Friday, August 31, 2012

What Is There Beyond Knowing?

What Is There Beyond Knowing?

What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me?  I can't

turn in any direction
but it's there.  I don't mean

the leaves' grip and shine or even the thrush's
silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven's slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;

or time that's always rushing forward,
or standing still

in the same -- what shall I say --

What I know
I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder,

important and honorable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable.  How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out.  Life so far doesn't have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.

If there's a temple, I haven't found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
and the weeds.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(New and Selected Poems Volume Two)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fountain of fire

 Ready to drink every flame

rocking and rolling
what have you been drinking
please let me know

you must be drunk
going house to house
wandering from street to street

who have you been with
who have you kissed
who's face have you been fondling

you are my soul
you are my life
i swear my life and love is yours

so tell me the truth
where is that fountainhead
the one you've been drinking from

don't hide this secret
lead me to the source
fill my jug over and over again

last night i finally caught
your attention in the crowd
it was your image filling my dream

telling me to stop this wandering
stop this search for
good and evil

i said my dear prophet
give me some of
that you've drunk for ecstasy of life

if i let you drink you said
any of this burning flame
it will scorch your mouth and throat

your portion has been
given already by heaven
ask for more at your peril

i lamented and begged
i desire much more
please show me the source

i have no fear
to burn my mouth and throat
i'm ready to drink every flame and more

Ghazal (0de) 2154
Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi - Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1995

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Don't Go Back To Sleep

Those who don't feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don't drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don't want to change,

let them sleep.

This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind that way,

sleep on.

I've given up on my brain.
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.

If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,

and sleep.

  Version by Coleman Barks
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990

You who possess not Love, it is lawful to you – sleep on;
be gone,
 for Love and Love's sorrow is our portion – sleep on.
We have become motes of the sun of sorrow for the Beloved;
you in whose heart this passion has never arisen, sleep on.

In endless quest of union with Him we hurry like a river, you
who are not anguished by the question "Where is He?" – sleep on.

Love's path is outside the two and seventy sects;
since your love and way is mere trickery and hypocrisy, sleep on.

His dawn-cup is our sunrise, his crepuscule our supper, you
whose yearning is for viands and whose passion is for supper,
sleep on.

In quest of the philosopher's stone we are melting like copper,
you whose philosopher's stone is the bolster and bedfellow,
sleep on.

Like a drunkard you are falling and rising on every side, for
night is past and now is the time for prayer; sleep on.

Since fate has barred slumber to me, young man, be gone; 
for sleep has passed you by and you can now fulfil slumber; sleep on.

We have fallen into Love's hand – what will Love do? 
Since you are in your own hand, depart to the right hand – sleep on.
I am the one who drinks blood; my soul, 
you are the one who eats viands; 
since viands for certainty demand slumber, 
sleep on.

I have abandoned hope for my brain and my head too; 
you aspire to a fresh and juicy brain – sleep on.
I have rent the garment of speech and let words go; 
you who are not naked, possess a robe – sleep on.

  Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968

 "Sleep On"

Those of you who feel no love
sleep on.

Those of you who do not feel the sorrow of love
in whose heart has never risen
sleep on.

Those who do not long for union
who are not constantly asking, 'Where is He?'
sleep on.

Love's path is outside of all religious sects
if trickery and hypocrisy is your way
sleep on.

If you don't melt like copper in your quest
for the alchemical gold
sleep on.

If like a drunkard you fall left and right
unaware the night has passed and it's time for prayer
sleep on.

Fate has taken my sleep but since
it has not taken yours, young man
sleep on.

We have fallen into love's hands
since you are in your own
sleep on.

I am the one who is drunk on Love
since you are drunk on food
sleep on.

I have given up my head and have nothing more to say
but you can wrap yourself in the robe of words and
sleep on.

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


wake up, wake up
this night is gone
wake up

abandon abandon
even your dear self

there is an idiot
in our market place
selling a precious soul

if you doubt my word
get up this moment
and head for the market now

don't listen to trickery
don't listen to the witches
don't wash blood with blood

first turn yourself upside down
empty yourself like a cup of wine
then fill to the brim with the essence

a voice is descending
from the heavens
a healer is coming

if you desire healing
let yourself fall ill
let yourself fall ill

Ghazal (Ode) 2133
Translated by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Burning Gate Press, Los Angeles, 1994 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Right From Within


unknown existence
undiscovered beauty
that's how you are
so far

one dawn
just like a sun
right from within
you will arise

From Ghazal 2840
Translation by Nader Khalili
Rumi, Dancing the Flame
Cal-Earth Press, 2001
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