Saturday, 29 September 2012

If you were not my Rumi

If I flinched at every grief, 
I would be an intelligent idiot. 

If I were not the sun, 
I'd ebb and flow like sadness. 

If you were not my guide,
I'd wander lost in Sanai.

If you were no my light,
I'd keep opening and closing the door.

If there were no rose garden,
where would the morning breezes go?

If love did not want music and laughter
and poetry, what would I say ?

If you were not my medicine,
I would look sick and skinny.

If there were no leafy limbs in the air,
there would be no wet roots.

If no gifts were given,
I'd grow arrogant and cruel.

If there were no way into God,
I would not have lain in the grave of this body so long.

If there were no way from left to right,
I could not be swaying with the grasses.

If there were no grace and no kindness,
conversation would be useless, and
nothing we do would matter.

Listen to the new stories
that begin every day.

If light were not beginning again in the east,
I would not now wake
and walk out inside this dawn.

~ Rumi
Trans by Coleman Barks
From "The Soul of Rumi"

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

If the Friend rose inside you, would you bow ? Rumi

If the Friend rose inside you, 
would you bow ?

Would you wonder where that one 
came from and how? 

If you say,
"I will bow," that's important.

If you answer,
"But can I be sure?"
it will keep the meeting from happening,

As busy people rush there and back here murmuring,
Now I know; no, I don't know now.

Have you seen a camel with its eyes covered turn
and walk one way, then turn another?

Be silent and revolve with no will.
Don't raise your hand to ask anything.

Holy one, sitting in the body's well
like Joseph, a rope is there in front of you.

Lift your hand to that!
A blind man has bought you
for eighteen counterfeit coins.

Empty metal cups bang together,
and the full moon slides out of hiding.

Make one sound, please!
You are the precious hyacinth
that the sickle will spare,
not the wheat plant Adam ate.

I remind you with these poems
to dress in the flower of Beloved's qualities,
not your torn robe of self-accusation.

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) 2938
Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
"The Glance"
Viking-Penguin, 1999
Art by Jamie Hartley

Because you are not with Kabir

"My body and my mind are in depression
because you are not with me.
How much I love you and want you in my house!

When I hear people describe me as your bride
I look sideways ashamed,
because I know that far inside us
we have never met.

Then what is this love of mine?

I don’t really care about food,
I don’t really care about sleep
I am restless indoors and outdoors.

The bride wants her lover
as much as a thirsty man wants water.

And how will I find someone
who will take a message to the Guest from me?

How restless Kabir is all the time!
How much he wants to see the Guest!"

The Songs of Kabir, tr. by Rabindranath Tagore
( What is this Love of mine?)

Inside this clay Kabir

Inside this clay jug
there are canyons and
pine mountains,
and the maker of canyons
and pine mountains!

All seven oceans are inside,
and hundreds of millions of stars.

The acid that tests gold is here,
and the one who judges jewels.

And the music
that comes from the strings
that no one touches,
and the source of all water.

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:
Friend, listen: the Beloved whom I love is inside.

Why should we two ever want to part?
Just as the leaf of the water rhubarb
lives floating on the water,
we live as the great one and the little one.

As the owl opens his eyes all night to the moon,
we live as the great one and the little one.

This love between us goes back to the first humans:
it cannot be annihilated.

Here is Kabir's idea :
as the river gives itself into the ocean,
what is inside me moves inside you.

version by Robert Bly
From The Kabir book: forty-four ecstatic poems by Kabir (1977)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

I Follow Hafiz

I Follow Barefoot

I long for You so much
I follow barefoot Your frozen tracks

That are high in the mountains
That I know are years old.

I long for You so much
I have even begun to travel
Where I have never been before.

Hafiz, there is no one in this world
Who is not looking for Beloved.

Everyone is trudging along
With as much dignity, courage
And style

As they possibly

~ Hafiz
From 'The Subject Tonight is Love -
60 wild and sweet poems of Hafiz'
Versions by Daniel Ladinsky

The moon came to me last night With a sweet Hafiz

The moon came to me last night
With a sweet question.

She said,
"The sun has been my faithful lover
For millions of years.

Whenever I offer my body to him
Brilliant light pours from his heart.

Thousands then notice my happiness
And delight in pointing
Toward my beauty.

Is it true that our destiny
Is to turn into Light

And I replied,
Dear moon,
Now that your love is maturing,

We need to sit together
Close like this more often

So I might instruct you
How to become
Who you

~ Hafiz
(Faithful Lover)
Art by by Laura Pelick Siadak

Forgiveness Is The Hafiz

Forgiveness Is The Cash

Is the cash you need.

All the other kinds of silver really buy .. 
Just strange things.

Everything has its music.
Everything has genes of Love inside.

But learn from those courageous addicted lovers
Of glands and opium and gold

They cannot jump high or laugh long
When they are whirling.

And the moon and the stars become sad
When their tender light is used for
Night wars.

Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need
To craft your falcon wings
And return

To your true realm of
Divine freedom.

~ Hafiz
From 'The Subject Tonight is Love -
60 wild and sweet poems of Hafiz'
Versions by Daniel Ladinsky
Art by Yali Shi

How Do I Listen? Hafiz

How Do I Listen?

Do I
Listen to others?

As if everyone were my Beloved
Speaking to me


~ Hafiz
From"The Gift"
versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky

I am full of love Hafiz

I am full of love tonight
Come look into my eyes, and let’s go off
Sailing, my dear, on a long ocean ride.

This world will not touch you,
I will keep you snug upon my seat.

Let’s plot
To make the moon jealous
With a radiance leaping from your cheek.

I will be full of love tonight,
Come look into these ancient eyes!

And let’s go off sailing, my dear,
With our spirits intertwined.

Your body is just an old sandbar
In a speeding hourglass of time.

Love will turn the mouth of sorrow
Right side up.

Let your heart commence its destined
Laughing chime!

Hafiz will be brimful of love tonight,
Why ever be shy?

Come look into the playful eyes of my verse,
They are eternally branded,

Branded with
The Sun!

~ Hafiz
From The Gift: Poems by Hafiz
Translations by Daniel Ladinsky

Monday, 17 September 2012

But it is a heart, my beloved. Where are its shores and its bottom ? Rabindranath Tagore

Your questioning eyes are sad. 
They seek to know my meaning 
as the moon would fathom the sea.

I have bared my life before your eyes from end to end, 
with nothing hidden or held back. 
That is why you know me not.

If it were only a gem I could break it into a hundred pieces
and string them into a chain to put on your neck.

If it were only a flower, round and small and sweet,
I could pluck it from its stem to set it in your hair.

But it is a heart, my beloved.
Where are its shores and its bottom ?

You know not the limits of this kingdom,
still you are its queen.

If it were only a moment of pleasure
it would flower in an easy smile,
and you could see it and read it in a moment.

If it were merely a pain it would melt in limpid tears,
reflecting its inmost secret without a word.

But it is love, my beloved.
Its pleasure and pain are boundless,
and endless its wants and wealth.

It is as near to you as your life,
but you can never wholly know it.

~ Rabindranath Tagore
The Gardener
Art by Nik Helbig

Do not keep to yourself the secret of your heart, my Rabindranath Tagore

Do not keep to yourself 
the secret of your heart, 
my friend !

Say it to me, 
only to me, in secret.

You who smile so gently, softly whisper,
my heart will hear it,
not my ears.

The night is deep, the house is silent,
the birds' nests are shrouded with sleep.

Speak to me through hesitating tears,
through faltering smiles,
through sweet shame and pain,
the secret of your heart !

~ Rabindranath Tagore
The Gardener

If you are my Nizar Qabbani

If you are my lover, then help me leave you 
If you are my doctor, then help me recover from you 

If I had known Love is too dangerous, I would not have loved
If I had known the sea is too deep, I would not have sailed 

If I had known my end,
I would not have started

I missed you, so teach me not to
Teach me how to cut the roots of your love from my depths

Teach me how a tear dies in the eyes
Teach me how love dies and longings commit suicide

O, you who turned life to a poem in my eyes
and planted your wounds in my heart and took patience away

If I am dear to you, grab my hands
As I am deeply in love from head to heel
As I am deeply in love from head to heel

~ Nizar Qabbani
(“A message from under water”)

I love you more than the Sea, more than the Konstantin Balmont

I love you more than the Sea, 
more than the Heavens, more than Singing.

I love you longer than the days 
that have been given to me on the earth. 

Only you can set me on fire, 
like a star in solitary silence. 

You're a ship, 
that won't sink in dreams, nor in waves, nor in fog. 

I fell in love with you 
unexpectedly, suddenly, accidentally

I saw you, 
and my eyes expanded like a blind man's 

who saw the light and was dazzled 
how in the world are soldered sculptures 

and how excessively turquoise overflowed 
in the bottom of emeralds. 

I remember. 
After opening a book, you would slightly rustle the pages. 

I asked: 
"Is it good for ice to be refracted in the soul?" 

You eyes flashed towards me, 
but in a moment they softly gazed 

I love, 
and that love sings about love for my love.

~ Konstantin Balmont

My dear friend never lose Rumi

My dear friend
never lose hope
when the beloved
sends you away

If you're abandoned
if you're left hopeless
tomorrow for sure
you'll be called again

If the door is shut
right in your face
keep waiting with patience
don't leave right away

Seeing your patience
your love will soon
summon you with grace
raise you like a champion

And if all the roads
end up in dead ends
you'll be shown the secret paths
no one will comprehend

The beloved i know
will give with no qualms
to a puny ant
the kingdom of Solomon

My heart has journeyed
many times around the world
but has never found
and will never find
such a beloved again

Ah i better keep silence
i know this endless love
will surely arrive
for you and you and you

~ Rumi
translated by Nader Khalili
Art by Nik Helbig

Sunday, 16 September 2012

I am drowning... drowning... Nizar Qabbani

If you are my friend...
Help leave you
Or if you are my lover...
Help I can be healed of you...
If I knew....
that the ocean is very deep...I would not have swam...
If I I would end,
I would not have began

I desire teach me not to desire
teach me...
how to cut the roots of your love from the depths
teach me...
how tears may die in the eyes
and love may commit suicide

If you are prophet,
Cleanse me from this spell
Deliver me from this atheism...
Your love is like purify me from this atheism

If you are strong...
Rescue me from this ocean
For I don't know how to swim
The blue your eyes
drag the depths
nothing but the color blue
and I have no experience
in love...and no boat...

If I am dear to you
then take my hand
For I am filled with desire...from my
head to my feet

I am breathing under water!
I am drowning...

~ Nizar Qabbani
(“A message from under water”)

You are bursting out of me Belle Heywood

You are bursting out of me 
In all directions
I wake up 
And sing out 
Your praises 
As soon as I know 
I have lips

Are bursting
Out of me
In all directions
All day
I sing a song of love
For You.

Are bursting
Out of me
In all directions
I know you are
My Love:
My All Perceiving

You are bursting
Out of me
In all directions
I am immobile
Only You
Move me.

You are bursting
Out of me
In all directions
Nothing but You
Is What I Say.

You are bursting
Out of me
In all directions
Ever present
In Every way.

I am no longer my "self ".

I am only this



~ Belle Heywood