Rumi’s Little Book of Life

I have made this little book into an oracle of sorts. If I feel lost or a sadness has come to visit me a while and I no longer have the patience to host this visitor, I take the little book, close my eyes and flip to a page, and there will be my antidote, the elixir to help me on my way.

Rumi will always move me, even if some days I feel like a statue. Reading even a couple of lines softens me and reminds me of my humanity. He always feel like a hand on my shoulder letting me know to always look for the Divine. And the Divine is the confirmation that our soul is light and will lead us in the right direction, to love.

Love is an attribute of God wanting nothing
repentance is an attribute of man, it is a worm
to Love’s dragon, absurd in God’s presence.
Love for anything but Him is unreal
for that which is not Him is a gilded object
shining outside yet empty inside,
light and golden on the outside yet dark within.
The moment divine light disappears
darkness is revealed and unreal love
is extinguished like a candle,
the body is discarded and beauty returns to its source.
The moonlight goes back to the moon
and its reflection disappears from the black wall.
Divine love is the sun of perfection
the Divine Word is its Light
and the creatures are its shadow.

From, “Part Two: Garden of the Heart”.
Rumi’s Little Book of Life. Translated By: Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin.

Two

Two is my favorite word. Two, to, too, too. Two divided in each hand as one. The tongue halfway on the roof of the mouth on the too, the tah, the two, the to somewhere, the too too and two fingers symbolizing peace, pointer and middle scissors cutting in two halves and halves together is a whole and whole can be severed in two broken hearts: two souls shattered to pieces, to glass that injures and bleeds two by two, by two drops falling into the mouth that sings too, trilling the vocal chords two by two, by two, plucking the soul strings so that two came to, too.

What is it about two? Two things, two hearts, two souls, two bodies, one to each and to each one too, and matters to, that the two can come together as one whole but can be severed in two again, broken too by two by two by two.

I love the word two, the woo silent, the tee resilient cutting the tongue, the middle caressing the half, halfway meeting the lines inside the opening of a sentence that can drain into the throat two by two, swallowed and nourished for the purpose, just to. Two, too, to we go, hand in hand, one by one, two together or apart but always two.

“two is my favorite word too” you say. I smile, two lips, two eyes, two ears that eager at every syllable that makes their way out of your lips, and I admire those two eyes, two ears, those lips that pucker to say, “two”.

Poem XX

Adrienne Rich’s Twenty-One Love Poems are something to behold. Poem XX is the one that moved me, the one that shed a light on something within me I needed to understand, about what the soul is, what the soul is made of.

“That conversation we were always on the edge of having, runs on in my head”, what is this conversation? The internal monologue we have, that inner voice that gathers our intuition and hands it to us. I then read it over and over sharpening my understanding of the soul. Is it a mirror, reflecting the vulnerabilities of ourselves we hide? Not necessarily. We are so prone to continue this life ignoring ourselves for the sake of having a life people think is worth living. There comes a time though, a small moment, where we see ourselves, and the neglect that has caused our grief, “…drowning in secrets, fear wound round her throat”. This grief we try to set aside, throw whatever we can at it, but it’s still determined to creep up when we believe to have defeated it. Our soul is not a mirror, but it will show us what we have been neglecting, how we have been hurting. And then, the sudden realization that we can indeed have a hand at shaping our soul, to have a hand at expanding and growing by nourishing it, to realize it is ours, it is mine, “and soon I shall know I was talking to my own soul”.

This was my interpretation of it and sometimes I wonder if I’m right or wrong. But then again, even though the writer had a certain intention with it, how it is received is something entirely different. I like to think of poetry and other art forms like a road sign, something that highlights what you’ve been mulling over and over again in the palm of your hands, and at times medicine, an elixir that brings the understanding you need in order to continue on.

And now I ask, what has moved you on this Monday, or lately?

Poem XX from Twenty-One Love Poems in, The Dream of a Common Language by: Adrienne Rich

Through the Door

don’t die young and empty
fists and fists
and they insist
don’t lie down
with the image of risks
taken on a promise
that the feeling will be coming
and becoming lightning
in the stillness of noon
don’t go just yet
fisted fists angrily clenched
they will insist
on filling up to the brim
open your hand and take
take and take
the inheritance of greed
straddled around your neck
and the ache
it aches to keep wanting
long after the disappearance of taste

A Flurry on December 13th

save the snowflakes on your tongue
dissolve the cold in your lungs
hot, burning emotions
sweet, toiling storms;
December and her unlocking of doors.

let the grey clouds roam
descending upon you as a fog
boiling, bubbling emotion
densely tart, a rolling quake;
December and her widening of the gates.

tell your heart not to worry
as the feeling fills you up
simmering slowly under your gloved fingers
live to love as much as you can;
all the Decembers and her ever winding paths.

Run

socks soak up the coffee drops
that you spilled on the floor
you wipe it away
hoping no one sees
in disgust you frown
let’s get defeated today
messes get out of control
in front of others
let’s repeat what we say
every morning
‘sleeping won’t bring death’
but running
will entice its withered hands
to reach for your throat
run, girl run!
towards the horizon
and before the setting sun
let’s get defeated
let’s lose
under the juice drenched sky
spilled all the orange on the nice blue
upended, bare feet
let’s leave the mess behind

Just Well

i wished for gold, i got lessons in change. i wanted a bigger home, i got a message in psalms about materials being just things, to learn about god and not the god they tell you about. i wanted to see the stars, i get a sunrise every morning. i wanted a soul mate and i got another day to wallow in poetry unwritten, just hanging by my teeth, the grind of each word buried underneath my tongue. i wanted the world and i got the moon pulling at my toes. i wanted to be wanted and i got days filled with empty promises, little voids i fill in the night with prayer wanting more than i can hold in my heart. i wanted a bigger heart and i got an achy soul asking for water and asking for warmth. i drink deeply from every cup and think that maybe another sunrise will do, and another sunset will fill, and another moon cycle will pull at the tatters and unravel me until i am just well. i am well, i am well, i am a well, i wanted to be filled, and all i got was a rain shower.

Mira

el reino unido de estos labios
partido en un arco
llenandose de tu corona
y se rebosa
el mar salado entre mis manos
te ofrezco un reino seco y helado
mientras tu mira
mi corona triste
llorando sangre
que vista doy yo
que via hacia este corazón
pero no quiero mentir
si viene a sentarte a mi lado
mira bien
mirame bien
para que no digas luego
que te atrape
con mi sonrisa

Secrets

i

I borrowed dreams
and passed them off
as my own

I never really lived
in this body
each piece claimed

I sat today
and was honest for once

where to now?

 

ii

I have a scarred heart
wrinkled paths
no flow is rich
but I still can pass
I rather not sometimes
I rather slip
and die

 

iii

let me tell you
about those borrowed dreams
they lay wasted
crumpled away
in a corner of my soul
the fumes as they rot
have filled my eyes
I can’t even come up
with a dream I can call mine

I only see the sky
if I fall
will it catch me?

 

Grotesque Bloom

Chaotic emotions turning volatile.
I want to split into five,
like a flower blooming grotesquely.
I am in grossness,
emotions keep trying to overtake me.
Douse me in rubbing alcohol,
drown me in a pool of bleach.
Hang me to dry under the sun,
watch my skin harden and peel,
I am in grotesque bloom.
Split me in five.
This chaos is suffocating inside this human body,
I want to go in all four directions
but the north shames me down into my deepest recesses.
I am grotesquely blooming,
a flower that broke through cement,
a foundation laid by one who only wanted to crush my demonic seed.
Let me split into five,
leave me in my chaotic bloom.