Mr. Reza’i (1) told his friend that he wrote this poem for the friends who take part in Study Circles outside Iran. He explained the imagery in the poem as follows: the Baha’is of the world are like a single body. Much in the same way that for a body to move forward one foot must be fixed on the ground for the other to be put forward, the friends in prison in Iran are like the foot fixed on the ground while those in free countries, who can teach the Faith freely, are like the other foot which can move and take the whole body forward. The other imagery is that of a heart: Baha’is of the world are like a heart. In the same way that one side of the heart receives the dark blood and the other side pushes the red, well- oxygenated blood to the body, the friends incarcerated in Iran receive the tribulations, so that those outside can push fresh blood into the body of humanity.
Wayfarer of Heart and Soul
By: Sa’id Reza’i
Translated by: Nasser
I remained in the night
You pushed ahead toward the full sun
I remained in chains
You soared to the greatest heights.
This story, yours and mine, is an unusual saga
The story of one body
The tales of one heart
The narrative of one soul
Of its lips, singing
Of its dreams of flight
The story of two hands, tied
Of feet, in chains.
This story, yours and mine,
Is the story of departure, and of remaining
And of strides, each facing a mountain.
Have you heard the pulse of steps on the rocks?
Or have you seen a child climbing a tree?
One foot must remain, steadfast and patient
For the other to seek upper branches, higher grounds
To take flight and to find new paths.
When I saw you stride high, boundless like the wind,
I challenged my own limitations and doubts
And embraced the pain that was my lot
And I stood fast on the ground
Undeterred by the harshness of thorns and stones.
You soared beyond limits
Beyond imagination and dream
And my pain became my joy
And the harsh path ahead felt as soft as the clouds above.
I make a pledge to stand fast on the ground
For you to remain the light-footed wayfarer of heart and soul.
This story, yours and mine,
Is that of a loving heart
Beating and beating
Within the ailing body of our world
That suffers from an ancient pain
And is thirsty for new blood and fresh air.
Let me take away the darkness and the stale air
And make room for the fresh breeze and the new scent that you bring
For the worst pain, I swear, is nothing but pure joy
If it means happiness for all humanity, black and white and native and oriental.
Our story: a tale of union and separation
Of the burning candle that shed tears and gave light.
Of the nightingale and the moth
The lovers of song and flight
The narrators of the story of the candle
The timeless secret of its desire to fly
And its destined share of burning and singing.
Thus, you opened your wings
And you sang my pain
You heard and you told
You sang and you soared
Towards the daylight, towards the bright sun
Above all summits
Over all clouds.
And I pledge
That I shall remain bright
And I shall continue to recite
So that you keep the story alive
And sing the song of the friend
And remain the wayfarer of heart and soul.
1- Sa’id Reza’i is one the seven Baha’i leaders known as Yaran. He is currently serving a 20 year sentence in prison. For more information please visit http://news.bahai.org/human-rights/iran/yaran-special-report/profiles