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a Sufi student came to stay a while
the meditation would do him good.
we talked of Buddhism and of Zen,
spoke of Rumi and Kabir.
we talked of the path the Daoist takes
and the one the Moslem’s tread.
with all the stops along the way
this journey seems sometimes long.
he was told of secrets
known only to a Sufi master,
to which I could only respond;
“the only secret is, there is no secret
and nothing left to find.”
he argued; “only a chosen few,
have the secret truth revealed.”
this idea a misguided interpretation
the Mevlana had also heard that lie,
I handed him a book of Rumi poems
a single tear welled in his eye.
he read that book both day and night,
and talked of nothing else.
all this teaching so wide and clear
but these poems remained another’s words.
the secret hidden from his grasp,
he will never find what he seeks.
desire brought him to stay with me,
that same desire drove him away.
we embraced before his journey south
I was sad to see him go.
the only thing we’ve heard of since;
someone defiled his Quran.
January 8, 1998