Sestina No. 1 OR Hayatul-ad-Dunya
by James Randall
Often lies there no patience
For the desires of this world’s
Many pleasures that we trek after,
Despite the harms they render on
Ourselves and our families as they watch,
Helpless to save the ones they love.
Yet it is in pursuit of love
We exercise more care and patience
Than we would in seeking after worlds
Of joy and ecstasy, and only after
We discover our bodies lying on
The funeral bier with none to watch
Over in vigil. For against time’s watch
We fight to live, to lie, to love
Out our own time, needing no patience
To live nothing but happy in our own worlds.
With nothing to die for in the hereafter,
Yet everything to live for here upon
This earth… How cynical and hard on
Ourselves can we be, to believe none watch
Over creation, one devoid of love
Let alone hope… Why have care or patience
When amongst all of the planets and worlds
We’d know beyond death is nothing thereafter.
Yet maybe I fooled myself even after
Believing a thing I’ve no evidence to rely upon
In any existential sense; nothing to watch
And observe for proof. So here I believe with love
In some entity I, as a Muslim, with patience
Call Rabbi-l’Aal’Ameen, Lord of the Worlds,
Whose Lordship would reign over not only this world’s
Denizens but of every planet thereafter
Imagined. Yet what could I base such thinking on
Other than moral deductions, yet while watch
Suffering worldwide in contrast to the love
And peace that others might find. Yet slowly, patience
And care we take to watch what time we’ve left in this world’s
Life and despair and love whereafter
We leave nothing thereupon but our soul’s continued patience.
© James “Abdulmalik” Randall, 2014.
PS. This poem is a reflection on the thoughts and feelings I had before I embraced Islam and became a Muslim. Written in Sestina form as a challenge to myself, I figured that it was as good a time as any to ponder my own past in a way that would branch out to the many Atheists and Agnostics among my friends, to express my own similar feelings of times past, even when my lifestyle may seem to clash with theirs. In reality, we all face the same dilemmas and trials of belief and conviction as one another at one point or another.