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Posts Tagged ‘Hafiz’


The merest hint of spring is seeping through the cracks, and that tiny breeze is enough impetus for me to start redecorating. I have reupholstered two twin small tufted chairs in soft suede the color of Greek honey, and am preparing to accent the chairs with top-stitched detailed leather buttons. I am getting my collection of Persian miniatures depicting pastoral scenes and Hafiz’s poetry re-matted and re-framed, and have sent the carpets out to be cleaned and re-fringed. Although it is excessive, I have bought whispery Italian 1020 count Egyptian cotton sateen bed linens. In the case of sheet thread count, bigger is better.
“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.”

(From I Heard God Laughing – Renderings of Hafiz, translated by D. Ladinsky)

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Bone Button


Food and love…what else is there? I suppose there is also music, fashion, and poetry. This is the list of the objects of my affection that I have swirling in my head as I cross the boulevard on the way to meet you, and I am particularly enamored of Hafiz today. Chinese Elm and Flowering Pear trees shelter me, and I step off the curb onto the path of a rusted forest green Volkswagen Beetle. The car clatters to a halt, and I’m grateful to be spared an accident. The lattice-topped cherry pie that I made you starts to tumble, but I nonchalantly set it upright, dust off the cuffs of my leaf green and turquoise cotton paisley shirt with ivory bone buttons, wave insolently at the VW driver, and continue onwards.
“I beg thee that to no one else thou showest
These words I send in such a hidden way
That none but thou may cipher what I say ;
Read them in some safe place as best thou knowest.”
When in her heart these words of mine thou sowest
For Hafiz, speak in any tongue thou knowest;
Turkish and Arabic in love are one
Love speaks all languages beneath the sun.”

(Hafiz, Ode 566)

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It is 3 pm on a Saturday, and I’m bicycling to the wharf. The gulls and urban pigeons circle restlessly, cawing for food. It is a breezy day, and always cooler near the ocean, so I’ve dressed for warmth in black 501’s, loden green desert boots, a black turtleneck, and a long wide-collared coat of Campbell plaid tartan wool with large square navy blue vintage buttons engraved with a diagonal feather motif. I park my bike, reach into my pocket for my bag of bready, salty garlic knots that I baked last night, and sit on the wooden dock overlooking the Pacific. I pull my copy of “Hafiz: Fifty Poems” from my other pocket, and broodily open it. Hafiz is frequently used to foretell fortunes, so I open it randomly to see what is ahead:
Not all changes that thy days unfold
Shall rouse thy wonder; Time’s revolving sphere
Over a thousand lives like thine has rolled.

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The holiday season seems to always involve too many buttery cookies and endless tasks. This week is no different, and I find myself wishing that I was submerged in a hot bath…or better yet, a hot tub. It is Friday, and my doorbell rings; a close friend who must have psychic powers to have heard my unvoiced, piteous mewls of dismay is waiting there with a picnic hamper and rented car waiting to drive us down the coast. He has reservations to Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, which has an outdoor hot tub on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We nibble on the delicious treats in the car, and once there I unbutton my jacket with brown vintage buttons and fling myself into the steaming water. I look up at the glistening stars, sniff the salty air, and let my over-taxed brain float away. My friend beside me recites Hafiz and the evening is complete.
“Get a moon-love, and teach thy heart to strive,
Through thy fame, like a sun, be spread world-wide.”

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