The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

The Self We Share
By Jalaluddin Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

Thirst is angry with water. Hunger bitter
with bread.The cave wants nothing to do

with the sun. This is dumb, the self-
defeating way we've been. A gold mine is

calling us into its temple. Instead, we
bend and keep picking up rocks from the

ground. Every thing has a shine like gold,
but we should turn to the source! The

origin is what we truly are. I add a little
vinegar to the honey I give. The bite of

scolding makes ecstasy more familiar. But
look, fish, you're already in the ocean:

just swimming there makes you friends with
glory. What are these grudges about? You

are Benjamin. Joseph has put a gold cup
in your grain sack and accused you of being

a thief. Now he draws you aside and says,
"You are my brother. I am a prayer. You're

the amen." We move in eternal regions, yet
worry about property here. This is the

prayer of each: You are the source of my
life. You separate essence from mud. You

honor my soul. You bring rivers from the
mountain springs. You brighten my eyes. The

wine you offer takes me out of myself into
the self we share. Doing that is religion.


We spent a nice President's Day in Pennsylvania before coming home to our poor starving cats. After breakfast we went to Hanover Shoe Farms, as we have in February the past few years, because many of the mares have foals at this time of year. There were several colts we got to see that were less than three days old! We also went into the stables where the stallions are kept -- several of them seemed a bit stir-crazy and were prancing about in their stalls -- and encountered one of the cats that live in the barns. Then we took a ride to Conewago Chapel, the oldest Catholic church east of the Mississippi, which recently had its stained glass restored. On the way back through Hanover, which smelled entirely like potato chips, we stopped at the Utz outlet store, where there were pumpernickel pretzels as well as the best salt and vinegar chips I've had outside the U.K.

A mare rests with her two-day-old filly at Hanover Shoe Farms.

All the colts in this stable were less than a week old.

It was hard to get good pictures, particularly with flash, given how much dust was in the air.

And some of the mothers were not happy with me sticking my camera lens between the bars of their stalls and got in my face to let me know it.

The three- and four-day-old foals were already up and about and following their mothers.

It is astonishing to me that legs this long fit into the mare a few days earlier.

Of course, it is also astonishing to me that the stallions have these. *g*

Most if not all of the colts are produced via artificial insemination from prominent studs. Perhaps that is why this stallion was so restless, getting mouthfuls of straw and tossing it into the air as he tossed his head!

We got home just in time to save our cats from impending death -- well, actually my mother had fed them earlier, but they weren't about to admit that to us! I folded laundry while watching Xena's "A Solstice Carol," one of my favorite television series holiday specials, of which I have only grown more and more fond over time. I just glanced at my review of it from when the series was on the air and would like to go back and make it more of an unqualified rave; I was iffy about Xena tackling any Christian stuff when I first saw the episode, but after the Eli arc, which is some of my favorite TV ever, I very much appreciate what "A Solstice Carol" manages to do with Yule traditions. I have less to say about Heroes, which I feel like is going in rather dull circles; Claire's the only female character I still care about, but compared to Xena, she's a spoiled little girl.

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