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Mar 2012
Thou and I                            

Joyful the moment when we sat in the bower, Thou and I;
In two forms and with two faces - with one soul, Thou and I.                      
The colour of the garden and the song of the birds give the elixir of immortality
The instant we come into the orchard, Thou and I.
The stars of Heaven come out to look upon us -
We shall show the moon herself to them, Thou and I.
Thou and I, with no 'Thou' or 'I', shall become one through our tasting;
Happy, safe from idle talking, Thou and I.
The spirited parrots of heaven will envy us -
When we shall laugh in such a way, Thou and I.
This is stranger, that Thou and I, in this corner here...
Are both in one breath here and there - Thou and I.

Jelaluddin Rumi*

                                              

By the waters
of Babylon the
beloved weep;
mourning the
loss of our
brother
Rumi.

We have
forgotten
Rumi’s
example,
we no longer
speak his
language
of love.

The beloved
have discarded
his virtuous
entreaties
as useless
historical
relics.

His compassion
is mocked
as a sign
of weakness.

His empathy
is considered
a seditious act.

The
beauteous
poems
bespeaking
ecstatic graces
found in the
resplendent
embrace of
unity in the
holy spirit
are shattered,
like a worthless
vase, its
shards
scattered into
a million
splinters that
****** our feet.

We no
longer
sing the
blithe
words of
his love
songs.

The
rapturous
melodies have
evaporated
along with
our joys.

We have
destringed
our harps.

Our songs
of joy have
become
dirges of
lamentations
moaned in
the streets
of our
desecrated
cities.

Our people are
in shambles.  

We are
refugees
fleeing our
besieged
homelands.

We are
prisoners
in the
basements
of our homes.

We perpetrate
crimes against
humanity by
willfully defiling
ourselves.

We dash
the heads of
our children
against
blasted
rocks.

We are
desperate
to find you
dearest
Rumi.

We hope
your sweet
reminders
of love will
bind the
broken
people;
leading us
to forsake
the diet of
acrimony
that has
become
our daily
bread.

I wander,
the streets
with open
ears
listening
for a hint
of your voice;
hoping to
follow it to a
rendezvous
with the
Divine One.

I open
my heart
to discern
a tiny note of
your songs,
winging on the air,
the sweet chords
of agape love
is our hope
to salve our
deep running
wounds.

Only
deafening
silence
returns
to my
saddened
ear.

The elegant
magic of your
voice are
angelic fingers
plucking strings,
evoking  a
heavenly
chorus
of love
and divine
reconciliation.

Your voice
rolls through
the ages
beckoning us  
to transcendent
peace; your
whispers
dance
upon the
face of hatred.

The marching epochs
have dissipated
our memory of you,
beloved Rumi.

Your verses
are ancient
dialects we
can no longer
decipher.

The urgency
grows for us
to speak in your
tongue once
again.

Our besieged
cities are
filled with
the cacophony
of distress.

The beloved
tend lamps
to light the paths
of reconciliation
but few
step forward
to sojourn
the pathways
of peace.

Some ecstatically
turn willing cheeks
to the nasty slaps
of adversaries;
daring to let
flesh absorb
the totality
humanity’s
pain.

Hostility
spills over the
lips of stormy
volcanoes
like gushing
lava flows
of destruction
covering
all corners
of the globe.

Can the
forgiveness
offered by the
aggrieved
blunt the
world’s
acrimony?

Oh Rumi
where are you?

I offer prayers
that your spirit
still moves
among us,
with balm
in hand
you anoint
misspent
love
wandering
amidst the
desolate cities;
daring to spark
life back
to the dead
stones,
your
miraculous
palms
warming
the cold
rocks
with extreme
humanity.

Your love
rises to answer
the intractability
of indifference;
defeating the
crucifix
of empathy.

Your love
rolls away
the bloated
stones covering
compassion's
cold dead tomb.

Your love
breaks the
omnipotent
cycle of
unrequited
vendettas;
laying it
to rest in
the solitary  
oneness
of spirit;
freeing
the beloved
to live in the
liberty of
unconditional
love once again.

We evoke
the presence
of your spirit,
imagining you
levitated
by Allah’s
slightest
whisper,
floating
among us
in aromas of
spring violets.

We hope
to detect
your soft
footprints
on the
open hearts
of the
compassionate.

We invite
your tears
of joy to water
flowers that
bloom into
luscious
groves
offering
the bread of life
to all.

Rumi, return
to teach us the
lost language,
remind us
of the songs
we have
forgotten,
unite all hearts
with dervish spins,
turning the world
in circles of love,
conjure an
avenging
tornado to
route the
despoilers.

We are
battered
exiles
seeking
refuge
in the nape of
your scented
neck.

We wish
to hide in the
embrace
of your
warm *****
and become
medicated by
the perfume of
life’s gardens
chasing away
the stench
of graveyards
alive in our
memories.

Has the music of Rumi’s words fallen on deaf ears?
Has the rhyme and reason of Rumi’s poetry been misunderstood?
Has Rumi’s example been forgotten?
Has Rumi’s revelations of love evaporated into nothingness?

Rumi, I look for you in the market.
I hope to see you saunter down the street biting into a fresh apple.
I crane my ears to hear your voice incant poetic prayers.

As the sun
sets on
another
violent day
I cannot detect
the gentle taps of
your joyful dance.

I remain starved
to join you at
the Lord's table,
to fill myself with
Eden’s Feast.

Rumi
as you once
came to seek me,
I now come
to seek you.

Panting,
I run through
the streets
in desperation.

I become
a callous
****** spying
through every
window, hoping
to catch a
fleeting image
of your shadow.

I throw open
every last door
leading from the
barren streets
in vain attempts
to track your
footprints in
the dusty
courtyards.

My search
only reveals
bare rooms.

Not a single
trace of you
is discovered.

The empty
corners
once lit with
the resonance
of your spirit
are dark, blinded
by the midnight
worries of the
refugees that
have escaped
these black rooms.

I scavenge
the piles
of concrete,
rummaging
through the
the skeletons
of fractured
buildings leveled
by war.

I am covered
with the dust
of destruction.

I scatter the
bones of the dead
frantically looking
to find a single
footprint as
evidence of your
presence.

I find nothing.

I prophesy
to the bones.

I prophesy to
the disconnected
sinews.

I cleave my sinews.
I bleed my veins.

I drape the sinews,
I drain the blood
onto these decrepit
dry bones.

I scream prayers
to breathe new life
into them.

They do not reassemble.
They do not move.
They do not stand.

Where’s Rumi?

Music selection:
Zikr Call of the Sufi
The Divine Union

Suffern
3/28/12
jbm
James Bradley McCallum
Written by
James Bradley McCallum  New Jersey
(New Jersey)   
3.2k
     ---, ---, K Balachandran, --- and ---
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