Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Thirty-three Tritinas (1 - 4)

(And what the heck is a tritina?)

Since a tritina uses three keywords... the plan is to write a set of thirty-three tritinas, each using as its keywords three of the Ninety-nine Most Beautiful Names. That adds up to... 330 lines... Allahu Akbar! Some of the Names are complex phrases rather than single words, so I may have to take some liberties with the form to get the sense of the Name across.

Tritinas are fairly short. I plan to post them a few at a time as I write them; when I'm done, insh'allah, I'll collate them and repost as one long poem, probably in the expandable post format.

1. Al-Akhir, the After; Ar-Raqib, the Vigilant; Al-Mu’akhkhir, the One Who Puts His Creatures Behind

The storm blows itself out; there's quiet after.
You're worn from a long night of vigilance
fearing what walked in your footsteps, behind.

Look in a mirror. There's nothing behind
your shoulder. Only your own fear comes after
like a dog trained to too much vigilance.

There was a time you needed vigilance.
You had to watch before and behind
but that was then, and now is after.

After long vigilance, put fear behind.

2. Al-Maajid, the Glorious One; Ar-Razzaq, the Provider; Al-Hafiz, the Preserver

The apple blossoms are glorious;
think of all the fruit they'll provide
some to eat now, some to preserve.

The flowers themselves can't be preserved.
Time and sun will fade their glory
and flawed images are the best memory can provide.

But this moment is yours, provided
that you smell the blossoms, and preserve
not glory, but the memory of glory.

Glorious spring provides sweetness to preserve.

3. Al-Mu’id, the Restorer; An-Nafi, the Creator of the Good; Al-Hadi, the Guide

There's so much here that has to be restored--
we're trying to make it into something good.
This effort can't succeed unguided.

Seated in the heart, we find our guide,
surrounded by desolation unrestored,
quietly working away at doing good.

Every time we've tried to do something good,
it's been at the silent prompting of this guide.
Now let its voice be restored.

Restore what's good, and trust in your guide.

4. At-Tawwab, the Acceptor of Repentance; Al-Alim, the Knower of All; Al-Adl, the Just One

Acceptable repentance
is based on knowledge
not fear of justice.

But I can't help fearing justice
for I'm unable to repent
what I've done, and do not know...

It's not given us to know all
so we must trust in justice
and offer sincere repentance.

Repentance is accepted by a judge who knows all.


paisley said...

the poems themselves are quite clever,, but i cannot imagine how you keep all those gods straight...

Crafty Green Poet said...

you've captured something quite timeless in your writing here. Beautiful.