The Gift

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:


I rain
Because your meadows call
For God.

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.

I speak
Because every cell in your body
Is reaching out
For God.


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