Feathers Falling Back Onto the Wing

[W]ith one who is always in union with God,
who carries a beautiful garden inside himself.


Mercy enters the body by
disease, teasing bruised souls into
healing the way an ocean courts
a drop, will not stop until it
sees what one thought does to one’s heart,


opens it up or shuts like a
shell its valves so that calmed blood can
neither run nor walk off, never
again do its part well, until
understanding comes like lightning


to quicken to spilling it those
willing to paint with pain, to speak
the Name of Names to nothing so
that its sound becomes a song, a
vibration tuning shadows with


what fills and and falls overflowing
from life-swollen lungs, lips waking
nothing into something, bringing
into existence what sets a
closed heart pumping again, cure is


choice finally finding you by
a circuitous route, spirit
chasing breath, renewing it with
faith, feathers falling back onto
the wing after shaken by fright.

1Rumi, “Sheba’s Hesitation”, [Stanza 5, Lines 14–15], in “[Chapter] 17. Solomon Poems: The Far Mosque” of The Essential Rumi: New Expanded Edition: Translated by Coleman Barks: with Reynold Nicholson, A. J. Arberry, John Moyne, published at New York by HarperOne in 2004; page 189.