Sanai: Freedom from my Fear

I get up each morning,
intent on escaping this vile self.
It says to me, “Come on, old man,
what do you want to eat this morning?
Come on, get moving, what am I to eat?”
I answer, “Death,” and leave the subject.
Then my self says to me, “What shall I wear?”
And I reply, “A winding sheet.”
Then: “Where do you wish to go today?”
“Be quiet!” I say.   “I’ll go to the graveside,
and maybe there, at odds with my own self,
I’ll draw a breath in freedom from my fear.”

* * *

Be clear about this: at the last day
a man’s condition will be unaltered:
whatever he chooses [in this life] will be set before him;
he will see there what he takes from here.

The weavers of the eternal world
will read your poetry back to you.
Whatever the shopkeeper sends home from the market
is served up at home for him in the evening;
likewise, what you take from here is key
and brought before you at the resurrection.

Hakim Sanai: The Walled Garden of Truth
tr. David Pendlebury

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