I recently discovered this poet’s work, and wanted to share it with you. This work is from her website, see link below.
The place is full of worshippers.
You can tell by the sandals
piled outside, the owners’ prints
worn into leather, rubber, plastic,
a picture clearer than their faces
put together, with some originality,
brows and eyes, the slant
of cheek to chin.
What prayer are they whispering?
Each one has left a mark,
the perfect pattern of a need,
sole and heel and toe
in dark, curved patches,
heels worn down,
thongs ragged, mended many times.
So many shuffling hopes,
pounded into print, as clear
as the pages of holy books,
illuminated with the glint
of gold around the lettering.
What are they whispering?
Outside, in the sun,
such a quiet crowd
of shoes, thrown together
like a thousand prayers
washing against the walls of God.
Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and documentary film-maker. Awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014, recipient of the Cholmondley Award and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, her collections include Purdah (Oxford University Press), Postcards from god, I speak for the devil and The terrorist at my table (all published by Penguin India and Bloodaxe Books UK), Leaving Fingerprints and Over the Moon (Bloodaxe Books UK).
To read more: http://www.imtiazdharker.com/