“Get Drunk” by Charles Baudelaire

Always be drunk.
That’s it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time’s horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
Get drunk and stay that way.
On what?
On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
or rolls
or sings,
everything that speaks,
ask what time it is;
and the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock
will answer you:
“Time to get drunk!
Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,
Get drunk!
Stay drunk!
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!”

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My Sneaking Tears

How heavy fell the rain that day
From burdened clouds of mournful grey.
The torrent forced them stay their height –
Composure swayed by onerous might.

My skin wrung wet with icy chill
As mud embraced that sodden hill;
But mind of mine had elsewhere gone –
‘Twas clouds abandoned I was on.

The driving drops advanced their gears
To camouflage my sneaking tears –
Whence now did swell such floods of pain
To see me melt into this rain…

On equal bearing now were we:
This rain, myself, in harmony.

 – Mark R Slaughter

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi

The Story of My Life

I was ready to tell
the story of my life
but the ripple of tears
and the agony of my heart
wouldn’t let me

I began to stutter
saying a word here and there
and all along i felt
as tender as a crystal
ready to be shattered

In this stormy sea
we call life
all the big ships
come apart
board by board

how can I survive
riding a lonely
little boat
with no oars
and no arms

my boat did finally break
by the waves
and I broke free
as I tied myself
to a single board

though the panic is gone
I am now offended
why should I be so helpless
rising with one wave
and falling with the next

I don’t know
if I am
nonexistence
while I exist
but I know for sure
when I am
I am not
but
when I am not
then I am

now how can I be
a skeptic
about the
resurrection and
coming to life again

since in this world
I have many times
like my own imagination
died and
been born again

that is why
after a long agonizing life
as a hunter
I finally let go and got
hunted down and became free

Rumi

I’ve Said It Before And I’ll Say It Again

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,

It’s not my fault that with a broken heart, I’ve gone this way.

In front of a mirror they have put me like a parrot,

And behind the mirror the Teacher tells me what to say.

Whether I am perceived as a thorn or a rose, it’s

The Gardener who has fed and nourished me day to day.

O friends, don’t blame me for this broken heart;

Inside me there is a great jewel and it’s to the Jeweler’s shop I go.

Even though, to pious, drinking wine is a sin,

Don’t judge me; I use it as a bleach to wash the color of hypocrisy away.

All that laughing and weeping of lovers must be coming from some other place;

Here, all night I sing with my winecup and then moan for You all day.

If someone were to ask Hafiz, “Why do you spend all your time sitting in

The Winehouse door?,” to this man I would say, “From there, standing,

I can see both the Path and the Way.

–  Hafiz

From: Drunk on the Wind of the Beloved
Translated by Thomas Rain Crowe

The Subject Tonight is Love

The subject tonight is Love

And for tomorrow night as well,

As a matter of fact

I know of no better topic

For us to discuss

Until we all

Die!

– Hafiz

The poems in this collection are truly amazing and I look forward to reading more Hafiz after my exams. It is recommended you read it. 🙂