I Know the Way You Can Get

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens, your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned about a strange look that appears in your eyes
which even begins to worry your own mirror and nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
and call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
to help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness that arrays itself against the world
and throws sharp stones and spears into the innocent and into one’s self.

O I know the way you can get
if you have not been drinking Love:

You might rip apart every sentence your friends and teachers say,
looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale like a dead fish.

You might pull out a ruler to measure from every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once trusted.

I know the way you can get
if you have not had a drink from Love’s hands.

That is why all the Great Ones
speak of the vital need to keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
as being so Playful
and Wanting,
just Wanting to help.

That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!

All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!


By Hafez Shirazi as translated by Daniel Ladinsky

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