translated by Coleman Barks
The sound of salaams rising
as waves diminish down in prayer,
hoping for some trace of the one
whose trace does not appear.
If anyone asks you to say who you are,
say without hesitation, soul
within soul within soul. There's a pearl diver
who does not know how to swim!
No matter, pearls are handed him
on the beach. We lovers laugh
to hear, "This should be more that
and that more this," coming
from people sitting in a wagon
tilted in a ditch. Going in search
of the heart, I found a huge rose
under my feet, and roses under
all our feet! How to say this
to someone who denies it?
The robe we wear is the sky's cloth.
Everything is soul and flowering.
Coleman Barks reading
“Roses Underfoot” on
What Was Said to the Rose, 2004
Coleman Barks with Barry & Shelly Phillips
CD available from colemanbarks.com