They’re supposed to be locked up. So what is this thing that still whispers to me? It came from the inside. Has one been left behind? Escaped imprisonment and taken up residence in my mind? This month is a mirror, an invitation to reflect. A time to transcend, an opportunity to reject. No outside influence on which to place the blame. How is it that I’m still in this game? Sometimes I’m convinced that had it been me Placed on the first path of temptation, I would have polished off the apple in a heartbeat Without needing the forbidden-fruit sales pitch. This thought should scare me, but He says ‘Do Not Despair.’ I see what I am dealing with. There is dark but also light. The wrong I can set right. And now’s the time to start because They’re supposed to be locked up.
The story behind the poem
This poem, written many years ago, draws on one of the reported sayings of the Prophet Muhammed, upon him be peace, about Ramadan. The saying goes as follows: ‘When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise open up, the doors of Hell are locked, and the devils are chained’. This makes Ramadan a time for honest self-assessment and asks tough questions of believers: if our negative influencers are removed from the equation as a cause of our undesirable and unsanctioned behaviours, and yet we still engage in them, then what does that say about us?