Monday, September 24, 2007

Rumi birthday countdown 2

Hi Everyone!

Okay, the challenge with choosing just one poem by Rumi is that there are so many that resonate and are worthy of sharing. Hopefully, these posts will give you a taste of the great ecstatic poet, and you'll do some literary archeology on your own!

For Today's Bitchin' Queer Poem, I'm going to give you three poems of the homoerotic and fantastic ecstatic poet who wrote of passion, God, and love with such clarity and originality that his words still speak to us, nearly 800 years later!
Joseph is most beautiful when he's completely naked,
but his shirt gives you an idea,
as the body lets you glimpse the glitter
on the water of the soul.
That's a fragment of a larger poem, from pg. 94 of "The Essential Rumi" translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne.

And here's a short complete poem:

Are you jealous of the ocean's generosity?
Why would you refuse to give
this joy to anyone?

Fish don't hold the sacred liquid in cups!
They swim the huge fluid freedom.
That's from pg. 123.

Okay, just one more full poem (because I'm getting carried away, and could spend hours going through just this one book...)

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,
Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
Like this?

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God's fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her,
Keep your face there close.
Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
Like this?

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don't try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point

If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.
When someone doesn't believe that,
walk back into my house.
Like this.

When lovers moan,
they're telling our story.
Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue
while the breeze says a secret.
Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
Like this.

How did Joseph's scent come to Jacob?

How did Jacob's sight return?

A little wind cleans the eyes.
Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he'll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us.
Like this.

That's from pages 135 - 137 of the same book, "The Essential Rumi" translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne.

Honestly, I find Rumi's poems amazing. I hope they resonate within you, too.

Like this.



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