Sow Flowers

by Rahman Baba

English version by Robert Sampson and Momin Khan
Original Language Pashto

Sow flowers to make a garden bloom around you,
The thorns you sow will prick your own feet.

Arrows shot at others
Will return to hit you as they fall.

You yourself will come to teeter on the lip
Of a well dug to undermine another.

Though you look at others with contempt,
It's you whose body will be reduced to dust.

Humanity is all one body;
To torture another is simply to wound yourself.

When you don't look for faults in others,
They will conceal your weaknesses in return.

Make your path straight now, by the bright light of day;
For pitch darkness will come without warning.

Consider no wickedness insignificant, however slight;
For the little deeds of darkness soon pile up.

If another does you harm, return them good;
Or evil will devour you too.

The heart that is safe in the storm
Is the one which carries
Others' burdens
Like a
Boat.


-- from The Poetry of Rahman Baba: Poet of the Pashtuns, translated by Robert Sampson and Momin Khan (available from http://rahmanbaba-poetry.com/ )

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Sow Flowers