True to His Art

A Mime
by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky from The Gift: Poems by the Great Sufi Master

A mime stands upon a gallows for a crime he
did not do. When given a last chance to speak
he remains true to his art.

A crowd of hundreds has gathered to see his
last performance, knowing he will not talk.

The mime takes from the sky the circle of bright
spheres, lays them on a table, expressing deep
love for the companionship and guidance they

have given him for so many years.

He brings the seas before our eyes. Somehow
an emerald fin appears, splashes. Look, there
is turquoise rain.

He removes his heart from his body and seems
to arouse all life on this splendid earth with
such a sacred tenderness;

there, for an extraordinary moment, it looked
like someone was giving birth to the Christ

He mounts his soul upon the body of Freedom.
The great breeze comes by. The sun and moon
join hands; they bow so gracefully

that for a moment, for a moment everyone
knows that God is real. So the tongue fell out
of the mouth of the world for days.

See also: One Remembers

[Thanks, Heather!]