Rumi 78

Version I

Two or three crooks in the streets are on the beat
They will cheat even the moon, with their deceit.
Charlatans, aware in mind, joyous of heart
With their shouts shake firmaments from their seat
Befriend that hidden face that all souls seek
With those glaring eyes they just stare and mistreat
Though with face, all faces they despise
Though in this world, both worlds they defeat.
Piously dressed, each other they always fight
Though at war, each other they will complete.
To your face kind, behind your back they are mean
Rose like though appear, thorns are hidden at their feet.
In their hands thorns will turn into the rose
At night they sow barley, yet by day they reap wheat.
Be humane, serving them seek, greet, entreat,
Serving all else compassions will deplete.

Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
July 24, 1999



Version II

Take heed, take heed, take heed,
        Two or three crooks are on the loose
Thoughtfully in deception they succeed
        Even the moon they will abuse.

Two or three vagrants have taken lead
Joyous, aware, laughter they breed
They shout, command, order indeed
        Will make the earth pay her dues.

They befriend that face unseen,
Which every soul longs to have seen
Like those eyes, lean and mean they glean
        Their own well being they refuse.

They have their own shape and face
Yet faces they despise and displace;
Their presence this world may grace
        Yet both worlds are but shades and hues.

They wear pious robe and gown
Fight each other for a crown
Yet much like the circus clown
        United they join and fuse.

Like lions they rip and tear
Upon their lips smiles wear
Though their enmity they share
        In truth friendship they choose.

To your face, they only praise
Behind you talk of your craze
Openly like flowers amaze
        Yet have thorns in hidden queues.

Alchemically they transmute
Lead into gold, none can refute
By day reap wheat, no dispute
        Yet by night sow barley, some accuse.

Be compassionate, kind and fair
Serve these charlatans if you dare
Because nobody else will care
        They abuse with every excuse.

Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
July 26, 1999


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