Agha Shahid Ali

(4 February 1949 – 8 December 2001 / New Delhi / India)

Prayer Rug


Those intervals
between the day’s
five calls to prayer

the women of the house
pulling thick threads
through vegetables

rosaries of ginger
of rustling peppers
in autumn drying for winter

in those intervals this rug
part of Grandma’s dowry
folded

so the Devil’s shadow
would not desecrate
Mecca scarlet-woven

with minarets of gold
but then the sunset
call to prayer

the servants
their straw mats unrolled
praying or in the garden

in summer on grass
the children wanting
the prayers to end

the women’s foreheads
touching Abraham’s
silk stone of sacrifice

black stone descended
from Heaven
the pilgrims in white circling it

this year my grandmother
also a pilgrim
in Mecca she weeps

as the stone is unveiled
she weeps holding on
to the pillars

(for Begum Zafar Ali)

Submitted: Saturday, June 16, 2012

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Prayer Rug by Agha Shahid Ali )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. A Red, Red Rose, Robert Burns
  3. To A Mouse, Robert Burns
  4. A Fond Kiss, Robert Burns
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. A Bottle And Friend, Robert Burns
  7. Address To A Haggis, Robert Burns
  8. A Winter Night, Robert Burns
  9. A Man's a Man for A' That, Robert Burns
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Christopher Marlowe

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Quatrain number 5, Leong Ming Loong
  2. Bachelorette for Life, Donal Mahoney
  3. Engaged, Sarah Wiltshire
  4. The Call Of Two Trumpets, Tony Adah
  5. I sleep, gajanan mishra
  6. I Looked Up At The Sky And Didn't See You, Kyle Schlicher
  7. Quatrain number 4, Leong Ming Loong
  8. The world we are facing, Abby Sze
  9. Game of power, Funmilayo Adebimpe
  10. The Road Must End Somewhere, Kyle Schlicher
[Hata Bildir]