The World Went Away


The world went away on a hunting trip
and left us alone in the

long and short corridors and sudden
staircases ascending heavenly levels

A gray light entered around us with
whispering tread and a soft

electrical energy whose crackle was a
new language to our ears but whose

words seemed to emanate from our

There were no edges or slopes no
ledges or shale cliffs no

entrances or exits all simply
spacelessly spacious and

timelessly timeless in a
placeless place whose

air was our selves obliterated
and whose Presence was



What kind of rose speaks to us out of the
grave of our selves?

What eyes look into our eyes
in the new place?

What road are we on when
all roads are gone?

If the truth speaks through us would
birds scatter from the trees?

How do we refer to this or that when the
self is obliterated

or is there a this or that instead of simply
one This and for all else the

same rose multiply

The beauty of a horse assuages the pain of

The glistening gait of a horse
dissolves separation

The ecstatic gallop of a horse through
light after light brings

unity and separation both
into this place at last

and no rose blooms that isn’t
the golden rose of a nothingness

that brings us face to face with the
rose of His Face



I awake from a deep sleep into a
deep sleep

I could be aboard a windy galleon
tilting dangerously in a

thunderous sea

but I’m in Philadelphia in the same
room I went to sleep in

The same glow of a lamp overhead
keeping vigil above me

and any angels who might be near

whose world is this world as well as
the unseen

intersectioned by our visionary treks in
sleep or in waking states

opening doors and
entering rooms in which

the Prophet Muhammad God’s
peace be upon him might be

sitting surrounded by his

in the same glow of a
lamp keeping vigil above them

and he might just look up as we
enter and his soft strong eyes

lock for a moment with ours and
burn everything away that isn’t

Allah in that sweet
incendiary instant

10/28/11 (from The Match That Becomes a Conflagration)

Categories: Poems, The Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam)