The Spires, The Cities, The Field

I. IMPATIENCE

People were created very impatient.

Cynical advocates of evil,
Lofty advocates of forces,
They think their mouth is heaven
And their tongue can dictate on earth.
They know nothing of the way of peace.

There is not a creature that crawls on the earth,
Nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but
They are creatures like you.

The creation of the heavens and earth and
The diversity of your tongues and colors:
These are among Godıs signs.

Truly, this community of yours is a single community.
Do all you can to preserve the unity of the spirit,
By the peace that binds you together.

Surely, people were created very impatient.

II. CITY OF PEACE

Oh God! Make this a city of peace.
The kings of the earth will bring it their treasures.
The gates of it will never be shut by day.
And there will be no night there
And the nations will come
bringing their treasure and their wealth.

Build for me a lofty tower
that I may find access to the means of heaven!

Was this the joy of the whole world?

The kings of the earth never believed
nor did all the inhabitants of the world,
That oppressor and enemy would ever
penetrate the gates

III. ATTACK

Your enemies open their mouths
They whistle and grind their teeth
They say,

This is the day we were waiting for;
Now we can touch it, see it."

"Death will overtake you, wherever you may be, even if you be in strongly built towers.
corpses will lie in the main street of the city.

They went up to heaven in a cloud
there was a violent earth-quake
and a tenth of the city collapsed

The sacred stones lie scattered at the corner of every street.
Her gates have sunk into the ground.

Once her young men were brighter than snow.

Now with faces darker than blackness itself
they move unrecognizable through the streets.

Those who used to eat only the best.,
now lie dying in the streets;

Those who were reared in the purple
claw at the rubbish heaps

Mutely they sit on the ground.
They have put dust on their heads.

My eyes dissolve in torrents of tears
over the ruin of the daughters of my people

IV. FLIGHT

And I say, "Oh for the wings of a dove,
to fly away and find rest."
How far I would take my flight!

Let the mountains and hills bring a message of peace for the people.
A universal peace till the moon is no more.
Renew our days as in times past.
Oh people! There is but one god, there is but one ancestor.
All are the seeds of Adam.

Texts were composed from phrases taken from the Old Testament, New Testament, Qu'ran, and Hadith. Most Biblical quotations are from The New Jerusalem Bible. Copyright 1968 by Darton, Longman, and Todd Ltd., and Doubleday and Company. Used with permission. Most excerpts from the Qur'an are taken from The Holy Qur'an. Copyright Noor Foundation International, Inc. Used with permission. All quotations from the Hadith, as well as additional Biblical and Qur'an excerpts are from translations in the public domain. Grateful thanks to the people at Doubleday, the Noor Foundation, the Islamic Cultural Center of New York City, the numerous scholars of religions consulted, Andy Cohen, and as always, my wife Amy Singer.

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