Nov 22 Rumi — “When I die”

Wednesday, November 22   Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi  —  “When I die”

Wednesday before Thanksgiving,  work, for many of us, begins to shift from professional skills to hospitality arts – calculating the weight of a large turkey in terms of cooking time,  family-special recipes, families gathering across generations.  Last minute grocery shopping runs,  the small-scale excitements of family and close friends with the oldest of rituals, cooking for familiar company.   Wednesday opens into a Thursday that has three Saturday-like days in a row.  Breathing time, nap times, time for old stories re-told, for the City’s massive Parade, for football.

I looked for a poet from outside the U.S. — a voice as deeply domestic and human as the ones many of our readers grew up with in what we learned to call America, a voice to remind us as we gather that this country of immigrant-set tables with foods from around the wide world.

I came upon this, to me new, poem by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi.  He opens us readers into awe and mystery and playful teasing.   Lots of free time these coming days so reading two or three times should fit into some open spaces.

Happy Thanksgiving, may your hospitality return to anoint you.  See you on Monday.


john sj

Today’s Post, “When I die”

When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world

don’t shed any tears
don’t lament or
feel sorry
i’m not falling
into a monster’s abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don’t cry for my leaving
i’m not leaving
i’m arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don’t say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you’ll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time

Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

(30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273)

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.