my secret beloved
sent me a secret message

“give me your soul
give me your life

wander like a drifter
go on a journey

walk into this fire with grace
be like a salamander

come into our source of flame
fire transmutes to a rose garden

don’t you know that my thorn
is better than the queen of roses

don’t you know my heresy
is the essence of spirituality

then surrender your spirit
surrender your life”

oh God i know
a garden is better than a cage

i know a palace
is better than a ruin

but i’m that owl in this world
who loves to live in the ruins of love

i may be that poor wandering soul
but watch all the aspiration and light

watch the glow of God
reflecting from my face

— Ghazal 2508
Translation by Nader Khalili
“Rumi, Fountain of Fire”
Cal-Earth Press, 1994


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