Today's poem is by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
Do not expect to be always happy on this way.
You have been caught by a lion, my dear.
The friend dumps plaster on your head.
Think of it as expensive perfume.
Inside you there is a monster
that must be tied up and whipped.
Watch the man beating a rug.
He is not mad at it.
He wants to loosen the layers of dirt.
Ego-accumulations are not loosened
with one swat. Continual work
is necessary, disciplines.
In dreams, and even awake,
you will hear the beloved screaming at you.
A carpenter saws and chisels a piece of wood,
because he knows how he wants to use it.
Curing a hide, the tanner
rubs in acid and all manner of filth.
This makes a beautiful soft leather.
What does the half-finished hide know?
Every hard thing that happens
works on you like that.
Hurry, Shams. Come back
like the sun comes back
every day with new
and powerful secrets.
Copyright © 2007 Coleman Barks All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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