Ladder Leaned up Against the House

Though he couldn’t see it from below
the man was astonished that the

ladder he’d leaned up against the house
extended into the clouds so he

climbed and climbed until he totally

and from a certain point in the sky had the
sensation he was climbing down

gravity pulling him actually upward
in a cloud-ship’s harbor so vast he

couldn’t see them as hulls banked as they
were and piled on each other

to the top of space

He stepped down onto the ground and
marveled at its springiness its rainbowing arch

Birds wheeled upside down in a
yellow sky that flashed alternately

silver then gold

A distant calliope could also have been
his own breathing since a mile-high snow-deep

silence reigned everywhere

After the initial image of this poem I was actually going to
pursue the idea that once we’ve

embarked on a Path and some progress is being
made a quantum

leap extension or even flight takes
place by Allah beyond our pale

capabilities for success
a roller-coastering thrust that uplifts the

fragile but gaudy car of our selves we’re in
and we see ourselves sailing across a

canyon whose fluctuating abalone colors are
actual angel song

“Nearer my God to Thee”
our own disaster become

an averted disaster

11/16/10 (from The Caged Bear Spies the Angel)

(Note: This morning’s poem, the ‘Eid al-Adha for some in this world, or the day before or after for others, after considering its enigma, reminded me of my Hajj in 1972, at the simpler Kaaba, before the giant stadium masjid al-haram was built… and the sensations of uplift and sweet liberation we felt…)

Categories: Poems, Hajj