One Day I Will Become a Bird

Dove in Seyahdi House in Muharraq Bahrain

One day I’ll become what I want

One day I’ll become a bird

that plucks my being from nothingness.

As my wings burn I approach the truth

and rise from the ashes

I am the dialogue of dreamers

I shunned the body and self to complete the first journey

towards meaning

but it consumed me then vanished

I am that absence

The fugitive from heaven

pg. 11 from Murals by Mahmoud Darwish

One Day I Will Become a Thought

Poppies on mountain outside Bethlehem

One day I will become what I want

One day I will become a thought

that no sword or book can dispatch to the wasteland

A thought equal to rain on the mountain split open by a blade of grass

where power will not triumph

and justice is not fugitive.

– pg 10 from Murals by Mahmoud Darwish

Flower in the Sand

Desert flower after a winter with less than 3/4s of an inch of rain.

When the sky is grey

and I see a rose sprouting through the cracks in the wall

I don’t say: the sky is grey

but keep my eye on the rose and tell it:

it’s quite a day!

from Mural by Mahmoud Darwish

Perhaps You Will Feast on This Banquet of Love

We are not forced to do anything. We are only chosen. To be chosen does not mean anything by itself, but the meaning of what you are chosen to do does. Once we make that choice, the Divine comes to meet us and gives us assistance that is beyond our capabilities.

Fariba Enteshari,

Jalal al Din Rumi student/scholar

I have never been a big reader of poetry but lately I seem to keep coming across small bits of Rumi’s work.  And although no one is forcing me to read it – I am not “in school” – I find that for some reason I am drawn to his work and find a relevant truth in nearly every passage.  Perhaps this is an example of the Divine meeting me and helping me glimpse Rumi’s magnificence.

My friend Fariba Enteshari has been a Rumi student since I met her nearly twenty years ago at the Immaculate Heart College Center in Los Angeles.    While I waded through Theresa of Avila, Fariba was immersed in Rumi’s six volume book of poetry, the Mathnawi.

The Mathnawi  is 25,000 lines of lyrical verse.  It is referred to as the Persian Koran.  The verse is spoken in the voice of Rumi’s beloved muse, friend, teacher, Shams al Din.  Our bookclub recently read a novel about their relationship called The Forty Rules of Love.  

Rumi, a Koranic scholar, was a popular Imam in Koya, Turkey.   Shams was “delivered” to his doorstep and began a conversation with Rumi that, according to the stories, lasted forty-days and nights.  During that intense period of interaction, Rumi’s heart was opened.  And after Sham’s death, for the first time in his life, he began writing the poetry which has guided people for 700 years.

Indries Shah the great thinker and writer on Sufism said a great part of Sufism “must be personally communicated by means of interaction between the teacher and the learner. Too much attention to the written page can be harmful.”

This Sufism truth was probably revealed by Rumi’s and Sham’s relationship.

If you are interested in entering a conversation with a Rumi scholar, this Wednesday, March 14th, Fariba Enteshari is putting aside her writing for the day to have a Banquet of Love.  She invites anyone interested in Rumi’s poetry to come to this spiritual feast.

If you are uncertain whether you are interested in poetry or are capable of understanding Rumi’s deeper meaning, you can take heart from Indries Shah who said

“Rumi, like other Sufi authors, plants his teachings within a framework which as effectively screens its inner meaning as displays it.  This technique fulfills the functions of preventing those who are incapable of using the material on a higher level from experimenting effectively with it; allowing those who want poetry to select poetry; giving entertainment to people who want stories; stimulating the intellect in those who prized such experiences.”

Indries Shah, The Way of the Sufi, 1970.

If you are near beautiful Santa Barbara, California this Wednesday, go spend the day at La Casa Maria with Fariba and other Rumi devotees and see what message Rumi’s poetry has for you.

Banquet of Love is Wednesday March 14th 9:30-3:30 at the La Casa de Maria, in Santa Barbara, California.  Donations will be taken at the door.  To make a reservation for the $14 lunch go to www.lcdm.org or call (805) 969 – 5031.

In The Palm of My Heart

Happy Valentine's Day - cards and flowers from my children

11 –

Let us be together

Hanged by the peg of heart

Beneath the sky we adore

The sky that loves

You are coquetry of the beginning of jasmine

You spread out in my liberty

From a fearful night

From In the Palm of My Heart by Ali Al Satrawai

Pearl, Dreams of Shell

Ali Al Satrawai is a Bahraini poet, writer and journalist.  This verse came from an anthology of contemporary poetry, Pearl, Dreams of Shell compiled and translated by Hameed Al Qaed.

Don’t Go to Sleep This Night

August Full Moon over Iowa Corn Fields, 2011

Don’t Go to Sleep This Night

don’t go to sleep
this night
one night is worth
a hundred thousand souls

the night is generous
it can give you
a gift of the full moon
it can bless your soul
with endless treasure

every night when you feel
the world is unjust
never ending grace
descends from the sky
to soothe your souls

the night is not crowded like the day
the night is filled with eternal love
take this night
tight in your arms
as you hold a sweetheart

remember the water of life
is in the dark caverns
don’t be like a big fish
stopping the life’s flow
by standing in the mouth of a creek

during a night
the blessed prophet
broke all the idols and
God remained alone
to give equally to all
an endless love.

                              Translated by Nader Khalili
                              Rumi, Fountain of Fire

A Bahraini friend sent this poem to me today.


Next Newer Entries

Archives

Tales by Chapter

%d bloggers like this: