What Hurts the Soul?

We tremble, thinking we’re about to dissolve
into non-existence, but non-existence fears
even more that it might be given human form!

Loving God is the only pleasure.
Other delights turn bitter.

What hurts the soul?
To live without tasting
the water of its own essence.

People focus on death and this material earth.
They have doubts about soul-water.
Those doubts can be reduced!

Use night to wake your clarity.
Darkness and the living water are lovers.
Let them stay up together.

When merchants eat their big meals and sleep
their dead sleep, we night-thieves go to work.

From Rumi’s Mathnavi – a version by Coleman Barks
Printed in “Say I Am You”
Maypop, 1994