Sometimes books of poetry have a way of finding you exactly when you need them to. Such was the case with The Gift, a book of poems by Hafiz, an ancient Persian poet and Sufi master. I’d long known who he was, and had probably seen a poem or two of his before. But last night as I perused the poetry shelves of the Harvard Bookstore, The Gift called out to me and I bought it. This morning I took it with me to Worcester courthouse where I had to sit for several cellphone-less hours while I waited to testify as a witness for a case. So many beautiful, timeless poems. But this one especially struck me:
Because your meadows call
I weave light into words so that
When your mind holds them
Your eyes will relinquish their sadness,
Turn bright, a little brighter, giving to us
The way a candle does
To the dark.
I have wrapped my laughter like a birthday gift
And left it beside your bed.
I have planted the wisdom in my heart
Next to every signpost in the sky.
A wealthy man
Often becomes eccentric,
A divine crazed soul
Is transformed into infinite generosity
Tying gold sacks of gratuity
To the dangling feet of moons, planets, ecstatic
Midair dervishes, and singing birds.
Because every cell in your body
Is reaching out