Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Be Cautious...

Allah. There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory). 

The greed of hunting makes one oblivious to being a prey:

the hunter tries to win hearts,
though he has lost his own.

Don't be inferior to a bird in your seeking:

for even a sparrow sees what is before and behind.*

When the bird approaches the bait,

at that moment it turns its head several times
to the rear and the front,
as if to say,

"Is there a hunter somewhere near?

Should I be careful?
Should I touch this food?"

Mathnawi V: 752-755
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tell no one what you've seen...

A Light Within His Light

I circled awhile with each of the intelligences,

the nine fathers that control the levels

of spirit-growth.

 I revolved

for years with the stars through

each astrological sign.

I disappeared into the kingdom of nearness.

I saw what I have seen, receiving nourishment

as a child lives in the womb.

Personalities are born once,

a mystic many times.

Wearing the body-robe, I've been busy

in the market, weighing and arguing prices.

Sometimes I have torn the robe off

with my own hands and thrown it away.

I've spent long nights in monasteries,

and I have slept with those who claim to believe

nothing on the porches of pagodas,

just traveling through.

When someone feels jealous, I am inside

the hurt and the need to possess.

When anyone is sick, I feel

feverish and dizzy.

I am cloud and rain being released,

and then the meadow as it soaks it in.

I wash the rains of mortality

from the cloth around a dervish.

I am the rose of eternity, not made of

water or fire or the wandering wind,

or even earth. I pay with those.

I am not Shams of Tabriz,

but a light within his light.

If you see me, be careful.

Tell no one what you've seen.

Ghazal (Ode) 331, 
Version by Coleman Barks,
 "Say I Am You" 
Maypop, 1994

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The One Who Sees

today like everyday
I'm in no sober mood
don't open the door
to my thoughts
begin the music instead
for the one who sees
only the beloved's face
there are a hundred
ways to pray
to prostrate
or to be humbled
to the ground

Translation by Nader Khalili
Rumi, Dancing the Flame, Cal-Earth Press, 2001 
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Version by Coleman Barks
Open Secret, Threshold Books, 1984
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