A Patchwork of Quatrains

By: alexanderlewin

Jan 09 2016

Tags: , , ,

Category: Poetry, Rumi, Sufism


Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Lumia 520

In complete control, pretending control,
with dignified authority, we are charlatans.
Or maybe just a goat’s-hair brush in a painter’s hand.
We have no idea what we are.

I was happy enough to stay still
inside the pearl inside the shell,
but the hurricane of experience
lashed me out of hiding
and made me a wave moving into shore,
saying loudly the ocean’s secret as I went.
Then, spent there, I slept like fog
against the cliff, another stillness.

I used to have a fiery intensity
and a flowing sweetness.
The waters were illusion.
The flames, made of snow.
Was I dreaming then?
Am I awake now?

There is a desert I long to be walking,
a wide emptiness, peace,
beyond any understanding of it.

You are from a country beyond this universe,
yet your best guess is
you are made of earth and ashes.
You engrave this physical image everywhere
as a sign that you have forgotten
where you are from.

Essence is emptiness.
Everything else, accidental.
Emptiness brings peace to your longing.
Everything else, dis-ease.
In this world of trickery
emptiness is what your soul wants.

Soul serves as a cup for the juice
that leaves the intellect in ruins.
That candle came and consumed me,
about whose flame
the universe flutters in total confusion.

Leave, mind.
No one is ‘mindful’ here.
Even if you shrink to one hair,
still there is no room.
Look at this morning light.
How could a candle ever improve this?

Looking at form delights you,
but move beyond this circle of seeing.
There is no end to wisdom,
no boundaries for awareness,
no sky, no place to rest.

Only if you deny yourself,
will you die enough to know the mystery of union.
Not God filling you,
but you being emptied of self.
Anything else is arrogant and false.


goat's-hair brush#2Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273)
tr.Coleman Barks
from Rumi: The Big Red Book
HarperCollins 2010


9 comments on “A Patchwork of Quatrains”

  1. Goat’s hairbrush!

  2. Love the picture, and the Rumi is vehry vehry good. Echoes the Pinker chats earlier, and much more. Happy Sunday morning!

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