“Tripping over Joy” by Daniel Ladinsky

Leunig, Michael_Falling Fool
Falling Fool by Michael Leunig (Australian, 1945–)

What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.

This poem, inspired by the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz, appears in I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy (Penguin, 2006) and is used here by permission of the author.