Arts & Culture

Tiny Spider on a Leaf

Now, you can listen to Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore's poems from his own voice. Moore has been writing poetry since 1964. Although he stopped writing for ten years after becoming a Muslim in 1970 he resumed writing poetry in 1980 and has published many books since. 

Tiny Spider on a Leaf



The tiny spider on a leaf

knows you as he finds relief

from patient hunger winding spry

spider-silk around a fly.

The whale in all his deepsea booms

knows you as he moves through rooms

of sparkling coral lost in song

to a mile wide radius whale throng.

Worms in soil among the rocks

know you in their slimy clocks

of special worm metabolism

in cold earth's wintry hypnotism.

The eagle with his cloud-white plumage

knows you in his swoop and image

eagle-eyed of rabbit, crouched

in snow awaiting to be touched.

The dragonfly with nervous flutter

knows you as he sees the stutter

of his green reflection pass

across a pool's cool mirror mass.

The bear in polar ice cap winter

knows you curled in cave interior

as the season passes slow

around his sleep thirty below.

Seasons know you in their thaw

and flower, going suddenly raw

and fresh with green flesh ripe and new

and juicy in the morning dew.

The mite, the mote, mosquito, mole

all know you in their special hole

Allah has given every creature

to be its home and function teacher.

Drift in space of spray or light

know you by your face, ignite

the actions that so fill each speck

as matter sinks like a deepsea wreck.

Earth in all its daily rounds

knows you in its deepest sounds

of rising, falling, heaving, roll.

The earth's an ocean, sky its pole!

So every atom, lit, alone,

knows you from its nucleic throne

in isolation or in chorus

with all the atoms created for us

in every leaf or web or knot

or ripple of the stillest thought

across the pond of mind or pool

that stretches out its liquid jewel

like a net or radar cup to catch

the furthest spatial influence, thatch

of sound-waves crisscrossed with the flow

of particles in one long river glow

to make one glorious cry

to you, their Light, your gentle eye,

Muhammad, your presence in actual space

that put all meaning in its place,

for you preceded everything

that has dimension, casts a ring

of light or shadow around its head

of glass, or flesh, of vapor, lead

or creature, you were first, your dot

of light the one that flows in thought

to unite the streams of earth and sky

into one horizon in the heart's wide eye.

Muhammad, Messenger, your self-form

the pattern of all the living swarm

from thin to fat, from small to vast,

of all that flows between first and last

because Allah alone is First

and only Allah is Last, the thirst

for knowing Him must stop at that.

You are the City of Light's habitat!


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.



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