The Martians

For an instant I closed my eyes in the waters,
for a little in the depths I broke away from myself, 1810
bore my baggage towards another world,
with another time, another space.
Our sun reached its horizons,
creating a different kind of night and day.
The body is a stranger to the spirit’s wont and way 1815
which dwells in time, yet is a stranger to time.
Our soul accords with every fire there is,
its time rejoices in every day there is;
it grows not old with the flight of time,
the days illumine the world through its light. 1820
The ceaseless revolution of day and night from it derives;
make it your journey, for the very world springs from it.
A broad meadow with a tall observatory
whose telescope lassoed the Pleiades—
is this the nine-domed retreat of Khizr, 1825
or is it the dark territory of our earth?
Now I searched for the bounds of its immensity,
anon I gazed upon the expanse of heaven.
The Sage of Rum, that guide of the visionaries,
spoke: ‘Behold, this world is Mars; 1830
like our world, it is a talisman of colours and scents,
having cities and habitations, palaces and streets.
Its dwellers are skilled in many arts, like the Franks,
excelling us in physical and psychical sciences.
They have greater dominion over time and place 1835
because they are cleverer at the science of space;
they have so penetrated into its essence
that they have seen its every twist and turn.
Earth’s dwellers-their hearts are bound to water and clay; 1840
in this world, body is in bondage to heart.
When a heart makes its lodging in water and clay,
with water and clay it makes what it wills;
intoxication, joy, happiness are at the disposal of the soul,
the soul determines the body’s absence and presence.
In our world, existence is a duality, 1845
soul and body, the one invisible, the other visible;
for terrestrials, soul and body are bird and cage,
whereas the thought of Martians is unitive.
When the day of separation arrives for any,
he becomes livelier from the flame of separation; 1850
a day or two before the day of death
he proclaims his decease to his fellows.
Their soul is not nourished by the body,
therefore it has not become habituated to the body.
Death is to draw in the body, 1855
death is to flee from the world into one’s self.
This discourse is too high for your thought
because your soul is dominated by your body.
You must wander here for a moment or two;
God gives not such an opportunity to everyone.’ 1860