What I want is to see your face

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Coleman Barks
Original Language Persian/Farsi

What I want is to see your face
in a tree, in the sun coming out, in the air.

What I want is to hear the falcon-drum,
and light again on your forearm.

You say, "Tell him I'm not here." The
sound of that brusque dismissal becomes
what I want.

To see in every palm your elegant silver coin-shavings,
to turn with the wheel of the rain,
to fall with the falling bread of every experience,

to swim like a huge fish in ocean water,
to be Jacob recognizing Joseph.
To be a desert mountain instead of a city.

I'm tired of cowards.
I want to live with lions.
With Moses.

Not whining, teary people.
I want the ranting of drunkards.
I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying
who hears, or what they think.

Last night, a great teacher went
from door to door with a lamp.
"He who is not to be found is the one
I'm looking for."

Beyond wanting, beyond place, inside form,
That One. A flute says, I have no hope
for finding that.

But Love plays and is the music played.
Let that musician finish this poem.

Shams, I am a waterbird flying into the sun.

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Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems Open Secret: Versions of Rumi The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi
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What I want is to