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Song of the Reed
  Translated by Coleman Barks


   Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.
"Since I was cut from the reedbed,
I have made this crying sound.
Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.
Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back.
At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughing and grieving,
a friend to each, but few
will hear the secrets hidden
within the notes. No ears for that.
Body flowing out of spirit,
spirit up from body: no concealing
that mixing. But it's not given us
to see the soul. The reed flute
is fire, not wind. Be that empty.
" Hear the love fire tangled
in the reed notes, as bewilderment
melts into wine. The reed is a friend
to all who want the fabric torn
and drawn away. The reed is hurt
and salve combining. Intimacy
and longing for intimacy,
one song. A disastrous surrender
and a fine love, together. The one
who secretly hears this is senseless.
A tongue has one customer, the ear.
A sugarcane flute has such effect
because it was able to make sugar
in the reedbed. The sound it makes
is for everyone. Days full of wanting,
let them go by without worrying that they do.
Stay where you are inside such a pure,
hollow note. Every thirst gets satisfied except
that of these fish, the mystics,
who swim a vast ocean of grace
still somehow longing for it!
No one lives in that without
being nourished every day.
But if someone doesn't want to hear
the song of the reed flute,
it's best to cut conversation short,
say good-bye, and leave.

This Week:

      Notwithstanding the current propaganda about Iran deal, the real issues have nothing to do with nuclear program. The stark reality is that while as Iranians we love, revere and worship God and have deep faith in our religion, we loath the idea of being 'ruled' by Muslim clergy who is considered an alien agent of regression and obstacle to progress within our national body politics and culture. Muslim clergy known as 'Mullah' in Iran, has no place in our hearts and minds and if it was not for love of God and our culture of kindness, they would have not been able to survive and prosper for centuries. 'Mullahs' do not really belong to the Iranian culture. They have amply demonstrated that they have no respect for our ancient history, our rich cultural heritage, our pro-Western sentiment, our desire for modernity, our love affair with liberty and civilization. Therefore, not 35 years, not 350 years and not even 3500 years of this alien 'Islamist' dictatorship regime will be able to change the Iranian mindset. Having a Muslim clergy as head of the state is an insult to our nation's intelligence and our national body have rejected 'Mullahs' just as our body rejects a cold virus until it is removed by medication and we are back to our health. For an average proud Iranian, watching a Mullah representing our nation on the world stage is a national disgrace and we feel terribly ashamed for having sunk to such ignominy.
Peace and harmony will never come to Iran so long as Muslim clergy is ruling. This is an 1400 years old itch and it is not going to go away just because Europeans, Russians, Chinese and even lately Americans, are trying to fit this round object into a square hole. It has not worked for 1400 years and I remain confident that it will not work for another 14000 years. We have accepted Islam, and Mullahs were supposed to be servants in the Mosque and not to 'rule' over us. Islamic Republic constitution must be abolished. Mullahs should go back to Mosque where they belong, and the well-educated Iranian technocrats must take up the helm of leadership, draft a new constitution that guarantees separation of religion from government and bring about the birth of the Federal Republic of Iran.

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