Sunday, November 21, 2010

Be Dumbfounded

A Zero-Circle

Be helpless and dumbfounded,
unable to say yes or no.

Then a stretcher will come
from grace to gather us up.

We are too dulleyed to see the beauty.
If we say "Yes we can," we'll be lying.

If we say "No, we don't see it,"
that "No" will behead us

and shut tight our window into spirit.

So let us not be sure of anything,
beside ourselves, and only that, so
miraculous beings come running to help.

Crazed, lying in a zero-circle, mute,
we will be saying finally,
with tremendous eloquence, "Lead us."

When we've totally surrendered to that beauty,
we'll become a mighty kindness.

Mathnawi IV, 3748-3754
Coleman Barks, "Say I am You"
Maypop, 1994

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aidil Adha....



Joseph has come,
the handsome one of this age,
a victory banner floating over Spring flowers.

Those of you whose work it is
to wake the dead, get up!
This is a work day.

The lion that hunts lions charges into the meadow.
Yesterday and the day before are gone.

The beautiful coin of now
slaps down in your hand.

The streets and buildings of this city
are all saying, The prince is coming!

Start the drumbeat. Everything we've said
about the Friend is true. The beauty of that
peacefulness makes the whole world restless.

Spread your love-robe out to catch
what sifts down from the ninth level.

You strange, exiled bird with clipped wings,
now you have four full-feathered pinions.

You heart closed up in a chest, open,
for the Friend is entering you.

You feet, it's time to dance!
Don't talk about the old man.

He's young again. And don't mention
the past. Do you understand?
The Beloved is here!

You mumble,
"But what excuse can I give the king?"
when the king is here making excuses to you!

You say, "How can I escape his hand?"
when that hand is trying to help you.

You saw a fire, and light came.
You saw blood, and wine
is being poured.

Don't run from your own tremendous good fortune.

Be silent and don't try
to add up what's been given.

An uncountable grace has come to you.

Version by Coleman Barks
"Say I Am You"
Maypop, 1994

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Utterings...


By the right of old companionship and friendship,
do not repeat to the Beloved all that I uttered last night,
unconscious and sick;

But if, as God decrees, that moon hears of those things,
he himself knows what a melancholy lover will say in the darkness of night.
When reason is not at home, the tale will be distorted - now
low, now high, now war, now submissiveness.

If God should scatter my frenzy over the world,
you will not see one man with reason;
all will be stripped of their reason.

Reason, can it be that you pour these dark suggestions into me?
Cloud, can it be you who rains upon me this troubled potion?

Muslims, Muslims, guard well your hearts; let none go about me,
either to sightsee or to sympathize.

Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
The University of Chicago Press, 1991

(image credit :


In the name of friendship,
don't repeat to my Beloved
all that I said last night,
out of my mind;
but if, by God, she hears it,
she'll understand what a man can say
in the dark, loud or quiet, rough or soft,
when reason is not at home.
If God let's this anxiety out,
no one in the world will stay sane.
Mind, are these your dark suggestions?
Cloud, is this your sad rain?
Believers, watch your hearts.
Curious or kind, stay away.

Version by Kabir Helminski
"Love is a Stranger"
Threshold Books, Putney, Vermont, 1993

(image credit :


Sometimes I forget completely
what companionship is.
Unconscious and insane, I spill sad
energy everywhere. My story
gets told in various ways: A romance,
a dirty joke, a war, a vacancy.

Divide up my forgetfulness to any number,
it will go around.
These dark suggestions that I follow,
are they part of some plan?
Friends, be careful. Don't come near me
out of curiosity, or sympathy.

Version by Coleman Barks
"Open Secret" , Threshold Books, 1984

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

Didn't I Tell You... Didn't I Say....

Didn't I tell you
Do not leave me for I am your only Friend,
I am the spring of life.

Even if you leave in anger for thousands of years

You will come back to me for I am your goal and your end.

Didn't I tell you

not to be seduced by this colorful world

for I am the Ultimate Painter.

Didn't I tell you

you are a fish do not go to dry land

for I am the deep Sea.

Didn't I tell you

not to fall in the net like birds

for I am your wings and the power of light.

Didn't I tell you

not to let them change your mind and turn you to ice

for I am your fire and warmth.

Didn't I tell you

they will corrupt you and make you forget

that I am the Spring of all virtues.

Didn't I tell you

not to question my actions

for everything falls into order, I am the Creator.

Didn't I tell you

your heart can guide you home

because it knows that I am your Master.

Translation by Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi
Rumi: Hidden Music
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

(image credit : profileabc)

Didn't I say, "Don't go there; I am your friend.

In this mirage of existence, I am the fountain of life."

Even if your anger takes you a hundred thousand years away,

in the end you will return, for I am your goal.

Didn't I say, "Don't be content with earthly forms;

I am the designer of the intimate chamber of your contentment."

Didn't I say, "I am the sea, and you are a single fish;

don't strand yourself on dry land; I am your clear sea."

Didn't I say, "Don't get caught in the trap like a helpless bird;

I am the power of flight – your feet and your wings."

Didn't I say, "They will waylay you and make you cold;

I am the fire and your warm desire."

Didn't I say, "They will implant their qualities in you

until you forget that the best qualities are here."

Didn't I say, "You do not know from what direction

your affairs are put in order."

I am the Creator beyond directions.

If light is in your heart, find your way home.

If you are of God, know your Benefactor.
Version by Kabir Edmund Helminski
"Love is a Stranger", Threshold Books, 1993

(image credit)

Did I not say to you, friend:

"Don't go, for I am your Friend?

I am the Water of Life

in the mirage of decay!

And if in anger you go

thousands of miles, far from me:

Finally you will return –

I am your goal and your end!"

Did I not say to you, friend:

"I am the sea, you're a fish.

Do not go to the dry land –

I am the Attributes' sea!"

Did I not say to you, friend:

"Don't fly like birds to the snare!

Come, I am strength for your flight,

and I am strength for your wings!"

Did I not say to you, friend:

"They'll block your road, make you cold!

But I am fire and heat,

warmth of your heart and your love!"

Did I not say to you, friend:

"Bad qualities, that's your share!

But you can lose them! I am

the fountain of qualities pure."

Did I not say to you, friend:

"Don't grieve: 'From which side my work

Will be arranged?' For I am

He who creates, without sides!"

Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
"Look! This Is Love", Shambhala, 1996

 (image credit : mailonline)

Remember what I said . . .

I said, Don't leave, for I am your Friend.

In the mirage of this world

I am the fountain of life.

Even if you leave in anger

and stay away for a thousand years

You will return to me,

for I am your goal.

I said, Don't be content with worldly promises

for I am the tabernacle of your contentment.

I said, Do not go upon the dry land

for I am the Sea without a shore.

I said, O bird, do not fly into the hunter's net;

come toward me, for I am the power

that moves your wings

that lifts you through the sky.

I said, They'll capture you and put you on ice;

I am the fire and the warmth

of your true yearning.

I said, They will cover you with water and clay;

You will forget that I am your taintless beginning.

I said, No one can tell how my work will manifest

for I create the world from all sides.

Let your heart's light guide you to my house.

Let your heart's light show you that we are one.

Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi – In the Arms of the Beloved"
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997

(image credit :

haven't I told you

don't run away from me

you'll find me like a fountainhead

wherever you go in this mirage

even if you leave me

with anger for a hundred thousand years

you'll finally return

since i'm your final home

haven't i told you

don't be fooled with

the spangles in life

i'm your final fulfillment

haven't i told you

that i'm the sea and you're a small fish

you're better off staying with me

than venturing the dry shores

haven't i told you

don't go towards the trap

like a bird enticed by bait

come back to me i'm your endless strength

haven't i told you

others will kill your fire

stay with me who will set you

on flame and warm your soul

haven't i told you

others will disillusion you

you'll lose the fountainhead of

the solace i've found for you

if you're enlightened by

the lantern of your heart

guiding you to God's house

look at me i may be the path

Translation by Nader Khalili
"RUMI: Fountain of Fire", Cal-Earth Press, 1994

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