Frank Jamison


                                                                        — after reading Rumi as translated by Coleman Barks


You may say, Friendship of two souls is dictum,
but what I am saying to you is not.

Listen when I say, It is true that when souls move
the light changes.

The heart is the soul’s companion. All day it speaks
to Soul about love.

Soul is a listener with its mouth wide open.
All day it listens, astonished at the heart’s yearning.

Soul runs on fleet feet with arms open wide anxious
to touch, and touch is the way Soul speaks of love.

And love is a summer storm with lightning and a voice
like rain promising both endings and beginnings.

It says, Lovers live as a story with no end in each other.
Each is a pen that must write it.


The small gods of morning direct our Matins.
They murmur things we know and don’t know.
They rustle in the twilight, whisper from the trees.
          They say keep going.
They dress like birds.
They say, I am is a complete sentence.
Their language is hustle in springtime;
          in winter it’s huddle by the fire.
They dwell in the glowing coals where
looking like flames they wink out at us
as we hunker to await the next gleam,
          the big bang of an understanding.
They shout through their cupped hands
even though we can’t hear.
They tell us to poke up the flame,
          soldier on, keep on loving.