Here is a letter to a man who has worked hard to bathe North America in the great poetry of Sufi mystic from 12th century Persia/Afghanistan, Rumi.

Dear Shahram,

Would you please let your Wisconsin and northern Illinois Rumi lovers know about the presence of Rumi at Milwaukee’s Timbuktu. I would very much enjoy a correspondance with any who would wish, at

Your web site and forum are wonderful!

Please check out and scroll to Mil Wiki for some participatory web software that Rumi and Shams would enjoy and employ!


The Sufi poetry of Rumi was read in Timbuktu’s in 1492.

At Riverwest’s Timbuktu, 520 E. Center, Sufi poetry will also be read.

And music and dance from Africa, and
from the emerging planetary culture
Will be enjoyed.

Here’s one of my favorites, translated by Coleman Barks.

Love is a Madman
El amor es un loco

Love comes with a knife, not some shy question,
and not with fears for its reputation!

¡El amor viene con un cuchillo,
una no cierta pregunta tímida,
y no con los miedos para su reputación!

I say these things disinterestedly.
Accept them in kind.

Love is a madman,
working his wild schemes,
tearing off his clothes, running
through the mountains, drinking poison,
and now quietly choosing annihilation.

A tiny spider tries to wrap an enormous wasp:
Think of the spiderweb woven across
the cave where Muhammed slept!

There are love stories,
and there is obliteration into love.

You’ve been walking the ocean’s edge,
holding up your robes to keep them dry.

You must dive naked under, and deeper
under, a thousand times deeper!

Usted ha estado caminando el borde del océano,
soportando sus trajes para mantenerlos secos.
¡Usted debe zambullirse inferior inferior,
y más profundo desnudo, mil veces más profundo!

Love flows down. The ground submits
to the sky and suffers what comes.

El amor fluye abajo.
La tierra somete al cielo y sufre qué viene.

Tell me, is the earth worse
for giving like that?

Don’t put blankets over the drum!
Open completely. Let your spirit-ear
listen to the green dome’s passionate murmur.

Perhaps One Year Later

From: harvey taylor <>
To: “” <>
Subject: Re: Karen and Hafiz at Quaker House in the forest by the river

Amen wrote:

Yo Mystic Children of Milwaukee the Beautiful!

What a great event it would be
To witness Hafiz and Karen
Carry us away
At the Quaker House
In the forest
By the river.



Last edited by g. Based on work by anonymous users of Milwaukee Renaissance and Godsil.  Page last modified on December 27, 2005

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