Sunday, 27 May 2012

Champion Lovemaker and Leader of Rumi

If you could not feel
tenderness and hurt. 

If you could live in the poorhouse of non-wanting 
and never be indignant. 

If you could take two steps away from the beautiful one 
you want so much to lie down with. 

If you could trust there's a spirit-wife 
for you somewhere, a whole harem of wives, 
a nest, a jewel-setting where 
when you sit down, you know 
you've always wanted to be. 

If you could quit living here and go there. 
If you could remember clearly what you've done. 

But strong hooks hold you in this wind. 
So many people love you, 
you mix with the color and smell and taste of surroundings. 

Champion lovemaker and leader of men! 
You can't give up your public fascination, 
or your compassion for the dying. 

There's another compassion you don't know yet, 
but you may, when griefs disappear. 

It's a place, 
with no questioning thorns in the pasture grass. 

If you could remember you're not a crow, 
but the mystic osprey that never needs to light, 
you could be walking there 
with Beloved. 

~ Rumi 
Ode 959 
Version by Coleman Barks 
"Open Secret - Versions of Rumi" 
Threshold Book, 1984 

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