A Rumi Poem
How did you get away?
You were the pet falcon of an old woman.
Did you hear the falcon-drum?
You were a drunken songbird put in with owls.
Did you smell the odor of a garden?
You got tired of sour fermenting
and left the tavern.
You went like an arrow to the target
from the bow of time and place.
The man who stays at the cemetery pointed the way,
but you didn't go.
You became light and gave up wanting to be famous.
You don't worry about what you're going to eat,
so why buy an engraved belt?
I've heard of living at the center, but what about
leaving the center of the center?
Flying toward thankfulness, you become
the rare bird with one wing made of fear,
and one of hope. In autumn,
a rose crawling along the ground in the cold wind.
Rain on the roof runs down and out by the spout
as fast as it can.
Talking is pain. Lie down and rest,
now that you've found a friend to be with.
"These Branching Moments", Coleman Barks
Copper Beech Press, 1988
|I have never feared death|
Its hands were more fragile
I dread, however, to die
In a land where
The grave digger's wages
Exceed the price of human freedom.
And transforming one's essence
Into a fortress.
If the price of death is higher than all that,
I deny, in absolute terms,
To have ever feared death