Thursday, November 21, 2013

I only know what I've experienced

(Credit : Daily Galaxy)

Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate.

There are wheatfields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies,
and in sunlight the beauty of friends
dancing at a wedding."

You ask the embryo why he, or she,
stays cooped up in the dark with eyes closed.

Listen to the answer:

"There is no 'other world.'
I only know what I've experienced.
You must be hallucinating."

Mathnawi III
Version by Coleman Barks
"We Are Three"
Maypop, 1987

Monday, November 11, 2013

The one who loves what God has made has no faith...

You are the real object

 Noah said, "I don't look at anyone but You;
even if I do, it's only a pretext,
for You are the real object of my glance.
I am in love with Your making—
both in the moment of thankfulness,
and when patience is required.
How should I be in love, like the unfaithful,
with that which You have made?"
The one who loves God's making is glorious;
the one who loves what God has made has no faith.

  Mathnawi III: 1359-1361
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

Friday, November 01, 2013

Let's go home

Credit : Australian Geographic
A House for the Naked

It's late and it's raining my friends;
let's go home. Let's leave these ruins
we've haunted like owls.
Even though these blonde beauties beckon,
let's go home. All the reasons offered
by the sensible, dull, and sorrowful
can't darken our hearts now;
nor can all this phantom love play,
this imaginary paradise hold us back.
Some see the grain but not the harvest.
Don't ask too many "how's" or "why's."
Let beasts graze.
Come home to the real celebration and music.
Shams has built a house for the naked and the pure.

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

Credit : OWLING
Let's Go Home

Late and starting to rain, it's time to go home.
We've wandered long enough in empty buildings.
I know it's tempting to stay and meet those new people.
I know it's even more sensible
to spend the night here with them,
but I want to be home.

We've seen enough beautiful places with signs on them
saying "This Is God's House".
That's seeing the grain like the ants do,
without the work of harvesting.
Let's leave grazing to cows and go
where we know what everyone really intends,
where we can walk around without clothes on.

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