Tag Archives: rumi

one by one, like a gypsy: poems from jamaica

my fingers have been itching with poems lately, and now that i’m back sharing, the digits are twitching with readiness.  so, life keeps handing me these tests.  you too?  and i keep taking them, why, because its an honor. for you too?  these poems, they are from when i was in negril last weekend, in the ocean, in the dancehalls, these poems are from when i was in kingston in the streets.


take it slow

take it slow

haste makes waste

lie makes die

and why dye

when the colors of life

just be like cry

melt all down

your thigh



hands on your chest underneath me

hotel guard wounded heavily

while you was stabbing me

they straight stabbed security

blood all down the sidewalk see

he ran away

you ran up in me



i wish i had the words

to tell you how delicious

i wish i had the words

to let you know how

do i feel

i wish i wasnt the only one

the only one, the only one

but since i am

i’ll be the lovely one

the lonely one

the lion one

the growing one

the one with no words

sings and understands the birds

incredulous i am

without words

i wish, i wish i had them

to speak of the tides

of intimacy would be too rude

even for the rude girl crude

intimacy is electric blue

gemstones jade blue

turquoise in a horseshoe

the waves they adore you

open and closed like a fist

sting ray swimming right along with

bug eyed fish

feel them limbing wish

i had written like this, like this

alas only a goddess

sun strewn

oh i wish

i knew how to write this

but i don’t, all i know

is the style of fists

and yet i don’t wish a heart open

on anyone

the open hand the open heart

the open fire the open start

the lancing and the lanced heart

wide open where do i start

oh the intimate heart

never does it end and never does it start

wishing on a star

another one fi we

who open and close

mouth, starfish, sea

are you a natural sponge

is that what you showed me

there in the cove

pirates us grow


nothing wrong

nothing wrong with a morning spliff

nothing wrong with a moonlight riff

im not talking about magic

im not talking about logic

oh me say, me say, me say

nothing wrong with enjoying your day



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rumi like ruminate: “on with the dance, let joy be unconfined.” (mark twain)

dear readers,

there’s so much going on, so much to care about, the poet ishle park wrote that when the japan earthquake hit, the world shifted on its axis, and some of us clipped on our wings. it’s a good time for flight, no? here’s a poem from rumi, i was feeling it so much this morning, running through that grey and green and dog filled prospect park. go brooklyn.

lovers are made aware, by rumi
you make a hundred resolutions to journey somewhere/
but He draws you somewhere else.
He turns the horses bridle in every direction/
so that the untrained horse may know there is a rider.
The clever horse is well paced because it knows a rider is mounted upon it.
He fixed your heart on a hundred passionate desires, disappointed you/
then broke your heart.
Since he broke the Wings of your first intention/
how do you doubt the existence of the Wing Breaker.
Since his ordainment snapped the chord of your contrivance,
how can you remain blind to His command?
Your resolutions and aims now and then are fulfilled
so that through hope your heart might form another intention/
which he might once again destroy.
for if he were to keep you completely from success/
you would despair:
how would the seed of expectation be sown?
If your heart did not sow that seed,
and then encounter barrenness, how would it recognize its submission to Divine will?
By their failures lovers are made aware of their Lord.
Lack of success is the guide to Paradise:
Pay attention to the tradition:
“Paradise is encompassed with pain.”

roopa swing

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rumi’s words: fast

dear readers,

what an amazing day, upliftment is in the air, parent’s finally sealed a deal on a house, brother just had a baby, little zoya.

back in oakland, about 5 years ago, the homie sayyadina gave me this pocket rumi reader. she was an mc, a startlingly smart journalist, clear eyed and freckled, light skinned she heckled all the boys, she could even shatter noise, we were on tour together, she was rooster calling to all the tigres from our dominican hide out, got back to oakland, she re-picked up a habit, foster kid u dig, last i heard it was a sidewalk for her. i remember when she lived on a house boat at the berkeley marina. shoulda seena’.


fast from thoughts, fast:
thoughts are like the lion and the wild ass;
men’s heart are the thickets they haunt.
fasting is the first principle of health;
restraint is superior to medication;
scratching only aggravates the itch.
Fast, and behold the strength of the spirit.

stay tuned for more,

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