A Cargo of Green Hearts
I am touched again re-reading a story by Rumi wherein there is a man who rescues a bear from the jaws of a dragon, touched here on that delicate square
inch of my heart that I've only let lovers touch the spot that I cover in the presence of knife jugglers the spot that dowses water from
behind my eyes. who is this man I wonder who cannot be bought off who flows to the helpless the way water flows and fills the low places and why these
particular metaphors I want to ask Rumi who never explains why a bear a dragon
savage beast rescued from the jaws of savage mythological beast why
not man rescued from dragon or man rescued from bear? why you Rumi, who grew up in an era when bears were trapped like rats and valued less than rugs?
in my mind I replace the bear with all sorts of animals lamb goat cow monkey opossum but only the bear fits only the bear will fill out the story
only the bear like the last dark piece in the puzzle of night is enough to blot sunset's curtain only the bear will gouge my heart
so unknowingly. how gnawed I've been for years by this mystery this hungry tenderness for the bear who (Rumi never says) after rescue probably just went back to being
a bear eating sheep ravaging corn sleeping for shiftless months then waking to darken stoops and birdfeeders in the wee hours of dreams
and perhaps it is in dreams I sense it will finally end, the parallel doubt how much I, a man deserve to have a saint pull my unworthiness from the void beyond voids
and be stroked silent by how the sad black fur is smoothed and set free
to live free, no further questions asked.
(The Rumi poem that inspired this may be viewed here)
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