Friday, 8 June 2012

You are drunk and i'm Rumi

You are drunk
and i'm intoxicated
no one is around
showing us the way home

Again and again
i told you
drink less
a cup or two

I know in this city
no one is sober
one is worse than the other
one is frenzied and
the other gone mad

Come on my friend
step into the tavern of ruins
taste the sweetness of life
in the company of another friend

Here you'll see
at every corner
someone intoxicated
and the cup-bearer
makes her rounds

I went out of my house
a drunkard came to me
someone whose glance
uncovered a hundred
houses in paradise

rocking and rolling
he was a sail
with no anchor but
he was the envy of all those sober ones
remaining on the shore

Where are you from i asked
he smiled in mockery and said
one half from the east
one half from the west
one half made of water and earth
one half made of heart and soul
one half staying at the shores and
one half nesting in a pearl

I begged
take me as your friend
i am your next of kin
he said i recognize no kin
among strangers

I left my belongings and
entered this tavern
i only have a chest
full of words
but can't utter
a single one

~ Rumi
Ghazal 2309
Translated by Nader Khalili
Rumi, Fountain of Fire
Cal-Earth, September 1994

1 comment:

  1. I'm drunk and you're insane, who's going to lead us home?
    How many times did they say,
    "Drink just a little, only two or three at most?"

    In this city no one I see is conscious;
    one is worse off than the next, frenzied and insane.

    Dear one, come to the tavern of ruin
    and experience the pleasures of the soul.
    What happiness can there be apart
    from this intimate conversation
    with the Beloved, the Soul of souls?

    In every corner there are drunkards, arm in arm,
    while the Server pours the wine
    from a royal decanter to every particle of being.

    You belong to the tavern: your income is wine,
    and wine is all you ever buy.
    Don't give even a second away
    to the concerns of the merely sober.

    O lute player, are you more drunk, or am I?
    In the presence of one as drunk as you, my magic is a myth.

    When I went outside the house,
    some drunk approached me,
    and in his eyes I saw
    hundreds of hidden gardens and sanctuaries.

    Like a ship without an anchor,
    he rocked this way and that.

    Hundreds of intellectuals and wise men
    could die from a taste of this yearning.

    I asked, "Where are you from?"
    He laughed and said, "O soul,
    half of me is from Turkestan and half from Farghana.

    Half of me is water and mud, half heart and half soul;
    half of me is the ocean's shore, half is all pearl.

    "Be my friend," I pleaded. "I'm one of your family."
    "I know the difference between family and outsiders."

    I've neither a heart nor a turban,
    and here in this house of hangovers
    my breast is filled with unspoken words.
    Shall I try to explain or not.

    Have I lived among the lame for so long
    that I've begun to limp myself?
    And yet no slap of pain could disturb
    a drunkenness like this.

    Listen, can you hear a wail
    arising from the pillar of grief?
    Shams al-Haqq of Tabriz, where are you now,
    after all the mischief you've stirred in our hearts?

    (Translation by K. Helminski, A, Godlas, and L. Saedin)

    [Kabir Helminski, "The Rumi Collection," pp. 32-24]