strange affair

Bill Bumpus's picture

(from "Song and Praise of the Skaykh" by Si Fadul al-Huwari, translated by Richard Thompson)

this is a strange affair

the time has come to travel but the road is filled with fear

this is a strange affair

my youth has all been wasted and i'm bent and gray with years

and all of my companions

are taken away

and who will provide for me

against my dying day

i took my own provision

but it fooled me and wasted away

where are my companions

my mother father lover friend and enemy

where are my companions

they are prisoners of death now and taken far from me

and where are the dreams i dreamed

in the days of my youth

they took me to illusion

while they offered me the truth

and what do sleepers need to make them listen

why do they need more proof

this is a strange affair

won't you give me an answer

why is your heart so hard toward the one that loves you best

and in the night the answer

has wakened you and warned you and called you to the test

and wake up from the sleep that builds

like clouds upon your eyes

and win back the light you had

that's now a dream of lies

turn your back on yourself

and if you follow you'll win the lover's prize

this is a strange affair