Joys of Fasting by Rumi


There’s a hidden sweetness
in the stomach’s emptiness.

We are lutes, no more, no less.
If the sound box is stuffed
full of anything, no music.

If the brain and the belly
are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song
comes out of the fire.

The fog clears, and a new
energy makes you run up the
steps in front of you.

Be emptier and cry like
reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with
the reed pen.

When you’re full of food and drink,
Satan sits where your
spirit should, an ugly metal
statue in place of the Kaaba.

When you fast, good habits gather
like friends who want to help.

Fasting is Solomon’s ring.
Don’t give it to some illusion
and lose your power.

But even if you’ve lost all
will and control, they come
back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out
of the ground, pennants
flying above them.

A table descends to your
tent, Jesus’s table.
Expect to see it, when you
fast, this table spread with
other food better than the
broth of cabbages.

Rumi-


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