Solo show by Arita Shahrzad
Ode To A Garden Carpet – By an unknown Sufi Poet (Circa 1500)
Here in this carpet lives an ever-lovely spring; Un-scorched by summer’s ardent flame, Safe too from autumn’s boisterous gales, Mid winter’s cruel ice and snow,’Tis gaily blooming still. Eyes hot-seared by desert glare find healing in its velvet shade. Splashing foundations and rippling pools, In cool retreats sore-wearied limbs restore, And tired hearts awake with joy once more. The way was cruel.
Baffled by monotony and mocked by phantoms delirious, Beset by stalking Death in guises manifold; The dreaded jinns, the beasts ferocious, The flaming heat and the exploding storms; Form all these perils here at last set free; In the Garden all find security.
Here the long-laboring Earth at last gives birth. From apparent death, a new and lovely world is born; Below the desert’s dusty floor, the jacinth imprisoned lies. The stony wilderness so bleak and bare, In ageless patience broods, aware of a life within, the promise of fertility and abundance. Ever longing for deliverance. The world at last reveals its destiny.
Can we not then capture and restore The loveliness that gave us hope, Still brightly mirrored on memory’s gliding waters Or snared in the poets’ invisible net, So wide, so fragile, Yet captor and conqueror of realities elusive?
Wrought in gold and azure, bright as carved metal. Dream-like foliage in sparking tones is caught, Or else, in sumptuous shades of glossy lacquer, Quiet but intense; in muffled browns and honey pure, Jasper cool and mellow cinnabar, That fairy land comes real again.
In sudden collisions find sweet embrace; In rhythms enchanting, with stately pace, Or rollicking speed; emerging, retreating, Reversing, in peaceful finality . Their conflicts reconcile, All in confederation blending Like a chorus in part-song gladly singing, In contrapuntal play rejoicing, Floating soft or wildly free; Yet anchored in eternity.