Everyone Had Set Out
Everyone had set out on the journey to Allah,
the historical records are complete
down to the last detail.
Some of them died of thirst in a dry place,
some of them drowned in the abundance that splashed
its fruity suds in excess
in this unique universe full of stars.
Some reached the goal of their search in a shoot-out on a
back street in Chicago.
Some in alchemical laboratories engulfed in the blue flash!
Some rode alongside railroads with sacks of money
on perspiring horses.
Some in a quiet lounge in an overstuffed chair
Some had their hearts cut out and offered to the sun,
and so found their destiny and its knowledge
sticking them between the ribs with its obsidian edge.
Some lost their head as they reached the peak
but froze their feet.
All sought the God Who created them,
Who is not in hiding behind some far-away cloud,
but is nearer than our jugular vein
and the Answerer to our call.
Everyone took the torturous journey
and here they stand.
To look at them you wouldn't know
who or what they lavished such affection on,
what they adored and how,
except that the shifting, anxious eyes tell all,
the nervous looking for escape routes
now that the impending finale of all the spontaneous charades
is closing upon them,
and the photo-albums fall open around their feet
displaying all the gods and bit-players
they gave honor to, and dressed in halos and crowns
and presented with emotional ticker-tape parades
and agonized over in the dark of night,
the family portraits with the grim benefactor stiff-necked behind
but the awaiting recipients of his benefactions pretending
innocence in the front row,
not relying on the Original Source for all
To judge only outwardly,
the few skulls and thigh-bones left in the earth,
the broken teeth and occasional evidence of a
sharp blow with a dull weapon,
or footprints which might tell a tale of erect posture
or a hunting or homesteading instinct,
all these outward tokens do not attest to the
twists and turns of the journey each of them took
to get here
to this place
The volumes of utterance attest -
some like cries heard from the mouth of a well,
some like contented singing on a slow river-bank,
some like the true weeping of solitude's friend
who sees the shore from which his root was wrenched loose
and longs for a return -
these voices attest in their burble to the true gamble
each one took to find the God of them all.
Each heart is burning
and each tongue makes sparks
in the dark night.
These fragments fluttering through the library corridor
and down the evacuated stairwell
like whispers and moans of these voices now
silent in the boneless, non-historical bodies
reconstituted on this endless plain
under a blistering sun, a murderous sun -
in this fully attended gathering
down to the dead-at-infancy,
these fragments like tape-recordings of the whole forest jabber
of humankind's mad desire
to be reunited to the One -
it stands out now, unrolls,
thunder cracks all across it,
the vocal orchestra up-heaves
like a tidal flood of heart's desire,
the speech of heartbeats made verbal
against the silent, silent sand.
Mouths of Napoleons are gaping,
no words come out.
Eyes of Caesars are round,
they see nothing.
The crowd is immense,
and like fleas on an elephant,
the individual characteristics of each
are lost against the gray bulk.
But each hour-glass filled with actions like sand
is tipped to fall through each individual's hand.
Each hand-print will be different on the sand-pattern sealed
by the actions they made in the terrestrial field.
Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore is a Muslim poet who has published many poetry books and organized poetry reading festivals. Born in 1940 in Oakland, California his first book of poems was published in 1964. He became a Muslim in 1970 and travelled extensively around Europe and North Africa. Although he stopped writing for ten years he continues writing Islamic and spiritual poetry.