Poetry Corner – Rumi on Ramadan fasting

There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less.

If the soundboxes stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you run
up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.

Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you’re full of food and drink,
Satan sits where your spirit should,
an ugly metal statue in place of the Kaaba.
When you fast, good habits gather
like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon’s ring.

Don’t give into some illusion and lose your power,
but even if you have, if you’ve lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out of the ground,
pennants flying above them.

A table descends to your tents, Jesus’ table.
Expect to see it, when you fast,
this tablespread with other food,
better than the broth of cabbages.

Rumi, Ghazal 1739 from Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Poetry Corner – Rumi: look at love, how it tangles…

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi (also known as Mevlana, which means “our guide”) was a 13th-century Persian scholar, Sufi mystic and poet. He spent most of his life in the area of Konya Turkey.

Rumi taught spiritual fulfillment through love, connection and tolerance and wrote volumes on the subject. He encouraged the use of poetry and music to break through the temporal veil to universal wisdom. Members of the Mevlevi Order are also known as Whirling Dervishes because of their spinning Sema ceremony. Click to read more about the Sema.

Rumi’s message is positive and open and has had wide appeal across religions and cultures for hundreds of years. His tomb in Konya remains a place of pilgrimage today. Continue reading