sunday bear: rumi

“Laura” by Pam Wooley (antique lace collar, distressed mohair, 1988)



Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round
in another form. The child weaned from mother’s milk
now drinks wine and honey mixed.

God’s joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box,
from cell to cell. As rainwater, down into flowerbed.
As roses, up from ground.
Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,
now a cliff covered with vines,
now a horse being saddled.
It hides within these,
till one day it cracks them open.

Part of the self leaves the body when we sleep
and changes shape. You might say, “Last night
I was a cypress tree, a small bed of tulips,
a field of grapevines.” Then the phantasm goes away.
You’re back in the room.
I don’t want to make anyone fearful.
Hear what’s behind what I say.

Tatatumtum tatum tatadum.
There’s the light gold of wheat in the sun
and the gold of bread made from that wheat.
I have neither. I’m only talking about them,

as a town in the desert looks up
at stars on a clear night.

~ from The Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne (Harper San Francisco, 1995)


♥ This week’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you by your loyal friend Cornelius, who wants you to have the stars.



Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

10 thoughts on “sunday bear: rumi

      1. That we are. Same time last week, I was scrambling as I attended to the Festival. This is a beautiful poem that I relished reading aloud. Thanks for sharing this, Jama dearest. You really should come attend the AFCC next year. It would be so lovely to meet you, finally.


      2. I don’t know how you manage to do all you do! Such a powerhouse. Glad the AFCC was such a success. Sigh, it would be lovely to meet you, too :).


  1. That’s beautiful, Jama. There have been some losses in the past few weeks, two in my own world as well as the several we’ve heard about in the poetry/literature world. They begin to feel cumulative, but then you think about the big circle and feel comfort in the way everyone’s presence is felt by everyone else whose lives he or she touched, and how we are in all things. Thanks.


    1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost some loved ones, Toby. It is precisely as you say, we are in all things, together, and keep the spirit of those we’ve loved in our hearts forever.


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