“Inside of us, there’s a continual autumn.
Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water.”
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.
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
Neil Welliver, “Lower Ducktrap” (1978), oil on canvas, 96 x 96 inches
The Beauty of The Heart
The beauty of the heart
is the lasting beauty:
its lips give to drink
of the water of life.
Truly it is the water,
that which pours,
and the one who drinks.
All three become one when
your talisman is shattered.
That oneness you can’t know
It’s a habit of yours to walk slowly.
You hold a grudge for years.
With such heaviness, how can you be modest?
With such attachments, do you expect to arrive anywhere?
Be wide as the air to learn a secret.
Right now you’re equal portions clay
and water, thick mud.
Abraham learned how the sun and moon and the stars all set.
He said, No longer will I try to assign partners for God.
You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.
You’re trying to live your life in open scaffolding.
Say Bismillah, In the name God,
As the priest does with knife when he offers an animal.
Bismillah your old self
to find your real name.
Within a human being is such a love, a passion and longing, an itch, a desire, that, even if he were to possess a hundred thousand worlds, he would still not find rest or peace. People try their hand at all sorts of trades and professions – they learn astronomy and medicine, and so forth – but they are not at peace because they haven’t found what they are seeking. The beloved is called dil-ârâm because the heart finds tranquillity through the beloved, so how can it find tranquillity through anything else? All these pleasures and objects of search are like a ladder. Ladder rungs are not places to stay and abide, but rather are to pass through. The sooner one awakens and becomes aware and watchful, the shorter the road becomes and the less one’s life is wasted on these “ladder rungs”. – Rumi