Extend Your Shadow



If you haven’t been parted from
what you truly love

then foot cannot follow foot
nor heart follow heart

Beasts born in the wild have the
wild to bring them to

their higher education

How can we see what
will wire us to bring us

to the deep circuitry of
God’s illumination?

None but Ahmad the Radiant One
peace be upon him

casts no shadow

Shall we cut away our shadows to
stride from them in the Prophet’s

shadowless dominion?

Or embrace our luscious darknesses
to both tame and extend their

shapely union?

The sun in each galaxy
is the central teacher

across this edgeless universe
of myriad circumferences

each sun the single pivot who
binds each orbit to its

divinely turning dances

and the tilt of its orbs
is each one’s consequences

Though the Prophet had the moon’s face
his Light was that of the sun

Oh Shams of all time to come!

In our own hearts galactic wheels
are turning

and the sound of melodic sighing
fills our ears with its burning

and its song of separation
fills our yearning

For everyone God’s departure has
never taken place —

Extend your shadow to become
the incandescence of His Face.
18 Ramadan

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, fasting, fasting poems, ISLAM/SUFISM, POEMS, POETRY, Ramadan Poetry, shadow, signs of allah, Sufi Poetry | 1 Comment

Poem: All the Dead Children


Angels are learning new tricks to entertain all the
dead children
just bringing them to a quiet place used to be enough
blue panels sonorous as cool winds rising to
infinite heights and
luminous rivers tasting of fresh milk and
passionflower honey

But now they are more restless and want something
lively such as fabulous displays and real
stellar extravaganzas to shut out the memories

All the wingéd horses have been brought in
and every banner from every battle ever waged
transformed into aurora borealis brightness is
planted on either side of the great arena which is
actually nowhere you can put your finger on and may be as
big as a sparkle or light years across

The angels begin conventionally enough and since they’re
anti-gravitational they are capable of some
pretty amazing feats their specialty being a
spinning array of a few billion shimmering their wings and

turning slowly at first in a
cone that goes up through so many dimensions the
children have to stop counting with
each dimension demarcated by another
color no one on earth’s spectrum has
ever seen before

Then the cone begins
turning faster and faster and shoots higher and higher
finally sweeping their astonished souls wide-eyed into a
vortex so swift they barely notice that they’re
arcing across fields of unearthly green and seas of
unoceanic turquoise

Each shroud has been made into a tent filled with
fabulous fruits and unidentifiable edibles of
uttermost succulence

Each soul has been given the Ultimate Glimpse
and the Accurate Portrayal
the Perfect Sustenance and the Infinite Intensity

Each time they clap their hands a new
universe appears
more fabulous than the last

And when they tire of such delights
William Blake reads to them from his new work
and Mozart comes in and plays them a tune
on a million pianos
4/11/2003 (from Psalms for the Brokenhearted, Ecstatic Exchange, 2005)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, ISLAM/SUFISM, Muslim Poetry, Paradise for martyrs, POEMS, POETRY, Prayer | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Poem: Splendid Excitement of the Coming Day



Splendid excitement of the coming day!

Palaces might await us filled with
the tangiest grapes

down esplanades of golden cypresses
behind walls we can

barely see over at dawn for the
height of their occasional distractions

But melodious lute music from a
hidden courtyard exudes

fragrant strums that
invite our hungry hearts to float past

their rough material stones

OK it’s a day of fasting whose
treasures remain unseen

but we can almost feel the
spatial pressure to let them burst and

unload over us as the day progresses

and though their
gold may be nontransferable on the

common market

already the gurgle of flashing rivers of love’s coins
delights our ears

and their deeper wealth entices us

Oh that sumptuous dazzling palace before us!
Wild festivities jingle-jangle there!

Endless dancing of heavenly bodies!

No breath taken that isn’t
Allah’s Name in a taste of

majestic succulence!
8 Ramadan (from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight, Ecstatic Exchange)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, fasting, fasting poems, ISLAM/SUFISM, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, Ramadan Poetry, Sufi Poetry | 1 Comment

Four Corners of the Universe


PUZZLE  copy


The four corners of the universe
can be seen as a little room

deep inside the universe with
planetary motions out each window

as we sit in the center of the room
fasting or eating

A giant phoenix in dazzling glory
carries it through space

or not
as you wish

Solid on a flat earth solid as rock?
But definitely

flying through space

like it or not
whether we fast or eat

live or die
go on after death or end up

dry bones bereft of souls

Flames lick around us
or a tall forest of sunflowers

sparrows chasing sparrows
through their ragged stalks

skylarks looping above in the
sky above us

The Kaba is a four cornered
room in the universe

Our Kaba hearts are
rooms in the universe

planetary motions out each window
and in their frames

faces of benevolence
waiting for our cycles of

fasting and eating to become

one lifting of our hungry
full or empty hands held out palms up

for planetary motions
to fill them

with splashes of original amber
2 Ramadan
(from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight, Ecstatic Exchange, 2011)

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First Night of Ramadan



A single stone is thrown in

and the canyon resounds with the

hallelujahs of angels

A single breath contains the
known and unknown universes

Back behind edgeless
space are motions that

vibrate the heart

Back behind ancient mountains and
historical intricacies

a shadow gives way to Light that has a
door in it to

let us through

We take no step that
doesn’t bring us nearer

One sip and the oceans disappear

One glance and the skies
bend closer to hear our


One heart-wrench elegant elevation
and we’re on a

plateau tossing a stone in the dark
that never stops echoing
1 Ramadan, 1432
(from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight, Ecstatic Exchange, 2011)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, ETERNITY, ISLAM/SUFISM, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, Ramadan Poetry, signs of allah, Sufi Poetry, The Path, The Soul | 3 Comments

Poem: Great Cruelty and Heartlessness



We’re living in a time of great cruelty and heartlessness

where instead of a sun they’re throwing up

Instead of sunlight there’s the sound of
hammers beating

Instead of walking there’s kicking

Instead of thinking there’s talking

It’s almost as if there’ve never been times like
these before

Even shadows thrown by cartwheels on dirt roads
resemble the grimaces of armies as they
slide across rocks

In the palaces of power clocks go off but no one

Decisions are made by pouring acid down drains
or waiting for nightfall in a room lit by
neon tubes

If anyone speaks all eyes are upon them

I saw a sparrow fly over a fence

An ant stop and not go on

But laughter has turned to pebbles
falling on zinc

And children have been torn from their futures


7/19/2006 (from In the Realm of Neither, Ecstatic Exchange, 2008)

Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, dead children, ISLAM/SUFISM, POEMS, POETRY, Sufi Poetry | Tagged | 6 Comments


Salt Prayers Collage

You start early
you’re nobody’s fool

You set out on foot
no snow will stop you

Shapes in the mist
statues of warriors

Arms raised and weapons

You’re undaunted
no footprints before you

You make your way

Wolf howls echo
Breath becomes audible

suddenly interior
You’re walking inwardly

Sounds of footfalls
You’re in the immaterial

A realm opens before you
traversed by saints before you

Now the way is clearer
though deep obscurity reigns

A landscape becomes sharper
deep colors appear

Rich greens and bright blues
echoes resounding around you

A path like glass or amber
cuts through the night like a flare

The black background of space dazzles
with its uncanny plethora of stars

Your heart’s a steady beacon
your forehead’s an unwavering beam

It’s not where you’re going that’s wonderful
but the glory of where you are

No light can compare with this brilliance
nor description match its beauty

A magnificent wanderer’s become you
breathless in a place of wonder

Who’s coming towards you in silence?
Who are these walking with you?

It’s not that their faces are obscured
their sheer radiance is blinding

A voice is actually calling you
A sound of clopping horse hooves

You’re in a valley of light

Shapes of things are their meanings
speaking into the ears of your heart

suspended invisibly in space

in which knowledges are constantly pouring
inexpressible on human lips

understood in the land of this dwelling
before and after words are spoken

As the sky’s planets shimmer their rainbows
and swirl their borealis glows

The dimensions open even further
as if flowers bloomed backwards into being

Words are gone and
God’s Presence mingles

What was thought is true
His embrace surrounds you

The impalpable becomes palpable
the conceived inconceivable

Crows fly in a blue sky
Yellow fields roll forward

What’s before you is behind you
collapsing all around you

Who comes towards you is
for you alone

for your safe invitation
to leave it all behind you

each moment before you
from the tip of you to the soul of you

moving ever within you
each step ringing true

each gesture a worthy one
each silence a vocabulary

of unimpeachable significance
the air parting around you

The way forward abounding
nothing left of barriers

that really never existed
nothing left but to be

in the constant company
of companions of sublimity

as simple as a rooster
crowing the dawns awake

all life’s light converging
just as it’s dispersing

to its place of purest origin
in the golden curve of His Hands

suspended just as our hearts are
in this life-extinguishing air

our houses all dissolving
into their constituent atoms

our relationships all dissolving
into their innermost resonances

We’re going ahead now without them
their cloaks whirl away completely

It’s a sound of rushing water
over rocks made slippery by time

Who’s there can’t be named as alive
but never before as alive as now

This is what living was made for
this vivid incomparable sweetness

raining incessantly inside you
no further fire can extinguish it

imprinted as firmly on your heart
as when you were first conceived

This splendor more splendid than
silvery skies

stretched out on every horizon
this shapeless shape that awaits you

now that you’ve passed beyond

to be called back to anything lesser
as indelible as your veins turned

inside-out in the next world
vividly present in this one

standing on the road you began on
even before you set out

morning birds in the silence
crickets quiet in daylight

Your sudden presence multiplied
into one beating heart in silence

not yours alone in time
but God’s invisibly


(from The Soul’s Home, 2013, soon to be published)


Posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, amazement, ETERNITY, fana fillah, ISLAM/SUFISM, Light, Love, Love of God, Miracles, Muslim Poetry, POEMS, POETRY, Prayer, saints, signs of allah, Silence, Sufi Poetry, The Essence, The Path, The Soul | Leave a comment