Coleman Barks reading “Roses Underfoot” on What Was Said to the Rose   2004

Coleman Barks with Barry & Shelly Phillips

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Roses Underfoot

The sound of salaams rising

as waves diminish down in prayer,

hoping for some trace of the one

whose trace does not appear.

If anyone asks you to say who you are,

say without hesitation, soul

within soul within soul. There's a pearl diver

who does not know how to swim!

No matter, pearls are handed him

on the beach. We lovers laugh

to hear, "This should be more that

and that more this," coming

from people sitting in a wagon

tilted in a ditch. Going in search

of the heart, I found a huge rose

under my feet, and roses under

all our feet! How to say this

to someone who denies it?

The robe we wear is the sky's cloth.

Everything is soul and flowering.

           Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks