Back to Being
The ocean can do without fish. My soul,
let me tell you a secret: it's rare to
meet a fish like the ocean! Seawater is
the nursing mother. Fish, the crying
babies. But sometimes the ocean comes
looking for a particular fish to hear
what it wants. The ocean will not act
before it knows. That fish is an
emperor then; the ocean is its minister.
But don't call such a fish a fish! How
long will I keep talking in riddles?
Shams is the master who turns the earth
fragrant. When plants feel him near
they open out. I would not have a soul,
if after tasting the taste of Shams,
I could go back to being who I was.
-- Ode (Ghazal) 853
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Soul of Rumi"
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