There Is A Tall Tower That Love Builds
to have the lover visible,
and the Beloved invisible!
So many people have died of their desiring
because of this. The lover cannot kiss
the lips he wants, so he bites himself!
Satisfaction is always two bow-shots away,
and yet something in the soul
prefers this unreachable Lover
to any one reachable.
This being locked-in,
is better than having the keys
to any consolation- house.
The Beloved’s rejection is wanted more
than anyone else’s acceptance.
World happiness is nothing.
Look for what Betami had, for what
Sanai and Attar wrote of.
A beautiful meal looks delicious.
Then one night passes, and the food passes
through you, becoming repellent filth.
Suckle the toe of a Lion,
as the baby
Abraham did in the cave.
But you should put away what you learned
as a foetus in your cave, that need for blood.
There is a tall tower that Love builds.
Live there in silence.
The One who knows all secrets
is here now, nearer
than your jugular vein.
~ Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Rumi
— Version by Coleman Barks,
“Like This”, Maypop, 1990