Posted by: ktzefr | August 13, 2012

Tea and Rumi

Monday is laundry day, so I try to fill the time between loads with activity that’s a bit less mundane than hanging, folding, and separating.  This morning I made a pot of tea and took a collection of Rumi’s poetry with me to the back porch. 

Golden Monkey is one of my favorite teas.  It’s a black tea from the Fujian province of China where every spring the leaves and buds are picked one at a time and hand processed.  The various shades of color, from gold to deep brown, make for a pretty brew with a rich, sweet taste.  I don’t add anything to tea (no sugar or cream or lemon etc.), so I like teas that taste good alone.

Golden Monkey Tea Leaves; Photo:KFawcett

Rumi is also one of my favorite poets and this collection (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems) with translations by Coleman Barks is full of gems.   A few fine lines to read aloud…

Some have pretty images —

“The soul: a wide listening sky/with thousands of candles…”

Others give good advice —

“This is now.  Now is.  Don’t postpone till then…”

“Friend, there’s a sweetness to the moon’s/one pearl, but consider the ocean it/grew in, and the soul’s great turning wheel.”

“You that prefer, as crows do,/winter’s chill and the empty limbs,/notice now this that fills/with new leaves and roses opening/and the night bird’s song.”

“There’s a morning when presence comes/over your soul.  You sing like a rooster/in your earth-colored shape.  Your heart/hears and, no longer frantic, begins/to dance.”

“Walk this forest full of lions and don’t/consider the danger.  No need to set fires/everywhere you go.  The lions’ thicket is/silence; anything you say will be flame/enough to draw them from where they rest.”

I meet lots of young people (and a few old ones, too) who struggle with what they want to be —

“…human beings come to this world to do particular work.  That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person.  If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat.”  “It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do.”

I like this one and know a few people who possess this quality —

“The blessed grow externally old, and inwardly young.”

One can only wish for this kind of understanding round the world —

“Every forest branch moves differently/in the breeze, but as they sway,/they connect at the roots.”

“Sunlight/looks slightly different/on this wall than it does on that wall and a lot different/on this other one, but/it is still  one light.”


Hmmm…back to the laundry, the mundane, the necessary.  The beginning of the week.  Thanks for reading, and have a good one.








  1. Beautiful poetry!

    • Always enjoy reading Rumi. I have a tiny collection that fits in my purse.

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