Still thinking about Imran…



One day death knocked and knocked and no one answered –
Only the door’s wood-grain in resounding unison answered

A water drop on the lip of a glass was held suspended –
Only shadows cast by trees like oars on a galleon answered

We were all safely dead to death – we were all satisfied –
Not even the xylophone bones of one skeleton answered

Death was stymied – death turned livid – not used to this treatment –
We’d reached a state of eternal life – as if only a jaunty disembodied accordion answered

But it may have only lasted an eternal nanosecond –
Because finally – after a non-temporal millennium or two – someone answered

The door swung open – now we were face to face with death again –
And all of us who by then had been by life undone – answered

But it was a different answer – it was a smile of sweet recognition alone –
It was an easy flow in which we – held in love’s burning sun – answered

The knock comes – in the middle of the night or morning – always uniquely –
But we can’t leave the knock – for all its intrusion – undone – unanswered

The whole universe resounds with its tapping – its light fist on our door –
But like a spy on this side of the door – death’s work must be well done – answered!

Ameen – breathing easily in your chair by the window and its clustering birds –
When death knocks may you always remember to respond to none but the One – and answer!

7/21/2002 (from The Flame of Transformation Turns to Light /99 Ghazals Written in English)
(photograph by Salihah Moore)

Categories: Poems