The thing about forgetfulness is that A creature that someone believes you know Has left the rocky perch where once it sat And wandered off to where such creatures go; That when you are reminded that it lives, You saunter through the forest in your head And though you spy its friends and relatives, You fail to see it rested on its bed, Then snap, and swear that creature never was, You pick a fight with all who disagree, But not one proof suffices you because A thing that cannot be can’t also be Till one day as you step in for a walk, You chance upon it stretching on its rock.
I tried to capture into the confines of a sonnet the gist of Shaykh Amin’s insights into the conclusory verses of Surah Al-Qasas (the chapter of The Story). The entire exegesis (available here as Session 13) is a valuable commentary on the singular gravest crisis of our times. When waters whelmed the tyrant and his men And drained that wealthy kingdom of its power, It seemed the consequence of all that then Would be for slaves to rise up to the hour And take it back. But came the high command That turned them east and set them desert-bound That they may become of the Promised Land Of Paradise where lasting peace is found. And thus the most beloved of the Lord Returned, a conqueor with head bowed low With reason for the conquest: to afford The Abrahamic pilgrimage. So know: Seek kingdom and authority on earth To be deprived of it where has it worth.
Forging a new form. I find this one works well to combine a visual scene with an abstract thought that it inspires. The form comprises five stanzas: A sestet detailing a scene (two lines of trimeter and one tetrameter, repeating as aac bbc) A couplet summarizing the scene (trimeter, i.e. keep it short) A sestet re-inforcing the preceding stanzas and/or gradually introducing the abstraction (same meter as first sestet) A couplet followed by A tercet – i.e. five lines that clarify the abstraction. I’m going to try and repeat this form in a future post to see if it holds up :-). Share your thoughts in a comment here, or email me. Powdered sugar driveways; Slipping on the highways; Crystal wonder flakes in motion; Fallen in an hour In a gentle shower, Look around you: it’s an ocean. Snow, snow, snow, everywhere, Float and blow through the air, Let the whiners blather On that they would rather Brave the summertime commotion. Feel the mercy falling, I can hear you calling Through the layers of this notion. Snow and love fall the same From above in the name Of the ever living, And forever giving Center of a heart’s devotion.