Friday, July 21, 2017

Rumi's Poem "An Empty Garlic" from about 740 Years Ago is like Our Outdated Carbon Addiction

An Empty Garlic

You miss the garden,
because you want a small fig from a random tree.
You don't meet the beautiful woman.
You're joking with an old crone.
It makes me want to cry how she detains you,
stinking mouthed, with a hundred talons,
putting her head over the roof edge to call down,
tasteless fig, fold over fold, empty
as dry-rotten garlic.

She has you tight by the belt,
even though there's no flower and no milk
inside her body.
Death will open your eyes
to what her face is: Leather spine
of a black lizard. No more advice.

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stronger pull of what you really love.

(Used with permission of translator Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi, p. 50)  Another great Rumi poem is "The Snake-Catcher’s Tale."

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