Thursday, February 22, 2007

“The thief among us”


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 2172, from Rumi's
"Diwan-eShams" , in versions by Coleman Barks and
Kabir Helminski, and in a translation by Peter Lamborn
Wilson and Nasrullah Pourjavadi:

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Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing, he comes to see me.
Is someone here? I ask.
The moon. The full moon is inside your house.

My friends and I go running out into the street.
I'm in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren't
We're looking up at the sky.
My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden.
Ringdoves scatter with small cries. Where, Where.
It's midnight. The whole neighborhood is up and out in
the street
thinking, The cat-burglar has come back.
The actual thief is there too, saying out loud,
Yes, the cat-burglar is somewhere in this crowd.
No one pays attention.

Lo, I am with you always, means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you.
There's no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.

A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995

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"And He is With Us"

Totally unexpected my guest arrived.
"Who is it?" asked my heart.
"The face of the moon," said my soul.

As he entered the house,
we all ran into the street madly looking for the moon.
"I'm in here," he was calling from inside,
but we were calling him outside unaware of his call.
Our drunken nightingale is singing in the garden,
and we are cooing like doves, "Where, where, where?"

A crowd formed: "Where's the thief?"
And the thief among us is saying,
"Yeah, where's the thief?"
All our voices became mixed together
and not one voice stood out from the others.

"And He is with you" means He is searching with you.
He is nearer to you than yourself. Why look outside?
Become like melting snow; wash yourself of yourself.
With love your inner voice will find a tongue
growing like a silent white lily in the heart.

-- Version by Kabir Edmund Helminski
"Love is a Stranger"
Threshold Books, 1993

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A Thief in The Night

(yet somehow expected)
he arrived, the guest....
the heart trembling "Who's there?"

and soul responding
"The Moon..."
came into the house, and we lunatics
ran into the street, stared up
for the moon.

Then--inside the house--
he cried out "Here I am !"
and we, beyond earshot
running around, calling him...

crying for him
for the drunken nightingale
locked lamenting
in our garden
while we mourning ringdoves
murmured "Where Where?"

As if at midnight
the sleepers bolt upright
in their beds
hearing a thief
break into the house
they stumble about
crying "Help!
A thief! A thief!"

but the burglar himself
mingles in the confusion
echoing their cries:
"..... a thief!"
till one cry
melts with the others.

-- Ghazal (Ode) 2172
"The Drunken Universe"
Translation by Peter Lamborn Wilson
and Nasrullah Pourjavadi
Omega Publications, New Lebanon, 1987

The media:

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1 comment:

Irving said...

This post is so full of love and such a wonderful evocation of Rumi's reed poem, one of my favorites. Thank you, Sunlight group for this excellent blog. I am adding it to my blogroll.

Ya Haqq!