Listening Prayers*

Her face – strange.

We have not crossed paths before.

Her speech – uncertain.

She coughs and then sighs.


tremble from her lips

in harmony to a jagged train track.

She is close to giving up,

but cannot give up.

How little she knows of faith.

For this attempt,

will be her eighth.

“Sarah, Sarah”,

her mother yells.

Movements – halt.

Sweat –  drips,

Spilling a million scars.

I am shoved – under the bed,

In hopes to conceal a bright secret.

She flips back –

to the first chapter,


As she commits to a lie.

Allah says: “Do they not see the birds controlled in the atmosphere of the sky? none – holds them up – except Allah. In that, are signs for a people who believe.”



Hannah doesn’t understand much about God.

That his “mercy embraces all Things”

That “Allah – forgives All Sins”

Her mind – Elsewhere.

She prays for a Cadbury chocolate bar.

She prays for a soft blue toy.

She prays for her friend

For her friend to speak to her once again.

“Why are scary questions always whispered?” she whispers.

Allah says: “Indeed, I am near and responsive.”


I have not seen her face for weeks.

She has come back,

come back because she does not know why

she feels how she feels.

There is no-one to blame.

Her rage is fierce, 100 degrees.

She prays for answers – she prays to know why –

depression will not leave her.

When will it die?

I yearn to yell at her:

Patience, Amina.

“The promise of ALLAH is truth”.

But I am merely a sheet on the ground.

The things most obvious,

Can be the hardest to remember.

But what is knowledge?

What is knowledge,

if you don’t become it?

She wants the past to die.

It cannot die.

Killing the past –

is the hardest part.


she must learn to live,

To hide.

I want to tell her:

That darkness is a gift.

The chance to break,

mend again.

Allah says: “The life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. Far better is the house in the hereafter.”


Her head lowers to the ground.

Tears start to flow,

Flowing like rivers into the sea

she tries to control them.

Again, I yearn to yell:


Let Allah

be your Saviour.

Each – drop – carries – guilt.

As it hits my fabric,

I sense a burden lift off her,

It is his mercy, I guess.

No actually, I am sure.

Existing is a crime.

The world has grown Godless.


A stranger, I can tell.

From a realm much kinder.

One made to leap beyond shallowness

The shallowness of human spirit.

One made for discovery.

I feel it from the palms of her hands,

The way she digs firmly into the ground.

She isn’t afraid to passage out

Out into the unknown,

maybe dark, alone.

Sadness has its own beauty.



I can see it through her.

She is sad for all the right reasons.

She can’t stand like the rest,

So, she prays as she can.

Her legs sprawled across me,

thinking of grass on a summers day.

She is comfortable.

She is at peace.

Her body collapses.

She closes – her eyes,

Her soul now the pilgrim,

A pilgrim to the seven heavens.

Allah says: “So remember me, I will remember you.”


All of them,

All that have prayed on me,





All of them,

prayed a prayer,

to be Unjudged.

That is the beauty of it.

The power to wish for anything.

The power to not wish at all.

To simply – be.

The power to dream.

That power.

No dream too big.

About haringeyunchained

Haringey Unchained is a collective of students aiming to show case the creative talent of Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham, London. We think that through the promotion of our creative thoughts, we can educate our community, bringing to the foreground the critical and creative consciousness of a vibrant school in a deprived part of London. We are endeavouring to provide this blog as a platform for our community, giving the space to those whose work otherwise might not be seen or read. Being that the cuffs are off, we are able to express through our photography, art, short fiction and poetry, what’s really on our minds. We are free.

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