Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Rumi!

In comments at Eschaton, Moonbotica reminds me that today is the birthday of my favorite poet, Rumi.

It would take a whole day to post even some of his best poems, but here, in honor of his birthday, are just a few:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.


Learn about your inner self from those who know such things,
but don't repeat verbatim what they say.

Zuleikha let everything be the name of Joseph, from celery seed
to aloes wood. She loved him so much she concealed his name
in many different phrases, the inner meanings
known only to her. When she said, The wax is softening
near the fire, she meant, My love is wanting me.
Or if she said, Look, the moon is up or The willow has new leaves
or The branches are trembling or The coriander seeds
have caught fire or The roses are opening
or The king is in a good mood today or Isn't that lucky?
or The furniture needs dusting or
The water carrier is here or It's almost daylight or
These vegetables are perfect or The bread needs more salt
or The clouds seem to be moving against the wind
or My head hurts or My headache's better,
anything she praises, it's Joseph's touch she means,
any complaint, it's his being away.
When she's hungry, it's for him. Thirsty, his name is a sherbet.
Cold, he's a fur. This is what the Friend can do
when one is in such love. Sensual people use the holy names
often, but they don't work for them.
The miracle Jesus did by being the name of God,
Zuleikha felt in the name of Joseph.

When one is united to the core of another, to speak of that
is to breathe the name Hu, empty of self and filled
with love. As the saying goes, The pot drips what is in it.
The saffron spice of connecting, laughter.
The onion smell of separation, crying.
Others have many things and people they love.
This is not the way of Friend and friend.

I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.

Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
"What a bargain, let's buy it!"


Anne Johnson said...

You should hear the Monkey Man read Rumi. Rumi was our featured "happy birthday" poet last Monday night at Pizza and Poetry, along with ... Mary Oliver. There was an empty seat and some wine in the bottle for you, Hecate. Come to Camden!

Kim Antieau said...

One of my favorites by Rumi is:

O Seeker
These thoughts have such power over you
From nothing you become sad
From nothing you become happy

You are burning in the flames
But I will not let you out
Until you are fully baked
Fully wise
And fully yourself

Happy b-day, Rumi.

(P.S. I did write to you, btw. I'm hoping you got it!)

shrimplate said...

I come here for poetry every Sunday and I'm never disappointed. Thank you.