When the meadows on the body turn gray
When the meadows on the body begin to turn gray, let your eyes soften toward yourself, and those who are close.
Let anyone, anything, inside who has driven you, let them retire or move at an easier pace.
And where you were once firm, and might have even said to someone, feel my muscle, or admired it yourself,
yes, now look at the way you have become, or will someday if you live as long as you want.
Many do all they can to not have to face the candle going out.
The wonder of my body aging, dying, is finding another flame within, a holy eternal
sphere, that will never go out and is more beautiful than all the form you have known—put together.
When the fields on the body begin to turn gray let your hand’s touch upon all, soften.
A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations, poems by the Persian Sufi poet Hafiz, translated and introduced by Daniel Ladinsky, Penguin, 2011.
Photograph by Mark Holt