World Split Apart



The façade of a building falls away and
reveals a man praying

A bakery loses its show-window showing a
hundred weddings who’ll have to
wait in the next world for their cakes

An Orthodox cathedral split in two
revealing a solemn baptism that’s now become
more like a drowning

A synagogue smashed like the tablets of Moses
the dust of the Torah continuing to
rise for years through the lunar cycles

A medieval mosque’s minaret struck into rubble
and the muezzin’s call going out bodiless
a hundred times louder

The road rutted with machinegun fire
and ghost cows dancing with their dazzled cowherds

New houses and old houses collapsing like cards
and the surprised furniture giving up their
inhabitants like birds released from their cages

Windows of government buildings falling into streets
revealing some making secret deals and others
receiving holy light for works of self-sacrifice
anonymously accomplished

A firehouse going up in flames and no
nozzle quenching it

A police department getting flattened and no
police whistles piping through the roar of falling plaster

Trees just coming into bud turning as black as
pokers their fruit both present and future
now gracing the fresh tables of the dead

Hillsides turning as black as ash
revealing lairs of tiny mammals
tremblingly shielding their young

This earth sliced apart like a unripe melon
revealing both incandescent fury
and radiant secrets of redemption
incomprehensibly intertwined

No one returning with a happy face at the
end of the day or followed by children like the
Pied Piper to safety beyond the rocks

The soul of man split asunder at the
first crack of unjust death and unjust retaliation

revealing a person naked drenched in
original water coming toward us surrounded by
anticipatory angels anxious for an

outcome already known to Him
who benignly created us

and Whose Voice rises inaudibly
above all other voices

saying over and over
the single word:

(from In the Realm of Neither, Ecstatic Exchange, 2009)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, Angel of Deathj, dead children, ISLAM/SUFISM, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Extend Your Shadow



If you haven’t been parted from
what you truly love

then foot cannot follow foot
nor heart follow heart

Beasts born in the wild have the
wild to bring them to

their higher education

How can we see what
will wire us to bring us

to the deep circuitry of
God’s illumination?

None but Ahmad the Radiant One
peace be upon him

casts no shadow

Shall we cut away our shadows to
stride from them in the Prophet’s

shadowless dominion?

Or embrace our luscious darknesses
to both tame and extend their

shapely union?

The sun in each galaxy
is the central teacher

across this edgeless universe
of myriad circumferences

each sun the single pivot who
binds each orbit to its

divinely turning dances

and the tilt of its orbs
is each one’s consequences

Though the Prophet had the moon’s face
his Light was that of the sun

Oh Shams of all time to come!

In our own hearts galactic wheels
are turning

and the sound of melodic sighing
fills our ears with its burning

and its song of separation
fills our yearning

For everyone God’s departure has
never taken place —

Extend your shadow to become
the incandescence of His Face.
18 Ramadan

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, fasting, fasting poems, ISLAM/SUFISM, POEMS, POETRY, Ramadan Poetry, shadow, signs of allah, Sufi Poetry | 2 Comments

Poem: All the Dead Children


Angels are learning new tricks to entertain all the
dead children
just bringing them to a quiet place used to be enough
blue panels sonorous as cool winds rising to
infinite heights and
luminous rivers tasting of fresh milk and
passionflower honey

But now they are more restless and want something
lively such as fabulous displays and real
stellar extravaganzas to shut out the memories

All the wingéd horses have been brought in
and every banner from every battle ever waged
transformed into aurora borealis brightness is
planted on either side of the great arena which is
actually nowhere you can put your finger on and may be as
big as a sparkle or light years across

The angels begin conventionally enough and since they’re
anti-gravitational they are capable of some
pretty amazing feats their specialty being a
spinning array of a few billion shimmering their wings and

turning slowly at first in a
cone that goes up through so many dimensions the
children have to stop counting with
each dimension demarcated by another
color no one on earth’s spectrum has
ever seen before

Then the cone begins
turning faster and faster and shoots higher and higher
finally sweeping their astonished souls wide-eyed into a
vortex so swift they barely notice that they’re
arcing across fields of unearthly green and seas of
unoceanic turquoise

Each shroud has been made into a tent filled with
fabulous fruits and unidentifiable edibles of
uttermost succulence

Each soul has been given the Ultimate Glimpse
and the Accurate Portrayal
the Perfect Sustenance and the Infinite Intensity

Each time they clap their hands a new
universe appears
more fabulous than the last

And when they tire of such delights
William Blake reads to them from his new work
and Mozart comes in and plays them a tune
on a million pianos
4/11/2003 (from Psalms for the Brokenhearted, Ecstatic Exchange, 2005)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, ISLAM/SUFISM, Muslim Poetry, Paradise for martyrs, POEMS, POETRY, Prayer | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Poem: Splendid Excitement of the Coming Day



Splendid excitement of the coming day!

Palaces might await us filled with
the tangiest grapes

down esplanades of golden cypresses
behind walls we can

barely see over at dawn for the
height of their occasional distractions

But melodious lute music from a
hidden courtyard exudes

fragrant strums that
invite our hungry hearts to float past

their rough material stones

OK it’s a day of fasting whose
treasures remain unseen

but we can almost feel the
spatial pressure to let them burst and

unload over us as the day progresses

and though their
gold may be nontransferable on the

common market

already the gurgle of flashing rivers of love’s coins
delights our ears

and their deeper wealth entices us

Oh that sumptuous dazzling palace before us!
Wild festivities jingle-jangle there!

Endless dancing of heavenly bodies!

No breath taken that isn’t
Allah’s Name in a taste of

majestic succulence!
8 Ramadan (from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight, Ecstatic Exchange)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, fasting, fasting poems, ISLAM/SUFISM, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, Ramadan Poetry, Sufi Poetry | Leave a comment

Four Corners of the Universe


PUZZLE  copy


The four corners of the universe
can be seen as a little room

deep inside the universe with
planetary motions out each window

as we sit in the center of the room
fasting or eating

A giant phoenix in dazzling glory
carries it through space

or not
as you wish

Solid on a flat earth solid as rock?
But definitely

flying through space

like it or not
whether we fast or eat

live or die
go on after death or end up

dry bones bereft of souls

Flames lick around us
or a tall forest of sunflowers

sparrows chasing sparrows
through their ragged stalks

skylarks looping above in the
sky above us

The Kaba is a four cornered
room in the universe

Our Kaba hearts are
rooms in the universe

planetary motions out each window
and in their frames

faces of benevolence
waiting for our cycles of

fasting and eating to become

one lifting of our hungry
full or empty hands held out palms up

for planetary motions
to fill them

with splashes of original amber
2 Ramadan
(from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight, Ecstatic Exchange, 2011)

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First Night of Ramadan



A single stone is thrown in

and the canyon resounds with the

hallelujahs of angels

A single breath contains the
known and unknown universes

Back behind edgeless
space are motions that

vibrate the heart

Back behind ancient mountains and
historical intricacies

a shadow gives way to Light that has a
door in it to

let us through

We take no step that
doesn’t bring us nearer

One sip and the oceans disappear

One glance and the skies
bend closer to hear our


One heart-wrench elegant elevation
and we’re on a

plateau tossing a stone in the dark
that never stops echoing
1 Ramadan, 1432
(from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight, Ecstatic Exchange, 2011)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, ETERNITY, ISLAM/SUFISM, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, Ramadan Poetry, signs of allah, Sufi Poetry, The Path, The Soul | 5 Comments

Poem: Great Cruelty and Heartlessness



We’re living in a time of great cruelty and heartlessness

where instead of a sun they’re throwing up

Instead of sunlight there’s the sound of
hammers beating

Instead of walking there’s kicking

Instead of thinking there’s talking

It’s almost as if there’ve never been times like
these before

Even shadows thrown by cartwheels on dirt roads
resemble the grimaces of armies as they
slide across rocks

In the palaces of power clocks go off but no one

Decisions are made by pouring acid down drains
or waiting for nightfall in a room lit by
neon tubes

If anyone speaks all eyes are upon them

I saw a sparrow fly over a fence

An ant stop and not go on

But laughter has turned to pebbles
falling on zinc

And children have been torn from their futures


7/19/2006 (from In the Realm of Neither, Ecstatic Exchange, 2008)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, dead children, ISLAM/SUFISM, POEMS, POETRY, Sufi Poetry | Tagged | 6 Comments