“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
“My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
Sometimes you enter the heart.
Sometimes you are born from the soul.
Sometimes you weep a song of separation.
All the same glory.
You live in beautiful forms,
and you are the energy that breaks images.
All light, neither this nor that.
Human beings go places on foot,
Angels, with wings.
Even if they find nothing but ruins and failure,
you are the bright core of that.
When angels and humans are free of wings and feet,
they will understand that you are that lack, pure absence.
You are in my eyes
like a taste of wine that blocks my understanding.
That ignorance glorifies.
You talk and feel in the talking: kingdom, finances, fire,
smoke, the senses, incense, all are your favorites.
A ship, Noah, blessings, luck,
troubles that pull us unknowingly toward treasure.
Look. He is being dragged away from his friends.
No one will see him anymore.
This is your story.
I ask you, Should I talk to this one?
Is he being drawn to me?
Silence. That too.
What is desire. What is it?
Do not laugh, my soul.
Show me the way through this desiring.
All the world loves you,
but you are nowhere to be found,
hidden, completely obvious.
You are the soul.
You boil me down in a saucepan,
then ask why I am spilling out.
This writing, the record of being torn apart in your fire,
like aloes wood, becomes most itself when burning up.
Enough talk about burning.
Everything, even the end of this poem,
is a taste of your glory.
Translated by Coleman Barks
The Big Red Book–The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love & Friendship
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.
This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.
Longing is the core of mystery.
Longing itself brings the cure.
The only rule is, Suffer the pain.
Your desire must be disciplined,
and what you want to happen
in time, sacrificed.
The Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks