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Consider the camel
Persian: Va negaah kon beh Shotor, aari

By Simin Behbahani
Translated by Korosh Khalili
September 30, 2002
The Iranian

Will they not then consider the camels, how they are created?
(Koran, 88:18)

And consider the camel, yes
How it was created
Not from Creator's clay, it seems
But of delusions and patience

And you know how the mirage
Instantly deludes the eyes
yet the mirage knows not how
You accumulate patience

And how do you learn patience?
With thirst, with sand, with salt flats
And viewing the endless presence
With eyes of helplessness

And observe the eyes, for here
They remind of dried up streams
Of the salty lines of tears
Which have flowed down your cheeks

And see how have these tears
Emptied you of all consciousness
And this void you must again fill
With what other empty delusion?

And in this void you shall see,
The stirrings of a thirsty camel:
Won't go lightly under a heavy load
Its patience and sanity expended

And insanity becomes two flashing
White rows of angry teeth
For patience breeds vengeance
And vengeance begets harm

And observe with what vengeance
The Driver's jugular it has bit!
No more patience with delusions
And consider the camel, yes...

English translation

Email your comments for The Iranian letters section
Send an email to Korosh Khalili

By Simin Behbahani

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