I could not find the face of Allah
In the debris of mountain slides,
In blue fragments of mosaics,
In the desolation of stars fallen behind
The ground-down blade of the moon.
I heard rumours he spoke in many voices
From clouds gathered at shifting
Boundaries of mountains and desert,
Blown in from the repetitious sea
Raging against the non-committal coast,
But I walked through valleys draped
In shadow, their broken sides layered
In the many-coloured strata of epochs,
And heard nothing but sand hissing
Over stones at the vagrant wind.
I could not find the face of Allah whose
Presence is premised by five ululations
Breaking up morning, noon, and night,
Calling me to turn my face to the earth.
I cannot find the face of Allah.
The sea says nothing. There is nowhere
Left to look in valleys or mountains, in
Clouds or stars, or the moon deep in dust.
I search fire and smoke now, the debris
I make; wet fragments and charred bone.
* * *
Dan Bern – Jerusalem
John Prine – Pretty Good