I need a mouth as wide as the sky
to say the nature of a True Person, language
as large as longing.
The fragile vial inside me often breaks.
No wonder I go mad and disappear for three days
every month with the moon.
For anyone in love with you,
it's always these invisible days.
I've lost the thread of the story I was telling.
My elephant roams his dreams of Hindustan again.
Narrative, poetics, destroyed, my body,
a dissolving, a return.
Friend, I've shrunk to a hair trying to say your story.
Would you tell mine?
I've made up so many love stories.
Now I feel fictional.
The truth is, you are speaking, not me.
I am Sinai, and you are Moses walking there.
This poetry is an echo of what you say.
A piece of land can't speak, or know anything!
Or of it can, only within limits.
The body is a device to calculate
the astronomy of the spirit.
Look through that astrolabe
and become oceanic.
Why this distracted talk?
It's not my fault I rave.
You did this.
Do you approve of my love-madness?
What language will you say it in, Arabic or Persian,
or what? Once again, I must be tied up.
Bring the curly ropes of your hair.
Now I remember the story.
A True Man stares at his old shoes
and sheepskin jacket. Every day he goes up
to his attic to look at his work-shoes and worn-out coat.
This is his wisdom, to remember the original clay
and not get drunk with ego and arrogance.
To visit those shoes and jacket
The Absolute works with nothing.
The workshop, the materials
are what does not exist.
Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.
~ Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi translated by Coleman Barks