inspiration, Uncategorized

The Love of Holy Laughing (Two Pieces by Rumi)


Fake Friends

God’s heart is a hawk
living in the city of crows,
with a deep loneliness
for companions.

When one of the crows seems friendly,
it’s hypocrisy, as when someone says “yes”
after a long warning. He doesn’t mean it.
He just wants the admonishing to stop.

He stands with those who have genuinely changed,
but that’s the way it is in this market.
Damaged goods gets thrown in with the others.

Fly to the love-hawk,
and be its friend.

Any other is a
is fake.

There’s a subtle fragrance that will come to you
when you’re in that one’s presence.

You dull that sense
when you live with crows.

(Mathnawi, V, 896-906)



Let That Laughter Lead You


When you go to buy a pomegranate,
pick the one that’s laughing,
that has its rind cleft,
so that through its broken openness
you get some information
about the seeds.


Listen for the laughter
that shows the inside,
that cracks the casket shell
and lets you see the pearl.


There’s another kind, an unhappy laughing
like the red anemone’s that show
its inner blackness.


The pomegranate laughter is blessed,
like the companionship of good people.


Even if you’re a common rock,
when you join them,
you’ll become a precious stone.


Keep the love of holy laughing in you.
Don’t visit sad neighborhoods. Let
laughter lead you to the right people.


Your body wantings will take you out of the sunlight
into the dark and dank places. Feed on the conversations of a lover.
Look for spiritual growth from one
who is farther along than you


There was once a Christian gospel
that had in it some mention of Mohammed,
his courage and his fasting.


Whenever a group of Christians studied
this gospel, they bowed and kissed the words
of that passage. Without knowing it,
they were looking for refuge
inside that light, and with its power
it befriended and help them.

(Mathnawi, I, 718-733)


Lay Your Head Under the Tree of Awe; Two Poems by Rumi


The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

From Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks



Shadow and Light Source Both

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How does wetness leave water? Don’t try to
put out fire by throwing on more fire! Don’t
wash a wound with blood. No matter how fast
you run, your shadow keeps up. Sometimes it’s
in front! Only full overhead sun diminishes
your shadow. But that shadow has been serving
you. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is
your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.

I could explain this, but it will break the
glass cover on your heart, and there’s no
fixing that. You must have shadow and light
source both. Listen, and lay your head under
the tree of awe. When from that tree feathers
and wings sprout on you, be quieter than
a dove. Don’t even open your mouth for even a coo.

From Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks