Tuesday, July 15, 2008

love dogs


One night a man was crying, Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
"So! I have heard you calling out,
but have you ever gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.

"Why did you stop praising?"

"Because I've never heard anything back."

"This longing you express IS the return message."

The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.

Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.

There are love dogs
No one knows the names of.

Give your life
to be one of them.

Mathnawi III, 189 – 211, version by Coleman Barks

This poem is available at Sunlight but I found it at Crossword Bebop where Douglas provides a link to an exquisite reading of the poem. I also stole his image of Rumi. And I loved the Sufi tale he linked to in which Khidr also appears.

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