Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas recitations

On Christmas Eve my family does recitations. Here are two of this year's. The first is from the sufi poet Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks:

There is a morning where presence
comes over you and you sing
like a rooster in your earth-bound shape.

Your heart hears and, no longer frantic,
begins to dance. At that moment
soul reaches total emptiness.

Your heart becomes Mary, miraculously pregnant,
and body, like a two-day-old Jesus,
says wisdom words.

Now the heart turns to light,
and the body picks up the tempo.

Where Shams Tabriz walks, the footprints
are musical notes, and holes
you fall through into space.

Another recitation was "Mon pays" by Gilles Vigneault, one verse of which I offer to all those whiners who think this country has been "wrecked" (trans. P. Paine):

From my vast lonely land
I'll cry out just once before going quiet,
To all the men of this earth:
"My house is yours.
Between these four walls of ice
I set aside this time and space
For all humanity, from all horizons
Because all humans are my race."

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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