Posts from the “Poetry” Category

our way through fire

Posted on May 31, 2015

“I am the progeny of Ibrahim; I’ll find my way through fire.” -Rumi   millennia ago, when the world was a younger place in the heavens, a human being was created from clay a being of sinew and flesh and stardust and bone a being that would, in time, call this Earth its home.   the Lord said, ‘I will create a vicegerent on Earth.’ the angels replied, ‘what reason is there for this birth? will you place there one who would only shed blood? make mischief and pollute clear rivers with mud? who would fight hard and lie and from others steal? who would cry out and cheat and innocents kill? who You’ll make, yet heedless will be their praise while we celebrate…

the ways i knew you (on the death of a great man)

Posted on July 19, 2014

When I was five, I found you in the smiling curve of numbers.   I sat in the pale morning sunlight of a Sunday School classroom painted the yellow of tender summer peaches. The wind from the fan caressed my face in rounds, the buzzing gape of its mouth first turning this way then that, and I found myself following its breaths as I drew the curves on lines of binder-folded paper: 99 names of 1 God, the First and the Last of existence, Allah 124,000 Prophets delivering 1 message, the last of all, Muhammad 12 Imams stemming from 1 purified family, the first of all, Ali   and your number’s weight became the scale against which I measured the rest of the world.…

fragrance of the found

Posted on July 16, 2013

“O God, what did find who lost you? And what did he lose who found you?” -Hussain ibn Ali (a)   I’ve heard whispered tales of a flower in a slumbering wood Whose tears did fall when the world’s weight it understood Drowning in the haze of fairytales, countless once upon a times Of knights bright in shining armor, women with beauty refined   Too weakened by shadows, roots shaken by each passerby So it learned to prick hands that either crushed, or at its beauty did sigh Its strength tested, soon took its bent stem as a sign of defeat Was told once its petals would fall, would turn man into beast   Lost and confused, turned for answers to a wise, olden…

the believer’s lament

Posted on February 14, 2013

I stand at the edge of something vast. The push and the pull of centuries and the universe, a battle between light and dark rages across the fields of my soul.   “Steady your arms, men! Brace the line, men!” The clamor of shields, the cacophony of this vessel of steel marching forward into the stirring emptiness of the woods, ancient trees beckoning with their gnarled hands.   All light leaves as we move into the darkness. Deafening silence, the stillness of morning after snowfall. “Keep to the path men!”   The screech of a raven, a broken cry, a shrill wailing for love lost to shadows.