Wooden Walking Stick
Friend, you are Moses. I the wooden
walking stock. Sometimes that simple use.
Other times, a dragon earth-energy. You
decide. There's no time or place in the air
you inhabit. The days you give me I give
back to you. I have seen your unseeable
beauty and taken report without words to
my heart, which became all eye with the news.
"Long life to eyes," says my heart now over
and over. Hundreds of candles search the
turning sky. No bread in the basket, no
money; home, family, work, in shambles, with
your light shining on the ruin. Crushed
in grief's mortar, let me be medicine for
other eyes. What is the soul? Half a leaf.
What is the heart? A flower opening. I am
not the one speaking here. Even so, I'll
stop. Anything anyone says is your voice.
Ghazal (Ode )2236
Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
Confused and distraught
Again I am raging, I am in such a state by your soul that every
bond you bind, I break, by your soul.
I am like heaven, like the moon, like a candle by your glow; I
am all reason, all love, all soul, by your soul.
My joy is of your doing, my hangover of your thorn; whatever
side you turn your face, I turn mine, by your soul.
I spoke in error; it is not surprising to speak in error in this
state, for this moment I cannot tell cup from wine, by your soul.
I am that madman in bonds who binds the "divs"; I, the
madman, am a Solomon with the "divs", by your soul.
Whatever form other than love raises up its head from my
heart, forthwith I drive it out of the court of my heart, by your soul.
Come, you who have departed, for the thing that departs
comes back; neither you are that, by my soul, nor I am that, by your
Disbeliever, do not conceal disbelief in your soul, for I will
recite the secret of your destiny, by your soul.
Out of love of Sham-e Tabrizi, through wakefulness or
nightrising, like a spinning mote I am distraught, by your soul.
Mystical Poems of Rumi 2
University of Chicago Press, 1991
* A word-play between madman (dîvâna)
and the jinn (dîv-ân).
The Arabic word "jinn" was translated into Persian as "dîv,"
"demon" (and contrasts in meaning with its Sanscrit cognate,
which the European word "divinity" originates). The Arabic
(junûn, majnûn) literally mean "jinn-possessed," were
Persian as "dîvâna," literally means "demonic."
According to Qur'ân,
Solomon was given power over the supernatural beings called jinn (from
comes the word "genie"), who did great projects of labor for
him (Qur'ân 34:12,
21:82, 38:36-37). footnote provided by Ibrahim Gamard
search for the inward nature
Always search for the inward nature
and choose as your companion someone of good character:
Observe how rose oil has drunk the essence of the rose.
The earth of the grave is ennobled by the pure body.
Then say, "First choose the neighbor, then the house."
If you have a heart, go, seek a sweetheart.
The dust of the body is endowed with the character of the soul:
it becomes a salve for the eyes of those who are dear to God.
Many a one who sleeps like dust in the grave
is more useful and open-handed than a hundred who are still alive.
The shadow of his body has been taken away,
but his dust overshadows hundreds of thousands with his protection.
Dar pay-e khu bâsh va bâ khvosh
khu paniri rawghan-e gol-râ be-bin
Khâk az hamsâyegi-ye jesm-e pâk
chon mosharraf âmad o eqbâl nâk
Pas to ham "al-Jâr thumma al-dâr" gu
gar deli dâri be-raw deldâr ju
Khâk-e u ham sirat-e jân mi shavad
sormeh-ye cheshm-e `azizân mi shavad
Ay basâ dar gur khofteh khâk-vâr
beh ze sad ahyâ be-naf` o enteshâr
Sâyeh bardeh u va khâkesh sâyeh mand
sad hazârân zendeh dar sâyeh-'i vayand
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)