your sun-face

Your sun-face is a mirror of the soul
I know
An image of both worlds is found within
I know

The artist who could paint one point
on the circle of your beauty
Would be famed as a master in this world
I know

Your glance says, “I will lay waste to the city
of your heart!”
This is a royal order from the Sultan
I know

I can’t understand the deceits of your eye
and brow
One is sedition, the other disaster
I know

You’ve recognized your slaves with the favor
of torment
But it’s been long since you’ve thought of me
I know

Oh sufi, who sees goodness in your hypocrisy
Abandon such thoughts, it slanders the faith
I know

Oh Sheyhi, you need the garden, the beloved,
wine and the saz
All that’s left is the life of this moment –
grief and sadness
I know.


drinking alone with the moon

From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone. There was no one with me-
Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends
To cheer me through the end of the spring…
I sang. The moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were born companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
…Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.

Li Po

the advice

Other people shall more subtly make
bronze into breathing creatures,
others will draw our living faces from marble,
others will plead better their cases at court, with the rod
discover the motions of the heavens
and learn to tell the rising of the stars.
But you, o Roman, remember to rule with your power—
these are your arts— and to impose the law of peace;
to be merciful to the conquered, and to cast down the proud.