Friday, April 19, 2013

[Sunlight] A Man Talking to His House – Ghazal 1134



A Man Talking to His House

I say that no one in this caravan is awake
and that while you sleep, a thief is stealing

the signs and symbols of what you thought
was your life. Now you're angry with me for

telling you this! Pay attention to those who
hurt your feelings telling you the truth.

Giving and absorbing compliments is like
trying to paint on water, that insubstantial.

Here is how a man once talked with his house.
"Please, if you're ever about to collapse,

let me know. " One night without a word the
house fell. "What happened to our agreement?"

The house answered, "Day and night I've been
telling you with cracks and broken boards and

holes appearing like mouths opening. But you
kept patching and filling those with mud, so

proud of your stopgap masonry. You didn't
listen." This house is your body always

saying, I'm leaving; I'm going soon. Don't
hide from the one who knows the secret. Drink

the wine of turning toward God. Don't examine
your urine. Examine instead how you praise,

what you wish for, this longing we've been
given. Fall turns pale light yellow wanting

spring, and spring arrives! Seeds blossom.
Come to the orchard and see what comes

to you, a silent conversation with your soul.

-- Ghazal (Ode) 1134
Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
"The Glance"
Viking-Penguin, 1999




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