Entering the Qiblih

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i remove my shoes bow my head in respect
and perhaps in fear
and enter the Qiblih
hear the nightingales sing the praises of the Splendor
i smell the attar of roses
see the dazzling lights
hear the laughter of the Adored One
i feel the echo of his emotions
though he has not spoken in the flesh for 100 years
i feel his reality
though i have never been convinced of mine
and never shall be convinced of it

i prostrate myself at the threshold
invoke the name
of the mystery
of the lifter of veils
of the comforter
the healer
invoke the names
invoke as many names as i can remember
feel the power
beg to be freed of grief
hoping to serve
i offer the service of art

my senses are numbed with shock
in the face of this power
i try to rise but stumble
offer my gratitude
vow never to forget

all the while
a chant a flute a birdsong a lullaby
plays softly in my head


In the Bahá’í Faith the Qiblih (point of adoration) is the location that Bahá’ís should face when saying their daily obligatory prayers, and is fixed at the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, near Akká, in present day Israel.

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