still alone

my god!
i am so sorry!
i went to bed last night
with ‘i want’ screaming out from me
i kept looking to the door
i slept

when i woke
i heard that you had sent
everyone away so that
could be alone together!
and in my ignorance i had ignored you
oh please forgive me!
how foolish!

and yet i am foolish even still
for this morning i write this lament
and pretend i am still alone


“when you are alone
remind yourself that God has sent
everyone else away, so that
there is only you him” -Rumi

The prompt for Global Poetry Writing Month today April 23 is to write a poem based off another. i heard this quote from Rumi this morning, and it illuminated something so the above words had to come out of me. and then i laughed at my own foolishness. Thank you for your patience.

The first gates: Three Poems by Rumi

hello friends.  I had an unnamed longing that you may have seen surfacing in some poems of mine.  That longing lead me to this:

“One night a man was crying,
Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
“So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?”

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
“Why did you stop praising?”
“Because I’ve never heard anything back.”
“This longing
you express is the return message.”

The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.

Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.

There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.

Give your life
to be one of them.”

* * *

“A story is like water
that you heat for your bath.

It takes messages between the fire
and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!

Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself
like a salamander or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.

A feeling of fullness comes,
but usually it takes some bread
to bring it.

Beauty surrounds us,
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.

The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that’s blazing
inside your presence.

Water, stories, the body,
all the things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what’s hidden.

Study them,
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,

and then not.”

* * *

“Can you find another market like this?

with your one rose
you can buy hundreds of rose gardens?

for one seed
you get a whole wilderness?

For one weak breath,
the divine wind?

You’ve been fearful
of being absorbed in the ground,
or drawn up by the air.

Now, your waterbead lets go
and drops into the ocean,
where it came from.

It no longer has the form it had,
but it’s still water.
The essence is the same.

This giving up is not a repenting.
It’s a deep honoring of yourself.

When the ocean comes to you as a lover,
marry, at once, quickly,
for God’s sake!

Don’t postpone it!
Existence has no better gift.

No amount of searching
will find this.

A perfect falcon, for no reason,
has landed on your shoulder,
and become yours.”


Three poems by Jalaludin Rumi.  These interpretations are I believe, by Coleman Barks.  Thanks to The First Gates for posting.

Two Poems by Rumi

Story Water


Looking up

1. Dogs

Extreme star cluster bursts into life in new Hubble image

Looking up,
Diamond-snouted dog
Silhouetted against the sky
Dark and drooling
Claims victims by licking to death

Credit: ESA/Hubble; NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Other poets on this image:

Pretending to believe

Dreams in a Nebula


2. Eye

The Hourglass Nebula
Calm-centered Hurricane
Along the long hourglass axis
Distant lensiatic galaxies
Watching, waiting
For that flash of recognition
Watching, waiting
For me to finally look up

Credit: ESA/Hubble; Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger (JPL), the WFPC2 science team, and NASA/ESA

Other poets on this image:


3. Fields

A perfect storm of turbulent gases
There are stars that shine by virtue
Of our attention to them
With that light we hide our inadequacy

Other stars shine by virtue of their nature
That light defies eternity
Outshines luminous cloudy landscapes
that maxfield saw
Even from his earthly perch

Credit: ESA/Hubble;  European Space Agency, NASA, and J. Hester (Arizona State University)

Other poets on this image:

Ray of hope.

Death Be Eternity

4. Our soul alights

Artist's concept of exoplanet orbiting Fomalhaut
Out beyond ideas
Of good and bad
There is a field, a plain, a plane
Where our whole world
Will meet God.
Illusion burned off
Like morning fog

Credit: ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO); ESA/Hubble, apologies to Jallaludin

Other poets on this image:

Is the Sun Conscious?