The Time of Divulging (Rumi)

December is gone, along with January and February.

Spring is here. Tulip buds appear.

The empty trees stagger and flail

like drunks going home.

The wind recites a spell.

The rose arbor trembles.

The dark blue water lotus, niluphar, says to the jasmine, Look how twisted together we are.

Clover blossom to meadow grass,

This is the grace we have wanted.

The violets bow, responding to the hyacinths,

and the narcissus winks, An interesting development.

The willow slings her light-headed hair around,

saying nothing, and the cypress grows even more still.

Everybody is so beautifully becoming themselves. Artists go outdoors

to let the beauty move through their hands and brushes.

Sweet-feathered birds light on the pulpit. The soul sings, Ya Hu. The dove sings, Coo, coo.

The roses open their shirts. It is not right

To stay closed when the time of divulging comes.

One rosebud remarks to the nightingale,

Lilies have hundreds of tongues,

but they do not tell their secrets.

No more holding back. Be reckless. Tell your love to everybody.

And so the nightingale does. The plane tree bends to the vine, Stand up. The prostrating of prayer is over.

The vine, This prostration is not voluntary. I have that in me that makes me always like this, burning with surrender, flat on my face. It is the same power that makes you plane.

The rose asks the saffron, Why so pale?

The plump red apple replies, Because saffron does not understand

that the beloved is absence as well as this fullness.

Just then stones begin bombarding him, but he laughs, knowing how lover calls to lover.

Zuleikha tears Joseph’s shirt, but that is love-play to make him naked.

The apple absorbs a direct hit but stays on the tree. I hang here like Hallaj, feeling those lips on me, the honor of being lifted up on a crucifixion apple tree.

Now the kissing is over. Fold your love in. Hide it like pastry filling. Whisper within with a shy girl’s tenderness.

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