Jelaluddin Rumi, the 13th century mystic poet, was truly one of the most passionate and profound poets in history.  Now, today his presence still remains strong, due in part to how his words seem to drip of the divine, and startle a profound rememberance that links all back to the Soul-Essence.  Born in what is present day Afghanistan in 1207, he produced his master work the Masnawi which consists of over 60,000 poems before he died in 1273.  The best way to fully say in words his impact, is that he has the ability to describe the Indescribable, Ineffable-- God.

 I have included two different translators of his work. Coleman Barks on the first two pages, Shahram Shiva on the third. On the fourth page is a selection of Rumi love poems by both translators.
There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.
Drink all your passion, 
and be a disgrace.
Close both eyes 
to see with the other eye.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
This We Have Now

This we have now
is not imagination.

This is not 
grief or joy.

Not a judging state,
or an elation,
or sadness.

Those come and go. 
This is the presence that doesn't.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows.
In disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.
     Moving Water
When  you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.
When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears.  Don't let
others lead you.  They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope
of God.  And what is that?  Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness
people sit in jail, the trapped bird's wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.
The anger of police is willfulness.  You've seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment.  Now 
see the invisible.  If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you've
been torturing your soul.  We are born and live inside black water in a well.
How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don't
insist on going where
you think you want to go.  Ask the way to the spring.  Your
living pieces will form
a harmony.  There is a moving palace that floats in the air
with balconies and clear
water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained
under a single tent.
From The Glance
by Coleman Barks
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

      Light Breeze

As regards feeling pain, like a hand cut in battle,
consider the body a robe

you wear.  When you meet someone you love, do you kiss their clothes?  Search out

who's inside.  Union with God is sweeter than body comforts.
We have hands and feet

different from these.  Sometimes in dream we see them.
That is not

illusion.  It's seeing truly.  You do have a spirit body;
don't dread leaving the

physical one.  Sometimes someone feels this truth so strongly
that he or she can live in

mountain solitude totally refreshed.  The worried, heroic
doings of men and women seem weary

and futile to dervishes enjoying the light breeze of spirit.

From Soul of Rumi
by Coleman Barks
Late, by myself, in the boat of myself,
no light and no land anywhere,
cloudcover thick. I try to stay
just above the surface, 
yet I'm already under 
and living with the ocean.
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
The translations on this page from the books, The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks with John Moyne, The Glance by Coleman Barks, and Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks.
2    3    4
If you want what visible reality
can give, you're an employee.
If you want the unseen world,
you're not living your truth.
Both wishes are foolish,
but you'll be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is 
love's confusing joy.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
Only Breath
Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,
am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
Birdsong brings relief
to my longing
I'm just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say!
Please universal soul, practice
some song or something through me!
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
Not Intrigued With Evening

What the material world values does
not shine the same in the truth of

the soul.  You have been interested
in your shadow.  Look instead directly

at the sun.  What can we know by just
watching the time-and-space shapes of

each other?  Someone half awake in the night sees imaginary dangers; the

morning star rises; the horizon grows
defined; people become friends in a

moving caravan.  Night birds may think
daybreak a kind of darkness, because

that's all they know.  It's a fortunate
bird who's not intrigued with evening,

who flies in the sun we call Shams.

From Soul of Rumi
by Coleman Barks

For awhile we lived with people, but we saw no sign in them of the faithfulness we wanted.  It's better to hide completely within 
as water hides in metal, as fire hides in rock.
Back to Poetry Index
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
 List of Poems:
There Is A Community Of spirit...
Out Beyond Ideas...
Moving Water
Not Intrigued With Evening
The Breeze At Dawn...
There is A Way...
For Awhile We Lived With People....
This We Have Now
Light Breeze
Only Breath      
One Who Does What the Friend...   
Not Here   
If You Want What Visible Reality...
Late By Myself...
Photo by: Mike Norton
Not Here

There's courage involved if you want
to become truth.  There is a broken-

open place in a lover.  Where are
those qualities of bravery and sharp

compassion in this group?  What's the
use of old and frozen thought?  I want

a howling hurt.  This is not a treasury
where gold is stored; this is for copper.

We alchemists look for talent that
can heat up and change.  Lukewarm

won't do. Halfhearted holding back,
well-enough getting by?  Not here.

From Soul of Rumi
by Coleman Barks
One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.
There's a bankruptcy that's pure gain.
The moon stays bright when it
doesn't avoid the night.
A rose's rarest essence
lives in the thorn.
From Soul of Rumi
by Coleman Barks
Rumi Poetry