You see flag-lions playing in the wind,
leaping about, but you don’t see wind.

You can say if it’s an east wind or a west,
healthy or destructive, but little else.

The body is like the lion of the banner.
Vital weather blows and makes it dance,

and then die down. The flag-lion
drops its haunches and looks up.

There is an invisible reality
the closed eye sees in dream,

a sun and a moon. Spirit, a perfection,
shines inside our nights and days.

Sleep is death’s brother, but there are
many varieties of sleep. Learn about them!

Some people behold, sleeping, representations
of an awareness they will not reach, awake,

for twenty years. They run to scholarly
dream-interpreters, more out of curiosity

than anything else. Stay in the root
of your dream.
Don’t climb out on

intellectual branches. We need robust elephants
who lay down lost in a vision of Hindustan.

Remember and return are not pulling everyone,
just those deep-desiring elephants.

Donkeys never dream of India. But you can become
an elephant, even if you’re a donkey now!

Unseen alchemists speak of this in your ear
every moment. Listen to them. Feel

their touchings. Discover the new healing
plants that come up at dawn. Study

the life of Ibrahim, who changed suddenly
because of what he saw in his sleep.

He cut the ropes that held him and began wandering,
as Muhammed said, somewhere between the sad

attachments of the senses and a pure
union with light. Your own transformation,

like the play of wind with a flag, moves
in you now, that near, that simple.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, 1207-1273

28 September 2011, 18:20