A Bit of Poetry

Hello friends. As part of transitioning to Ireland, I’m trying to get back in my normal blogging habits. Unfortunately I’m completely emotionally drained which means that my ability to a. think of anything I care about and b. form coherent thoughts is not at its height. So for today I will leave you with a few poems that I’ve been loving recently. I picked up a book of Rumi’s work a few days ago and I can’t get over it, so here are some of my favorites.

“The Fragile Vial”

I need a mouth as wide as the sky
to say the nature of a True Person, language
as large as longing.

The fragile vial inside me often breaks.
No wonder I go mad and disappear for three days
every month with the moon.

For anyone in love with you,
it’s always these invisible days.

I’ve lost the thread of the story I was telling.
My elephant roams his dreams of Hindustan again.
Narrative, poetics, destroyed, my body,
a dissolving, a return.

Friend, I’ve shrunk to a hair trying to say your story.
Would you tell mine?
I’ve made up so many love stories.
Now I feel fictional.
Tell me!
The truth is, you are speaking, not me.
I am Sinai, and you are Moses walking there.
This poetry is an echo of what you say.
A piece of land can’t speak, or know anything!
Or of it can, only within limits.

The body is a device to calculate
the astronomy of the spirit.
Look through that astrolabe
and become oceanic.

Why this distracted talk?
It’s not my fault I rave.
You did this.
Do you approve of my love-madness?

Say yes.
What language will you say it in, Arabic or Persian,
or what? Once again, I must be tied up.
Bring the curly ropes of your hair.

Now I remember the story.
A True Man stares at his old shoes
and sheepskin jacket. Every day he goes up
to his attic to look at his work-shoes and worn-out coat.
This is his wisdom, to remember the original clay
and not get drunk with ego and arrogance.

To visit those shoes and jacket
is praise.

The Absolute works with nothing.
The workshop, the materials
are what does not exist.

Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.

 

 

“I Have Five Things To Say”

The wakened lover speaks directly to the beloved,
“You are the sky my spirit circles in,
the love inside of love, the resurrection-place.

Let this window be your ear.
I have lost consciousness many times
with longing for your listening silence,
and your life-quickening smile.

You give attention to the smallest matters,
my suspicious doubts, and to the greatest.

You know my coins are counterfeit,
but you accept them anyway,
my impudence and my pretending!

I have five things to say,
five fingers to give
into your grace.

First, when I was apart from you,

this world did not exist,

nor any other.

Second, whatever I was looking for

was always you.

Third, why did I ever learn to count to three?

Fourth, my cornfield is burning!

Fifth, this finger stands for Rabia,

and this is for someone else.

Is there a difference?

Are these words or tears?
Is weeping speech?
What shall I do, my love?”

So he speaks, and everyone around
begins to cry with him, laughing crazily,
moaning in the spreading union
of lover and beloved.

This is the true religion. All others
are thrown-away bandages beside it.

This is the sema of slavery and mastery
dancing together. This is not-being.

Neither words, nor any natural fact
can express this.

I know these dancers.
Day and night I sing their songs
in this phenomenal cage.

My soul, don’t try to answer now!
Find a friend, and hide.

But what can stay hidden?
Love’s secret is always lifting its head
out from under the covers,
“Here I am!”

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