Poem by Imtiaz Dharker

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/

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , by Miriam Sagan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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