The Ultimate High

Once I experienced the Ultimate High,
my life couldn’t possibly hold the same lure.
I could return to a flavorless existence,
or I could keep coming back for more.

Now, prayer is no longer a chore,
but a love letter in motion,
Your remembrance is never forced,
but a daydream to get lost in.

I want every book I read,
every movie I view,
every conversation I have
to revolve around You.

Surrounded by other lovers,
I gaze deeply into their eyes,
looking for my reflection,
till the early hours of sunrise,

talking about sacred whispers,
transcendent states, lifted veils,
facing our inner demons,
enduring our personal travails.

All else pales in comparison.
One taste of You is so sweet,
so divinely succulent,
one bite and I feel complete.

Still,
I keep coming back for more.
What tasteless mire
was I eating before?

Clouds

Each day begins with Ar Rahman*, Ar Raheem**,
as you float in and out of my window screen,
lighting the world brighter each time you leave,
Or shading the world, providing reprieve,
a thermometer of mercy for our ailing atmosphere,
Both majestic and mild, opaque yet sheer.

When overwhelmed with grief,
Al Muquit*** becomes chief.
Your heaving tears lash the wayward sky,
pouring onto plants, your plentiful supply,
seeping through their hardened skin,
nourishing the life of their kith and kin.

But when Al Jabbar**** appears at the drop of a hat,
your electrical power combines in a vat
of energy that can strike, any moment, any place,
trees charred, homes burnt, human lives effaced.
With a fury, the wind begins to whip.
To a torrent of floods, you say, “Let ’er rip”,
adding thunderous applause all on your own
drowning out people’s screams, prayers and moans.

When you are As Salam***** though,
there is no greater peace and flow
than to gaze upon your billowing forms,
reminding us of time’s passing charms.
If only we paused our mindless actions,
looked towards your ivory abstractions,
adjusted our frantic pace to match yours,
laughed at your changing shapes and contours,
got lost in your ethereal wisps and wonders,
as you reminded us daily to rethink our blunders,
that what at first may appear solid and real,
is only an illusion, another layer to peel,
heavenly ephemera through which we’ll one day fall
into the realm of Divinity, keen to answer the Call.

This poem incorporates a few of the 99 names of Allah. Their meanings are as follows:
*Ar Rahman – The Beneficient
**Ar Raheem – The Merciful
***Al Muquit – The Sustainer
****Al Jabbar – The Compeller
*****As Salam – The Embodiment of Peace

I Need This Prayer More Than You Do

I need this prayer more than You do.
It brings me solace.
It stills time.

I need this prayer more than You do,
to distract myself from all other distractions,
hide away from the incessant noise,
tuck myself into child’s pose,
connecting with the earth
and all its myriad wonders.

I need this prayer more than You do.
It gives me discipline,
reminding me where I came from,
and to where I will return.

You say I must pray,
despite infinite angels at Your behest,
despite knowing the exact state of my soul,
the direction of my journey,
the judgement that awaits me.

Sometimes I remember to pray
and sometimes I don’t,
but one thing I know for sure is,
I need this prayer more than You do.

Without it, I wouldn’t know
where to begin,
how to carry on,
or when to finally fall.

This prayer is my refuge.
Each word I recite is a bridge
that I hope will carry me
from here to eternity.

Bliss

Sparking magic and wonder in an innocent child’s eyes,
autumn trees swathed in emeralds, rubies and citrine,
summertime sunsets reflected in still waters,
the sound of steam rising from a kettle,
sharing long-held secrets with a trust-worthy confidante,
stolen kisses with a long-time love,
gentle breezes skirting past during evening walks,
and the tingling sensation of reuniting with your Beloved:
this
is
bliss.
Moments borrowed from heaven.
Moments that make you wish
you weren’t so numb.
Moments that make you yearn
for the courage to feel
these blissful reminders
of Bliss itself.

The Beginning of the End

The beginning of the end for me
was the day I finally saw You for You.
Before that, you were just a name to bandy about,
a pacifier for those who had no clue.

You were to be more feared than loved,
that was simply the order of the day.
At least, that’s what I had been told,
and I wasn’t one to disobey.

Ironically, the moment
I felt You close by,
was when breaking the rules,
this I cannot deny.

Yet still, You revealed to me
a deep truth from within,
hidden under layers
of worldly din.

I believed at the center
of my lonely, lonely heart
that You didn’t love me,
I was somehow apart.

That belief shaped my actions,
my relationships, my core.
How could I flip this thought
so deeply stitched into my lore?

The answer is slowly and gently,
bouyed by the strength of Your love.
Could there be a stronger force
in this earthly world or above?

Now that I know You are on my side,
anything and everything seems possible.
An entire lifetime has been examined,
motivations analyzed and found tossable.

Frameworks have been readjusted,
future plans left open for guidance to come.
Some things are ending, others just beginning.
It feels like I’m mourning, my heartstrings a’strum.

As I bury my former self in the ground,
I wonder how long this grief will last.
I beg You, please, don’t give up on me,
as I overcome my treacherous past.

What will the other side look like,
I ask every day.
You present me with options
to choose from, but nay!

This time,
we’ll chose together,
You and I.

We’ll rebuild this life from love, not fear.
Even when I’m alone, I’ll know You’re near.

And this I can say
one hundred percent,
my heart has grown porous,
there’s no more cement.

I live only for You
and whatever good I can do,

till the end of time,
till the end of mine.

Dream Garden

Follow the dirt path bordered by translucent stones.
It will lead you to the garden of the heavenly Unknown.
To enter, move aside the large, rustling palm leaves,
then adjust your sight to a scene you won’t believe.
Meandering pathways crisscrossing in every direction,
trees of all shapes and sizes, shading lovers and their affections,
creating the perfect nooks for all seekers to rest,
to feel peaceful and content, abundantly blessed.
Some gather in groups, others in pairs,
some grasp books that appear out of thin air.
The sycamores, weeping willows and magnolia trees
provide respite for reading, for finding life’s keys –
be it the story of the very first woman and man,
epic tales of adventure, redemption, failed plans,
sprawling sagas of families, united, divided,
journeys to unknown lands, however misguided,
or fables of greed, revenge and downfall.
Here, you will find just the right book to heal all.
When you do, be sure to sit by the old banyan tree,
dip your feet in the cool waters of a stream running free.
As you lift the weighty cover of your truth-telling tome,
be sure to read the inscription before the rest of the poem:

“This is the story of an awakened lover,
whose pain led her far away from her mother,
led her astray and yet ever nearer
to the One who reflected her soul like a mirror.
Her heart was unveiled to the One and Only Task.
Her eyes glimpsed this garden in which you bask.”

Sit back, my friend, and enjoy the tale,
as a light breeze tickles your toes without fail,
and the fragrance of lavender lulls you to sleep,
dreaming of travellers who will urge you to creep,
who will lead you down rugged pathways, oh so steep,
bring you to your knees, and force you to weep.
They will tell you it’s time and that you must reap
whatever you’ve sown, like a powerless sheep.
But ignore their words, you must, so cheap!
Open your mind, let the Divine light seep,
into your soul, into your heart, so deep.
Know there’s only one way back to this garden keep,
and that is once you have learned how to make the leap,
yes,
once you have learned to how make the leap.

House of Mirrors

Some days this world is like a snow globe
in the hands of a gleeful child
being shaken with force and fury,
snowstorms, hurricanes, wildfires, riled.

Other days this world is like a house of mirrors,
each speck of love and good will
reflected from one crystalline heart to another,
multiplied, magnified, distilled.

Our crystal hearts come in all shapes and shine,
rubies, emeralds, sapphires, divine,
slate grey stones, cloudy pebbles,
prismatic diamonds, onyx rebels.

Some are cracked, some have coating,
bubble-wrapped or free-floating.
Some have dark stains, deeply set,
Others are polished, gleaming with sweat.

Each light reflects and absorbs
the One True Guiding Light.
Though we sense it all around us,
it blinds even the sharpest sight.

This life is like a treasure hunt,
with clues and signs at every turn,
nudging us in the right direction,
each prize, another truth to learn.

As I gaze upon the night sky,
I wonder if our microscopic atoms
revolve in synchronous dance with
our universe’s planetary patterns.

We started out as only One,
then separated into dualities,
branched into clans and countries,
created divisive mentalities.

How seriously we take this illusory life,
how foolishly we resist our intuition.
Surely, it leads those who listen with care,
to eternal peace and submission.

Come a Little Closer

Sometimes it feels like I’m always sad
and things will never be any other way.
The void within will continue to grow,
as will this angst and constant searching
for something I may never get.
Is it an all-consuming purpose?
The truth about life?
Or just the truth about my life?

Although living this privileged existence on the outside,
my spirit feels as restless as a wandering dervish,
always in search of the truth,
looking for beauty and love
in every speck and every soul,
in every corner of this world.

Sometimes I wonder if I have a beautiful soul.
But what good is it if there’s no one to see it,
to recognize it
and appreciate it?
It’s never meant much to me to have a pretty face,
yet somehow,
that is what matters to most.

You are the only One who truly knows me,
but I hardly know You.
The closer I try to get,
the farther I seem to move away
from the people of this world,
their desires,
their to do lists,
their visions for the future.

I wish I could meet You,
but instead I try to gather You,
like items on a scavenger hunt,
from your most fragile forms,
like the petals of a flower
or the nuanced brushstrokes of a breaking dawn,
to your most resplendent creations,
like the lush and lofty trees of the rainforests
or the majestic star-lit sky.
From the concrete columns of architectural marvels
to the intangible emotions of a couple lost in love,
I collect each piece of you
and add it to the void within,
hoping for a sense of closeness,
a glimpse of paradise,
a soulful balm.
And sometimes,
it works.

I often wonder if You’re watching me from above
or deep within
and laughing at my exertions
trying so hard
to feel so close
to the One who is already
so near.

Why is joy so hard to experience?
Why are guilt and fear so deeply ingrained in our psyches?
Why are these invisible bonds so impossible to break?
These cloaks of despair so hard to shake?

You say You’re closer to us than our jugular vein.
Why, then, is it so hard to feel You?
Are you hidden in my tears?
Are you blended in my breath?
Because then I might understand
why I cry so much,
why I sigh so much.

Sometimes I think
you ask too much
of me.
Or perhaps I am one of your weaker creations,
to serve what purpose, I do not know,
except to feel
this ever-present
pull.

What do I do with all this love,
with all this longing?
How do I spend this life
so far away from You?
Unless perhaps,
You think it’s time
to come a little closer,
so I may finally experience
the infinite,
before this life is over.