Vallum Poem of the Week: “Mosquée de Paris” by Shadab Zeest Hashsmi

Vallum: Contemporary Poetry

Shadab Zeest Hashmi


Mosquée de Paris

Ablution water,
on a worshipper’s
slipper left by the doorstep:
She will travel far
and return before its sparkle has dropped.

Gold and ink on parchment
dyed blue
speaks of duty to the window and the wayfarer.

Light caught on pink marble
swirls into an open ear.

Eggs in outstretched hands
of an old woman in Kabul
For the widows of New York
The American author takes them trembling

If there were no kindness
conversation would be useless,
Rumi says. His guides:
A goldsmith, a desert wanderer, a scribe,

Stitched to silence,
you and I wander the same places,
wearing zipped shoes.


Shadab Zeest Hashmi is the author of poetry collections Kohl and Chalk and Baker of Tarifa. Her latest work, Ghazal Cosmopolitan, is a book of essays and poems exploring the culture and craft of the ghazal form and has been praised by poet Marilyn…

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