My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
— George Eliot
Pharmacies were great patrons of maiolica potteries from the early fifteenth century onward. Usually housed in monastic hospitals or royal residences, pharmacies often commissioned large sets of matching jars which were displayed in rows on shelves around the walls. Each jar was marked with the name of the drug it contained. Spouted jars were used to store and dispense liquid medicine. Early examples were closed by tying parchment over the top.
Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi
If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the night sky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
or what “God’s fragrance” means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face close.
When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this.
When someone asks what it means
to “die for love,” point
If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.
When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.
I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.
When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?
How did Jacob’s sight return?
A little wind cleans the eyes.
When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us.
From ‘The Essential Rumi’, Translations
by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
Like the Water
by Wendell Berry
Like the water
of a deep stream,
love is always too much.
We did not make it.
Though we drink till we burst,
we cannot have it all,
or want it all.
In its abundance
it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill,
while it flows
through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us,
except we keep returning to its rich waters
willing to die,
into the commonwealth of its joy.
The Sweet Sound Of Bees
by T.E. Ballard
Could you love a bee
that buzzed, tickled your ear,
brought tiny legs up to lips,
while amber honey dripped
down your breast?
And if he followed it there
carried it down
to the place where you open
like flowers, clear petals. If wings
grew tongues, and he said
you were enough
the very essence of you
that he could live, grow
in the sweet sugar of your hip.
Would you then turn and walk away?
Say he is not a man with legs,
speak of spiders or ants
who would deny you both a place.
What if these were not reasons
just something you said,
for the hum had grown so sweet,
you realized an ability to sting.