Israel and Gaza: A View from Rumi

Here’s the most beautiful response to this huge ugly mess I’ve yet to encounter: images of tragedy in Gaza and Sderot set against a poem by the great Persian poet Rumi.

Here’s the text:

Move beyond any attachment to
Every war and every conflict between
human beings
has happened because of some
disagreement about names.
It’s such an unnecessary foolishness,
because just beyond the arguing
there’s a long table of companionship,
set and waiting for us to sit down.
What is praised is one, so the praise is
one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge
All religions, all this singing, one song.
The differences are just illusion and
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.
We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light,
and when we praise,
we pour them back in.

2 thoughts on “Israel and Gaza: A View from Rumi

  1. Eric Selinger

    A poem I just stumbled upon, Brant, which seems even more relevant–this one by Samih al-Qasim:

    Travel Tickets

    On the day you kill me
    You’ll find in my pocket
    Travel tickets
    To peace,
    To the fields and the rain,
    To people’s conscience.
    Don’t waste the tickets.


    Thanks for your posts, once again.

  2. joe adams


    She sits upon this pile of rubble,
    Resting wounds that permeate the soul.
    What gravity has this, not real, so real.
    A place that held a harmony,
    Of family and sustenance.
    The smell of memories, and seen,
    Amid the dust of death,
    They settle with the sunlight.
    The quiet of the meaning resonates, in stillness,
    Of the breath that lived this place.
    Gasps at nothing,
    Those who would receive it.
    So gone, and yet so near,
    The child who played,
    Upon the heartstrings of the heart.
    That wondrous harp, with laughter,
    And with love, the joy of life.
    The wanton beast of hate,
    It fed upon this life, and stole away,
    The coming of her age.
    And in the wake, such depth of pain,
    Cruel gift of ideology.
    Now Mother rise and walk away,
    No eyes to follow thee.
    But in the mist to watch her go,
    The pieces of a doll.

    Joe Adams 8-15-06


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