Jun 09

Prayer on the Threshold of Tomorrow (Tekeyan)

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Prayer on the Threshold of Tomorrow, by Vahan Tekeyan (1878-1945)

Look. New sprouts push through the fields

But which are thorns and which wheat

I do not know. Perhaps to the appetite

that is sated, all is chaff,

while to the hungry all is wheat.


Indistinguishable sounds, blows, footfalls

thud in the distance, an agonizing attack,

where the oppressed plant red

flames with their blood.

And the rains sweat and expand

into floods that shake the walls

of the oldest dams.


Lord, now is the time to send

your wisdom and kindness

to the tortured who, although

they have forgotten, need you as they hurl

themselves closer to the precipice.


Oh, God, who trimmed the wick of the mind

and poured the oil of life, do not let

your lamps be overturned.

Let them illuminate paths to your truth.


Plant love in the eyes of today’s

and tomorrow’s mighty.  Do not let

their hearts close.


And do not let the hearts of the child

and the aged be strangers

to tenderness and hope.


Let the struggle of our time be short.

Let it be settled with justice.


Let the fortress of egos,

that huge barricade,

crumble.  And let every treasure

go to every man.  Let every garden

gate be open.  But let no flower be crushed.

No single branch fall.


(Trans.  Diana Der Hovanessian)

Words That Burn