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Majid Naficy: Seven Sacred Songs

I. Eve's Song

My breasts are beautiful,
And my buttocks even more.
Why not be naked?
Why not make one naked?
Oh, waters of Eden,
Pouring into four rivers,
Be my witness.
I saw my nakedness in your mirror,
And God forgave me not.

We were coming
From behind big fig trees,
And our kisses were blooming
Like bits of ripe fig.
Adam's fingers
Were sliding down my skin
Like a searching snake,
And fig leaves one by one
Were falling from my body.
Then we heard the sound
Of your fearsome strides
And the lightning of your wrath
Struck us down.

Do not peek
From behind high thatched walls.
A wide world
Is opening before us.
II. Cain's Song

I made a porridge of my wheat
To repay your water-carrier clouds.
But you were more pleased
With Abel’s fat lamb.

He is my brother.
Every morning he comes out
From behind his sooty stone pen 
And drives his flock
Beyond my rain-fed farm
Every evening
He gives me milk
And receives bread.

We milk into one pail.
We bake bread in one oven.
We lie down on one earth.
We open our eyes to one sun.

I can do without your fatherly love
And give my sorrow to my brother
So that he plays it like a flute
And I send you back this bloody dagger
That you have thrown to me.
III. Abraham's Song

The horns of this ram charm
And his eyes talk to me.
No! I will not sacrifice him 
In place of my son. 
My soul is revolted at shedding blood.
My Lord,
I offer you this song
Because a beautiful word
Is the best proof of admiration
And gratitude.

IV. Moses' Song at Death
I was eighty years old
When I began this journey.
Now I am a hundred and twenty.
The earth does not smell of
Fresh plowing anymore
And God's fire in the mountain
No longer warms me.
From my rebellious generation in Egypt
Only a few have remained
And the wrath of God in the desert
Annihilated all the rest.

I was free only in Egypt
When, in the quarrel between a Jewish farmer
And an Egyptian constable,
I did not remain silent.

From here I can see
The Promised Land, Canaan.
Oh, you River of Jordan,
Do not cry.
Do not cry for me.
I want to die here
On this border mountain.
V. Ruth's Song

Ah! What a sweet smell
Comes from this threshing floor.
In my homeland, though,
Wheat has just become ripe.

The man that I love here
Is sleeping by a heap of chaff.
I am not a Jew,
But the oracles have told me
That David, the King of Jews,
And Jesus, the lord of Christians,
Will be born of my descendants.
Oh, God,
Do not unsheathe their swords
And make their hearts gentle.
Give David a beautiful voice
Such that he sings of the pains of exile
And give Jesus a healing hand
Such that he gives hope to the hopeless
And do not take from them
The power of weeping
So that they sob like me
In this quiet night.

There is a footstep
And the light of a lantern.
I hide myself beneath an old blanket
And become filled with the aroma of wheat.
VI. Ezra's Song

The god of Babylonia
Forced us into exile,
Destroyed our temple,
Put our women in servitude,
Cut off our men's heads,
And gave our dead to vultures.
The Jewish God turned His back on us
And called Nebuchadnezzar
The whip of His wrath.

Now we build a New Jerusalem
And shouts of our joy
Mingle with cries of our grief.
No matter if Jews
Have married Gentiles.
Let us all gather at this tall wall
And cry out in one voice
Towards the dark sky,
“Oh, you blood-shedding gods,
We do not want you.
Stay on your heavenly thrones
And leave alone the soil of the earth.”

Only our gentle hands
Can rebuild this wall.
VII. Job's Song

Curse you, oh day!
The day that I lost hope in God
And found myself lonely.

Praise to you, oh day!
The day that I believed in myself
And was filled with hope.

Hail honesty in despair!
Hail honesty in despair! 

Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and in English, including Father & Son (Red Hen, 2003).

Copyright 2020 Majid Naficy

Adam and Eve and the Forbidden Fruit by Marc Chagall

5 comments on “Majid Naficy: Seven Sacred Songs

  1. pvcann
    December 29, 2020


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ed Rosenthal
    December 28, 2020

    Lovely poems.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pranabaxom
    December 27, 2020

    So powerful and extraordinarily beautiful. The Song of Eve blown me away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rosemaryboehm
    December 27, 2020

    Extraordinary. Beautiful. Full of truths. Powerful. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 27, 2020 by in Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , .

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