Sparrow on the Prophet’s Tomb $15

Of the three books of poems collected within this volume, the first is celebratory of Islam’s eschatology (next-world doctrine), the second an homage to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the third written on an ‘Umra in 1995/96 to Mecca and Medina… These are all poems of my root work, going down into the loam of study, practice and fidelity to the ideas and often the terminology of Islamic and Sufic thought, while my poetic development since these book incorporates more imaginally leaping imagery and unhesitantly associational language, to more openly circumscribe both the tone and experience of a modern American but cosmopolitan Muslim/Sufi in our very promising but rambunctiously tumultuous times.

Poem Selection from Sparrow on the Prophet’s Tomb

Sparrow on the Prophet’s Tomb (peace be upon him)


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By Our Smallness We Know Your Vastness


O Prophet of Allah, by our smallness we know your vastness,

by our electron microscopes we know in this world
how very little of the whole world we can know —

what shape we are in, what velocity through space, how
organically we are connected
to everyone else in this race that has
spread out so thoroughly from the
loins of Adam.

Right now, our knowing ourselves to be alive,
that sense of total infusion between sound of
motorcycle on the street outside
with the picture of silver-edged sublimity we have of you
superimposed in out-of-time dimensions
for the gesture of transmission to be triggered
1400 years ago through the tumult of time
to now!

Transparency of leaf over leaf
in the leaf mold of totality!

Layered celluloid maneuvers of still pictures
to the illusion of motion.

Has time elapsed since the first time
Allah blew into His
Light and said:

      Be Muhammad?

Has the fish embryo developed into rapacious shark
with slit eyes and merciless teeth
who turns its white bulk
and swims away?

The sands of Sayyedina Muhammad stretch in all
six directions at once!

Connecting us to that first sand grain
puffed into space
that finds its place in the sea of a trillion grains
one so next to the other
or so on top of the other, or so underneath

in infinite array past
all mathematics but the supra-elemental
that goes on to a zero
that drops its silver egg
into the infinitesimal yawn of space
who feels nothing
and goes on as usual

since nothing at all has happened
but the repetition of the Divine Name
on Its Own Lips

in the everywhere at once of original night.

O Prophet of Allah,
you were sent out of this

to tell us, being of it, to lead us, being
from it, to its

Source, its spark, its

one time

stopping place.

1984 (from Sparrow on the Prophet’s Tomb)

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