There is great joy in darkness.
Keep your deepest secret hidden
in the dark beneath daylight’s
uncovering and night’s spreading veil.
Whatever is given you by those two
is for your desires. They poison,
eventually. Deeper down, where your face
gets erased, where life water runs silently,
there’s a prison with no food and drink,
and no moral instruction, that opens on a garden,
where there’s only God. No self,
only the creation word BE.
You, listening to me, roll up the carpet
of time and space. Step beyond,
Into the one word.
In blindness, receive what I say.
Take ‘There is no good…’
for your wealth and strength.
Let ‘There is nothing’ be
a love-wisdom in your wine.
Sanai, in The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia. New Lebanon, NY: Omega Publications, 1993. (Translations from the poems of Sanai, Attar, Rumi, Saadi and Hafiz by Coleman Barks.