There’s a town where the soul is fed, where love hears
truth and thrives, and
another town that produces lies that degrade and starve
love. Your voice is
a small market set up between the two towns. Goods arrive
from both directions, flimsy,
fake items and honestly made, wholehearted tools and wares.
Some travelers immediately know
which is which. Some voices open a shop and spend sixty
years cheating customers,
gossiping when they leave, and flattering women to get their
attention. Others weary
of the marketplace altogether and rarely go there.
Version by Coleman Barks, in “The Soul of Rumi”