hooked

abstract art background brown
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

i’m hooked,

these needles have pulled
at my heartstrings and
started to weave the
threads together in

a tight basket pattern
that binds me strand by strand in itself
and tugs unyieldingly
if i get too far away

it’s love

and i don’t know how it happened

ab teri mohabbat laagi, mere Saheb

it took years for feelings to grow
and now it has become clear
where i am always being pulled

shukhran lillah wal hamdulillah

the centre (2019)

ismaili centre toronto
Image sourced from TheIsmaili.org: http://www.theismaili.org/ismailicentres/toronto/architecture-toronto-0

think, if someone were to be given
a softer heart,

one that was able to feel the soul
in everything

~

we came when called just enough times
that the abode before us consented to transform our lives

a place where love literally throbs,
the heart and soul of the structure that is the centre of our lives

all of us have become so much more and less than we were, here.

~

the centre has become my centre
and has captured the centre at the centre of me

it spills over its edges into the rest of my life and
makes the rest of my life part of itself too

i am pulled here unyieldingly
as though in the arms of a vortex spinning so fast i can’t even tell
where it begins and where i end

there is nothing i feel that doesn’t get resolved
once i’ve come back to my centre;
not a single worry that isn’t smoothed, a fear that isn’t untangled
once i’ve been here at my core

~

the people here are like the sound inside a seashell,
telling stories of separate drops flowing together to their ultimate end,

each one making an impression on my heart

~

this place makes me face those things about myself that i would rather ignore,
such as my obvious unworthiness

but of course, that is exactly why i’ve come

~

brother, you might do it better than me
and you might know something i don’t

but i won’t hold it against you
since you are here to show me what i could be,
not what i am not

and thank God, thank you, for giving us this place
to come to.


This poem, written shortly after the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Ismaili Centre Toronto, is meant to capture the deep meaning that spaces of community and worship can bring to our lives over time, as well as the newfound meaning we can obtain from the seemingly familiar by engaging on many different levels. This piece is a followup to the original “the centre (2014)”, available to read here.

human

rory-bjorkman-17135

Photo by Rory Björkman on Unsplash

~

O mankind !
Be careful of your duty to your Lord
Who created you from a single soul
and from it created its mate
and from them twain hath spread abroad
a multitude of men and women

Holy Qur’an 4:1

~

I don’t know who you are
nor do I need to know

but I do know what makes you alive,
what carries hope inside,

what hurts when there is pain,

what feels elation at the
sight of the beloved one.

~

Let us recognize each other,
not as the other

but as the mirror by which
we judge the degree to
which our own souls
can expect salvation.

~

When you cry, know that I do too,
if simply on the inside.

There is something undeniably natural
in coming together over what it means to
be human.

~

I don’t care for the past
or for memories gone,

but I do care for the
essence within me and within you,

which ultimately,
and most hopefully,
in all the deepest hope and truest dream

are going again to a shared plane,
where joys are evident, and love
is the air we breathe.

 

life’s horse

whitesheet
Click here for image source.

I can’t say that I want to grab life by the horns.
I think I would rather watch it come together
with time like the soft creases of a baby’s smile.

I would rather lay life out like a sheet,
smoothing the wrinkles with my palms
and tugging here and there to make it fit.

I don’t care to iron first.

~

I want to watch a plastic beach ball rise and fall in the waves,
being carried here and there, appearing not to move
until some hours later when only a speck is visible in the distance.

I just want to see what will happen if I let go of the reins.

Do I believe that life’s horse will find its way home?

No artist

beachnight
Click here for image source.

 

Have you ever wanted to feel differently without changing who you are?

~

I am no artist.

I take what is known and repurpose it,
I take what can be deduced and write long sentences explaining how to get there

I justify my existence because I am asked to

because that is the way the world works.

~

When I was caught up in it all, I saw a glimpse of the core of the core of a diamond
Where a single particle of light entered and became a wave, reflecting ever internally without end.

I stopped breathing, then
My eyes were open, but unnecessary

And I heard the music.

~

When I was tired I lay down and slept like there was nothing else
When fed, I lamented having eaten

When I was cold I longed for summer sun
When warm, I threw open my cloak to embrace harsh air

When I was rich I was no different than when I was poor

When I worked out of fear, I came so far
When I overcame fear, I stalled, thinking where to go next

The push from the outside, the crack of a whip has always been stronger than
This inner master

~

I can do anything, if asked
I can make anything, if told to

I can warm your heart talking to you for a few moments, in a place where we can feel,
under the stars with coffee in hand

I can help you but I can’t help me.

 

peace, peace, peace

 image source: http://faxo.com/high-mountain-top-25051
image source: http://faxo.com/high-mountain-top-25051

 

There is something the matter with each of us.

Some of us weep in our homes, too “busy” to face our brethren.
Some of us are always on about the next best thing.

We may be neighbours but we resist becoming friends.

~

Where will you be, friend?

Where you will be at peace.

Where peace is friendly and friendship brings peace.

 

Peace, peace, peace.

 

Nothing else we ever asked for;
nothing else we ever knew.

 

It’s not that hard is it?

Peace must be somewhere, like a river or the sun;
Rising, now and again.

Why would we have to work so hard to get it,
and so hard to stay within it?

 

Once you get to a certain point,
it won’t be about what you do
but how you handle what’s done to you.

 

Peace, peace, peace.

Navroz Mubarak (2015)

Shoots of wheat. Image sourced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatgrass.
Shoots of wheat. Image sourced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatgrass.

These days our eyes have opened to another sun,
quite further and beyond the one
that dapples everything with gold these evenings.

For the first time in our lives we yearn to cry,

navroz mubarak!

not for what has happened with us
but for what we hope will happen to you as well.

~

The day is here, and this time, springtime clichés are no longer.
Some seeds have grown up on their own into meaning.

How to describe this blessing?

Closing our eyes becomes the same as opening them;
this light continues beyond sight.

We are truly one this time, angelic in the abounding clarity
which at once we can see, and not see.

In our blessed gathering we are as light as we have ever been,
our true selves merging, one another with the rest.

~

Navroz (or Nowruz) is a festival celebrated around the world to commemorate the beginning of a new year and the first day of spring.

To learn more about Navroz, visit Wikipedia.org and/or TheIsmaili.org.

To read “navroz (2014)” on this blog, click here.