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by Khalilah Alwani


In conversation with Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi

This poem, Chaandraat, by Khalilah Alwani, was inspired by the moon and nature manifested during recent Ramadan celebrations with dear ones, which were held in a beloved  kwetlal and gary oak meadow, on the unceded traditional homelands of the Lkwungen peoples. 

© Khalilah Alwani

You are the moon
I too am the moon

Together we are the night’s stars that fill the sky and map constellations

Navigating the stars, the teacher transmits the stories of the universe
Found in the vast sky, and the lines of one’s palms

Palms painted with flowers and brown crescent moons

Palms cupped together, raised upward to form a bowl–
to hold and drink water from
To praise the beloved.  To feed another

Palms meeting one another
Embracing like old, dear friends
Palm belly to palm belly–Unity

I bow forward, my forehead meeting the earth
I breathe in the fragrance of the garden

The garden’s poem hums on the wings of a passing bee

Beeswax candles burn and melt by their own flame
Marking the completion of the moon cycle
The start of a new

 The continuation


Khalilah Alwani (she/they) is of mixed Sindhi and Gaelic ancestry and grew up on the lands of the Coast Salish.  Khalilah is grateful to live on the beautiful, unceded, ancestral homelands of the Lkwungen and WSANEC peoples, where she builds her home and community.  Strengthened by the ecosystems, lineages and relationships she is a part of, her current creative work lies at the intersection of ecological restoration, family history research and storytelling, cultural practice, sangha building and ceremony.  She believes that we are all in this world at this critical time for a reason, and is hopeful about humanity’s capacity to wake up and unite for social and ecological transformation.

Biography recorded by Rebecca Selove

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