Once a man came to me and spoke for hours about
“His great visions of God” he felt he was having.
He asked me for confirmation, saying,
“Are these wondrous dreams true?”
I replied, “How many goats do you have?”
He looked surprised and said,
“I am speaking of sublime visions
And you ask
And I spoke again saying,
“Yes, brother – how many do you have?”
“Well, Hafiz, I have sixty-two.”
“And how many wives?”
Again he looked surprised, then said,
“How many rose bushes in your garden,
How many children,
Are your parents still alive,
Do you feed the birds in winter?”
And to all he answered.
Then I said,
“You asked me if I thought your visions were true,
I would say that they were if they make you become
More kind to every creature and plant
That you know.”
Daniel Landinsky, after Hafiz.