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When Death Arrives ~ Khalwa by Shahbano Aliani


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
this 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
Generosity

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.


Poem by Shahbano Aliani penned on 13th October 2013

~ Khawla is a solitary, silent meditation retreat of the Sufis that can extend for up to 40 days

© Intent Publishing; Na'layn Publications | Reposted from poet's Facebook post.


Shahbano Aliani is a Shaykha (spiritual master) in the Shahdili-Darqawi Sufi order, on the basis of permission from her own Sufi master, Shaykh Ebrahim Etsko Schuitema.

Shahbano was born and raised in Pakistan and spent many years studying and working in the United States. Increasingly disillusioned with the mediocrity and futility of her outer endeavours and plagued by a growing disquiet, she searched for deeper purpose and meaning. Her quest brought her to the Sufi path through the Zawia (spiritual retreat) and teachings of Shaykh Ebrahim Etsko Schuitema in 2009. Soon thereafter Shahbano started writing poetry, a collection of which has been published by Intent Publishing South Africa and Na’layn Publications, Pakistan entitled, “Set My Heart On Fire”. (credit)

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Technology of the Heart: When Death Arrives ~ Khalwa by Shahbano Aliani
When Death Arrives ~ Khalwa by Shahbano Aliani
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Technology of the Heart
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