If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
If anyone wants to know what "spirit"
or what "Gods fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.
When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
dont try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this.
When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point
If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesnt believe that,
walk back into my house.
When lovers moan,
theyre telling our story.
I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.
When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
How did Josephs scent come to Jacob?
How did Jacobs sight return?
A little wind cleans the eyes.
When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
hell put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us
Essential Rumi, Translations
by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
Love is the Water of Life
Everything other than love
for the most beautiful God
though it be sugar- eating.
What is agony of the spirit?
To advance toward death without
hold of the Water of Life.
moment of happiness,
and I sitting on the verandah,
two, but one in soul, you and I.
feel the flowing water of life here,
and I, with the garden's beauty
the birds singing.
stars will be watching us,
we will show them
it is to be a thin crescent moon.
and I unselfed, will be together,
to idle speculation, you and I.
parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
we laugh together, you and I.
one form upon this earth,
in another form in a timeless sweet land.
O lovers, lovers it is time
to set out from the world.
I hear a drum in my soul's ear
coming from the depths of the stars.
Our camel driver is at work;
the caravan is being readied.
He asks that we forgive him
for the disturbance he has caused us,
He asks why we travelers are asleep.
Everywhere the murmur of departure;
the stars, like candles
thrust at us from behind blue veils,
and as if to make the invisible plain,
a wondrous people have come forth.
Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XXXVI
unveils His exquisite form
the solitude of nothingness;
holds a mirror to His Face
beholds His own beauty.
is the knower and the known,
seer and the seen;
eye but His own
ever looked upon this Universe.
every quality finds an expression:
becomes the verdant field of Time and Space;
the life-giving garden of this world.
branch and leaf and fruit
an aspect of His perfection-
cypress give hint of His majesty,
rose gives tidings of His beauty.
is also there;
beauty shows a rosy cheek
lights Her fire from that flame.
beauty dwells in the dark folds of night
comes and finds a heart
and Love are as body and soul.
is the mine, Love is the diamond.
the beginning of time-
by side, step by step.
swear, since seeing Your face,
whole world is fraud and fantasy
garden is bewildered as to what is leaf
blossom. The distracted birds
distinguish the birdseed from the snare.
house of love with no limits,
presence more beautiful than venus or the moon,
beauty whose image fills the mirror of the heart.
Divani Shamsi Tabriz XV
go of your worries
be completely clear-hearted,
the face of a mirror
contains no images.
you want a clear mirror,
see the shameless truth,
the mirror reflects.
metal can be polished
a mirror-like finish,
polishing might the mirror
the heart require?
the mirror and the heart
this single difference:
heart conceals secrets,
the mirror does not.
Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XIII
is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
to let go of live.
the end, to take a step without feet;
regard this world as invisible,
to disregard what appears to be the self.
I said, what a gift it has been
enter this circle of lovers,
see beyond seeing itself,
reach and feel within the breast.
Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XIII
is reckless; not reason.
seeks a profit.
comes on strong,
in the midst of suffering,
proceeds like a millstone,
surfaced and straightforward.
died of self-interest,
risks everything and asks for nothing.
gambles away every gift God bestows.
cause God gave us Being;
cause, give it back again.
am a sculptor, a molder of form.
every moment I shape an idol.
then, in front of you, I melt them down
can rouse a hundred forms
fill them with spirit,
when I look into your face,
want to throw them in the fire.
souls spills into yours and is blended.
my soul has absorbed your fragrance,
drop of blood I spill
merge with my Beloved
I participate in love.
this house of mud and water,
heart has fallen to ruins.
this house, my Love, or let me leave.
Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XXXIV
makes the old medicine new:
lops off the bough of weariness.
is the elixir that renews:
can there be weariness
passion is present?
don't sigh heavily from fatigue:
passion, seek passion, seek passion!
beauty of the heart
the lasting beauty:
lips give to drink
the water of life.
Truly it is the water,
the one who drinks.
three become one when
talisman is shattered.
oneness you can't know
am only the house of your beloved,
the beloved herself:
love is for the treasure,
for the coffer that contains it."
real beloved is that one who is unique,
is your beginning and your end.
you find that one,
no longer expect anything else:
is both the manifest and the mystery.
one is the lord of states of feeling,
and year are slaves to that moon.
he bids the "state,"
does His bidding;
that one wills, bodies become spirit.
springtime of Lovers has come,
this dust bowl may become a garden;
proclamation of heaven has come,
the bird of the soul may rise in flight.
sea becomes full of pearls,
salt marsh becomes sweet as kauthar,
stone becomes a ruby from the mine,
body becomes wholly soul.
intellectual is always showing off,
lover is always getting lost.
intellectual runs away.
whole business of love
to drown in the sea.
plan their repose;
are ashamed to rest.
lover is always alone.
surrounded by people;
water and oil, he remains apart.
man who goes to the trouble
giving advice to a lover
nothing. He's mocked by passion.
is like musk. It attracts attention.
is a tree, and the lovers are its shade.
has nothing to do with
five senses and the six directions:
goal is only to experience
attraction exerted by the Beloved.
come from God:
secrets that ought to be told with be told
an eloquence nearer to the understanding
these subtle confusing allusions.
secret is partner with none
the knower of the secret:
the skeptic's ear
secret is no secret at all.
the rose is gone and the garden faded
you will no longer hear the nightingale's song.
The Beloved is all; the lover just a veil.
The Beloved is living; the lover a dead thing.
If love withholds its strengthening care,
the lover is left like a bird without care,
the lover is left like a bird without wings.
How will I be awake and aware
if the light of the Beloved is absent?
Love wills that this Word be brought forth.
I cannot sleep
I make music at night.
I am troubled by the one
whose face e has the color of spring flowers.
I have neither sleep nor patience,
neither a god reputation nor disgrace.
A thousand robes of wisdom are gone.
All my good manners have moved a thousand miles away.
The heart and the mind are left angry with each other.
The starts and the moon are envious of each other.
Because of this alienation the physical universe
is getting tighter and tighter.
The moon says, "How long will I remain
suspended without a sun?"
Without Love's jewel inside of me,
let the bazaar of my existence by destroyed stone by stone.
O Love, You who have been called by a thousand names,
You who know how to pour the wine
into the chalice of the body,
You who give culture to a thousand cultures,
You who are faceless but have a thousand faces,
O Love, You who shape the faces
of Turks, Europeans, and Zanzibaris,
give me a glass from Your bottle,
or a handful of bheng from Your Branch.
Remove the cork once more.
The we'll see a thousand chiefs prostrate themselves,
and a circle of ecstatic troubadours will play.
Then the addict will be breed of craving.
and will be resurrected,
and stand in awe till Judgement Day.
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
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
I you want to improve your mind that way,
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
This" Coleman Barks, Maypop, 1990
without Love is of no account
Love is the Water of Life
Drink it down with heart and soul!
night you lfet me and slept
own deep sleep. Tonight you turn
turn. I say,
and I will be together
the universe dissolves."
mumble back things you thought of
you were drunk.
This, Rumi, Coleman Barks, Maypop Books
I have been tricked by flying too
to what I thought I loved.
Now the candleflame is out, the
and the lovers have withdrawn
somewhere beyond my squinting.
The amount I thought I'd won, I've
My prayers becomes bitter and all about blindness.
How wonderful it was to be for
with those who surrender.
Others only turn their faces on
then another, like pigeon in flight.
I have known pigeons who fly in
and birds that eat grainlessness,
and tailor who sew beautiful clothes
by tearing them to pieces.
V. 346-353) Like This,
Rumi, Coleman Barks, Maypop Books
Who is at my door?
He said, "Who is at my door?"
I said, "Your humble servant."
He said, "What business do you have?"
I said, "To greet you, 0 Lord."
He said, "How long will you journey on?"
I said, "Until you stop me."
He said, "How long will you boil in the fire?"
I said, "Until I am pure.
"This is my oath of love.
For the sake of love
I gave up wealth and position."
He said, "You have pleaded your case
but you have no witness."
I said, "My tears are my witness;
the pallor of my face is my proof.'
He said, "Your witness has no credibility;
your eyes are too wet to see."
I said, "By the splendor of your justice
my eyes are clear and faultless."
He said, "What do you seek?"
I said, "To have you as my constant friend."
He said, "What do you want from me?"
I said, "Your abundant grace."
He said, "Who was your companion on the 'ourney?
I said, "The thought of you, 0 King."
He said, "What called you here?"
I said, "The fragrance of your wine."
He said, "What brings you the most fulfillment?"
I said, "The company of the Emperor."
He said, "What do you find there?"
I said, "A hundred miracles."
He said, "Why is the palace deserted?"
I said, "They all fear the thief."
He said, "Who is the thief?"
I said, "The one who keeps me from -you.
He said, "Where is there safety?"
I said, "In service and renunciation."
He said, "What is there to renounce?"
I said, "The hope of salvation."
He said, "Where is there calamity?"
I said, "In the presence of your love."
He said, "How do you benefit from this life?"
I said, "By keeping true to myself
Now it is time for silence.
If I told you about His true essence
You would fly from your self and be gone,
and neither door nor roof could hold you back!
- In the Arms of the Beloved, Jonathan Star
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997
In The Arc Of Your Mallet
Don't go anywhere without me.
Let nothing happen in the sky apart from me,
or on the ground, in this world or that world,
without my being in its happening.
Vision, see nothing I don't see.
Language, say nothing.
The way the night knows itself with the moon,
be that with me. Be the rose
nearest to the thorn that I am.
I want to feel myself in you when
you taste food,
in the arc of your mallet when you work,
when you visit friends, when you go
up on the roof by yourself at night.
There's nothing worse than to walk
out along the street
without you. I don't know where I'm going.
You're the road, and the knower of roads,
more than maps, more than love.
Essential Rumi Coleman Barks
The Path of Love, by Manuela Dunn Mascetti (Editor) Camille
& Kabir Helminski, Hardcover - 96 pages ( 4 November, 1999)
Element Books Ltd
Don't Say Anything to God : Passionate Poems of Rumi
Jalal Al-Din Rumi, Shahram Shiva, ( 1 October, 1999) Jain
This Is Love Poems of Rumi (Shambhala Centaur Editions)
Jalal Al-Din Rumi, et al /Published 1996
Divan of Shems of Tabriz Selected Odes (Element Classics
of World Spirituality) Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, et al /
Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, by Andrew Harvey
Sufi Path of Love The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi William
C. Chittick (Translator) Published 1983
Two Oceans Meet A Selection of Odes from the Divan
of Shems of Tabriz Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, James G. Cowan (Translator)