Poems by Martin Bidney interpreting Muslim Verses in Sura 2

Posted by Rabbi Michael Lerner

Poems by Martin Bidney


11. Lyrical Response to a Verse in Sura 2 “The Cow”
138. (We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring. We are his
worshippers.
Rumi pictured God as dyeing vat.
Souls, the garment dipped in it, would be
Bathed in all-including whiteness that
Blended tints in His Infinity:
Cleansed of all iniquity would we
Radiant gleam, the angels glad thereat.
Poets, Lord-devoted, never war
Over choice of images that they
May select for holy metaphor
Which will dance in grand, accordant play.
Many’s the imaginative way
We the greatness of the Grace adore.
Let me then suggest the emblem true
While we dwell on earth had best be green.
So, rejoicing, Adam, Eve would view
Trees of Life: each leaf as symbol seen
Of a Stewardship that, pure, serene,
Can preserve a world of heightened hue.
12. Lyracal Repose to a Verse in Sura 2 “The Cow”
148. And each on hat a goal toward which he turneth; so vie with one another in good works.
Wheresoever ye may be, Allah will bring you all together….
Each person has a goal to which he turns,
So vie with one another in good deeds.
Unending exploration wisdom earns,
And yet the unifying Spirit heeds
A higher love, the deepest of our needs,
And so will bring you all together, yearns
To help the mind, centrifugal, that speeds
In upward, outward spiral, or that burns
In swift elliptic orbit, heart that reads
A world-enwhirling sciencecrypture, learns
Humility through pride yet never spurns
The glory of the quest, nor yet impedes
The life, the energetic fire that feeds
The hope that souls to one another leads.
13. Lyrical Response to a Verse in Sura 2 “The Cow”
164. Lo! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the
ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth
down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and in the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth:
are signs (of Allah’s sovereignty) for people who have sense.
In Allah’s world to be is to become,
To breathe, to run, to alter, and to move:
Who doesn’t add, subtracting from the sum
No adept in the heav’n pursuit will prove.
When static in your walled-in thinking, you’ve
No role in motion’s flow-continuum.
The day and night must alternate their rule;
Upon the sea the useful ship will run:
The rain-descent revives the world, and you’ll
Inhale the plenitude which had begun
With wind-creation, heaven-benison,
When alif-breath infused in Adam fuel.
The Lord His creatures widely will disperse
And make them colorful in sundry kinds;
The ordinance of winds, the universe
Enlivening with mindfulness, enwinds
The breathing of the sky and earth: one finds
Twin pleasures – to emerge and to immerse.
The cloud that glad receives the mercy-dew
Up-climbing, coming down again in the rain -
Does fertile work in fostered field made new,
Filled more with bliss than heart can well contain.
To change, to die and rise, our loss and gain,
Our wakefulness and pain, are One-in-two.

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