You cannot pass the mountains
without overflowing like a waterfall
without tears in your eyes
and without a flame in your heart
Roads do not come to an end
without sacrifices from one’s life and love.
Taking pride in your poverty,
and spreading wing to nonexistence.
Deserts cannot be crossed
without a thousand pains
and suffering nipping your soul.
Book in your hand, passion in your heart,
be filled with enthusiasm and faith
Checkpoints cannot be cleared
without seeing what is right,
without igniting your spirit,
the eye of the heart opened,
taking off for a friendly shore
You cannot heal your longing
without dying and reviving
again and again.
Straining a thousand times a day,
attaining the essence of your existence
You cannot move past preconceptions
before the due time
without a fire in your chest,
without you being saved from you
Roads cannot be passed,
without a lowered head,
and your temper calmed
This poem by Fethullah Gulen has first been published on Fountain Magazine, #116, Mar-Apr 2017