams-i Tabriz.

-- Ghazal (Ode) 2041
Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
"The Glance"
Viking-Penguin, 1999




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