Where the Greatest Wisdom Is

pewter dish


Where the greatest wisdom is
is a pewter dish in a

room filled with light

at the base of a chasm of basalt
and the sun tilted on top

like a purple feather in flames

How do you get there
except on your own speed

and with silence at your lips
and boundaries falling away

in your heart

who has had the rigorous
training of stallions

and the motherly compassion
of mares

whose tongues lick off the
afterbirth to let the

light out?

How do we get there
except by the bricked up door of

God’s Grace when
He decides to make its bricks


and the road traveled to be the
very place of its manifestation

His touch all over you
His taste in your mouth?

5/11/13 (from The Soul’s Home, in preparation)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, ETERNITY, fana fillah, ISLAM/SUFISM, Light, Love of God, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, signs of allah, Silence, Sufi Poetry, The Essence | Leave a comment



As if the earth were to go on and on forever
   another four inch layer of snow silently covers
      time and space out the window
stretching all the way to the ocean,

icy white powder piled up on garden furniture out back
  salvaged two summers ago from
      four doors down as being
        paint-spattered but still usable,

snow covers the cars out front
lined up in all one direction, carpeted with
   white, granted an ermine blanket,
sweetly docile with iced
   windows and frozen locks, unlike
      gas-guzzling road hogs, more like
         obedient slaves,

it covers the park at the end of the street
with its wild trails over fallen tree trunks
deep in snow, growth stopped in its
   tracks under repeated onslaughts of
       angelic frosting, the
    small mammals enduring, small
          insects gathering their eggs for a
Spring resurgence or savage revenge,
the palace of pure nature wall to wall with
    snow-crystals waiting for
       princely footprints, for
small quick prints of the princess to
   imprint themselves or for
long loopy chorus lines of angels to
  suddenly cavort on fresh snow in the
      little wood, pixieish 

post-midnight bacchanals on

pure white floors, under full moonlight,
time frozen still,

space as beautiful as a
    mouse ear in all this

3/8/96 (from Miracle Songs for the Millennium, being edited for publication)


Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, Light, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, signs of allah, snow, Sufi Poetry, winter | 2 Comments




                                    Eternity is in love with the productions of time
                                    — William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Sad alabasters and perky
peacock feathers turn to

rust in our hands

Wave our hands across their smeared
faces and see angelic glances through

silver eyes

No one will see you when you
disappear from sight

yet you persist in existence
greater than before

rung around with neon rings and
sounds of glass like trembling waters

Don’t rush things ancient ones
let one foot fall behind

the other on the mountain passes
and fresh sunlight warm you

as dust filters through our fingers
each flake calling out our name as it

drifts backwards in the air


and a sweet nothingness

God willing when it happens
we’ll still be there


Bright splinter! Do you
always seek behind appearances?

Are you dark metal under the smoke?
Sharp glare behind a smile?

We scan you to be our torchlight here
every spider corner revealed

every turn disclosed

Why have I only seen you now?
Is it the meltdown of the snow?

 Is it the Great Dissolve?


Eternity shimmers in the room among the
bright solid furniture that is the

furniture of Eternity the bookcases and lamps
the bed I wake from and the

sound of the silence here that is its
child swirling ocean of time

washing us in its blessings in constant
motion of cylinder within cylinder of

intangible turning invisible to the touch
in which we age minute by minute

inwardly forward but motionless in
Eternity impossible to calculate except in

angelic terms whose bright silver
dazzles the mind beyond its usual

earthly limitations whose walls and
doors and streets and skies are

sweetly blasted apart by the dimensions of
Eternity and we

live in it unbeknownst to us else we’d
faint at the pure nothingness we are

and God’s Magnificence always facing us
beyond even Eternity’s confines and paltry

measurements to show us anything but His
resplendent Face in absolutely

everything that is in its instant of being
the Living One from end to end and all

height and depth possible to what
has no existence except in Him

alone Light upon Light right in
front of us and within us

shimmering in Eternity
ashimmer in time
11/15 (from That Particular Firefly, in progress)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, amazement, ETERNITY, fana fillah, ISLAM/SUFISM, Light, Love, Miracles, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, signs of allah, SOUND, Sufi Poetry | 5 Comments

Miracle of Sound at the Ka’ba

Salt Prayers Collage

What sounds are heard around God’s House?

First, utter silence, silence within silence. Then
its echo,
more silent still.

A silence that sits deep under the Throne of God –
all other silence surrounds it and
slowly turns.

Every other silence partakes of that silence. Silence in
eyes, silence in tongues, silence in the
womb, the silence of death.

The Ka’ba sits in the
shaft of that silence from the height of heaven,
and generates silence.

Then, just around this great circle of silence
the sound of an ocean, not of water or salt,
but of human longing, aswirl with
sound, slow roar, slow-motion crash of
surf, suspended animation of all
tremendous sounds in creation, the
exhalation of giant beasts, outbreath of
earth as God created caves and
sea depths and

seismic shifts.

Then more distinctly,
articulating what shines through both
silence and sound,
the Word of God,
that aural text that floats from the
Heart of Light into the hearts of mankind,
tongue-tripped into articulate words, formed and
filled with breath,
flowing like the sea, but from
sea-depths of meaning,

light to the eyes and
sweet relief to the heart.

Then out from that circle,
the sound of all human speech, words of
admonition, snatches of
conversation, starlight of
God’s Compassion sprinkled throughout it,
Turkish bursts, Arabic stutter, a child’s distant cry,
then roar again, sea-surf,
silence above all, and the
echo of that silence.
Then a phrase of Urdu, Afghani, Malay,
low rumble of
Qur’an recitation, pauses, people
looking around, metallic
clatter from far away, the
rhythmic supplications of a group of pilgrims
circling God’s House.

Then the click sound of a microphone in sonic superspace
turning on.

Then words enveloped by the Word,

the Word enveloped in a roar,

the roar enveloped in silence,

the articulate silence of God, then

the silence of silence.

Then the echo of that silence.

Then the looking around.
12/26/95 (from Sparrow on the Prophet’s Tomb, The Ecstatic Exchange, 2009)

Posted in 'Eid Greetings, ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, amazement, Hajj, ISLAM/SUFISM, Kaaba, Light, POEMS, POETRY, signs of allah, Silence, SOUND, Sufi Poetry, The Path, The Soul | 1 Comment

HURIYYAH exhibit by Soraya Syed Sanders in the UK


Please take a moment to view photos of Soraya Syed Sander’s exhibit now up in London at Leighton House… our daughter-in-law, married to Inspiraldesign’s Mukhtar Sanders… Well, they’re both Inspiraldesigners… Her exhibit and the dancer are tremendous…
Aside | Posted on by | Tagged | 1 Comment


Poetry posterTHE UK VISIT includes, besides the two presentations in Norwich (Friday the 13th at 7PM and Saturday the 14th at 3:30PM), a poetry evening at Rumi’s Cave, Kilburn, London, on Saturday, 21 September, at 7PM, under the auspices of gracious Sukina Pilrim, et. al., insha’Allah.


From the soft rope we are
from the jagged tear in a canvas we are

from the wrecked and twisted bicycle we are
from the lengthy shadow of a lost world we are

from flickers at the edge of a dark wood we are
from an echoing empty stadium at midnight we are

from crumbs left for birds on a windowsill we are
from the signal sent from a ship’s fo’c’sle we are

From land sighted and land ignored we are
from polished silver laid out perfectly we are

From a peak wreathed in roseate cloud we are
from a low-lying hamlet under brown smoke we are

From rows of burgeoning grape-trellises we are
from a sunny valley between green hills we are

From the spontaneous defenses of our sovereignty we are
from silence in the midst of chaos we are

From dust flakes falling down an endless chute we are
from an abrupt announcement at the table we are

From a door slammed and a door left open we are
From blue fog suddenly filling a deep canyon we are

From no one left in the meeting hall but us we are
from just one more face in the billowing crowd we are

From oft-blessed in abundance from we know not where we are
from bereft never knowingly visited by angels we are

From fervent supplications each dawn religiously we are
from the last whispered breath of prayer when we die we are

when even stillness stands still
right where we are

O God in Your Magnificence and Glory
Who moves us and moves in us

without Whom we would not be
whoever and wherever we are

Bring out from us what light You will
and quench us with every breath

in Your only existence
when no more than a shadow of a shadow of a shadow we are

Small flickering light in Your window we are
tiny birdsong of distant jubilant whistling

heard near and far
we are
9/5/2013 (from The Soul’s Home, in progress)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, fana fillah, ISLAM/SUFISM, Light, Love of God, Muslim Poetry, Muslim Prayer, POEMS, POETRY, Prayer, signs of allah, Sufi Poetry | Leave a comment

You’ll Sing a Song


You’ll sing a song from somewhere out of your depths
and light will hit it and it’ll be
a diamond brooch worn at the back of
Layla’s head in a sunny glade

it’ll be a drop of water hanging at the
tip of a leaf in a dark rainforest radiating diamond light

a deep chasm with a train trestle above it and an
old fashioned train chugging along
oblivious to all danger over a giant arc filled with blue smoke

when you open your heart to sing
the whole room becomes a single ear

or even no ear at all but more like a
sharp point say of a needle about to
enter a cloth to sew
a saintly sleeve to the main body of the divine garment

the exact tip of the needle the sound-receiver
for the entire universe made drunk in the
sudden echoing orbit of your song

11/14/2001 (from Where Death Goes, the Ecstatic Exchange,3009 )

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, amazement, Diamond, fana fillah, ISLAM/SUFISM, Light, Love, Love of God, Music of the Spheres, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, saints, song, SOUND, Sufi Poetry, The Soul | 2 Comments