Monday, May 21, 2012

[Sunlight] Champion Lovemaker and Leader of Men -- Ghazal 959



"Champion Lovemaker and Leader of Men"

If you could not feel tenderness and hurt.
If you could live in the poorhouse of non-wanting
and never be indignant.
If you could take two steps away from the beautiful one
you want so much to lie down with.
If you could trust there's a spirit-wife
for you somewhere, a whole harem of wives,
a nest, a jewel-setting where
when you sit down, you know
you've always wanted to be.
If you could quit living here and go there.
If you could remember clearly what you've done.

But strong hooks hold you in this wind.
So many people love you,
you mix with the color and smell and taste of surroundings.
Champion lovemaker and leader of men!
You can't give up your public fascination,
or your compassion for the dying.

There's another compassion you don't know yet,
but you may, when griefs disappear.
It's a place,
with no questioning thorns in the pasture grass.
If you could remember you're not a crow,
but the mystic osprey that never needs to light,
you could be walking there
with Shams.

-- Ode 959
Version by Coleman Barks
"Open Secret - Versions of Rumi"
Threshold Book, 1984



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