Friday, June 13, 2008

Poem By Ibn "Arabi

Gentle now, doves...
Don't add to your sighs
To my heartache

Gentle now,
Or your sad cooing
Will reveal the love I hide,
The sorrow I hide away

I echo back, in the evening
In the morning, echo
The longing of a lovesick lover,
The moaning of the lost.

In a grove of Ghada,
Spirits wrestled
Bending the limbs down over me
Passing me away

They brought yearning
Breaking of the heart
And other new twists of pain
Putting me through it...

Hour by hour
They circle my heart
In rapture, in love ache
And touch my pillars with a kiss

As the best of creation
Circled the Ka'aba
Which reason with its proofs
Called unworthy

He kissed the stone there
And was entrusted with the Word.
What is a house of stone
Compared to a man or woman...

A white blazed gazelle
Is an amazing sight.
Red-dye signaling
Eyelids hunting.

Pasture between breastbone
And innards.
A garden among the flames!

My heart can take on
Any form:
For gazelles, a meadow
A cloister for monks

For idols, sacred ground
Ka'aba for circling pilgrims,
The Tables of the Torah,
The Scrolls of the Qu'ran

I profess the religion of love
Wherever its caravan turns
Along the way-that is the belief,
The faith that I keep...

By Ibn' Arabi
Translated by Michael Sells

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