(Note: I attribute the title and theme of this poem, based on the word “Irene” to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. While we were working on a translation, The Burdah, or The Prayer of the Oppressed — I can’t recall which —  he wanted to use the adjective “irenic” which I didn’t know at first, and then thought too unusual, when “peaceful” would do. As he loves to introduce somewhat rare but true and useful words back into the English vocabulary, his choice won out… and I learned a new use for the word and name, Irene, with all honor due. This poem written in 2011 when the hurricane bifurcated past our home in Philadelphia, and came back together again, it seems, to ravage parts north, may Allah bless all who suffered, and grant them His Irenic Grace.)

A raindrop big as a small
country is landing on our back garden

a powerful fragment at a time then
running in a fast moving runnel down the

back alley and all this even before
Hurricane Irene hits with full force

and as Irene means “peace” so
“Good Night Irene” as the

old song says may you
turn away from our shore and

dizzy yourself

out at sea somewhere to a
merriment of dolphins and a wild

spinning of silent dervish creatures of the
deeps Oh Allah! Preserve us from Your

watery Wrath that we might
see Your Might of Power with


and flow in runnels with Your Perfect

a wall of water we walk through to Your
pure oasis

as the night wears on

8/27/2011 – 27 Ramadan (written during Hurricane Irene offshore east coast) (from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight)

Categories: Poems, Prayer, Ramadan / 'Eid

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