Photo by Jorge Velhote

The river,
is the unmoving anthem of Dawn,
performed at the proximity–
of the lakes of night.

And Day begins–
with the last breath of the night’s–
resigning reign.

At present,
this dawn is taking slowly away- the blaze of my torch,
and it feels like a massive sun,
rising with might in my blood–
for the sake of Atonement.


At present,
in this dawn,
all the blue springs I have lived,
and all the green leaves I have seen,
peacefully rest on your fingertips.

And this vast sky–
glows with the golden flow of a breeze,
streaming from your pierced wrists.


Recite your most beautiful verse!
Disclose the veiled torment of your soul!
Deliver the child of your grief!
Recite, sing, reveal!

Fear Not!
Fear not that they say–
your tale- is a vain tale.
For the Tale of Love, sure,
can never be plain, mundane.

And, Beloved!
Take all the time- it takes,–
and all the nights and days- it deserves!
For Love, is itself the next day–
and the light that lasts,


There is no instance–
or instant for you:
A butterfly in flight.
A river in rush.

And so–
is Eternally True:
Nothing streams in reverse.
The butterfly sits on a rose.
The river joins the sea.

Persian Poetry in English

Ahmad Shamlou (Selected from Nocturnal 1965)
(Trans.: MD, January 2009, Montreal)
PS. I picked the picture of Sherazade, The Mythical Tale-teller of One Thousand and One Nights, as the poem implicitly refers to it.

One Thousand and One Nights:




One Thousand and One Nights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaen.wikipedia.org
One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة‎ Kitāb alf laylah wa-laylah) is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English language edition...