Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I am that

The marvelous sound
That comes from the sky – I am That.
The sweet fragrance
That comes from the garden – I am That.

The great beauty
That comes from the heart and soul
Until I leave . . . Wait!
I can’t leave – I am That.

Version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva
A Garden Beyond Paradise
Bantam Books, 1992

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I am the sharer of your secrets

how very close
is your soul with mine
i know for sure
everything you think
goes through my mind

i am with you
now and doomsday
not like a host
caring for you
at a feast alone

with you i am happy
all the times
the time i offer my life
or the time
you gift me your love

offering my life
is a profitable venture
each life i give
you pay in turn
a hundred lives again

in this house
there are a thousand
dead and still souls
making you stay
as this will be yours

a handful of earth
cries aloud
i used to be hair or
i used to be bones

and just the moment
when you are all confused
leaps forth a voice
hold me close
i'm love and
i'm always yours 

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

How close your soul is to my soul! For whatever thing you are
thinking, I know.
I have a token even closer than this; come close, and behold
my token.
In dervish guise you come into the midst; do not jest and say,
"I am in the midst."
I am like the column amidst your house; I am like a water-
spout hanging down from your roof.
I am a sharer of your secrets on the day of mustering and 
resurrection, I am not a passing host like worldly friends.
In your banquet I go round like the wine, in time of your
battle I go before you like a lance.
If like lightning I make a trade of dying, like the lightning of
your beauty I am without a tongue.
Always I am joyful; it makes no difference whether I yield my
soul, or seize a soul.
If I give you my soul, it will be good trade, for in exchange for
a soul you will give me a hundred worlds.
In this house thousands and more are dead; there you are
seated saying, "Behold my household!"
A handful of dust says, "I was once a tress"; another says, "I am
a bone."
You become bewildered; then suddenly Love comes saying, "I 
will deliver you this very instant from yourself."
Silence, Khusrau, speak no more of Shirin; my mouth is 
burning with sweetness.*

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

* A play on "Shirin" and "shirini" (sweetness).

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Spirit and awareness

What is soul? Soul is conscious of good and evil,
rejoicing over kindness, weeping over injury.
Since consciousness is the inmost nature and essence of the soul,
the more aware you are the more spiritual you are.
Awareness is the effect of the spirit:
anyone who has this in abundance
is a man or woman of God.

Mathnawi VI: 148-150
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

Soul And The Old Woman

What is the soul?
The more awareness, the deeper the soul,

 and when

such essence overflows, you feel a sacredness around.
It’s so simple to tell one who puts on a robe and 
pretends to be a dervish from the real thing.

 We know the taste of pure water. 

Words can sound like a poem but not have any juice,
no flavor to relish.

How long do you look at pictures on a bathhouse wall?

Soul is what draws you away from those pictures to talk with the old woman
who sits outside by the door in the sun. 
She’s half blind, but she has what soul loves to flow into. 
She’s kind; she weeps.

She makes quick personal decisions, and laughs so easily.

Mathnawi: VI: 148-50
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Soul of Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 2001

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