Classics  
One of the greatest of Sufi poets, Jalal al-Din Rumi wrote poems in the 13th century which found a new audience in the U.S. in the 1990s. Rumi was already a teacher and theologian when, around 1244, he encountered a wandering dervish (a Muslim ascetic) named Shams of Tabriz. Spiritually ... Read more
One of the greatest of Sufi poets, Jalal al-Din Rumi wrote poems in the 13th century which found a new audience in the U.S. in the 1990s. Rumi was already a teacher and theologian when, around 1244, he encountered a wandering dervish (a Muslim ascetic) named Shams of Tabriz. Spiritually ... Read more

The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,

This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
beckons us
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion.

They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.

They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion.

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?



The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.



I’ve disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am present only for you.



I have forgotten all my learning,
but from knowing you
I have become a scholar.



I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
I am able.



If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you
I love myself.

Both light and shadow
are the dance of Love.

Love has no cause;
it is the astrolabe of God’s secrets.

Lover and Loving are inseparable
and timeless.



Although I may try to describe Love
when I experience it I am speechless.

Although I may try to write about Love
I am rendered helpless;
my pen breaks and the paper slips away
at the ineffable place
where Lover, Loving and Loved are one.



Every moment is made glorious
by the light of Love.

At last you have departed and gone to the Unseen.
What marvelous route did you take from this world?

Beating your wings and feathers,
you broke free from this cage.
Rising up to the sky
you attained the world of the soul.
You were a prized falcon trapped by an Old Woman.
Then you heard the drummer's call
and flew beyond space and time.

As a lovesick nightingale, you flew among the owls.
Then came the scent of the rosegarden
and you flew off to meet the Rose.

The wine of this fleeting world
caused your head to ache.
Finally you joined the tavern of Eternity.
Like an arrow, you sped from the bow
and went straight for the bull's eye of bliss.

This phantom world gave you false signs
But you turned from the illusion
and journeyed to the land of truth.

You are now the Sun -
what need have you for a crown?
You have vanished from this world -
what need have you to tie your robe?

I've heard that you can barely see your soul.
But why look at all? -
yours is now the Soul of Souls!

O heart, what a wonderful bird you are.
Seeking divine heights,
Flapping your wings,
you smashed the pointed spears of your enemy.

The flowers flee from Autumn, but not you -
You are the fearless rose
that grows amidst the freezing wind.

Pouring down like the rain of heaven
you fell upon the rooftop of this world.
Then you ran in every direction
and escaped through the drain spout . . .

Now the words are over
and the pain they bring is gone.
Now you have gone to rest
in the arms of the Beloved.

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

      These spiritual window-shoppers,
      who idly ask, 'How much is that?' Oh, I'm just looking.
      They handle a hundred items and put them down,
      shadows with no capital.

       What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
      But these walk into a shop,
      and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
      in that shop.

       Where did you go? "Nowhere."
      What did you have to eat? "Nothing much."

       Even if you don't know what you want,
      buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

       Start a huge, foolish project,
      like Noah.

       It makes absolutely no difference
      what people think of you.

Is it your face
that adorns the garden?

Is it your fragrance
that intoxicates this garden?

Is it your spirit
that has made this brook
a river of wine?



Hundreds have looked for you
and died searching
in this garden
where you hide behind the scenes.



But this pain is not for those
who come as lovers.

You are easy to find here.

You are in the breeze
and in this river of wine.

Praise to the emptiness that blanks out existence. Existence:
This place made from our love for that emptiness!

Yet somehow comes emptiness,
this existence goes.

Praise to that happening, over and over!
For years I pulled my own existence out of emptiness.

Then one swoop, one swing of the arm,
that work is over.

Free of who I was, free of presence, free of dangerous fear, hope,
free of mountainous wanting.

The here-and-now mountain is a tiny piece of a piece of straw
blown off into emptiness.

These words I'm saying so much begin to lose meaning:
Existence, emptiness, mountain, straw:

Words and what they try to say swept
out the window, down the slant of the roof.

Love is the cure,
for your pain will keep giving birth to more pain
until your eyes constantly exhale love
as effortlessly as your body yields its scent.”

I’m drenched
in the flood
which has yet to come

I’m tied up
in the prison
which has yet to exist



Not having played
the game of chess
I’m already the checkmate



Not having tasted
a single cup of your wine
I’m already drunk



Not having entered
the battlefield

I’m already wounded and slain



I no longer
know the difference
between image and reality



Like the shadow
I am

And

I am not

O incomparable Giver of life, cut reason loose at last!

Let it wander grey-eyed from vanity to vanity.

Shatter open my skull, pour in it the wine of madness!

Let me be mad, as You; mad with You, with us.

Beyond the sanity of fools is a burning desert

Where Your sun is whirling in every atom:

Beloved, drag me there, let me roast in Perfection!

The sky was lit
by the splendor of the moon

So powerful
I fell to the ground

Your love
has made me sure

I am ready to forsake
this worldly life
and surrender
to the magnificence
of your Being

In the orchard and rose garden

I long to see your face.

In the taste of Sweetness

I long to kiss your lips.

In the shadows of passion

I long for your love.



Oh! Supreme Lover!

Let me leave aside my worries.

The flowers are blooming
with the exultation of your Spirit.



By Allah!

I long to escape the prison of my ego

and lose myself
in the mountains and the desert.



These sad and lonely people tire me.

I long to revel in the drunken frenzy of your love
and feel the strength of Rustam in my hands.



I’m sick of mortal kings.

I long to see your light.

With lamps in hand
the sheiks and mullahs roam
the dark alleys of these towns
not finding what they seek.



You are the Essence of the Essence,

The intoxication of Love.

I long to sing your praises
but stand mute
with the agony of wishing in my heart.

With
passion pray. With
passion work. With passion make love.

With passion eat and drink and dance and play.

Why look like a dead fish
in this ocean
of
God?

Up, O ye lovers, and away! 'Tis time to leave the world for aye.
Hark, loud and clear from heaven the from of parting calls-let none delay!
The cameleer hat risen amain, made ready all the camel-train,
And quittance now desires to gain: why sleep ye, travellers, I pray?
Behind us and before there swells the din of parting and of bells;
To shoreless space each moment sails a disembodied spirit away.
From yonder starry lights, and through those curtain-awnings darkly blue,
Mysterious figures float in view, all strange and secret things display.
From this orb, wheeling round its pole, a wondrous slumber o'er thee stole:
O weary life that weighest naught, O sleep that on my soul dost weigh!
O heart, toward they heart's love wend, and O friend, fly toward the Friend,
Be wakeful, watchman, to the end: drowse seemingly no watchman may.

The beauty of the heart

is the lasting beauty:

its lips give to drink

of the water of life.

Truly it is the water,

that which pours,

and the one who drinks.

All three become one when

your talisman is shattered.

That oneness you can't know

by reasoning.


O Love, O pure deep Love, be here, be now,
Be all – worlds dissolve into your
       stainless endless radiance,
Frail living leaves burn with your brighter
        than cold stares –
Make me your servant, your breath, your core.

My heart is burning with love

All can see this flame

My heart is pulsing with passion

like waves on an ocean



my friends have become strangers

and I’m surrounded by enemies

But I’m free as the wind
no longer hurt by those who reproach me



I’m at home wherever I am

And in the room of lovers

I can see with closed eyes
the beauty that dances



Behind the veils
intoxicated with love
I too dance the rhythm
of this moving world



I have lost my senses
in my world of lovers

He comes, a moon whose like the sky ne'er saw, awake or dreaming.
Crowned with eternal flame no flood can lay.
Lo, from the flagon of thy love, O Lord, my soul is swimming,
And ruined all my body's house of clay!

When first the Giver of the grape my lonely heart befriended,
Wine fired my bosom and my veins filled up;
But when his image all min eye possessed, a voice descended:
'Well done, O sovereign Wine and peerless Cup!'

Love's mighty arm from roof to base each dark abode is hewing,
Where chinks reluctant catch a golden ray.
My heart, when Love's sea of a sudden burst into its viewing,
Leaped headlong in, with 'Find me now who may!'

        As, the sun moving, clouds behind him run,
        All hearts attend thee, O Tabriz's Sun!

When the rose is gone and the garden faded
you will no longer hear the nightingale's song.
The Beloved is all; the lover just a veil.
The Beloved is living; the lover a dead thing.
If love withholds its strengthening care,
the lover is left like a bird without care,
the lover is left like a bird without wings.
How will I be awake and aware
if the light of the Beloved is absent?
Love wills that this Word be brought forth

 
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