Lovers have nothing to do with existence

The lover’s food is the love of the bread;
no bread need be at hand:
no one who is sincere in his love is a slave to existence.
Lovers have nothing to do with existence;
lovers have the interest without the capital.
Without wings they fly around the world;
without hands they carry the polo ball from the field.
That dervish who caught the scent of Reality
used to weave baskets even though his hands had been cut off.
Lovers have pitched their tents in nonexistence;
they are of one quality and one essence, as nonexistence is.
`Eshq n’n bi n’n ghez’-ye `sheq ast
band-e hasti nist har ku s’deq ast
`‚sheq’n-r’ k’r na-bovad b’ vojud
`âsheqân-râ hast bi sarmâyeh sud
B’l ni va gerd-e `lam mi parand
dast ni va gu ze maydân mi barand
‚n faqiri ku ze Ma`n buy y’ft
dast be-borideh hami zanbil t’ft
`‚sheq’n andar `adam khaymeh zadand
chon `adam yek rang o nafs-e v’hedand
— Mathnawi III: 3020-3024
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance”
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahy¡ Monastra

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