Rumi, The Death of Saladin

You left ground and sky weeping,
mind and soul full of grief.

No one can take your place in existence,
or in absence. Both mourn, the angels, the prophets,
and this sadness I feel has taken from me
the taste of language, so that I cannot say
the flavor of my being apart.

The roof of the kingdom within has collapsed.
When I say the word you, I mean a hundred universes.

Pouring grief water or secret dripping
in the heart, eyes in the head,
or eyes of the soul, I saw yesterday
that all these flow out to find you
when you’re not here.

That bright firebird Saladin
went like an arrow,
and now the bow trembles and sobs.

If you know how to weep
for human beings, weep for Saladin.

The sea yields us once more to these shores…

“The sea yields us once more to these shores. We are but another wave of her waves. She sends us forth to sound her speech, but how shall we do so unless we break the symmetry of our heart on rock and sand?

“For this is the law of mariners and the sea: If you would freedom, you must needs turn to mist. The formless is for ever seeking form, even as the countless nebulae would become suns and moons; and we who have sought much and return now to this isle, rigid moulds, we must become mist once more and learn of the beginning. And what is there that shall live and rise unto the heights except it be broken unto passion and freedom?

“For ever shall we be in quest of the shores, that we may sing and be heard. But what of the wave that breaks where no ear shall hear? It is the unheard in us that nurses our deeper sorrow. Yet it is also the unheard which carves our soul to form and fashion our destiny.”

— Gibran Khalil Gibran, The Garden of the Prophet

Letter October 28, 2014

Your dark hair, beloved—is it a river flowing amid the banks of eternity, carrying, in its surge, all the stars towards some hidden shore? Or is it an ocean of mist, a womb deeper than the night, one from whose invisible flesh all the stars are born? Which is it, I cannot decide. Yet by its surge I am carried; in the flick of its wind, born. And this, each minute, each second, right into the timeless sphere that binds me to your core; binds me as a ray of sunlight issues from the source.

Altar of Ecstasy

Love’s chills,
tender ripples of ecstasy
coursing underneath our skin,
harbingers of abandonment
in the burning mouth of stars.

The tree of white flowers
blossoms inside our merged bodies,
arching our backs and breaking our ribs
as it raises us to deliver us, headless,
to the altar of the sky.