Gnat in Flight

by Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

A black horse blends into the night
just as a white horse blends

into snow

A yellow bird blends into flown valleys of
mustard blooms in sharp


just as a rainbow barely seen shyly
blends all its

peacock display shades back into blue sky then
sometimes peeps out again

across the Grand Canyon or the Void

Certain things in our swiveling sight
stand out while

other things as broadly displayed
stay back from visual perception

Doesn’t the witness to what God
does in the world show God?

Lady Godiva goes to the opera and
loses her pearls but it

turns out she never had them on

A blur of Civil War cavalry leaps over a
fence in the woods and is

gone but gunfire pops and
some of them now lie

scattered on the ground

If we put our hands in
front of our eyes in the

dark we won’t see them
but in daylight they’re clearly visible

Yet they’re always (while we’re still alive)
these miraculous appendages attached to

our bodies that do our bidding in often the most
painstakingly delicate ways

such as cutting a diamond rock into
carats through just an old-fashioned

magnifying glass in the darkest area of a
shop in Austria

or water going down a causeway whose
full flow rushes on but we

only see a tiny amount of all its
rippling sparkles

The Presence of the Almighty as Almighty
is as palpable as the

Presence of the Subtle as Subtlety
here there and everywhere

on the tips of the ends of whips
as well as the froth on a

team of black and white horses
galloping for days through night and

day to escape the Bolsheviks

and those gorgeous steeds who drew us to
safety now in their stalls

uniquely themselves and
quietly patient after their ordeal

browsing their glistening nostrils
among fresh hay contented

no one in sight for miles who could
harm them

no one near who can
show us God

yet He’s everywhere


fish in its water

light in its light

dark in its darkness

gnat in flight

This Light Slants Upward

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore's picture

Born in 1940 in Oakland, California, Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore had his first book of poems, Dawn Visions, published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books, San Francisco, in 1964, and the second in 1972, Burnt Heart/Ode to the War Dead. He created and directed The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company in Berkeley, California in the late 60s, and presented two major productions, The Walls Are Running Blood, and Bliss Apocalypse. He became a Sufi Muslim in 1970, performed the Hajj in 1972, and lived and traveled throughout Morocco, Spain, Algeria and Nigeria, landing in California and publishing The Desert is the Only Way Out, and Chronicles of Akhira in the early 80s (Zilzal Press). Residing in Philadelphia since 1990, in 1996 he published The Ramadan Sonnets (Jusoor/City Lights), and in 2002, The Blind Beekeeper (Jusoor/Syracuse University Press). He has been the major editor for a number of works, including The Burdah of Shaykh Busiri, translated by Hamza Yusuf, and the poetry of Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Munir Akash. He is also widely published on the worldwide web: The American Muslim, DeenPort, and his own website and poetry blog, among others:, He has been poetry editor for Seasons Journal, Islamica Magazine, a 2010 translation by Munir Akash of State of Siege, by Mahmoud Darwish (Syracuse University Press), and The Prayer of the Oppressed, by Imam Muhammad Nasir al-Dar’i, translated by Hamza Yusuf. In 2011 he was a winner of the Nazim Hikmet Prize for Poetry. The Ecstatic Exchange Series is bringing out the extensive body of his works of poetry, of which there are thirty-two books as of August, 2011.

Last updated July 05, 2015