Friday, August 26, 2005


A moth flying into the flame says with its wingfire, Try this.

The wick with its knotted neck broken
tells you the same. A candle as it diminishes explains, Gathering more and more is not the way. Burn, become light and heat and help. Melt.

The ocean sits in the sand letting its lap fill
with pearls and shells, then empty. A bittersalt taste hums, This.

The phoenix gives up on good-and-bad, flies
to rest on Mount Qaf, no more burning and rising from ash. It sends out one message.

The rose purifies its face, drops the soft petals, shows its thorn, and points.

Wine abandons thousands of famous names,
the vintage years and delightful bouquets, to run wild and anonymous through your brain.

The flute closes its eyes and gives its lips to Hamza's emptiness.

Everything begs with the silent rocks for you
to be flung out like light over this plain, the Presence of Shams.

~ Rumi, "The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy & Longing,"
transliterated by Coleman Barks

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