I Was Dead, Became Alive By Rumi Balkhi

I was dead, became alive
Was tearful, laughingly thrive
With love survive, my only drive
I have become eternal.
My eyes no longer seek
Am courageous, no more meek
Daring lion, far from weak
Shine like Venus celestial.
Said, “madness is not thy code
You don’t deserve this abode.”
With madness my life explode
Chains before me break and fall.
“Intoxicated, thou art not
Art not from this divine cut.”
I drank my senses out
Joyously roamed in life’s hall.
“Thou art not yet slain
Joy runs not in thy vein.”
Before life now I remain
Slain, sacrificed and small.
“Thou art sly and cunning
Thy thoughts are wildly running.”
My deception was stunning
Then rejected the external.
Said, “Thou have been a candle light
Crowds focus upon thy sight.”
Sight I am not, light without might
Scattered smoke, wide and tall.
“Thou art guru and teacher
Thou art leader, head, preacher.”
I am a mere creature
Thy will is my only call.
“Thou have feathers, have taken wing
Feather and wing I did not bring.”
In pursuit of flight of King
Lost my feathers, now I crawl.
My beloved, old and fair
Said, “this story, me spare.”
I agreed to not share
Peaceful and eternal.
Thou art the sun’s source and spring
While to shade my body cling
Upon my head, hot rays sting
I feel the heart infernal.
With light of my soul aglow
My heart opened with loving flow
Weaving a new cloth to show
Against the tattered rags and all.
That divine face, at time of dawn
Many deceptions would spawn
Enslaved with a thorny crown
Beloved upon throne install.
I, thy instrument, Thee praise
Thy infinite sweet phase
In my bosom came to raze
And brought down my ignorant wall.
Praises Thee this drunken dust
Praise the stars and earth I must
Receive thy light with full trust
From luminous orbiting ball.
The firmaments are in praise
Of lords, lands, angelic gaze
Gracefully love and amaze
Compassionately, wisely, enthrall.
The wise praise the Lord well
Thus surpass all and excel
Upon the seven skies swell
Give birth to light, maternal.
I am of Thee O famed moon,
Gazing at me do not swoon
Contagious joy in me bloom
Laughs my every petal.
I was Venus, now am moon
Wallowing like a gloomy lune
Became Joseph very soon
Pregnant with hope of renewal.
As if playing a game of chess
Make your call while speechless
King of the World my life will bless
With a glance, existential.
From slavery to kingly might
From Venus to satellite
Was distant unknown point of light
Am luminous orb of love, eternal!
Translated By: Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
June 15-21, 1998
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