Praise to the emptiness that blanks out existence. Existence:
this place made from our love for that emptiness!
Yet somehow comes emptiness,
this existence goes.
Praise to that happening, over and over!
For years I pulled my own existence out of emptiness.
Then one swoop, one swing of the arm,
that work is over.
Free of who I was, free of presence, free of
dangerous fear, hope,
free of mountainous wanting.
The here-and-now mountain is a tiny piece of a piece
blown off into emptiness.
These words I’m saying so much begin to lose meaning:
existence, emptiness, mountain, straw: words
and what they try to say swept
out the window, down the slant of the roof.
(This World Which is Made of Our Love for Emptiness by Jalaluddin Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi)
Editor’s Note: Although you can enjoy this poem on its own merit, we highly recommend you read this short biography of Rumi which offers a glimpse into his fascinating transformation from a regular religious scholar to one of the world’s greatest mystical poets of all time.
Liked this poem? Check out these other delightful poems by Rumi.
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