Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing, he comes to see me. Is someone here? I ask. The moon. The full moon is inside your house.
My friends and I go running out into the street. I'm in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren't listening. We're looking up at the sky. My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden. Ringdoves scatter with small cries. Where, Where. It's midnight. The whole neighborhood is up and out in the street thinking, The cat-burglar has come back. The actual thief is there too, saying out loud, Yes, the cat-burglar is somewhere in this crowd. No one pays attention.
Lo, I am with you always, means when you look for God, God is in the look of your eyes, in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self, or things that have happened to you. There's no need to go outside. Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in the quietness. Let your tongue become that flower.
Version by Coleman Barks "The Essential Rumi" HarperSanFrancisco, 1995
"And He is With Us"
Totally unexpected my guest arrived. "Who is it?" asked my heart. "The face of the moon," said my soul.
As he entered the house, we all ran into the street madly looking for the moon. "I'm in here," he was calling from inside, but we were calling him outside unaware of his call. Our drunken nightingale is singing in the garden, and we are cooing like doves, "Where, where, where?"
A crowd formed: "Where's the thief?" And the thief among us is saying, "Yeah, where's the thief?" All our voices became mixed together and not one voice stood out from the others.
"And He is with you" means He is searching with you. He is nearer to you than yourself. Why look outside? Become like melting snow; wash yourself of yourself. With love your inner voice will find a tongue growing like a silent white lily in the heart.
Version by Kabir Edmund Helminski "Love is a Stranger" Threshold Books, 1993
A Thief in The Night
Suddenly (yet somehow expected) he arrived, the guest.... the heart trembling "Who's there?"
and soul responding "The Moon..." came into the house, and we lunatics ran into the street, stared up looking for the moon.
Then--inside the house-- he cried out "Here I am !" and we, beyond earshot lunning around, calling him...
crying for him for the drunken nightingale locked lamenting in our garden while we mourning ringdoves murmured "Where Where?"
As if at midnight the sleepers bolt upright in their beds hearing a thief break into the house they stumble about crying "Help! A thief! A thief!"
but the burglar himself mingles in the confusion echoing their cries: "..... a thief!" till one cry melts with the others.
Ghazal (Ode) 2172 "The Drunken Universe" Translation by Peter Lamborn Wilson with Nasrullah Pourjavadi Omega Publications, New Lebanon, 1987
a voice out of this world calls on our souls not to wait any more get ready to move to the original home your real home your real birth place is up here with the heavens let your soul take a flight like a happy phoenix you've been tied up your feet in the mud your body roped to a log break loose your ties get ready for the final flight make your last journey from this strange world soar for the heights where there is no more separation of you and your home God has created your wings not to be dormant as long as you are alive you must try more and more to use your wings to show you're alive these wings of yours are filled with quests and hopes if they are not used they will wither away they will soon decay you may not like what i'm going to tell you you are stuck now you must seek nothing but the source
Ghazal 945 Translation by Nader Khalili "Rumi, Fountain of Fire" Cal-Earth Press, 1994