“Soul Houses” (Rumi)

Who is this king

that forms another king out of the ground, who for the sake of two beggars

makes himself a beggar?

Who is this with his hand out saying, Please, give just a little, so I can give you a kingdom.

He heals. He enlivens. He tells the water to boil

and the steam to fade into air.

He makes this dying world eternal. His greatest alchemy is how he undoes the binding

that keeps love from breathing deep. He loosens the chest.

With no tool he fashions where we live. Do not grieve for your rusty, iron heart. He will polish it to a steel mirror.

And as you are being lowered into the ground, closed away from friends, don’t cry.

He turns the ants and the snakes

into beautiful new companions.

Every second he changes cruelty

to loyal friendship.

Remember the proverb, Eat the grapes. Do not keep talking about the garden. Eat the grapes.

From a rough stone ledge

come a hundred marble fountains.

Out of unconditioned emptiness

comes this planet with all its qualities.

Lakewater over there. Out of one huge NO come a chorus of yeses.

Rivers of light flow from human eyes, and consider your ears, where language alchemizes into amber.

He gives the soul a house, then another and another.

He descends into the ground

and makes it majesty.

Be silent now. Say fewer and fewer praise poems. Let yourself become living poetry.

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