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Friday
Jun202014

Hafez Inspired Poems

By Elliott Robertson

What a joy it has been to read the poems by the fourteenth century poem, Hafez!  The translations by Dick Davis, one of today’s finest translators of Persian poetry, have made the poet come alive for me – the poet’s presence jumps off the page. 

My recent encounters with Hafez have inspired these poems. 

 

UPON THE WIND

I’m asking God to take from me

the fears that pull me back from

being who I am – O take these, God,

O please, upon the wind.

 

I’m hoping God will hear my prayer

for me to see the glorious light within,

the light seen by Mary Magdalene

when Jesus asked his followers

“Who do you say I am?”

 

I’m asking God to baptize me

in love so I might see no evil.

The garments I used to wear,

the fear of being shamed:

Take these, God, upon the wind.

 

I’m asking God to speak to me

through elms and roses,

to let them tell me something

far beyond what books can say

about the nature of my spirit

and the truth of who I am.

 

Maybe God will laugh when I leave the altar

for the market.  Maybe God will

place his love for me into the fragrance of a rose.

Maybe a scent mysterious and potent

will reach me at the marketplace

and lift my thoughts to who I am

when who I’m not is taken by the wind.

BEFORE YOUR DOOR

 O God, I wanted only 

to bow down before your door.

And now that I have done so

I shall be sad no more.

 

You have fed me with your tender love

And held me in your arms.

And I have tasted heaven’s happiness
and all its blissful charms.

 

I shall not turn my face away

From heaven’s open door.

Nor shall I doubt the glory of

The joy you hold in store.

 

You will for me a life of gifts,

Just as you will light for the sun.

You will for me a journey

To the place where earthly clay and Christ are one.

 

O God, I wanted only

To bow down and kiss your feet.

I wanted only to be taken to the place

Where your unchanging love and my heart meet.

 

You are the source of all the laws

And though I live for just a day,

The bliss of loving every gift

Shall always grace my way.

Elliott Robertson