The Voyage of a Scholar

On the day that paper clips and files

And memos snowed upon a city

I opened an unfamiliar book

To see what had brought that storm

Each night I brushed back dreams

By turning pages of profundity

To learn what had placed death

In the eyes of passport photos


The heavens opened for

Forty days within my mind and

Soul in a Noah’s flood of

Confusing certainties



The willing dead were absent in

Every word but for my forty days

Left greater questions buoyant

And curiosity unvanquished



I sailed twenty times

In seven years through

Surah seas of calm swells

Pushed by winds of conscience

The Pacific Ocean

Twenty times I charted their

Depths – truly Pacific –

Before I knew that I

Knew nothing



When tranquil winds lifted

La ilaha illallah I heard a soft

Muhammadur Rasulullah

Slip without thought from my lips

The Qur'an

A book read twenty times asked

When I would embrace its truth

And in a small stillness I replied

Now oh Lord, now



Joel Hayward

From ‘Splitting The Moon, A Collection of Islamic Poetry



Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “The Voyage of a Scholar

  1. Not what I was thinking but great anyway! Well done!


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