Favorite Poetry

Your First eyes

A lover has four streams inside of water, wine, honey and milk.

Find those in yourself and pay no attention to what so-and-so says about such-and-such.

The rose does not care if someone calls it a torn or jasmine.

Ordinary eyes categorize human beings. That one is Zoroastrian, this one Muslim.

Walk instead with the other vision given you, your first eyes.

Do not squint, and do not stare blankly like a vulture.

Those who love fire fall in fire. A fly slips from the edge into the whey.

If you are in love with the infinite, why grieve over the ground washing away in the rain?

Bow to the essence in a human being.

A desert drinks war-blood, but if it knew this secret, springs would rise, rose gardens.

Do not be content with judging people good and bad. Grow out of that.

The great blessing is that Shams has poured a strength into the ground that lets us wait and trust the waiting.

Stingy aloes wood

A lion is devouring a sheep.

A little, lame, blind, blue fox comes along

And steals the sheep’s tail.

The lion allows this when one swing of the lion’s paw

could obliterate the fox.

Remember the brothers who came with the ridiculous  news,

A wolf has eaten Joseph.

The lion of the sky could not harm such a favorite.

Your hearts are guarded like that.

Give everything to the one who protects.

When someone humiliates you, turn your face there.

Fear and hurt are lassoes drawing you through a door.

Lord, lord, you say weeping. Green herbs sprout where those tears fall.

Dawn comes, and blindness drains away. Each day is eternity.

Do not avoid your suffering. Plunge it in the Nile.

Purify your stubbornness. Drown it. Burn it. 

Your body is a stingy piece of aloes wood that will not let go its healing smoke

until you put it in the fire.

Now Shams leans near to remind me, That is enough sourness. No more Vinegar.

                                                                    – Mohamad Jalal-o-Din Balkhi (Rumi)


A constant conversation

I am here by the gate.

Maybe you will throw open a door and call.

I am drenched with being here.

Things dissolve around me,

but I am still sitting here.

One clap in the emptiness of space

new centuries begin.


A rose,

a wise loveliness,

the sun coming out brilliantly, on horseback.

All this day we will be close,

talking and joking, close to your face.

Whenever I say your face,

my soul jumps out of it’s skin.

Is there some other roof somewhere?

Any name other than yours?

Any glass of wine other than this you bring me so perfectly?

If I find my life, I will never let go,

holding and twisting the cloth of your coat,

as in that dream when I saw you.

By this gate kings are waiting for me.

Your eyes, I am lost remembering your eyes.

Look at us out here moaning with our shirts ripped open.

Anyone seeing your face and not obsessed with the sight

is cold as a rock in the ground.

What further curse could I put on him?

What is worse than having no word from you?

Do not waste your life with those who do not see you.

Stay with us, who are each running across the beach,

torn loose from friends, making friends with the sea.

One flood moves in its sleep,

one is confused out of its channel.

one says, all praise to God.

Another, No strength but yours.

You are sunlight come as wagonloads of presents

and free wine for the poor.

A rose looks up, the calyx rips open.

The lute player with quick hands sees your hands

and stops and closes her eyes.

Who is luckiest in this whole orchestra?

The reed..

Its mouth touches your lips to learn music.

All reeds, sugarcane especially, think only of this chance.

They sway in the canebrakes,

free in the many ways they dance.

Without you, the instruments would die.

One sits close beside you.

Another takes a long kiss.

The tambourine begs, touch my skin, so i can be myself.

Let me feel you enter each limb bone by bone,

that what died last night can be whole today.

Why live some soberer way and feel you ebbing out?

I will not do it.

Either give me enough wine or leave me alone,

now that I know how it is

to be with you in a constant conversation.

 – Mohamad Jalal-o-Din Balkhi (Rumi)


Inside sight

You are the king’s son.

Why do you close yourself up?

Become a lover.

Do not aspire to be a general

or a minister of state.

One is a boredom for you,

the other a disgrace.

You have been a picture on a bathhouse wall long enough.

No one recognizes you here, do they?

God’s lion disguised as human being.

I saw that and put down the book I was studying,

Hariri’s Maqamat.

There is no early and late for us.

The only way to measure a lover

is by the grandeur of the beloved.

Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle.

Shams is invisible because he is inside sight.

He is the intelligent essence

of what is everywhere at once, seeing.

 – Mohamad Jalal-o-Din Balkhi (Rumi)