February 15, 2008
expect nothing. live frugally
become a stranger
to need of pity
or, if compassion be freely
take only enough
stop short of urge to plead
then purge away the need.
wish for nothing larger
than your own small heart
or greater than a star,
tame wild disappointment
with caress unmoved and cold
make of it a parka
for your soul.
discover the reason why
so tiny human midget
exists at all
so scared unwise
but expect nothing. live frugally
November 12, 2006
More beautiful than your eyes is my love
for your eyes. When you sing, all being sings.
Are you there above me, star of my longing,
or are you just a phantom dream?
When I think of you, fragrances enter me-
Can it be you were created by a rose?
Perhaps the longing for beauty made you,
raised and hopeful hands designed your form.
Do the strings of the passionately fingered lute
imagine those who yearn for melody?
We meet in moments truant from time,
free from boundaries, dissolving all bounds.
The beckoning universe swings us into the heavens
on an endless flight.
The most beautiful aspect of our land
is the vision that you have lived here.
Sa’id Aql (b. 1912)
Footprints in the Sand
From: The Erotic Spirit: An Anthology of Poems of
Sensuality, Love, and Longing
Editor: Sam Hamill
(Translated by Matthew Sorenson and Naomi Shihab Nye)