Do you hold the lion’s paw?

March 11, 2015
lion paw

Poem by Sufi mystic, Hafiz

I hold the Lion’s Paw
Whenever I dance.
I know the ecstasy of the falcon’s wings
When they make love against the sky,
And the sun and moon
sometimes argue over
who will tuck me in at night.
If you think I am having more fun
Than anyone on this planet
You are absolutely correct.
But Hafiz
Is willing to share all his secrets
About how to befriend God.
Indeed, dear ones,
Hafiz is so very willing
To share all his secrets
About how to know the
I hold the Lion’s Paw whenever I dance.

 How did I miss this wonderful poem by the Sufi mystic, Hafiz? And why did it take a card in a San Francisco bookstore to call it to my attention?  These are mysteries. But no matter how I found it, I’m glad I did.

 I love how beautifully Hafiz expresses the reality of living joyfully in the face of fear, getting into its face, even.

There have been times in my life that I’ve been driven by my fears. Still times, really, that deeply-rooted anxieties and fears get a grip. It can be a mighty fight to wrestle free.

I love the image of dancing with fear, of taking the risk to dance fully, of not being afraid to dance despite our circumstances. The promise of feeling the ecstasy of life? It’s a motivator.

Hafiz has inspired me to look at my own life and identify places I might be holding back.

What about you? Did you know this poem before? And what does it say to you?

35 comments on “Do you hold the lion’s paw?
  1. I missed this one too Carol. How beautiful!

  2. Pat says:

    Thanks, Carol. I’ve never seen this either, but it resonates with me especially right now as I am dancing with my fears.

  3. sherry says:

    I have not heard of this poem before. I had to read it twice. I like what you said about, life and identify places you might be holding back. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I think I will have to copy and print it. Thank you!

  4. Laura Kennedy says:

    Reminds me of one of my favorite songs, by Dire Straits (Love Over Gold)

    You walk out on the high wire
    You’re a dancer on thin ice
    You pay no heed to the danger
    And less to advice
    Your footsteps are forbidden
    But with knowledge of your sin
    You throw your love to all the strangers
    And caution to the wind

  5. Hi Carol! I LOVE Hafiz and this is an awesome poem. Amazing that he is as “relevant” today as he was years and years ago. As Helen Keller says in my favorite quote of all time, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing!” ~Kathy

  6. I’ve never been a big poetry reader but I love this one. Fear is awful but it can be a wise teacher.

  7. Diane says:

    My life is just a bit richer for having read this today! Thank you, Carol!

  8. Very interesting poem. I am not familiar with Sufi poetry. My daughter has been working on writing poem stanzas for school lately, which has been difficult!

  9. Roz Warren says:

    You are SO lucky, Carol, to live in a place that still has wonderful bookstores where you can find treasure like this. I can’t wait to hit the bookstores when I visit the Bay Area this April.

  10. Tammy says:

    This is so beautiful. My fears have often tried to harness me. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t. This whimsical look at it all puts it in such nice perspective. Loving it. And you!

  11. That is the first time I have ever heard of that poem by Hafiz. It is indeed very beautiful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. No, I’ve never read Sufi before. I like the cover of the book; it has a good feeling. 🙂

  13. First time reading this poem thanks for sharing it is beautiful

  14. Alana says:

    I have not heard this beautiful poem before. It brought back a memory of about 30 years ago, when I lived on 34 rural acres in Arkansas. There were two entrances to my land. I dreamed, one night, that I was walking on my road, and as I approached one of the entrances, a single lion walked out to greet me. He did not attack, just looked at me, and I was not anxious or afraid at all. I looked this up in a dream interpretation book and it was a dream of power.

  15. Jenn says:

    This is the first time I read this poem and loved it!
    It is really beautiful.
    Thanks a lot for sharing:)

  16. Jeanine says:

    This is really great! I’ve never heard this before. Lovely.

  17. Never heard of the poet or this poem but love it. Love the photo and love this subject! Leave it to you, oh wise one, to introduce all of this to me. Many, MANY, thanks! xo

  18. I have not read the poem. But it was very lovely.

  19. Britney says:

    I haven’t heard of this book before! Thanks for sharing it so I can share it with my family!

  20. Estelle says:

    i love this poem. It really speaks to me. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  21. Lana says:

    Beautiful. And just what I needed to read today.

  22. no, I didn’t know it; it looks like I missed it too

  23. Liz Mays says:

    What a lovely lesson from a beautiful story book. This is so fantastic and started my day off just right.

  24. Stephanie says:

    This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I’ve never seen this before but I’m glad you brought it to my attention.

  25. Debbie D. says:

    Fabulous poem! I’ve never seen it before and it tells me to “go for the gusto”. Thanks for sharing it, Carol.

  26. Amanda McMahon says:

    Now I’m checking out Hafiz because this looks great! Nice find!

  27. Ellen says:

    Such a nice quote and artwork, I bought a copy of this card while on vacation, sent it to someone, wanted to find more/others by this artist)– could you give the illustrator/publisher name if you have them? Thanks very much! 🙂

  28. Ellen says:

    (oops I posted too soon 🙂 the artist is Pamela Zagarinsky, published by sacredbee 🙂 )

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