Sunday, November 27, 2016


Listen to how this flute is telling 

its story of separations,  complaining 

To tell you the tale, of the pain of longing 

I first need a chest in pieces from yearning 

Whoever is left far from their roots

Will seek to regain the day they connect

I joined and I moaned with many a group

Mingled with both the happy and sad 

Friendship they sought For I shared what they thought 

But they never did seek the deep secrets I keep 

My secrets are not far from my cry

But they lack discernment the ear and eye 

Monday, November 14, 2016

I serve the Moon -- say no more!

I am a servant of the Moon
Speak to me of nothing more !
پیش من جز سخن شمع و شکر هیچ مگو
In my presence speak of light
Speak of sweetness and nothing more!
سخن رنج مگو جز سخن گنج مگو
Don't tell about your problems,
speak to me only of treasures!
ور از این بیخبری رنج مبر هیچ مگو
And don't worry if they think
you've out of touch -- say no more!
دوش دیوانه شدم عشق مرا دید و بگفت
Last night I went insane;
love saw me and called out:
آمدم نعره مزن جامه مدر هیچ مگو
Don’t scream: I’m on my way
Don’t wring your garments! Say no more!
گفتم ای عشق من از چیز دگر میترسم
I said, my Beloved, this fear is for something else ...
گفت آن چیز دگر نیست دگر هیچ مگو
Love said: there is nothing else, any more -- say no more!
من به گوش تو سخنهای نهان خواهم گفت
I will whisper secret words in your ear
سر بجنبان که بلی جز که به سر هیچ مگو
Nod if you agree, gesture only, say no more!
قمری جان صفتی در ره دل پیدا شد
Along the way of the heart a beautiful
life-giving Moon appeared for me
در ره دل چه لطیف است سفر هیچ مگو
Travelling the way of the heart
is a heart-warming journey  - say no more!
گفتم ای دل چه مهست این دل اشارت میکرد
I said to my heart "what kind of Moon are you ?" and it replied
که نه اندازه توست این بگذر هیچ مگو
This is unfathomable for you, move on and say no more!
گفتم این روی فرشتهست عجب یا بشر است
I asked in awe: “Is this the face of an Angel or a human"?
گفت این غیر فرشتهست و بشر هیچ مگو
My Moonheart said "this is neither Angel or Man, say no more..."
گفتم این چیست بگو زیر و زبر خواهم شد
Please tell me what it is, I am uprooted in confusion, I begged
گفت میباش چنین زیر و زبر هیچ مگو
He replied "you can be uprooted and confused, but say no more!"
ای نشسته تو در این خانه پرنقش و خیال
You who reside in this house of thoughts and images
خیز از این خانه برو رخت ببر هیچ مگو
Get up and leave, take all your belongings, say no more!
گفتم ای دل پدری کن نه که این وصف خداست
I begged my Divine Heart: show me your fatherly kindness
this is not how I expected Divinity to treat me!
گفت این هست ولی جان پدر هیچ مگو
He replied, "my dear son, you are right, but say no more!"

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Under the Moonlight

Last night, under the moonlight, I spotted a band, in the distance, all drunk 
I saw infants drunk, the old drunk, the lute player,
all drunk

The moon had given the sky, a cup from that vat of wine
The moon was drunk, the sun drunk, shadows and light,
all drunk

When that fragrance of wine, reached the garden
the grass went drunk, the stream went drunk, the branches, vines and grapes, all drunk

Heaven drank a cup given by the Winegiver of the Covenant
so the heavens were drunk, the earth went drunk, limbo and all beings in them, all drunk

music came from a king's feast, serving half warmed wine making
the crown drunk, the throne drunk, the Emperors,
all drunk

a group of Sufis sat deep in the state of Transcendence
their outer coats drunk, their shirts drunk, their belongings drunk,
all drunk

on another side the Angels gathered, Gabriel was the Winegiver
the heavens went drunk, the trees in heaven, judgment day and the herald,
all drunk

Shams [my Master] was affected by such a cup
So he must be drunk; and as a rule, drunks aren’t responsible, for secrets they divulge!

Monday, August 29, 2016

No one can be sober around you

No one is sober around you

Jalaledin Rumi, Ghazal 390, Book of Shams
Translated by Ali Arsanjani

Charioteer! Behold the horses lined up, neck to neck, all  drunk
The chief drunk, the master drunk, friends drunk, strangers drunk, All drunk

Gardener, thunder drums boom forth from clouds dripping wine
The garden drunk, the meadow drunk, the rosebud drunk, the thorn drunk, all drunk

Heavens, how many rotations have you made for the elements?
Water drunk, the wind drunk, the earth drunk, fire drunk, all drunk

With outer signs as these, don’t ask about our inner state
The soul drunk, the mind drunk, earth drunk, secrets, all drunk

Don’t try to govern for a moment become dirt so you can see
Earth Particle by particle made drunk by the Ultimate Governor

Don’t be offended if departing drunks mistake you for a drum and beat upon you,
With a Winegiver, and Musician such as these, don’t expect them drunks to exit quietly

Shams my Master, no one around you is sober anymore
Infidels and Faithful equally drunk, the pious and drunks are equally drunk

ساربانا اشتران بین سر به سر قطار مست
میر مست و خواجه مست و یار مست اغیار مست
باغبانا رعد مطرب ابر ساقی گشت و شد
باغ مست و راغ مست و غنچه مست و خار مست
آسمانا چند گردی گردش عنصر ببین
آب مست و باد مست و خاک مست و نار مست
حال صورت این چنین و حال معنی خود مپرس
روح مست و عقل مست و خاک مست اسرار مست
رو تو جباری رها کن خاک شو تا بنگری
ذره ذره خاک را از خالق جبار مست
تا نگویی در زمستان باغ را مستی نماند
مدتی پنهان شدست از دیده مکار مست
بیخهای آن درختان می نهانی میخورند
روزکی دو صبر میکن تا شود بیدار مست
گر تو را کوبی رسد از رفتن مستان مرنج
با چنان ساقی و مطرب کی رود هموار مست
ساقیا باده یکی کن چند باشد عربده
دوستان ز اقرار مست و دشمنان ز انکار مست
باد را افزون بده تا برگشاید این گره
باده تا در سر نیفتد کی دهد دستار مست
بخل ساقی باشد آن جا یا فساد بادهها
هر دو ناهموار باشد چون رود رهوار مست
رویهای زرد بین و باده گلگون بده
زانک از این گلگون ندارد بر رخ و رخسار مست
بادهای داری خدایی بس سبک خوار و لطیف
زان اگر خواهد بنوشد روز صد خروار مست
شمس تبریزی به دورت هیچ کس هشیار نیست
کافر و مؤمن خراب و زاهد و خمار مست