December 4, 2018

When Death Arrives (Khalwa)

when death arrives
i don’t want to say:

wait, not yet
don’t take me away

there are still
beautiful paintings
waiting for the brush 
in my hands
my heart is still full
of unheard music
and poetry

i have debts of remorse
and gratitude
to pay
there are people 
whom i love
who don’t know 
i feel this way

there is pain 
i have been
afraid to heal
many dark rooms
inside myself 
that i need
to open and clean

i never realized 
what an incredible miracle
my life always was
what treasures
what opportunities
were handed to me

i had one chance
and such generous Help
but i was caught up
in greed, resentment 
and anxiety

i have just awakened
to why i am here
i have still to 
reach fruition
and unfold 
my mystery

please, give me time
extend the number 
of my days
i am not done yet, 
not ready
please, don’t 
don’t take me away!


when death arrives
is what i want to say:

i know what a blessing
existence has been!

i was given life
from nothing at all
then raised 
with love, fed 
by an astounding

i was given 
breathtaking secrets
inside my self
and the thrill to dance 
with ecstasy

i’ve slept in peace
and dreamt of God
in every moment
i’ve seen His Hand
holding me

i received what i was given
with my head bowed down
i committed to every moment
with sincerity

i savoured the delights
honoured the gifts
and spent of my self
with open hearted generosity

i was unsure
and afraid
but still acted
with courage

it was the courage
which eventually 
set me free

take me away
yes, take me away

i’ve done what i came 
here to do
there are no unsung songs
left in me

Shaykha Shahbano Aliani
13th October 2013

Photo: The khalwa at Zawia Ebrahim, Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa

Khalwa is a solitary, silent meditation retreat that can extend for up to forty days.

(C) Nalayn Publications; Intent Publishing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *