May I? If I miss, let me land amongst the better stars.
Oh weeping stars,
Do your falling tears bring any benefit?
The night has brought its cover over the sky,
Soothing many eyes to rest under its blanket.
But mine refuses to close from the grief they behold,
They search for an answer to relieve their mourning.
I’ve explored the heavens above,
Tracing your kin from one to another.
Forming the constellation in the canvas above,
I found nothing.
As your kind would know,
This world is temporary-
A mere passing of a flickering flame.
In moments can its ember wisp away,
Its light returning to darkness as its existence ceased
Into memory in a moment of brilliance.
Your story is no different.
Maybe right now I’m seeing your passed radiance,
A ghost echoed from a completed supernova.
But the stories of the old traverse over time,
Their nobility rings through the fabric of space.
The Prophets, the companions, the youth
The just, the kind, the compassionate.
Your family must have praised,
Maybe envied these beacons of light.
I wish to be like them too.
Falling short is regretful.
Mistakes are clouds
Dark enough to shroud hope.
But as sure as I was that dawn followed
After the darkest hour of night,
I knew those clouds would fade away
And remind me that hope will always stay.
May I cry for repentance and aim for the moon.
If I miss, let me land amongst the better stars.
I hope then they will not cry,
But twinkle kindly as they welcome me
To a peaceful abode of joyous eternity.
“Blessed is He who has placed in the sky great stars and placed therein a [burning] lamp and luminous moon.” – Allah, in Surah Al-Furqan 25:61.
This poem was inspired by the following quote: ”If you want to succeed, then shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will at least be amongst the stars.” The setting of this poem takes place during the night, when the narrator stays awake, crying, while others are sleeping. Feeling defeated and sad, the narrator wonders why he is miserable. He looks at the stars and thinks about them, hoping for an inspiration to come and answer him. He makes a comparison between the dunya’s ephemeral nature and the star’s brilliant life cycle: how a star dies after a supernova through an intense explosion, becoming a part of the darkness in space just like how a candle light would go out.
The narrator then thinks that the sahaba and the pious predecessors are like stars too, who came and went like all human beings in this world. And their light is still known today, just like how the light of the stars can still be seen in the night sky, long after their death and after many light-years of travel. He thinks of the pious predecessors as “better stars,” and rekindles his hope by wanting to be like them. The narrator wants the aim for the moon, which represents Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) because he is the highest example (and the moon is always in the night’s main spotlight), so that the narrator can join the better stars in Jannah, the “peaceful abode of joyous eternity.”
When we strive in our Deen, we will face obstacles and mistakes that can cause us to stumble. And we can cry about our mistakes and not know what to do. I wanted to acknowledge the defeated state we can have after falling. But the poem mainly serves as a reminder to have hope through the lines in the fourth stanza: “But as sure as I was that dawn followed after the darkest hour of night, I knew those clouds will fade away and remind me that hope will always stay.” I heavily relied on symbolism, imagery, and comparisons to convey the poem’s message. Time and space were also touched upon in the poem to strengthen the theme of stars.