Manchester, July 2009

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Hot and balmy, torrents are lashing down from the summer night.

I’m in my hotel room and the storm is raging within me and down my cheeks.

I spent a tortured evening with the solitude and the silence… dipping into a poetic exposition of the Qur’an, looking for the calm. The words now swirl around my head as I drift fitfully in and out of sleep; descriptions of rain on pungent earth merging with the sound of swollen droplets on the window and the scorched ground outside.

Then the warm glow of daylight and I awake as if coming round from a fever. The air is refreshed and I am, too. I lie still, breathing gently, in the warm, relieved of the tumult of the night.

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