Poem of the Week: ‘Invocation’ by Alycia Pirmohamed

  28 Mar '23   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Over the next month we mark Ramadan, Easter, and Passover, and in celebration of this month of faith we have chosen as our poem of the week ‘Invocation’ by Alycia Pirmohamed. This is taken from her debut collection Another Way to Split Water, which has recently been longlisted for the Jhalak Prize.


Somewhere, they are kneeling
and I am forgetting your name,

how to hold each fragment
of sound in my mouth –

my thoughts are scattering in the wind.

They land in Dar es Salaam,
in India,

in miles of golden grass.
Sometimes they fall into my own palms

as I pray next to my father
for my father.

My Father, I am discovering how
to feel loneliness

in a series of languages
by cutting open

each word like a sweet black plum
only to eat the skin.

Tell me I am a little closer
to the beginning

that I am a young tree on the side
of a mountain,

a recursive bird
gliding up a redwood,

or simply a sound travelling
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