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Out of sorrow over ongoing terrorism, the latest being the attacks in Brussels, I reblog this poem by Rumi from A Year of Being Here, my old poetry project. That project is now ended. If only terrorism was, as well….



Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.


“Zero Circle” by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. Text as published in Ten Poems to Change Your Life, edited by Roger Housden (Harmony, 2001). Poem translated from the original Farsi by Coleman Barks.

Art credit: “Mysterious Blue Tunnel to the Light, Way to Another World,” image by unknown photographer.

Phyllis Cole-Dai

Phyllis Cole-Dai has authored or edited eleven books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, spiritual nonfiction and poetry. She lives in Brookings, South Dakota, USA.

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