The Throne Perpendicular to All that is Horizontal $15

We’re born in a relationship with theology. Nurtured in the womb by other than our means, born into the world at large, at very large, from our meditative seclusion, our khalwa, the Arabic for spiritual retreat (often practiced in a closet-like room just enough for a devotee to sit comfortably) we emerge into a theological world, willy-nilly. As soon as we take a breath of worldly oxygen we’re in a tight relationship with the whole God-system, as believers or non-believers, until our last breath leaves us. So in the title, it’s a Throne that is perpendicular, at an always angle, to all that is in our and all worlds, while still being “seated” (only “as it were”) within it, and Allah “seated” upon it. And this is our present and ever-present reality, in all its manifestations. It’s a way of seeing and a way of being, and everyone down to the minutest mouse, is in “theological” relation to it. Oh, that feather floating through the air, and that ant at the water drain! Yes, you there… you too!

Poem Selection from The Throne Perpendicular to All that is Horizontal

Lord Wear Me Out

ABDALLAH J ILLUS #14(Allah) copy


Lord wear me out in the saddle of Your
continuous gallop

over fences if You will or even
round and round in the same corral

if at each turn the light changes and
more and more beauty coheres and

shows its stunning body

You haven’t led us here for stasis
with our urgent hearts inside doing all the

turning for us and containing both all the
lilies in their silver-white blooms

and the nights against whose gorgeous
blackness such lilies shine

Let me wander loose or tight-reigned
wild or tamed in Your perfect modulations

over transformative and transforming
landscapes as You desire them to be


my own eyes blinded instead
by your Beauty alone

Peel me back Lord
Peel me way back to where only

You are here in the saddle
charging through the waterfall of the world

12/27/09 (from The Throne Perpendicular to All that is Horizontal)

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The Magnitude

The magnitude is impossible to deduce
from this side of the sky

From the other side of the sky
everything’s possible

A man with a deer’s head teaching mathematics to
a classroom of students who ring like bells

A plateau of goats on their hindlegs doing somersaults
as their shepherdess reads to them from tablets of silk

Astronomers who simply point to somewhere in the sky
and stars and planets call out their names

in audible voices as clear as trumpets

A land of waterfalls so plentifully lustrous
everyone’s flotation devices are biologically supplied

A central globed arena rotating in ten different speeds of peacefulness
without seeming to move at all or ever come to anything like a stop

Migrating birds seen in one direction in profile
making the shape of our ecstatic faces sailing through blue sky

The staggeringly bright radiance that
floods God’s universe

in dark shadow compared to the
workshop He works from

which is everywhere at once
and every time and every place

simultaneously present in the spark
suspended in air

which is this world we perceive and
grieve over so seriously

barely a blink of light
as it falls into our hands

leaving a star-shaped scar
that heals before it wounds

because the magnitude of all this is nearly
impossible to deduce

from anything anyone does or says
except the light in our eyes

and what our hearts recite
so precisely and gloriously

in the immeasurable magnitude
of a single heartbeat

1/2/2010 (from The Throne Perpendicular to All that is Horizontal)

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