Monday, December 28, 2009

Mary's Hiding, by Rumi

This beautiful poem was given to me by my beautiful friend Daniel. I do not know who translated it.

Before these possessions you love slip away,
say what Mary said when she was

surprised by Gabriel, I'll hide inside God.
Naked in her room she saw a form

of beauty that could give her new life.
Like the sun coming up, or a rose as it opens.

She leaped, as her habit was, out of herself
into the divine presence.

There was fire in the channel of her breath.
Light and majesty came, I am smoke

from that fire and proof of its existence,
more than any external form.

I want to be where
your bare foot walks,

because maybe before you step,
you'll look at the ground. I want that blessing.

Would you like to have revealed to you
the truth of the Friend?

Leave the rind,
and descend into the pith.

Fold within fold, the beloved
drowns in its own being. This world
is drenched with that drowning.

Imagining is like feeling around
in a dark lane, or washing
your eyes with blood.

You are the truth
from foot to brow. Now,
what else would you like to know?

Friday, December 4, 2009

In Memoriam: Jack Myers

It's Not My Cup of Tea
Jack Myers

My wife wants to know
what difference does it make
what cup I drink from,
and I complain
I like what I like,
and that's the story.

We have many kinds of cups.
But this morning my favorite is dirty
and I'm hunting for something
that won't make me think:

One's a fertility goddess,
huge fructuous belly, little head.

Another's pleasant enough for guests,
but has to have its finicky little saucer
underneath it so it won't feel embarrassed.

And another, which is a smaller version
of what I like, would require me
to get up and down too many times.

You think I am spoiled
or too set in my ways
or that I'm difficult
to live with,
and you're right.

But there are so few things
that fit me in this life.
I can count them on one hand,
things the spirit can sleep in
because whoever made them
put the things of this world--
vanity, greed, a sentimental wish
to be small again--aside.

I know, I could've found my cup
and washed it
and then I'd have my cup,
But it's not my cup I want.

My friend Nadine sent me this poignant poem in memory of Jack Myers, poet and mentor of poets. He was a faculty adviser for Vermont College's creative writing program. Jack died on November 29th. If you are interested in knowing more about him and his work, here is a link: (Sorry, it's not a live link due to a glitch at