A Shroud for All Time
an old saying goes that we live out our daysclad in a shroud thrown over one shoulderno need to be Godto confirm the mystical world of the spirit and angelsheaven and hellthe almond tree in full bloomand all the rare people who speak on behalf of ineffable truthsto us allwe were given the gift to knowthat secrets must exist for mystery’s saketo be born with the passion for truth and beauty bound to the heartto us allthe holy days of eternitylife force entrusted to what can’t be seen
The first stanza refers to the Ihram attire worn by Muslims while on pilgrimage to Mecca.
Copyright © 2018 by Abdourahman A. Waberi
Translation copyright © 2018 by Nancy Naomi Carlson
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Image was founded in 1989 to demonstrate the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of Western culture. Now one of the leading literary journals published in English, it is read all over the world—and forms the nexus of a warm and active community.
We believe that the great art that has emerged from these faith traditions is dramatic, not didactic—incarnational, not abstract. And so our focus has been on works of imagination that embody a spiritual struggle, like Jacob wrestling with the angel. In our pages the larger questions of existence intersect with what the poet Albert Goldbarth calls the “greasy doorknobs and salty tearducts” of our everyday lives.