Saturday, March 4, 2017
A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
The cook knocks him down with the ladle.
"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you.
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.
Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this."
Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life begins,
and the Friend has something good to eat.
Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
"Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can't do this be myself.
I'm like an elephant that dreams of gardens
back in Hindustan and doesn't pay attention
to his driver. You're my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love cooking."
The cook says, "I was once like you,
fresh from the ground, Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.
My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled once beyond that,
and become your teacher."
from The essential Rumi
translations by Coleman Barks and John Moyne