Who says words with my mouth
by Jelaluddin Rumi*
All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in his aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out of my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I cannot taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.
We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups.
That’s fine with us. Every morning
we glow and in the evening we glow again.
They say there’s no future for us. They’re right.
Which is fine with us.
Quoted from “The Essential Rumi” by Coleman Barks with John Moyne, Castle Books, New Jersey, 1997, page 2
*Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Persian: جلال الدین محمد بلخى), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī (Persian: جلالالدین محمد رومی), and popularly known as Mowlānā (Persian: مولانا) but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi (30. September 1207 – 17. December 1273). More on Rumi on wikipedia.