“Mountaintop Trough” (Rumi)

We are here like profligates, three camels with muzzles plunged in provender.

Other camels rage with their lips stuck out, foaming, but they remain down below in the valley.

This windy mountaintop trough is ours. It sustains and protects, and you do not arrive here

by just straining your neck to look at the mountain.

You must start out and continue on. You have to leave the place

where everyone worries about rank and money, where dogs bark and stay home.

Up here it is music and poetry and the divine wind.

Be the date tree that gave fruit to Mary, the Let-it-be of her heart.

Say a small poem. Love the exchange.

An autumn willow has no fruit, so how could it dance in the wind of Do-not-fear? It rattles and talks with nothing to offer.

Give voice to a poem. Let it end with praise for the sun, and the friend within the sun.

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