Rumi is my Homey

This goes out to my special secret super private special secret squirrel friend. I could tell you more but then I’d have to hunt you all down and kill you in particularly gruesome and creative ways. And frankly that’s a logistical nightmare I simply don’t have the time or resources to entertain. So I’d thank you kindly not to put me in that position again.



Wow – so soon with the bad starts already? You people make me sick.

I apologise – I don’t mean that really.

Just you at the back. YES you. With the face and the wrong vibe.

Just GET OUT !!!


Ahhhhh – that’s better, we didn’t need him.

He would’ve brought us all down eventually.

Always one bad apple.


Now that it’s just the die-hard inner circle(that’s right crisp packet and tumbleweed, I’m talkin to you), I shall proceed.

I saw a poem the other day that I assumed had been written recently. I don’t know why. It felt immediate somehow. Close and relevant now.

When I saw who’d written it, I smiled because it’s not the first time this guy punked me like this. I marked the occasion by penning this abomination of poemhood which I’m fairly confident the author of said proper poem would’ve tutted at me for. Or at least removed his acorn hat and scratched his bonce and tsked. Who can say.

So as is my self-defeating wont, I feel compelled to share it with you urgently:


Rumi is my homey,

his poems always throw me,

or pick me up when gloomy,

the gloom drains off below me.


And for the tiny percentile who didn’t end up hospitalised upon reading that, you’ve passed the test, and earned the right to proceed to the promised proper poem. Pronto.

Prrrrrrrrrr          (that’s my cat, Admiral Panjandrum, I don’t sanction this line).

Alas it’s an English translation but I’ll wager the original poem was built for balance and has curves to die for:


Only Breath  by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim,

not Hindu Buddhist, sufi, or zen.

Not any religion or cultural system.

I am not from the East or the West,

not out of the ocean or up from the ground,

not natural or ethereal,

not composed of elements at all.


I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or in the next,

did not descend from Adam and Eve,

or any origin story.


My place is placeless,

a trace of the traceless.


Neither body nor soul.


I belong to the beloved,

have seen the two worlds as one,

and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner,

only that breath,

breathing human being.


{it’s possible that last part should read “breath-breathing human being”. I couldn’t decide so took a guess. The way the poem’s lines were delineated in online examples was frankly weird and arbitrary – maybe that’s a translation thang(that’s jive-talk for “thing” by the way – I’m hip)}


I conclude that Rumi was a master of writing timeless poems that focussed on the simple elements of life. Unageable by progress or fashion or sophistication. Simplicity wins the day again.



p.s. It’s true – he did have an acorn hat – I give you exhibit A – a polaroid photograph circa C13:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s