Saturday, 28 December 2013

Rest your cheek, for a moment, on this drunken Rumi

Rest your cheek, for a moment,
on this drunken cheek.

Let me forget the war and cruelty 
inside myself.

I hold these silver coins in my hand;
give me Your wine of golden light.

You have opened the seven doors of heaven;
now lay Your hand generously on my tightened heart.

All I have to offer is this illusion, my self.
Give it a nickname at least that is real.

Only you can restore what You have broken;
help my broken head.

I'm not asking for some sweet pistachio candy,
but Your everlasting love.

Fifty times I've said,
"Heart, stop hunting and step into this net."

~ Rumi
Trans by Kabir Helminski
From "Love is a Stranger"
Art by Nik Helbig


  1. For a moment lay your cheek on the cheek
    of this drunkard, for a moment put behind your
    war and cruelty.
    If it be hard, I bring out silver in my hand; put
    in this hand wine like gold.
    You who have opened the doors of the seven
    heavens, lay the hand of generosity on my fettered
    All I have to offer is not-being; give the nickname
    of being to my not-being.
    You are both breaker and binder of the broken;
    lay the balm of the soul on my broken head.
    Do not put a seal on that sugar and pistachio nut;
    lay everlasting love upon this servant.
    I have told you fifty times, O heart: do not hunt,
    put your foot in this net.

    Translation by A. J. Arberry
    "Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"

  2. Put your cheek against this drunken cheek.
    Forget anger and men planning war.
    When I hold out silver coins, take them, and give
    me a cup of liquid full of gold light.
    You can open the wide door of the sky.
    Surely you will open me. All I have
    is this emptiness. Give it a nickname.
    Breaker and healer, break and heal this head.
    Don't press your seal to that pistachio nut.
    Put it here. There is that in me
    that has to be told fifty times a day:
    Stop hunting. Step on this net.

    Coleman Barks
    "Open Secret"