Overflowing with Beloved

Version by Coleman Barks
Unseen Rain
Threshold Books, 1986


if you wish for light . . .


Imej “if you wish for light” merupakan hasil suntingan Resthi, imej asli diunduh dari Internet dan mungkin memiliki Hak Cipta, puisi merupakan karya Rumi yang telah translasi ke dalam bahasa Inggris (The image of “if you wish for light” was edited by Resthi: original image was downloaded from Internet and might have Copyright, the poem is Rumi’s poem that have been translated into English).

The Tale of Majnun and Layla’s Dog

Majnun saw Layla’s dog and began kissing it,
running around like a hajji* circling the Kaaba,
bowing to its paws, holding its head, scratching
its stomach, giving it sweets and rosewater.

“You idiot,” said someone passing by.
“Dogs lick their privates and sniff excrement on the road.
This is insane, the intimate way you treat that dog.”

“Look though my eyes,” said the lover.
“See the loyalty, how he guards the house of my Friend,
how he’s so glad to see us.
Whatever we feel, grief, the simple delight
of being out in the sun,
he feels that with us completely.
Don’t look too much at surface actions.
Discover the lion, the rose of his real nature.
Friend, this dog is a garden gate into the invisible.”

Anyone preoccupied with pointing out what’s wrong
misses the unseen. Look at his face!

— Mathnawvi, III, 567-575
Coleman Barks
Rumi-Say I Am You
Maypop, 1994

*”Majnun and Layla” — figures in a traditional and archetypal Persian tale of love and separation. *”hajji” — a Muslim pilgrim who is making the haj — pilgrimage — to Mecca.

When Did Water Ever Fear Fire?

What is evil?
The needy, base metal.
Who is the shaykh?
The infinite elixir.
Though the copper proves untransmutable,
still the elixir never becomes copper.
What is evil? A fiery rebel.
Who is the shaykh? The sea of eternity.
Fire is always afraid of water,
but when did water ever fear being set aflame?



What Do You Really Possess?

What do you really possess,
and what have you gained?
What pearls have you brought up
from the depth of the sea?

On the day of death,
bodily senses will vanish:
Do you have the spiritual light
to accompany your heart?

When dust fills these eyes in the grave,
will your grave shine bright?