Hafiz from the collection Tonight We Shall Speak of Love:
Rumi, from the collection, Say I Am You
2. “Which Way Does the Night Go?”
Love comes with a knife, not some shy question, and not with fears for its reputation! I say these things disinterestedly. Accept them in kind. Love is a madman, working his wild schemes, tearing off his clothes, running through the mountains, drinking poison, and now quietly choosing annihilation.
A tiny spider tries to wrap an enormous wasp. Think of the spiderweb woven across the cave where Muhammad slept!
There are love stories, and there is obliteration into love.
You’ve been walking the ocean’s edge, holding up your robes to keep them dry. You must dive naked under, and deeper under, a thousand times deeper!
Love flows down. The ground submits
to the sky and suffers what comes.
Tell me, is the earth worse for
giving in like that?
Don’t put blankets
over the drum!
Let your spirit-ear listen to the
green dome’s passionate murmur.
Let the cords of your robe
be untied. Shiver in this
new love beyond all above and below.
The sun rises but which way does the night go?
I have no more words.
Let the soul speak with the silent articulation of a face.
3. Selection from “Majnun’s with Layla’s Dog”
A poet tries to say love’s mystery,
why the reed flute grieves.
Listen and obey
the hushed language.
There’s no light like yours. No breeze
quick enough to carry your fragrance.
When intelligence leaves its castle
and walks through your lane,
it doesn’t know where or who it is.
It sits on the ground and babbles.
As salt dissolves in ocean,
I was swallowed up in you,
beyond doubt or being sure.
Suddenly here in my chest a star
came out so clear, it drew
all stars into it.
Love told me to reject mind,
and also spirit. Live with me.
For a while, I did. Then I left,
came back, and left again.
Now I’m here to stay.
Finally, here’s a salon member’s favorite, which he has memorized!