Poem: Build a Dream

Tree of dreams

Build a Dream

I have trudged through sands.
I have come with injured hands
to build a dream.

I’ve given it all to you
and worn ragged shoes.
I’ve grown lean.

I’m walking this path
out of the dark past
carrying child and faith.

I’m late on the scene –
but I am not done trying
to build a dream.


Wael Abdelgawad
January 26, 2015
Fresno, California

Don’t You Fall Now

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

“Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

– Langston Hughes

Poem: You are One

Sunlight in the forest, sunlight on the trees

You Are One

The trees and shadows
are black and brown –
I’m afraid to turn around –
then I hear a sound
like a trumpet call,
ringing like the dawn,
orange and clean.
It’s the call of the One,
a perfect Quran,
revealed upon a man
and lights the world like a sun.
It shines on my skin
and warms my mind.
I stride through the trees
tall like a woodsman –
no fear now.
You call and I come,
O Allah, As-Salam,
You are the One.

Wael Abdelgawad
June 23, 2012

Poem: In My Heart

Flying bird

In My Heart

When the coals of faith are cooling off inside you;
and you feel like all you do is act a part;
When you’re desperate for one ember that’s still burning –
you will find it, hot and glowing, in my heart.

When you’ve lost that smiling image of yourself,
and you don’t know where to stand or where to start;
When you’re looking for your compass and your candle,
you will find them, safe and protected, in my heart.

When some people label you a failure,
and the accusation pierces like a dart;
There’s one to whom you’ve always been an angel;
I still love you, I still see you, in my heart.

Everything that’s good and sweet about you –
and there’s so much, you’re a living work of art –
is alive in me, I’ve kept it like a songbird,
soaring still and calling in my heart.

Wael Abdelgawad

Poem: A House I’ve Never Seen

Beautiful farm painting

A House I’ve Never Seen

Shrugging off doubts.
Wistful for a house
I’ve only seen in dreams,
a green garden for my child,
a woman with kind eyes.
A Western sky
and a bell of brass.
A wall that evil cannot pass,
a patch of sunlight on the grass,
a place to live and laugh.

– Wael Abdelgawad, 12-31-2011

Love Can Change the World

Sun rays shining from behind the clouds

This is an excerpt from a song by Aaron Niequist. They are a Christian chorus, and this is a Muslim blog, but I consider that irrelevant. It’s a beautiful song.


Love Can Change the World

Bridges are more beautiful than bombs are
Bridges are more beautiful than bombs.

Listening is louder than a lecture
Listening is louder than a shout

But Love – Love can change the world.
Oh do we still believe that
Love – Love can change the world.

An open hand is stronger than a fist is
An open hand is stronger than a fist

Wonder is more valuable than Wall Street
Wonder is more valuable than gold.

Repeat chorus

May we never stop this dreaming
Of a better world

May we never stop believing
In the impossible.

 

©2005 AARONieq Music

Poem: A Gate Called Ar-Rayyaan

Happy valley path

A Gate Called Ar-Rayyaan

Allahumma, Ar-Rahman,
let me in through Ar-Rayyaan,
with my daughter hand in hand.
Or if not, then shake me loose
of all I’ve done;
brush the sins off me like dust
and show me the path
to Bab As-Salat.
Or Bab Al-Hajj, or Bab-As-Saum.
Let me come home,
let me come home to You.
Bab At-Tawbah, Bab Al-Jihad,
with my child, that’s all I ask,
and let all else vanish
beneath the waters, or be taken
by the wind.

Wael Abdelgawad
August 22, 2011

Poem: Fill it With Al-Fatihah

Beach foam

Fill it With Al-Fatihah

Wounded brother, sister in belief:
pour out your cup of hurt and grief
and fill it with lavender leaf.
Fill it with sunlight seed
and the moon’s reedy laugh.
Fill it with the history of grass,
and the joy of breath.
Fill it with hope
and the poetry of God.

Fill it with Quran
and the moment before dawn.
Fill it with Allah’s soul-saving light,
and the power of His love
expressing in your life.
Fill it with dhikr like gold,
and Prophetic stories
that were old
a thousand years ago.

Fill your cup with beach foam
and the smell of baking bread;
with the mark of prayer
impressed upon your head;
with lemon drop soup
and the comfort of your bed.
Fill it with gratitude
for His gifts from above.
Fill your cup, and laugh,
for you are loved.


Wael Abdelgawad

April 14, 2011

Poem: Where My Heart Beats

Snow fall on a maple tree

 

Where My Heart Beats

You are the rich soil
from which life grows.
You are the morning snow
on a maple tree.
Your soul glitters before me
like the sun on the sea.
Your name is a kiss,
your voice an embrace.
There is no place for me
in this bewildering life
but in your arms.
There is no corona
more captivating than your eyes.
Where your feet walk,
I find my smile.
Where your head rests,
that is my bed.
Where your hands touch and flutter,
that is where my heart beats,
and if I lived a thousand years
still I would love you
like the evening tide,
immense and ripe with life.

Wael Abdelgawad
Fresno, California
February 15th, 2011

Poem: Unbroken

White rhinoceros and baby

Unbroken

This won’t break me
or even knock me down.
I remember El Reno,
thick brown stone
and layers of cages,
a thousand men
in various stages
of hidden rages
and nothing past the wire
but wind and grass;
and I lived through that
with ten knuckles and a laugh.

Do I look crazy?
That’s okay.
Keep the games you play
and clear my way.
Break me? Come on now.
Drop a mountain
and I bust through stone.
I’m a pile of smile and bone
and when you see that light
in my eyes
you’d better step for your life.

Try, go on.
It’ll be fun.
Come with your Black Hand
and sideshow man.
Come with your entourage,
your knives and guns,
lies and history redone.
Grind my love
beneath your heel – I’ll reel it out
like blast wire,
and you’ll catch fire.

Betray me and I bleed
but that’s no test –
I fight bloody with the best.
So baby, I have to laugh.
Sorry if that lets you down
but I’m not wearing a frown
cause I’ve got Laa ilaha il-Allah
and as I look around
every glory
reflects the glory of the One,
and I stand unbroken
in the sun.

Wael Abdelgawad
January 17, 2011

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