The Lost Country

Fall 2014 • Vol. 3, No. 1

issn 2326-5310 (online)

Islam Adhan

By Ann Applegarth

This work was published in the Fall 2014 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

In our hotel across the modern street
from ancient stones in Old Jerusalem’s wall,
we hear it first in midst of darkest night.
It startles us awake at four a.m.!
Electric chanting seems to fill the sky,
the silent city streets, our darkened room.
It rises, falls, and trembles, then it stops,
then sings again melodious Arab words.
Unlike the gifted muezzins, those of old,
whose natural voices floated through the air,
this man’s voice is harsh and much too loud.
The modern amplifiers give it edge.
But, trying to remember what I’d read,
I know that he is telling us one truth:
Prayer is a better thing than sleep in bed.
The instant that the call to prayer has ceased
(as sudden and dramatic as its start),
I whisper once again these precious words,
the ones my Lord has planted in my heart,
the prayer for every living moment’s need:
“O Father, dear, Our Father God who art…”