James Tate Passing & Poem
American poet, James Tate, died on July 8, 2015, at the age of 71. A wry writer of Patchen-like slightly nonsense narratives, …
(Below is an email from the older sister, Khalida, of Baji Tayyaba Khanum, from the area of the recent earthquake in Northern Pakistan. In the midst of imminent death, Baji became very still. They were unharmed. I’ve only done minor editing.)
Alhamdulillah, we are fine. Me and Tayyaba were in the furniture shop. When the earth started shaking, I told tayyaba, “Let’s sit down.” The owner of the shop went out of the shop with another man customer. His grown up daughter was in the other room. We had talked to her earlier when we asked her that we would like to do the duhr salat. It was 1:30 p.m.
Everything started shaking harder and harder. I was reciting salawat (prayer on the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and Kalima (La ilaha illa Allah) in a loud voice. Tayyaba was also reciting, but I noticed that she was very calm. As the tremors became more severe, my voice started shaking and I started crying. The girl came running and she put her head on Tayyaba’s knees. She was also crying. I could not see or think anything but that we will die now. I do not know how long it lasted, but to me was for a long time. Tayyaba was comforting me with one hand and the girl with other hand.
Shukrulillah that she was with me… To me it was Allah telling us we are nothing. He is the only Powerful One Who can bring this world upside down in a split second.