With every breath the sound
of love surrounds us,
and we are bound for the depths
of space, without distraction.
We've been in orbit before
and know the angels there.
Let's go there again, Master,
for that is our land.
Yet we are beyond all of that
and more than angels.
Out beyond duality,
we have a home, and it is Majesty.
That pure substance is
different from this dusty world.
What kind of place is this?
We once came down; soon we'll return.
A new happiness befriends us
as we work at offering our lives.
Muhammad, the jewel of the world,
is our caravan's chosen guide.
The sweetness we breathe on the wind
is from the scent of his hair,
and the radiance of our thought
is from the light of his day.
His face once caused
the moon to split in two.
She couldn't endure the sight of him.
Yet how lucky she was,
she who humbly received him.
Look into your heart and see
the splitting moon within each breath.
Having seen that vision,
how can you still dream?
When the wave of "Am I not?" struck,
it wrecked the body's ship;
when the ship wrecks again,
it will be the time of union.
The Human Being, like a bird of the sea,
emerged from the ocean of the soul.
Earth is not the final place of rest
for a bird born from the sea.
No, we are pearls of that ocean;
all of us live in it;
and if it weren't so, why would
wave upon wave arrive?
This is the time of union,
the time of eternal beauty.
It is the time of luck and kindness;
it is the ocean of purity.
The wave of bestowal has come.
The roar of the sea is here.
The morning of happiness has dawned.
No, it is the light of God.
Whose face is pictured here?
Who is this shah or prince?
Who is this ancient intelligence?
They are all masks . . .
and the only remedy is
this boiling ecstasy of the soul.
A fountain of refreshment
is in the head and the eyes -
not this bodily head
but another pure spiritual one.
Many a pure head has been spilled
in the dust. Know the one from the other!
Our original head is hidden,
while this other is visible.
Beyond this world is a world
that has no boundaries.
Put your water skin away, brother,
and draw some wine from our cask!
The clay jug of perception
has such a narrow spout.
The sun appeared from the direction of Tabriz,
and I said, "This light is at once joined
with all things, and yet apart from everything."
Ghazal (Ode) 363
Version by Kabir Helminski
"Love is a Stranger"
Threshold Books, 1993