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A Year with Rumi by Coleman Barks December 17, 2012

Posted by heidi skarie in Book Review.
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What’s Not Here by Rumi

 I start out on this road,

call it love or emptiness,

I only know that’s not here.


Resentment seeds, backscratching greed,

worrying about outcome, fear of people.


When a bird gets free,

it does not go for remnants

left on the bottom of the cage.


Close by, I’m rain.  Far off,

a cloud of fire.   I seem restless,

but I am deeply at ease.


Branches tremble.  The roots are still.

I am a universe in a handful of dirt,

whole when totally demolished.


Talk about choices does not apply to me.

While intelligence considers options,

I am somewhere lost in the wind.


This month my husband and I made an unexpected trip to Milwaukee to attend my aunt’s funeral.  On the way to the funeral we saw dozens of eagles at Lake Pepin.  Tree after tree had groups of eagle in it so I had to stop to take photos. 


The funeral was the celebration of a well-lived life and a time to gather with family and friends.  While we were in Milwaukee there was a blizzard across the state of Wisconsin and Minnesota.  We drove home the next day to a world transformed by snow and ice.  I was enchanted by its beauty and took photos from the car window. 


Rumi’s poetry and the photos of winter capture some the grace and beauty of life.  Life is a gift to be cherished while we are here.  A Year with Rumi is a series of Rumi’s poems for each day of the year.  The translation is by Coleman Barks who is one of the best translators of Rumi’s works. 

Rumi lived in the early thirteenth century in Balkh (the Persian empire).  In 1244 he met Shams Tabriz, a wandering meditator.  “The inner work that Shams did with Rumi and Rumi with Shams produced poetry.  It springs from their friendship.” p. 1.

Here are a few of Rumi’s poems from the book.

Sometimes I do


In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty, how to make poems.


You dance inside my chest,

where no one sees you,


but sometimes I do,

and that light become this art.

p. 18


Let the Beauty We Love


Today, like every other day, we wake up empty

and frightened.  Don’t open the door to the study

and begin reading.  Take down a musical instrument.


Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


p. 28


Water and the Moon


There is a path from me to you

That I am constantly looking for.


so I try to keep clear and still

as water does with the moon.


p. 56


Love’s Confusing Joy


If you want what visible reality

can give, you are an employee.


If you want the unseen world,

You are not living with your truth.


Both wishes are foolish,

but you’ll be forgiven for forgetting

that what you really want is

love’s confusing joy.


p. 60

I hope you enjoyed Rumi’s  poems and the photos of the beauty of winter.  Have an enjoyable holiday season.



1. The Mind of RD Revilo - December 17, 2012

Reblogged this on RD Revilo.

2. jjtjester@comcast.net - December 19, 2012

Hello Heidi

I love receiving your “post’s”. So many times I have started to write to you or to call ~ but alas, here it is close to Winter Solstice and a New Year! Thank you so much for sending me your book. You are a beautiful writer and story teller. I hope you and your family are doing well. Hopefully, our paths will cross again and we will be able to catch up.

Wishing you and yours Peace & Love,

Merry Christmas,


3. Ross - December 19, 2012

Thanks for the beautiful poetry and photos!

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