I Have Been Tricked By Flying Too Close

I have been tricked by flying too close
to what I thought I loved.
Now the candleflame is out, the wine spilled,
and the lovers have withdrawn
somewhere beyond my squinting.
The amount I thought I’d won, I’ve lost.
My prayers becomes bitter and all about blindness.
How wonderful it was to be for a while
with those who surrender.
Others only turn their faces on way,
then another, like pigeon in flight.
I have known pigeons who fly in a nowhere,
and birds that eat grainlessness,
and tailor who sew beautiful clothes
by tearing them to pieces.

A New Rule

It is the rule with drunkards to fall upon each other,
to quarrel, become violent, and make a scene.
The lover is even worse than a drunkard.
I will tell you what love is: to enter a mine of gold.
And what is that gold?
The lover is a king above all kings,
unafraid of death, not at all interested in a golden crown.
The dervish has a pearl concealed under his patched cloak.
Why should he go begging door to door?
Last night that moon came along,
drunk, dropping clothes in the street.
“Get up,” I told my heart, “Give the soul a glass of wine.
The moment has come to join the nightingale in the garden,
to taste sugar with the soul-parrot.”
I have fallen, with my heart shattered –
where else but on your path? And I
broke your bowl, drunk, my idol, so drunk,
don’t let me be harmed, take my hand.
A new rule a new law has been born:
break all the glasses and fall toward the glassblower.

Who Says Words With My Mouth?

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

This poetry, I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

Moving Water

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears.

Don’t let others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.

Reach for the rope of God. And what is that? Putting aside self-will.

Because of willfulness people sit in jail, the trapped bird’s wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness. You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment.

Now see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you’ve been torturing your soul. We are born and live inside black water in a well.

How could we know what an open field of sunlight is?

Don’t insist on going where you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your living pieces will form a harmony.

There is a moving palace that floats in the air with balconies and clear water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained under a single tent.

Two Kinds Of Intelligence

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

In The Arc Of Your Mallet

Don’t go anywhere without me.
Let nothing happen in the sky apart from me,
or on the ground, in this world or that world,
without my being in its happening.
Vision, see nothing I don’t see.
Language, say nothing.
The way the night knows itself with the moon,
be that with me. Be the rose
nearest to the thorn that I am.
I want to feel myself in you when you taste food,
in the arc of your mallet when you work,
when you visit friends, when you go
up on the roof by yourself at night.
There’s nothing worse than to walk out along the street
without you. I don’t know where I’m going.
You’re the road, and the knower of roads,
more than maps, more than love

One Whisper Of The Beloved

Lovers share a sacred decree –
to seek the Beloved.
They roll head over heels,
rushing toward the Beautiful One
like a torrent of water.

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved –
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor –
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul –
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

He will melt your pride
making you thin as a strand of hair,
Yet do not trade, even for both worlds,
One strand of His hair.

We search for Him here and there
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side we ask,
‘O Beloved, where is the Beloved?’

Enough with such questions! –
Let silence take you to the core of life.

All your talk is worthless
When compared to one whisper
of the Beloved.