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“O my Lord, the stars glitter
and the eyes of men are closed.
Kings have locked their doors
and each lover is alone with his beloved.
Here, I am alone with You.”
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Water
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I was born in a drouth year. That summer

my mother waited in the house, enclosed

in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind,

for the men to come back in the evenings,

bringing water from a distant spring.

Veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank.

And all my life I have dreaded the return

of that year, sure that it still is

somewhere, like a dead enemy’s soul.

Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me,

and I am the faithful husband of the rain,

I love the water of wells and springs

and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns.

I am a dry man whose thirst is praise

of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup.

My sweetness is to wake in the night

after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.
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(from “Farming: A Handbook” by Wendell Berry)
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0 Saki, bring around the cup of wine and then offer it to me,
for love seemed easy at first, but then grew difficult.

Flooded with their heart’s blood are those who wait for the scent
that the dawn wind may spill from her dark, musky curls.

Stain your prayer mat with wine if the Magus tells you to,
for such a traveller knows the road, and the customs of its stations.

What security is there for us here in her caravanserai
when every moment camel bells cry, “Pack up the loads!”?

The dark night, the fear of waves, the terrifying whirlpool,
how can they know of our state, those who go lightly along the shore?

In the end, my life has drawn me from self-concern to ill-repute.
How long can the secret of our assemblies stay hidden?

Hafiz, if you desire her presence, pay attention.
When you find the one you seek, abandon the world and let it go.

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(Translated by E. Gray – The Green Sea of Heaven, Ashland: White Cloud Press http://www.spiritual-learning.com/hafiz-compare.html)

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I am fully qualified to work as a doorkeeper, and for this reason:
What is inside me, I don’t let out:
What is outside me, I don’t let in.
If someone comes in, he goes right out again.
He has nothing to do with me at all.
I am a doorkeeper of the Heart, not a lump of wet clay.
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(Thank you http://rabia-al-adawiya.over-blog.com/rabia-s-poems.html )
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subtle degrees

of domination and servitude

are what you know as love

 

but love is different

it arrives complete

just there

like the moon in the window

 

like the sun

of neither east nor west

nor of anyplace

 

when the sun arrives

east and west arrive

 

desire only that

of which you have no hope

seek only that

of which you have no clue

 

love is the sea of not being

and there intellect drowns

 

this is not the Oxus river

or some little creek

this is the shoreless sea;

here swimming ends

always in drowning

 

a journey to the sea

is horses and fodder and contrivance

 

but at land’s end

footsteps vanish

 

you lift up your robe

so as not to wet the hem;

come! drown in this sea

a thousand times

 

the moon passes over

the ocean of nonbeing

 

droplets of spray tear loose

and fall back on cresting waves

a million galaxies

are a little scum

(more…)

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XI

The peach petals would like to stay,

But moon and wind blow them on.

You won’t find those ancient men,

Those dynasties are dead and gone.

Day by day the blossoms fall,

Year by year the people go.

Where the dust blows through these heights,

There once shone a silent sea.
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(From “Cold Mountain Poems” translated by Gary Snyder)
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IV. Death by Water – T.S. Eliot

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
and the profit and loss.

A current under the sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.

Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
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(from “The Waste Land” (1922))
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