All the Hemispheres

My favorite poem, recited to the Sivananda Ashramites, Kerala, India, May 2010.


Leave the familiar for a while.

Let your senses and bodies stretch out


Like a welcomed season

Onto the meadows and shores and hills.


Open up to the Roof.

Make a new watermark on your excitement

And love.


Like a blooming night flower,

Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness

And giving

Upon our intimate assembly.


Change rooms in your mind for a day.


All the hemispheres in existence

Lie beside an equator

In your heart.


Greet Yourself

In your thousand other forms

As you mount the hidden tide and travel

Back home.


All the hemispheres in heaven

Are sitting around a fire



While stitching themselves together

Into the Great Circle inside of



Hafiz is considered one of the greatest lyrical poets of all time.  He never actually wrote down his poetry, but only spoke it out loud or sang it when in the mood.  Some of the most respected Hafiz scholars feel that the first complete manuscript of his poems wasn’t even compiled until many years ofter his passing.

Persian poets of Hafiz’s era would often address themselves in their poems as if carrying on a conversation – giving the poems feelings of intimacy and playfulness.  Sometimes Hafiz speaks from the point of view of a seeker, sometimes from the point of view of a realized Master and guide.  His experience on the path from student to enlightened teacher is reflected in these beautiful poems … (text courtesy Daniel Ladinsky, translator of Hafiz’s “The Subject Tonight is Love” – slightly modified)

“A poet is someone who can pour light into a cup, then raise it to nourish your beautiful parched, holy mouth.”   Funny, Hafiz’s definition of a poet so closely resembles my definition of a friend.


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