Here

Every place I’ve ever prayed

– four wall frames for this

absorbing act of art

marking the spot where

the Beautiful appears

in hearts turned clear as 

glass with love –

are, if I conjure them 

in qiyam, visible again

overlaid: same qibla,

same calm.

 

The world aligns

these scattered squares

landscape provided by

the odd park, forest floor

or mountain slope

that ever served

as mosque

while depth is added by those 

few times overall I prayed jama’

one stroke of paint in ruku’, a

Van Gogh of backs and heads.

 

This is just the same 

place, call it here or there.

Even though the compass

needle’s moved

from Spain to India

Turkey, London

Washington, Mombasa

my feet haven’t changed;

my head still weighs the same.

 

So is there, in the same way

there is only now and no past 

left, no future yet to be

no here, either?

No North or South

or East or West

no close to home

or far-flung nation

to judge one to be

God’s homeland

visas rubber-stamped by

angels, everywhere else

a plane ride’s reach

from the Real?

 

The scenery’s been changed

but this stage has

gone nowhere.

So many earths have crept 

beneath my soles and yet 

the solid rock beneath my brow

is deep as ever, the

plunging in always the timeless

spaceless swim it ever was

wherever it has been.

 

With every rak’ah

the archived frames return

mirrored around

reflecting out

while I sit here

reflecting in.

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