Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Elegance of the Ermine

Midnight, and a messenger comes from a prayer niche,
someone as quiet as moonlight,
yet with a torch that burns our sleeping.

A king knocks on the doorkeeper's door
and laughing, leads everyone out to a table.

Our lips tremble at the cup, with the same trembling
as a drop of mercury.

The gentleness of the host is the same
as that that made the elegance of the ermine.

The dry and wet of a love affair,
those tears are identical to the taking in
and giving away of a waterwheel's turning.

The keys that open all gates
are strapped to love's chest.

When a bird is completely broken and still,
it gets removed from the snare.

This list of rude likenesses
does not come near saying
what happens in our lives.


Ruth said...

This list of rude likenesses is almost too much to bear, so beautiful it is, starting with that messenger, quiet as moonlight.

Each stanza would make a worthy meditation, one for each hour of our lives.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Ruth - it appears we are doing a similar thing - I started the other day because I wanted a structured discipline in which to contemplate Rumi's words. Come on over if you like - I choose a poem then comment on it after I've contemplated it. No big deal - I'm not a Rumi scholar - just another person who finds his words compelling. http://www.jan-morrison.blogspot.com/