Sunday Poem

And Applaud

Once a young man came to me and said,

Dear Master,
I am feeling strong and brave today,
And I would like to know the truth
About all of my —attachments.

And I replied,


Sweet Heart,
Do you really want me to speak to you
About all your attachments,

When I can see so clearly
You have built, with so much care,
Such a great brothel
To house all of your pleasures.

You have even surrounded the whole damn place
With armed guards and vicious dogs
To protect your desires

So that you can sneak away
From time to time
And try to squeeze light
Into your parched being
From a source as fruitful
As a dried date pit
That even a bird
Is wise enough to spit out.

Your attachments! My dear,
Let’s not speak of those,

For Hafiz knows
The torments and agonies
That every mind on the way to Annihilation in the sun
Must endure.

So at night in my prayers I often stop
And ask a thousand angels to join in
And applaud
Anything in this  world
That can bring your heart comfort.

by Hafiz
rendition by Daniel Ladinsky
from I Heard God Laughing
Penguin Books, 2006