Like This

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Jonathan Star
Original Language Persian/Farsi

If someone asks,
"What does perfect beauty look like?"
Show him your own face and say,
Like this.

If someone asks,
"What does an angel's wing look like?" - smile.
If he asks about divine fragrance
Pull him close, his face in your hair,
Like this.

If someone asks,
"How did Jesus bring the dead back to life?" -
Don't say a word -
just kiss him softly on the cheek,
Like this.

If someone asks,
"How does it feel to be slain by love?"
Close your eyes and tear open your shirt,
Like this.

If someone asks about my stature,
Stare into space with your eyes wide open,
Like this.

The soul enters one body, then another.
If someone argues about this
Enter my house and wave him good-bye,
Like this.

I am the storehouse of all pleasure,
I am the pain of self-denial.
To see me, lower your eyes to the ground
Then raise them up to heaven,
Like this.

Only the gentle breeze
Knows the secret of union.
Listen as it whispers a song to every heart,
Like this.

If someone asks,
How does a servant attain the glory of God?
Become the shining candle
That every eye can see,
Like this.

I asked about Joseph's perfume
Which rode the wind from city to city -
It was your scent
Blowing in from God's perfect world,
Like this.

I asked how Joseph's perfume
Gave sight to the blind -
It was your breeze
Clearing the darkness from my eyes,
Like this.

Perhaps Shams will be generous
And fill our hearts with love.
Perhaps he will raise one eyebrow
And cast us a glance,
Like this.

-- from Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved, by Jonathan Star

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