Poem: When I Pray

Image


When I pray
the whole world becomes a pair of huge
insect wings behind me, and I am a
standing green insect with metallic
thorax, inhaling distant

zephyrs of intoxicating gas
only a rare breed of
insect can survive,

and when I pray the sky in front of me becomes
light and edged with silver
but the sky behind me becomes gun-metal gray
and filled with heavy storm,

and when I pray
there are negotiations on board ocean liners between
warring countries, and treaties are brought out and
signed in triplicate, and people
bow and shake hands, and an old
mother in knitted shawl next to a
cold stove lets out a deep
sigh and holds her
grandchild closer to her breast,

and when I pray I turn aside from
the chopping block, the gas chamber, the
cocked rifle, the seething self-destructive
hatred in a glance,
swollen knuckles, the poisoned pen,

I turn at an oblique angle to the
political explosion, the downing of airplanes, the
destruction of edible food,
and billows of scarlet velvet blow past the
form of a human standing and facing God
I make when I pray, and

billows like the sails of ancient sailing ships
blow their incandescent white canvas glittering in the
Atlantic sun of new worlds past my
figure of a man standing at the absolute
front edge of his existence, toes on the
prayer carpet, facing God free of all that is
other-than-God
when I pray, and the world becomes
silent when I pray, as silent as the

growing of wood in a thick forest, or the
slow death of an old moose alone on a
hill, or the wheeling of a
young bird in a
sun-drenched sky,
silent as a tomb, but alive, silent as the
sea, but deeper, silent as the
sky, for at the

bottom of the sky, with his forehead touching the
bottom edge, is the
human figure on two straight legs facing
one direction and praying with
one heart of a
person praying, of me when I pray, turned like a
gyroscope, up-ended, twirled in a
great wheel, brought back again to the
upright position, facing
wind and ocean and fire burning down houses
and rain battering roofs and hulls of ships
and mountain-faces fluffy with mountain goats,

and when I pray
the slice comes clean through the terrible drama of
matter, the operatic
tensions of objects clash in space,
the suicidal psychology so intertwined with a
desire for rebirth, and there is a

Rebirth of wonder, a Bromeliad of bright pink
bloom out the middle of the silver green succulent
leaf of the
tropical Bromeliad, and the
prayer is the rebirth of light like live lightning
out the corners of the angles of a two-dimensional darkness

and when I pray I become a
firefly or dragonfly, no, only a

man standing facing forward

to pray.

__________________________________________

3/9/95 (from A Hundred Little 3D Pictures, in preparation)

About danielabdalhayymoore

Poet, artist, collagist, publisher, hoping to save a little bit of the world through ecstatic utterance... ordered in balanced lines and unpremeditated images...
This entry was posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, amazement, ISLAM/SUFISM, Love of God, Muslim Prayer, POEMS, POETRY, Prayer, Sufi Poetry, The Path and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Poem: When I Pray

  1. Maha Khan says:

    Subhanallah. reaffirms your belief in beauty of praying. words everything is beautiful. I’m mesmerized.

  2. Cynthia Anderson says:

    Thank you for this poem, and for the chance to hear you reading it.

  3. joymanifest says:

    I was blessed to see this poem on my phone app that I would not have come across on this blog website, when I looked up your poetry to read to a friend last night. May Allah increase you and increase us in coming closer to Allah

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