Sitting in the Grand Mosque at Mecca one mild spring morning, I listened to the omnipresent birds as they flitted above and around the Kaaba, singing their birdsong. Only birds talk in the Haram.  Humans pray, meditate, and bask in the beauty of Allah’s creation, giving thanks for their seat at the point on Earth above which Heaven seems nearest. I wrote this haiku: 


Swallows skim and swoop

Skid, slide, squeak and tumble down

A ladder of notes 





About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
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10 Responses to Haiku

  1. I really love haikus and this one is lovely.
    Good discriptions! Masha’Allah it would be so wonderful to just meditate at the Kabba.
    By the way you’re tagged!~
    Write a six word memoir.
    See the details and example on my blog.

  2. Safiyyah says:

    As Salaamu Alaikum Sister:

    How beautiful! You are blessed to have had this wonderful experience in the Kabba!

  3. Marahm says:

    Tagged, huh? Six word memoir? That’s quite a challenge! I don’t know whether I am up to it, and yes, it was wonderful to pray and mediatate at the Kaaba, alhumdulillah.

    Wa Aleykum Assalaam, Safiyyah. Yes, I am blessed to have visited Mecca five or six times. I would return to the Kingdom simply to pray again in Mecca, to sit facing the Kaaba, listening to the birds and the padding of shoeless feet, reading the Qur’an softly in a quiet corner by myself.

  4. Umm Ibrahim says:

    Assalaamu alaikum,
    That’s really beautiful Marahm; love it! I haven’t been to Makkah in too long and miss it! Umm Ibrahim

  5. sweatyhijab says:

    It IS a challenge to sum up everything in 6 words ugh it took me ages to figure mine out.

    OoooOOOooooOOoooo barefeet padding around…. that’s very beautiful and makes me wanna write poems about it…

  6. Achelois says:

    This is beautiful!

  7. Marahm says:

    Thank you all for your comments. I am happy to have shared this haiku with you.

  8. Irving says:

    An excellent haiku, it captures the swallows gyrating flight and the notes of their song beautifully 🙂

    Ya Haqq!

  9. Aafke says:

    Thanks for sharing this!
    I love haiku’s too 🙂

  10. Marahm says:

    I appreciate your comments, Irving and Aafke. Haiku is challenging because it forces you to focus on the details, and to compress the essence of something into a stark form. I like writing them and reading them.

    A good haiku stays with me for years. I remember one I read thirty years ago; its image is as clear today as it was when I first read it.

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