You wake the dead to life

You wake the dead to life,
you fountain of grace,
you fire in thickets of tangled thought.

Today you arrived beaming with laughter—
that swinging key that unlocks prison doors.

You are hope’s beating heart.
You are a doorway to the sun.
You are the one I seek and the one who seeks me.
Beginning and end.

You greet need with generous hands.
You flood us with spirit,

rising from the heart,
lifting thought.

Rare one, you reveal the pleasure
of wisdom and practice.

Beyond these, what is there
but excuses and deceit?

We lust after the afterlife.
We stew over trinkets.
We stage battles between black and white.
Our ears are plugged with twisted delusions.

You carry the cure.

I’m in a hurry. Leave the paper. Break the pen.
The cupbearer is here, jug in hand.

Meet us in the land of insight,
camped under ecstasy’s flag.

You wake the dead to life” from GOLD by Rumi, translated by Haleh Liza Gafori. Used by permission of New York Review Books.