An eye is meant to see things,

The soul is here for its own joy.

A head has one use: for loving a true love.

Legs: to run after.


Love is for vanishing into the sky. The mind,

for learning what men have done and tried to do.

Mysteries are not to be solved. The eye goes blind

when it only wants to see why.


A lover is always accused of something.

But when he finds his love, whatever was lost

in the looking comes back completely changed.

On the way to Mecca, many dangers: thieves,

the blowing sand, only camel’s milk to drink.

Still each pilgrim kisses the black stone there

with pure longing, feeling in the surface

the taste of the lips he wants.


This talk is like stamping new coins. They pile up,

while the real work is done outside

by someone digging in the ground.


~~ Rumi

From The Essential Rumi

translation by Coleman Barks