Not All That Great
The goods produced in the factories of space and time
are not all that great. Bring some wine,
because the desirables of this world are not all that great.
Heart and soul are born for ecstatic conversation
with the soul of souls. That’s it. If that fails,
heart and soul are not in the end that great.
Don’t become indebted to the Tuba and Sidra trees
just to have some shade in heaven. When you look closely,
my flowering cypress friend, you’ll see that these trees are not all
The true kingdom comes to you without any breaking
of bones. If that weren’t so, achieving the Garden
through your own labors wouldn’t be all that great.
In the five days remaining to you in this rest stop
before you go to the grave, take it easy, give
yourself time, because time is not all that great.
You who offer wine, we are waiting on the lip
of the ocean of ruin. Take this moment as a gift; for the distance
between the lip and the mouth is not all that great.
The state of my being – miserable and burnt
to a crisp – is proof enough that my need
to put it into words is not all that great.
You ascetic on the cold stone, you are not safe
from the tricks of God’s zeal: the distance between the cloister
and the Zorastrian tavern is not after all that great.