Monday, September 28, 2015

John Fuller: "Calling"

There, don't you hear it too?
Something is calling, although
The day is blank and gray.

The eye fastened on nothing,
The ear undistracted
And we with nothing to say.

But still that sense of calling,
Of something seeking attention
Beyond our consciousness.

That voice in voiceless things
When they cease to be themselves,
Losing their choice and purpose.

Joining the indiscriminate
Otherness which surrounds us
At our own times of withdrawal.

It is then that the world calls us
As if to reinterpret
Or to reconfigure.

Whose is this voice? A god's?
Surely not. It seems
To be the voice of duty

That speaks of origins
And of relationships
Between things grown apart.

And I remember the muezzin
Singing every morning
Raptly, as if for himself.

Singing in the dark hour
At a distance, over all,
And yet outside our door.

His practised lilt spoke more
Of the puzzles of night than of
The determinations of morning.

As though the light had still
To be charmed into being
And each day a reward.

The voice is much like his,
A commanding meditation
Rising from the blankness.

Of a sleeping senselessness,
Thoughtful, improbable,
But stirring us to beauty.

And like his, the voice
Links us for a while
In its reiterations

Then ends abruptly, as if
Distracted by something else
Of no great importance.

"Calling" by John Fuller. Text as published in Ghosts (Random House UK, 2004).

Art credit: "The Adhan: The Muslim Call to Prayer," video published on 07/09/2013 by interestmedia.


  1. The Muslim call to prayer gave me chills, and the poem is beautiful. Thank you.

    1. You're very welcome, on behalf of those whose works are presented here.


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