Poem for the Month of July, 2002

by Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi



We are the mirror
As well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste
This minute
Of eternity.

We are pain,
And what cures pain, both.
We are the sweet, cold water,
And the jar that pours.

I want to hold you close like a lute,
So that we can cry out with loving!
You would rather throw stones at a mirror.
I am your mirror;
And here are the stones.


This being human is a guest house.
  Every morning a new arrival.

   A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
      as an unexpected visitor.

   Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
   who violently sweep your house
      empty of its furniture.

Still treat each guest honorably,
   He may be clearing you out
      for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
   meet them at the door laughing,
      and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
   because each has been sent
      as a guide from beyond.


This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.

Then death comes like dawn,
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought was your grief.

Reprinted from "The Essential Rumi"
Translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
HarperCollins Publishers, 1995

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