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Rumi’s Poems: A Meditation

February 14, 2012

As I anticipate my book, Looking for Don: A Meditation, soon being conveyed into the hands of strangers, I feel my grief changing its shape and color. It spreads through my body and soul like a mountain stream’s water–clear and green–flowing through the rocks and pebbles. I hear melodies, sad but beautiful.

These days I start my day with reading poems by Rumi. Below, I take the liberty of introducing one of his poems, The Death of Saladin (Coleman Barks,  Rumi: The Book of Love). Saladin was a goldsmith in Konya. He and Rumi were friends who inspired each other. Coleman Barks writes, “Rumi heard an essential music in the goldsmith’s hammering and began to turn in the ecstasy of his listening.” (Coleman Barks, Rumi: The Book of Love, p.188).

The poem speaks for me and tells me yet one more time how timeless love is (they lived in the 13th century) and how grief coming from love is radiant.

The Death of Saladin

You left ground and sky weeping,
mind and soul full of grief.

No one can take your place in existence
or in absence. Both mourn,
the angels, the prophets, and this sadness
I feel has taken from me the taste of language,

so that I can’t say the flavor
of my being apart. The roof
of the kingdom within has collapsed!

When I say the word you, I mean
a hundred universes.

Pouring grief of water, or secret dripping
in the heart, even in the head or eyes
of the soul. I saw yesterday
that all these flow out to find you
when you’re not here.

That bright fire bird Saladin
went like an arrow, and now the bow
trembles and sobs.

If you know how to weep for human beings,
weep for Saladin.

P.S. Here is a review of Looking for Don by a friend who read the manuscript. I offer it with the hope that you will be the first one to order when it becomes available (maybe in March).

“This will be a beautiful and widely read book. I was completely absorbed in it while reading through it. You really gave an honest account of the grieving process–happy, sad, reminiscent, angry–floating in and out of thought patterns. It is so very sad . . . but so honest. I felt like I was sitting right beside you, hearing your story.” Cindy

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  1. My First Poem… « PrefacMe
  2. Rumi « The Talking Turtles

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