Let’s Plot to Make the Moon Jealous: 9 Poems of Love by the Sufi Mystic Poet Hafiz

“Let’s plot

To make the moon jealous.”

— Hafiz

Hafiz is the slightly lesser known of the great Sufi mystic poets. With Rumi, who is the Friend of the Beloved, being the most well read and adored. Rumi has been filling the hearts of all the divine beings with Love for hundreds of years now, and continues to gain popularity in the US. It’s time we paid some attention to another great Sufi mystic poet, Hafiz.

There’s something interesting that happens when you read Hafiz, it’s like we blossom to the possibilities of finding God, Love, or both. It’s like we can feel the subtle shift between left brain to right brain consciousness.

We use the left side of our brains to read these words and piece the poem together. The left side of our brain is in charge of our linear thinking processes; memory, math, speech, and knowing the order of things. Reading Hafiz completely turns the switch and activates the right side of your brain. Which is in charge of your being able to sense that Oneness shared with all beings. The right side of your brain is your link to God consciousness, Nirvana, Buddhahood, etc.

The ego resides in the left side of the brain, and tries to keep you from being at one with the world, because when you are at one with the world, the ego dies. The ego does not want to die, it wants continuity. The right brain is always alive, always continuous. Existing as the soul for eons. Inhabiting physical bodies for a period of time, then traversing back into the great beyond when the physical body dies. This is the cycle of life. This is how the universe works.

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight, looks at the functions of the left and right sides of the brain from a neuroanatomist viewpoint — after suffering a stroke to the left side of her brain. My friend suffered a stroke in around the same area of the brain, and has had similar experiences to Dr. Bolte Taylor. This TED Talk by Dr. Bolte Taylor is a must watch for Yogis everywhere who would like to learn more about how their brains function. It is very insightful for what happens to the brain during yoga, meditation, and spiritual practices.

In sharing these poems by Hafiz, they become an exercise in consciously and intently switching back and forth between the left and right sides of the brain.

Come and share in Hafiz’s love of the Beloved. Get close to the edge, jump in and get completely wet. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to get out of the flowing river when it’s time. You only need to visit for a short while with Hafiz and his words: It doesn’t take much, so that, you may, sense God.

All of these poems can be found in the collection: The Gift (Compass), by Hafiz

YOU WERE BRAVE IN THAT HOLY WAR

You have done well

In the contest of madness.

You were brave in that holy war.

You have all the honorable wounds

Of one who has tried to find love

Where the Beautiful Bird

Does not drink.

May I speak to you

Like we are close

And locked away together?

Once I found a stray kitten

And I used to soak my fingers

In warm milk;

It came to think I was five mothers

On one hand.

Wayfarer,

Why not rest your tired body?

Lean back and close your eyes.

Come morning

I will kneel by your side and feed you.

I will so gently

Spread open your mouth

And let you taste something of my

Sacred mind and life.

Surely

There is something wrong

With your ideas of God.

O, surely there is something wrong

With your ideas of God

If you think

Our Beloved would not be so

Tender.

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

IT WILL STRETCH OUT ITS LEG

All the classes you have sat in,

All the money you have paid

For “truth,”

Something must be wrong, though,

If your eye still wanders through the streets Acting like a beggar.

Why not try this:

Let all the fake teachers starve.

Picture one of the great masters

In your mind,

Put your lips against his cheek

Each morning.

Say, keep saying,

“Dear Beloved, pinch me.

I want proof

You’re near —

A love-bruise on my rump will do.”

The Friend is an unfathomable well

That knows everything;

Draw from that safe luminous sky.

Stay near this book,

It will stretch out its leg and

Trip you;

You’ll fall

Into

God.

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

I AM FULL OF LOVE TONIGHT

I am full of love tonight

Come look into my eyes, and let’s go off

Sailing, my dear, on a long ocean ride.

This world will not touch you,

I will keep you snug upon my seat.

Let’s plot

To make the moon jealous

With a radiance leaping from your cheek.

I will be full of love tonight,

Come look into these ancient eyes!

And let’s go off sailing, my dear,

With our spirits intertwined.

Your body is just an old sandbar

In a speeding hourglass of time.

Love will turn the mouth of sorrow

Right side up.

Let your heart commence its destined

Laughing chime!

Hafiz will be brimful of love tonight,

Why ever be shy?

Come look into the playful eyes of my verse,

They are eternally branded,

Branded with

The Sun!

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

BRING THE MAN TO ME

A Perfect One was traveling through the desert. He was stretched out around the fire one night And said to one of his close ones,

“There is a slave loose not far from us.

He escaped today from a cruel master.

His hands are still bound behind his back,

His feet are also shackled.

I can see him right now praying for God’s help. Go to him.

Ride to that distant hill;

About a hundred feet up and to the right

You will find a small cave.

He is there.

Do not say a single word to him.

Bring the man to me.

God requests that I personally untie his body And press my lips to his wounds.”

The disciple mounts his horse and within two hours

Arrives at the small mountain cave.

The slave sees him coming, the slave looks frightened.

The disciple, on orders not to speak,

Gestures toward the sky, pantomiming:

God saw you in prayer,

Please come with me,

A great Murshid has used his heart’s

divine eye

To know your whereabouts.

The slave cannot believe this story,

And begins to shout at the man and tries to run

But trips from his bindings.

The disciple becomes forced to subdue him.

Think of this picture as they now travel:

The million candles in the sky are lit and singing. Every particle of existence is a

dancing alter

That some mysterious force worships.

The earth is a church floor whereupon

In the middle of a glorious night

Walks a slave, weeping, tied to a rope behind a horse,

With a speechless rider

Taking him toward the unknown.

Several times with all of his might the slave

Tries to break free,

Feeling he is being returned to captivity.

The rider stops, dismounts — brings his eyes Near the prisoner’s eyes.

A deep kindness there communicates an unbelievable hope.

The rider motions — soon, soon you will be free. Tears roll down from the rider’s cheeks

In happiness for this man.

Anger, all this fighting and tormenting want, Mashuq,

God has seen you and sent a close one. Mashuq,

God has seen your heart in prayer

And sent Hafiz.

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

TOO BEAUTIFUL

The fire

Has roared near you.

The most intimate parts of your body

Got scorched,

So

Of course you have run

From your marriages into a

Different House

That will shelter you

From embracing every aspect of Him.

God has

Roared near us.

The lashes on our heart’s eye got burnt.

Of course we have

Run away

From His

Sweet flaming breath

That proposed an annihilation

Too real,

Too

Beautiful.

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

MY EYES SO SOFT

Don’t Surrender

Your loneliness so quickly.

Let it cut more

Deep.

Let it ferment and season you

As few human

Or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight

Has made my eyes so soft,

My voice so

Tender,

My need of God

Absolutely

Clear.

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

THE DIAMOND TAKES SHAPE

Some parrots

Have become so skilled with

The human voice

They could give a brilliant discourse

About freedom and God

And an unsighted man nearby might

Even begin applauding with

The thought:

I just heard jewels fall from a

Great saint’s mouth,

Though my Master used to say,

“The diamond takes shape slowly

With integrity’s great force,

And from

The profound courage to never relinquish love.”

Some parrots have become so skilled

With words,

The blind turn over their gold

And lives to caged

Feathers.

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

DOG’S LOVE

All the crazy boys

Gather around their female

Counterpart,

When her canine beauty announces to the air “My body is ready to play its part

In this miracle of

Birth.”

Look what dedicated young men will do

For their chance moment

Of dancing ecstatic on their

Hind legs.

They will stay up all night

And howl.

They will forget about food for days and Feverishly pray in their own language.

They will growl, make serious threats,

Even bite each other, saying,

“She’s mine, all mine — watch out

You skinny fleabag.”

Listen, human lovers:

When did you last keep a vigil

Beseeching

Light?

When did you last fast, lose twenty pounds,

In hopes of embracing

God?

Hafiz will give you the unedited news today:

You will need to outdo all the noble acts

Of

Dog’s love.

— Hafiz

- — — • — — -

STAY WITH US

You

Leave

Our company when you speak

Of shame

And this makes

Everyone in the Tavern sad.

Stay with us

As we do the hardest work of rarely

Laying down

That pick and

Shovel

That will keep

Revealing our deeper kinship

With

God,

That will keep revealing

Our own divine

Worth.

You leave the company of the

Beloved’s friends

Whenever you speak of

Guilt,

And this makes

Everyone in the Tavern

Very sad.

Stay with us tonight

As we weave love

And reveal ourselves,

Reveal ourselves

As His precious

Garments.

— Hafiz

All of these poems can be found in the collection: The Gift (Compass), by Hafiz

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