The Horseman

December 9, 2006

Suddenly stirring from her chair,

my daughter to the window flew,

streaming her treasure of flaxen hair,

hearing the call once I heard too,

and I knew, yes I knew, O God, what she would see.

And yes, she, pointing at the willow tree,

looking back at me, said

“O mother, mother come and see,

there is a horseman calling me,

calling softly by the tree.

His horse is pale as the moonlight

and he wears a hooded cloak,

but he has no flesh, O mother,

quickly, come and see.

He smiles with bone, O mother,

and he’s calling me.”

“Do not go to him,” I cried,

“Answer not his call.

You are too young to be his bride,

he at the last shall be denied,

I instead shall with him ride.”

“But he calls to me so sweetly,

I cannot resist.

His voice compels me so completely,

who is he?

Why does he so persist?”

“He is an angel of the dead, my child,

and once, when I was young and wild,

this covenant he made with me

while I was dying and you aborning.

To take me now, and let you be,

Or leave us both to live that morning,

but return in fifteen years and three

to marry you by the willow tree,

and I accepted, child, fearfully!

For with the foresight of his kind,

he saw you fair of form and face,

to his mind, fairest of the human race.

One to wed as his great prize,

till the world is ended and the dead arise.

He intends you to forever dwell

where the first of his kind fell

beside the lake of frozen fire,

in Lucifer’s eternal hell.”

Yes, he thinks my child to take,

leave me sleep, and then awake

as from a dream, but for your sweet sake

I will enact a desperate deceit.

Robe in your dress, pray he does not guess

till it’s too late, and my long due fate complete.

Damned I’ll be, but you I’ll hide

from he who rode by Satan’s side

in the war of heaven.

And perhaps, at the last,

even I may be forgiven.

Thus she took her own child’s dress

and a hat with heavy veil

to hide her elder, tear-streaked face,

kissed once her daughter, her joy, her pride,

then threw the door open wide

and to the willow tree did race,

leaped on his horse, became his bride

as her daughter softly cried.

He, never glancing to the side,

merely gestured and the mist departed,

not knowing his voice,

which was his power and his pride,

failed him by a mother’s love

on this particular moonlight ride.

- Irving Karchmar  © 1986

Book and Writing Interview

December 6, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The excellent Sufi resource and blog, Sufi News and Sufism World Report, has republished an interview with this darvish on the craft of writing in general, and on writing Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel in particular. You can read the interview by clicking here.

Those that struggle by the pen may find it interesting.

Ya Haqq!

Nine Things

December 4, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, ‘My Cherisher has ordered me nine things: (1) To reverence Him, externally and internally; (2) to speak true, and with propriety, in prosperity and adversity; (3) moderation in affluence and poverty; (4) to benefit my relations and kindred who do not benefit me; (5) to give alms to him who refuses me; (6) to forgive him who injures me; (7) that my silence should be in attaining knowledge of God; (8) that when I speak, I should mention Him; (9) that when I look on God’s creatures, it should be as an example for them.’

Alhamdulillah, that our Cherisher has sent us such an example to follow.

- from The Threshold Society website: hadiths on non-violence, peace and mercy

Ya Haqq!

O Thou, Above All Imaginations

December 2, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

O Thou who art above all imaginations, conjectures, opinions and ideas, above anything people have said or we have heard or read. The assembly is finished and life has reached its term, and we have, as at first, remained powerless in describing Thee.

From the Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Shaykh Muslih-uddin Sa’di Shirazi

Alhamdulillah! All praise is Thine alone, ineffable, indescribable, beyond thought and form, without direction or place or time. Thy attributes are manifest in Thy signs, on the horizons and in ourselves. In remembrance of Thee is our joy, gratitude toward Thee our daily bread, loving Thee our only purpose.

Ya Haqq!


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