|The Description|

January 19, 2015

This poem is an attempt to physically describe one of the greatest saints of our time. I wrote this poem for myself, others and maybe one day my own children in order to hold on to the image of a man that means so much to me and many others. What matters most is of course not his physic but his message, which will be carried on way past his existence, but his image also matters. Remembering the way people appear before us helps us to hold them in our mind’s eye and brings to life the life they lived and the gift their presence gave to humanity.

May God accept this small effort.


The Description
Small eyes
And a modest disposition
From his status,
We all listened
His face was small
Almost shrunken in

His eyes were always focused
On something else
His turban
Wrapped so perfectly
It’s a wonder he got it so neat,
time and time again

His clothes were a cream-white
Maybe even golden
His robe didn’t drag on the floor
Though I never saw his shoes

He stood at maybe 5’9” or 5’10”
Everywhere he went
He went swiftly
It was hard to catch him
Sometimes he walked so swiftly,
We couldn’t stand for him

He always sat on the floor,
Crossed legged
Except for that time he hurt his knee
I almost cried knowing he wouldn’t sit in a chair,
Unless he really had to
His jokes were always forthcoming
Sometimes you might miss them
They were never laugh out loud slap your legs jokes
They were funny

When you entered his room
to sit with him
He stood for you
And when you left he gave
you a small gift

He was like the grandfather
I never knew

His skin was a reddish cream
He couldn’t hide the fact that
he was white
Not as if he tried
Sitting before him I could
never see the typical barrier
Of white and black
Or man and woman
He was just a saint who I’d been looking for but was told didn’t exist

Yet there he was
There he is

His hand movements where always strong
And purposeful
Strokes in the air for emphasis

He didn’t have any kids
But he is like a father to us all
Once I saw him walk up a steep hill

That’s what he was trying to
teach us

Move on
Move ahead

I don’t mean to speak
As if he’s dead
The past allows me to remove
Myself from the inevitable fact
That one-day
Sheikh Nuh will be gone

And what then?
And what then?


Other Recent Poems: Take Care | For Our Mother | Without Innocence


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