The Way To The Orchard: Poem by Sohrab Sepehri

Keep calling me!
Sweet is your voice.
It is the green
Growing beyond the companionship of sorrow.

In the scopes of this silent era
I am lonelier than a song issuing
from the lane of perception.
Come, let me tell you about my infinite loneliness.
It could never have foreseen this incursion of your shape.
Such is the nature of love.

There is nobody about.
Let us steal a slice of life, then
Divide it in two parts.
Let us understand something from the condition of a stone,
And perceive more readily.
Look, the clock-hands of the fountain
Turn time into dust on the face of the pond.
Come, thaw in a line of silence like a word.
Melt love’s shining mass in the palm of my hand.

Warm me.
(Once upon a Kashan plains it clouded over
And it started raining heavily
And I was cold. But then behind a rock
A poppy’s furnace warmed me up.)

In these dark lanes
I fear mounting match-flares and doubts;
I dread the cement-face of this century.
Come, so I may not fear cities
where the black earth is pasture to cranes.
In this era of steel’s rise, open me like a gate
on the fall of pears.
Lull me to sleep beneath a branch
far from the nocturnal grinding of metals
and wake me only if someone comes
who can unearth daylight ores.
Like jasmine emerging from behind your hands
I will wake up.
Only then
Tell me about the spray of bombs,
And about the eyes that streamed while I was sleeping.
Tell me how many ducks fled across the sea
while tanks tracked over childhood dreams.
To what piece of repose did the canary attach
the yellow thread of her song?
What innocent cargoes were unloaded at the quays?
What science uncovered the tuneful music and smell of bullets?
To what perception did the vague taste of bread
give rise in the mouths of prophets?

Then, like a faith warmed by the equator,
I will set you down at the seeding of an orchard.

Sohrab Sepehri, untitled from Tree Trunk series

(Trnaslated by Ismail Salami)

Image: Trees (untitled) by Sohrab Sepehri, from the Tree Trunk series

Posted on the Poem Hunter

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