An homage to the honorable Michael Bowen
At last you have departed and gone to the Unseen.
What marvelous route did you take from this world?
Beating your wings and feathers, you broke free from this material cage.
Rising up to the sky you obtain the world of the soul.
You were a prized falcon trapped by an old creature.
Then you heard the drummer’s call and flew beyond space and time.
As a lovesick nightingale, you flew among the owls.
Then came the scent of the rose garden and you flew off to meet the rose.
The wine of this fleeting world caused your head to ache.
Finally, you joined the tavern of eternity.
Like an arrow, you fled from the bow and went straight to the bull’s eye of bliss.
This phantom world gave you false signs.
But you turned from the illusion and journeyed to the land of truth.
You are now the Sun….what need have you for a crown?
You have vanished from this world….what need have you to tie your robe?
I’ve heard that you can barely see your soul.
But why look at all? Yours is now the soul of all Souls!
Oh heart, what a wonderful bird you are. Seeking divine heights, flapping your wings,
you smashed the pointed spears of your enemy.
The flowers flee from autumn…but not you.
You are the fearless rose that grows amidst the freezing wind.
Falling down like the rain of heaven, you fell upon the rooftop of this world.
Then you ran in every direction and escaped through the drain spout…
Now the words are over and the pain they bring is gone.
Now you have gone to rest in the arms of the Beloved…
Poem by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
Photo montage by R.W. Bruch