Monday, 28 August 2017

Hour before the Dawn

[ Ed. note – Another poem by Palestinian poet Nahida Izzat. Nahida is a Muslim. As I read her poem, however, it brings to mind for me, strangely perhaps, the following spoken by Jesus after the resurrection: “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The words are from the very last line, in the final verse, in the final chapter, of the Gospel of Matthew.
Indeed, we seem to be fast approaching the end of an age. As Nahida puts it, “Earth is throbbing/The avalanche is fast approaching.” The poem also contains suggestions of a soul preparing to make the journey from life into the afterlife: “Raise your gaze up to the sky/Note the signs to your dwelling place.” Yet worth remembering is that in the post-apocalyptic age to come, heaven and earth will merge. This is the case in Christian theology, at any rate, and I suspect Islam probably has its parallel.
In any event, when I read poetry like this I tend to become convinced that it is the Palestinians (and certainly not the Khazars!!! ) who are the true descendants of the earliest followers of Jesus. Christians should consider that we potentially have far more in common with Muslims than we do with Jews. ]

Hour before the Dawn

* * *
Earth is throbbing in curious anticipation
The avalanche is fast approaching
People dazed in deep sleep
Some eyes are peeled as if they know
* * *
* * *
Time to retreat, weary soul
Time to retreat
Rest in a niche where Light descends
Hand it all over to the One Supreme
Carve a hole in your heart, braid your loved ones in
One by one
* * *
* * *
O soul
Put your temporary house in order
Clean up the mess before the storm
Pluck up the weeds and plow the soil
Scatter the seeds for those to come
Give it back better than you received
Stunning… Atrociously beautiful
Humbly put your head down and pray
A modest sign of ample gratitude
* * *
* * *
Raise your gaze up to the sky
Note the signs to your dwelling place
Adorn the garden of your home eternal
Let love flow free, let kindness prevail
Follow your soul, she knows the way
Let her guide you to your heavenly abode
Beneath the Throne of a Gracious Lord
Gaze in amazement at the glorious sight
Wither to nothingness before the Majesty
Splendour no eye had ever seen
* * *

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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