We present this work in honor of the poet’s 95th birthday.
Indeed, if someday, someone asks me, “During your time on Earth, what did you do?” I’ll open my book of verse before him, I’ll hold my head up, laughing and crying, I’ll say that this seed is “newly sown,” It needs time to come to fruition and bloom.
Under this vast cerulean sky, With all my might, in very song, I evoked the revered name of love. Perhaps, by this weary voice, An oblivious someone was awakened, Somewhere in the four corners of this world.
I praised kindness, I battled against wickedness.
I suffered the “wilting of a single stem of flower,” I grieved the “death of a caged canary,” And, for people’s sorrows, I died a hundred times a night.
I’m not ashamed if at times, When one ought to have screamed from deep within, With Jesus-like patience, I kept my silence.
If I were to arm myself with a sword, To fight against the ignorant, Blame me not for taking the road to love. A sword in hand implies, A man may meet his demise.
We were passing through a bleak road, Where the darkness of ignorance was devastating! My belief in humanity was my torch! The sword was in devil’s hand! Words were my only weapon on this battlefield!
Even if my poetry could not kindle a fire in anyone’s mind, My heart, like firewood, burned from both sides. Read a page from my book of verse, and you may say: Can anyone burn worse than him?!
Many endless nights, I did not sleep, To retell humanity’s message from man to man, In the thorny land of animosity, My words were a breeze from the land of peace. But, perhaps, they should’ve been a mighty windstorm, To uproot all this wickedness.
Our elders had advised us in the past: “It is too late… too late… The soul of the Earth is so dark, Our strength, multiplied by hundred, Is no more than a lonely cry in a desert so vast!”
“Another Noah, there must be, Another great storm, too.”
“The world must be built anew, New humans within it, too”
Yet, this patient, solitary man, Carrying his backpack full of fervor, Still strides along, To draw a glimmer of light from the heart of this darkness, He places the candle of a poem here and there, He still hopes for the miracle that is man.
I submitted to the most poisonous stings to suck his lips he swore on the conscience of beehives not to assault the flowers of my scarf Then he unbuttoned my shirt and mingled with me just like a bee falling head on into a glass of honey.
Let’s not soil the water:
Perhaps a pigeon is drinking down there
Or a thrush dipping its wing by a far thicket
Or a pitcher being filled in a village.
Let’s not soil the water.
This stream is perhaps running to a white aspen
To sooth a lonely heart.
A dervish may have dipped his dry bread there.
A lovely lady has come to the stream.
Let’s not soil the water.
Beauty is doubled.
People are so affable there!
May their streams bubble!
And their cows produce abundant milk!
Never have I visited their village.
Their hedges must bear God’s footprints.
There, moonshine illuminates the expanse of speech.
No doubt, the fences are low in yonder village.
And its inhabitants know what peonies are.
No doubt, blue is blue there.
A bud blossoms! People know it.
What a glorious village it must be!
May its alleyways overflow with music!
The people living by the stream understand water.
They did not soil it
Nor should we.
Once I thought that God has
A home near the clouds, full of glory—
Like a king has a castle in a children’s story.
With diamond bricks and gold the castle was made,
The base of its towers, ivory and crystal laid.
I thought that You sit on Your throne with pride.
While the Moon, a tiny glimmer on Your robe, rides.
The pattern of Your robe, the moonbeams draw.
A small jewel in Your crown, every star I saw.
Our sun was no more than a button on Your vest.
The sky, a small part of Your coat, so I guessed.
But no one has seen where You live or rest.
I thought that You did not want us to know.
I was so sad for this image of God here below.
My thoughts in prayer were out of fear, it’s true—
Of what a very angry God might do.
Prayer was like memorizing a lesson in school,
Reviewing geometry or math, without any rules.
Prayer was the punishment of a principal, who
Wanted answers to questions no one knew,
Or told you to form tenses of verbs no one used.
Then one night with my father, hand in hand,
We walked down a village road in our land.
There we saw a welcoming home.
I asked without waiting, “Whose is it, do you know?”
“It is God’s noble house,” my father replied.
“We can stay here awhile and pray inside.
We can pray here in quiet, beyond the sight of men,
We can make ourselves fresh and clean again.
We will talk with our conscience and learn what to do.”
“But does that angry God have a home here too?!”
To my question my father replied,
“Yes, God’s home is in our hearts, it is inside.
God’s house is covered with carpet soft and bright.
God is a mirror in our hearts full of light.
God is forgiving and hatred does not know. . .”
And suddenly I knew my love for this God would grow.
This familiar and kind God is mine, and will be—
A friend closer than myself to me.
Close to me as my very own life.
A good and an honored Friend
In Whom I delight.
At the heavenly threshing-floor-
Drunken whirlwind is dancing,
Whimper old dog.
From the sunny disc
To the earth – the prophet…
In broken mirror-
A broken light of face.
The winter is lighting up it’s cigar
At he porch.
The color blood – ashy black…
The death has sent
It’s messenger to the hut.
Pain – is the death of will-
The patience of the wise man.
At last Confuzio, has matured,
Beginning from the end.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 125th birthday.
A night of deep darkness.
On a branch of the old fig tree
A frog croaks without cease,
Predicting a storm, a deluge,
and I am drowned in fear.
It is night,
And with night the world seems
like a corpse in the grave;
And in fear I say to myself:
‘What if torrential rain falls everywhere?’
‘What if the rain does not stop
until the earth sinks into the water
like a small boat?’
In this night of awful darkness
Who can say in what state we will be
when dawn breaks?
Will the morning light make
the frightening face of the storm