The Pilgrim’s Dilemma


“where is he?”
i asked

i found no one when i set out
to dare the deserts en-route medina
and wore the ancient fabrics of her soil
i bore the temperate heat she gave
on a journey on heels of donkeys and camels
but i did not see the face of their maker

i found expanse of emptiness
when i exhumed the cadavers of the past
and relics of judaism in jerusalem;
i muddled my mind in rabinnic scrolls
yearning for a voice from the torah
and sights from the tanakh;
but i did not see the loving face
of the who rested on the seventh day

i found no revelations of him
when i crossed my legs around asia
and naked my soul in meditation,
waiting for him in the sanskrit
of the hindus in the streets of india

in the kraals of afrika,
in the shrines of her traditions
i did not find him in sculptures
carving the presence of gods unseen;
he is not in the footprints of silent pharaohs
mumiffied in the veneration of history
and in the temples of ethiopia,
the sun set, the moon rose, the rainbow fade
still i did not find his face waiting for my eyes

“find a way that leads to home,”
a voice within said, “quit this journey!
the face of the one you seek is on you,
on the face of each man you see;
on each breathing dust of time
that is to rise when eternity begins.”
(C) innocence silas


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