from Laughter in the dark of the moon

If they broke into the house “…their names
would be forever held
in dishonor among the Arabs,
because they had violated the privacy of women.”
from Martin Lings,

A home may need the protection of mirth,
the guffaws of laughing women to fortify
the walls and windows. Giggling

finds its own way through the doors
into the ears of the assassins waiting outside,
where a man thumbs his knife, another

crouches impatient,
until they are all caught
by that raucous mood.
One imagines
his sister
and her silly friends inside,

so he sheathes the weapon. By now,
the women are holding their sides,
“stop for the love of God,
I can’t take it!”

Two of the assailants grow sheepish.
One is trying not to laugh….

Peace on earth does not depend on quiet


Khadija visits Uncle Waraqa (a prosepoem)

Out came Uncle Waraqa, keen and vibrant, gesturing
with his tall staff, saying twice, Amin the Trustworthy,
well, well. I tried to say hello, but he was taking
Muhammad’s arm and pulling him into the house.
People of the Book have been whispering about this
for years – you’re the prophetized one. I can see it
in your face. Your eyes are skylight. Your life just
blew up.  And what do you think of that, boy?
Muhammad just looked at him as if the old man
were showing him rope tricks. He needed a life-line,
over the cliff as he was, and with a long drop beneath
him. The rope circled over the uncle’s head, he
couldn’t help but call out: In God’s name,
throw me the rope!

Uncle Waraqa laughed, Just like Abraham and Noah,
Moses and  Jesus – your own people will call you a liar.
Muhammad, very pale, replied, I’m losing my nerve,
and need to know – just whom do I serve?  Waraqa
looked at him hard and answered: Let go.
And my husband awoke inside his own life.