the muslim's tale vii

how happy is the man who hears
his spirit rich with meccan glow
above him hawks to show the path
from filth to purity made whole

just one diamond he takes at first
ali always cautious as the crow
he well has time full measure to make
and does not fear the unseen blow

ten miles along he meets a crone
of skeleton shrunk and whithered in
to make twice wrinkled of her skin
her eyes as dark of polished bronze

and lain at her crippled foot - O kismet -
a lamb fresh flayed and meat prepared
without it's head or feet - O answered prayers -
joyous as warm rain in parched field

the crone's bright eyes sparkle dull
she tickles his pilgrim holiness
her one demand by haggled bull
to run her errand by his life - after sacrifice

first one - then ten stones reign down
his cast of servants strain their lease
as loyal fury boils them to a kettle
and in a steam of jingled jesses flee

how narrow is the bridge of heaven
for upon shouldering the lamb
the crone turned to thick pillar'd smoke
sealing ali into the djins bargain

◄ the muslim's tale vi

the muslim's tale viii ►


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