A Dog I Loved But Never Met

For Cub and her family, with love from Songbird and Molly…

“Love Dogs” by

One night a man was crying,
 "Allah, Allah!"
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
 "So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?"
The man had no answer for that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage,
 "Why did you stop praising?"
“Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing you express 
is the return message."
The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs no one knows the names of.
Give your life to be one of them.

(Translated by
Coleman Barks, from
The Essential Rumi, edited by Coleman Barks.)

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