One live flame

“if your beloved
has the life of a fire
step in now and burn along

in a night full of
suffering and darkness
be a candle spreading light till dawn

stop this useless
argument and disharmony
show your sweetness and accord

even if you feel
torn to pieces
sew yourself new clothes

your body and soul
will surely feel the joy
when you simply go along

learn this lesson from
lute tambourine and trumpet
learn the harmony of the musicians

if one is playing a wrong note
even among twenty
others will stray out of tune

don’t say what is the use
of me alone being peaceful
when everyone is fighting

you’re not one
you’re a thousand
just light your lantern

since one live flame
is better than
a thousand dead souls”

— Rumi

Translation by Nader Khalili
“Rumi, Fountain of Fire”
Cal-Earth Press, 1994

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