Monday, 10 December 2007


Unfold your own myth

Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who comes up to a spring thirsty
and sees the moon reflected in it?
Who, lie Jacob, blind with grief and age,
smells the shirt of his lost son
and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up
a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus sips into a house to escape enemies
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there's a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop.
Now there's a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins.
Suddenly he's wealthy.

But don't be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanations,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.

Start walking towards Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment
of feeling the wings you've grown,

trans Coleman Barks with John Moyne

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