I have chosen this poem, A Holy Place, that I wrote in the year 2000 because it is about the spring, worship at home and about learning from people of faith--it seems so relevant to this season we find ourselves in now.
A HOLY PLACE
WHALLEY RANGE, MANCHESTER 2000
The first sign of summer in our road
was when granddad emerged.
In his white robes and dashing slippers
he would sniff the air suspiciously
doubtful that Manchester could ever be warm
enough to allow him out of hibernation.
One May day , he caught his breath
for a while lounging on the bench,
watching Iqbal feed pigeons and squirrels.
Then the flurry of wings enchanted
him as they flapped down
and picked away at the seed.
When all was quiet, Iqbal inside,
pigeons back on the tiles, squirrels
back up the giant willow which gave
unsought-for shade to the old man,
he reached down and lifted his prayer mat
and placed it reverentially on the lawn.
Kneeling down, his head almost touching
the grass, he prayed. Back and forth he moved,
brought himself into Allah’s presence.
For a moment the little urban space became
a holy place. Prayers over, Iqbal’s dad rose,
smiled at me. God was with us.
(This poem was first published in the Winter 2013 issue of Magnet)
The reflections here are written by members of our congregation.