Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hafiz Ghazals – My Versions

I wish to acknowledge the beautiful paintings by Freydoon Rassouli, who also provided the translations from which I crafted the poems.

Hafiz #1

O Winegiver!
Pass your sweetest wine around,
for the joy of love's beginning
so often runs aground.

Breeze at dawn
blows the musk of my beloved's hair,
blows the glowing heart-embers...
wildfire rages there.

In darkest night
the sea wages war,
the crashing waves breathing fear,
a whirlpool of fright...
how can those who stay on shore
come to know the burden here?

Even though my soul is singing
when in the beloved's arms,
still the bells are loudly ringing:
"Move on now, to other charms."

Love is more than simple pleasure,
I cannot seek this alone...
if I disdain the real treasure
in time this will be widely known.

Spatter red wine freely
on your prayer rug,
if the Peer of the Magi bids thee.
Heed his call,
for he has traveled the path of Love
and knows all.

O Hafiz,
pay the world no mind.
Seek only the Beloved's heart,
dive deep into the love there,
and at the chamber's doorway
leave all else behind.

Hafiz #11

O Bartender, pour--emblazon our cups
with the iridescence of wine,
O Minstrel, sing--enlighten our souls
with the benevolence of life.

O you who are strangers to
this never-ending bender,
we have seen the Beloved's face
smiling back at us from the cup!

As love grows in the heart,
we know we live forever!
In the Akashic Records it's written
we are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

There are those with nice bodies,
giving us the eye, flirting for all they're worth,
but they fade into the background
beside our graceful beloved,
straight and tall as the cypress.

When Judgment Day goes down,
what's in the churches' coffers
won't mean half as much
as this (so-called) devil's brew offers!

After a few drinks,
the sweet abandon shining
in my beloved's eyes
beseeches me, teaches me
that in giving up my soul to love
I gain everything.

O wind, if you're passing through
the resplendent rose garden,
be sure to blow this message
to our beloved:

"Why have you coldly thrown us out
of your heart?
In time, even our name
will escape you."

O Hafiz, the beloved's heart
is one with thine,
thus, you can never be apart.
Let your tears flow,
gentle as the dove, radiant as wine,
scattering the seeds of what you know
for the bird of reunion to feed on.

The ship of the crescent moon
sails in the green sea of heaven...
all is eclipsed by the sea, the heaven,
and the moon within. 

Hafiz #36

Preacher, take yourself away!
What are you yelling about?
I'm the one who's lost his heart today,
why are YOU trumpeting doubt?

Beyond what God has made
out of nothing, magically,
lies a fine mystery
that no one knows,
where no one goes.

I am a wanderer,
my kingdom is in me.
What care I for promises of salvation
in heavens above?
With a joyful prayer, trapped in your snare,
warmed by the fire of my heart's love,
I have the freedom of infinity.

True, I've ruined my life
indulging in love's ecstasy,
yet I thrive on the struggle and strife
of loving obsessively.

O Heart! Don't moan and grieve
the Beloved's seeming cruelty.
Only be aware, and believe
Love knows all, and is fair
in setting your destiny.

Until my lips can kiss
that flutelike sugared cane,
the cautioning of the whole world
is my bane--
a pointless litany of fears,
wind blowing through my ears.

O Hafiz! Cease your singing
of magic tales and majestic verse,
our heads are ringing
with wondrous visions, and lyrics that soar.

Hafiz #317

You are the dawn, my precious one,
I, the candle burning bright
in this lonely night.
Smile on me and you will see
how I surrender
my life to you, forever.

My grave will become a violet-bed
when I am dead,
my love-stained heart will bless
your alluring tress.

I'm watching through
the door of my eyes
at the threshold of hope, for you.
How happy I'd be,
how I would prize
just one glance from you,
who have forgotten me.

And yet it's true,
dear companion of my heart,
(how can I thank you? God bless!)
we've never been apart
through the army of sorrows,
the highs and lows, the days of loneliness.

I surrender to
the black-hearted pupil of my eyes,
I allow my longing for you
to arise here and now,
overflowing in thousands of tears,
pent up for all these years.

All idolize you, entranced
by your glory, ever new,
but no one sees the glance
you once bestowed on me,
before my eyes constantly.

And if you pass by Hafiz' grave
with the wind's sigh of grace,
my heart's love will explode from joy
in that narrow place.  

Hafiz #359

Why are we here, knocking at your door?
We seek not fame nor fortune's state--
shelter's what we're looking for,
from the cruel batterings of fate.

We are the travelers of the path of love
from a world you know not of,
come so far to lodge a plea
into this kingdom of reality.

For we've seen the lineaments of grace
in your lovely changing face,
and from that paradise world
we were hurled,

knowing beyond all guessing
shelter is in your love's blessing.

Though our treasures are innate
and kept in Spirit's loyalty,
we come as paupers at the gate
of the kingdom of royalty.

Where is your anchor of patience, O vessel of grace?
For we have come to this sea of bounty with sin upon our face.

O forgiving cloud, upon our honour, rain your mercy and support,
for we have been blacklisted by the justice of this court.

Hafiz! Cast your woollen robe by,
for, trailing this caravan, we have come
with the fire of our sigh.