“This Useless Heart”
Heart, since you embraced the mysteries,
you have become useless for anything else.
Go mad, don’t stay sane.
People meditate to get something.
All you do is give.
Crazy Majnun’s priorities are now yours, too.
If you want to be respectable,
why do you go downtown drunk?
It’s no good just sitting in some corner,
once you’ve made friends with the dissolute of this path.
Go back to the desert;
leave this shabby town.
There’s the smell of a tavern
somewhere in this neighborhood,
and it’s already got you high.
Now follow it. Go to Qaf Mountain like the Simurgh,*
leave these owls and herons.
Go into the thicket of Reality like a lion.
Why linger with hyenas and dogs?
Don’t go after the scent of Joseph’s shirt,
you are already mourning his death like Jacob, his father.
— Version by Kabir Helminski
“Love is a Stranger”
Threshold Books, 1993
*”The Simurgh” — the phoenix -represents the saint or his/her spirit, while Mount Qaf is “his station in God’s presence”.
— from Chittick’s “The Sufi Path of Love”