For his art, he withdrew
His soul, a spent sun
Hung seven layers above
A midnight moon,
His feet a bed beneath the shadows
Preferring plant and stone
To lustiness. I lingered,
A tear to every storm and wind
Rounded firmly in his palm,
To the rhythm of the nightingale
He praised me in every colour imaginable,
Preserving his love, with mirth
And breath, he fashioned me a book,
A matrimony of bride and earth
To lines, poised, only to burst
With ecstatic bliss.
This rite, a sweet hymn
To tune the heart at dawn.

Only he who loves, with his whole heart, knows God…






(c) A Hannan




Stories of a Madman



I happened upon a flower I did not recognise,
Its shadow imprinted with the suns height,
Admonitions, a gentle nostalgic breeze raising shoulders,
Mastering curls already tussled, my lips
Arguing with themselves as I came back to me.


I closed my eyes and picked a random flower with a blind hand,
Tempted, its colour brushed across the sky.
I watched a poet once press the scent beside his heart
Where it proceeded to advance analogies of death.
All essence seeks love. When we reach it, robes fall off,
The petal dies. There is nothing so lovely at all.


I want this union. Life slipping to forever, resurrecting an uninhabited us.
I watch birds; they know the moment to fly.
I listen to the many fallen leaves; they know when to sing with the wind.
I learned from the madman who came to bury me;
He told me it was time to meet you.


I will meet you there in the garden at sunrise. You already know the way.



(c) A Hannan

Ordained to Dance

The Passage

The following poem is a collaboration between myself and a very dear friend of mine, the incredibly talented Syrian/American poet Assef Al-Jundi.

Ordained to Dance

With my index finger I trace
a smooth invisible arc
down the glossy round surface
of this orb.

I exhale crystal goblets
of fruitless faith in the calm of
numinous white blossoms

while alternating waves of pace
and rhythm perform
a ceremony of shifting guards.

Almost lost—
subtle voices a slice
above, below audible,
wine without cups,
heaven-less clouds,

backs turned to mystery,
the nomadic prison
resting in wisdom,
ancient pages unreeling
amid azure skies
of naked eloquence.

Alarms shriek
in every quarter of this wistful city.
I look for you to make love
the path to abide this
supernatural immensity.

With eyes shut fast
in aching sensuality
I’ll choose a landscape
like a canvas of tears

I’ll find release
in the strands of my knowing instincts.
Make permanent
the jubilant abandon of my twinging spirit.

the remnants of my prophet’s revelations
clung to drunken ramblings of
unfortunate muses
only to arrive
full circle.

© Aaliyah Hannan and Assef Al-Jundi

The Passage with Arabic

Arabic words painted on the image are:
Passion, Love, Beauty, Imagination, Soul, Affection, Ardor, and Flame (Lahab)