desire lives in a cold grave

desire lives in a cold grave
by Leila Radan

The spot where your hand lay still is warm.
Your words hang suspended in the air
where first they flew forth.
They resonate
but I cannot hear them.

Your wails of love and sorrow,
bittersweet intruders,
breathe forth
salty rivers and knowing smiles
on the faces of all who know your Touch,
but I cannot be reached.

A current of air whirls and twirls
around the Pillar,
incessantly carrying your song on its shoulders
just as you carried Shams in your heart,
but I cannot be moved.

your Absent Body,
Lord of White Figures
that forever dance to your song,
rules over beings imprisoned by the all-consuming whirlpool
of your departure.
But I cannot be your subject.

Concrete pillar,
Pillar of concrete,
twirling Air,
whirling Sufis,
Enlightened masses,
the very elements in motion,
all are places where you reside,
throughout this curse called

But I remain empty,
Nothing but sorrow of a
Desire that now has a face
that lives in the name of

Rumi to the world,
Molana Jalaledin Mohammad Molavi Balkhi to your people.

~Explanation of symbolism, in case of questions, in comments.



A canticle and the romance.

by Francesco Sinibaldi (not verified) on

When the sunshine
returns in the
light of a gentle
delight, remember
the sound of a
rosy notepaper,
discover the wisdom
in the care of a
beautiful darkness
and so, in the sky,
that delicate dream
will touch your

Francesco Sinibaldi

Leila Radan

Thank you...

by Leila Radan on

Thank you all for the beautiful words and fab poetry to boot!  I wrote this piece about 9 years ago, when in my very early 20s though I would say the sentiment is still the same.

I do speak Farsi but only a solid conversational Farsi at that.  I was raised in Spain, never in Iran as we left before I turned 2 and so the formal and written Farsi are parts of the language and culture that are lost on me, unfortunately, and hence the need for my husband to explain Rumi's poetry to me after reading it.

With a language as simple as Spanish, so much is lost when translated over to English that Farsi to English is something that, in my mind, will never be done without the original work being butchered in English.  It is a sad but true reality and, other than learning to understand the piece as written in Farsi, its soul cannot truly be captured though yes, perhaps its essence can be felt in English but it is still, nevertheless, lacking.

Lucky for me I have fabulous people like you and the hubby as Rumi envoys, no?  :-)  Again, thank you and be well,



Beautiful and genuine

by LostIdentity (not verified) on

Beshno az ney chon hekayat mikonad;
Az jodaeeha shekayat mikonad;

It's the secret of human plight on Earth. There's only one string that attaches us to our source - That is Love.

For Rumi, Shams was the gateway...his breath was rising from tumultuous heart burning on the fire of eternal Love.

I surely suggest you learning Farsi. I honestly think that Rumi's feelings are butchered in translation. Take the story of the Bread, The Baker and The Oven (Tanoor)......It's just impossible to sense the feelings of Rumi.

Come along, come along, the fields are a-flower
Come along, come along, it’s the lover’s hour.
Come along, all at once, every soul and all the world
Bathe yourselves in the sun’s golden arrows’ shower.
Mock the crone who is left without a companion
Weep for the lonesome he, who has left his lover.
Everyone must rise up, and spread the news,
Mad man has cut his chain and escaped the tower.
Beat the drums without care, and remain speechless,
Mind and heart fled long before the soul fled the bower.
What a day, what a day, it feels like Judgement Day,
Impotent is our life’s book, has lost its very power.
Be silent, be silent, keep the veil, keep the veil,
Go for the sweet grapes, let go of the sour.



Leila, more mystism

by Seagull (not verified) on

this should shed more light on mystism!!
hope you enjoy it.

"The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world.

On this journey the traveler abideth in every land and dwelleth in every region. In every face, he seeketh the beauty of the Friend; in every country he looketh for the Beloved. He joineth every company, and seeketh fellowship with every soul, that haply in some mind he may uncover the secret of the Friend, or in some face he may behold the beauty of the Loved One."

Azadeh Azad

Wonderful poem

by Azadeh Azad on

However, I believe that Mawlana's Touch can be reached by *experiencing* what he is talking about, whether read in English or Persian.


Thank You.

by Feshangi on

I really enjoyed the poem as I did the explanation. In fact, for me, reading the explanation made the poem more meaningful and beautiful.


Leila Radan

Explanation of the poem...

by Leila Radan on

This is how I have always explained the poem and where I was coming from whilst writing it... the little history tidbit is common knowledge for Iranians but it was the very basic facts I would submit for non-Iranian's sake... here's the little ditty...

This poem is written out of my love for the great Persian poet, Rumi, known as Molavi in Iran. Rumi’s muse was a dervish, Shams of Tabriz, a man Rumi loved deeply whom, it is rumored, was murdered by Rumi’s jealous students. Upon his death, the heartbroken Rumi began to recite poetry so beautiful in its imagery that those around him dutifully took notes and recorded it so that it would not be lost and in its loss, Rumi’s pain and heartbeak wasted and forgotten. Rumi, as he recited his poetry, held on to a pillar with one hand as he whirled and twirled around it whilst speaking as if in a trance. Sufis (they are the “White Figures”) whirl and twirl to achieve a trance-like state and legend goes that this originates from Rumi’s actions.

The Persian language is so rich that with one word it can capture emotions that would require paragraphs for the English language to capture, if even successful at that. I cannot read Farsi but my husband has read Rumi’s poetry to me and I have been moved by it in ways that no Western writer has ever been able to move me (and in ways that translations of his poems have not been able to move me). My poem reflects the frustration I feel for not being able to truly know Rumi because of the language barrier. However, I do feel his soul, his essence and so, because my frustration exists as a result of my love for Rumi and his legacy, this was the only way I could pay him homage.