You Saw a Fire

A poem by Rumi captures the apprehension before sustainability.

chat Posted Dec 26, 2014 by Rezwan | Category : Vision Wings
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Why do we avoid thinking about a sustainable world? What are we afraid of? What are we running from?

In this poem, Rumi tells us to calm our fears, because what’s coming is a leveling up of civilization. A major upgrade. And it’s available to us, if we turn and face it.

If we pivot.

Enjoy the poem! Then get back in the game.

Poem 88 in “Mystical Poems of Rumi

Translated from the Persian by A. J. Arberry. 

That Joseph handsome of cheek has come,
that Jesus of the age has come;

That banner of a hundred thousand victories has come
fluttering over the cavalcade of spring.

You whose business it is to bring the dead to life,
arise, for the day of work has come.

The lion which seizes lions a-hunting
has come into the meadowland raging drunk.

Yesterday and the day before have departed;
seize the cash, for that coin of fair assay has come.

This city today is like paradise;
it is saying, “The Prince has come.”

Beat the drum, for it is the day of festival;
be joyous, for the Friend has come.

A moon has lifted its head out of the unseen,
in comparison with which this moon has become as dust;

Because of the beauty of that soul’s repose,
the whole world has become restless.

Take heed, spread open the skirt of love,
for sprinkling has come from the ninth heaven.

O exile bird with cut pinions,
in the place of two wings four have come.

Ho, heart bound in breast, open,
for that lost one has come into your bosom.

Foot, come and stamp foot,
for that illustrious cupbearer has come.

Speak not of the old man, for he has become young,
and speak not of yesteryear, for the Friend has come.

You said, “What excuse shall I utter to the king?”
The king himself has come making excuses.

You said, “Whither shall I escape out of his hand?”
His hand has come bringing all succor.

You saw a fire, and light has come;
you saw blood, and red wine has come.

That one who was fleeing from his own fortune, having fled,
has come back shamefaced.

Be silent, and count not his graces;
an innumerable grace it is that has come.


“You whose business it is to coach folks to zero carbon,
arise, for the day of work has come.”

Notes & Related:

More poetry from Rumi: Start walking to zero carbon.

Find out more about the science of why people avoid thinking about sustainability.

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