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Sheikh Raza Talabani, “Five Bricks to the Messiah"

Sheikh Raza Talabani (1936-1910), “Five Bricks to the Messiah"

(translated from the Farsi by Shadman Hiwa and A.M. Levinson-LaBrosse)


In the garden of dreams, my heart became a precious essence.
Love for you, carved in black and white, a chessboard, on my breast,
went slithering like a python over the treasury. 
Your eyes, nose, brow, profile and feather-fine wrinkles, all five,
Make your beautiful face, all five.

When my eyes took in your golden body,

That beauty, my heart and soul fell unconscious.
The morning birds all began to shout,
Cedar, rose, jasmine, bray, and euonymus,
for the pinnacle that is you, sacrificed themselves, all five.

Never have I seen kindness like yours on earth,
whatever we called you, you are Joseph of Canaan.
An ascetic, when he saw you, vowed on the Quran that
The sun, the moon, mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn,
Demand your presence, all five.

The lover, the one whose heart is injured, rightly said,
"You are lost in your desire for flowers, won't you
Please bestow your kindness on a poor man like me.”
I and the ascetic and the abstinent, the king and the mendicant,
Spend our days kissing the paw of the dog at your gate, all five.

If you wish to triumph in the path of love,
You, Radha, must drink the morning's wine.
If you can even hear advice, don’t let love for him make you morose.
Wisdom, reason, senses, heart and spirit (Oh, Messiah)
Are all lost for the love of your curly hair, all five.




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