Scared (1/17/2021)

Scared (1/17/2021)

I have traveled from town to town,

but I haven’t seen any city like the city of Love.


At the beginning, I didn’t appreciate the value of that city,

and because of my ignorance, I suffered much in exile.


I left that land of sugar cane

and kept eating grasses like an animal in the pasture.


Why wasn’t I like the people of Moses, choosing manna?

Why did I prefer leeks and onions?


Anything I hear in this world besides the sound of Love

is nothing but the noise of drums.


Because of those noisy drums,

I dropped from the universe of wholeness

into the world of the temporary.


I was pure soul, just a soul among souls.

I was flying like a heart without wings or feet.


Just like a rose, I was drinking that wine

which gives grace and smiles

to the ones without lips and throats.


A voice came from Love.

“O soul,” Love said, “get going.

I have created a world of troubles.

Go there.”


I begged and begged, saying,

“I don’t want to go! I don’t want to go!

I cried and tore my shirt.


I was scared to go.

I was also scared

that I might not want to return.


“Go, O soul,” Love said.

“Wherever you are,

I am closer to you than your own carotid artery.”


I was persuaded by Love

with all kinds of charms and trickery.


Love could move worlds with that charm.

I was nothing. No one could even see me.


I was kicked out of there and led down the road.

I may have been saved if I had stayed there.


I would tell you how to go there again,

but when I came here to tell you,

Love broke my pencil.

Divan-i Kebir, Volume 18, Ghazal 149, verses 1447-1462, pages 76-78.

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