A prisoner on his knees
scrubs around a toilet bowl
and the bristles of the brush
scuttles to and fro
as a guard swaggers over
to yell rather than ask-
Where is your God now?
And the prisoner still on his knees
his brush still cleaning answers:
He is with me now, gov.
My God is with me now
hearing and seeing,
whilst your superiors
when they see you, do not look at you
and when they hear you, do not listen to you
My God is risen above the heavens
and closer to me than my jugular vein,
whilst your superiors no different to you
allow you no further than the desk
My God wants me to call Him
whilst your superiors demand you knock
And when I go towards Him a hand span,
He comes to me a yard
and when I go to Him walking,
He comes to me running
Ignorance is cured by knowledge
and the key to knowledge is to ask.
Less now the exclamation
and more the question mark,
the guard sulks away,
and a prisoner on his knees,
still, as if in prayer.
– by Syed Talha Ahsan, written in HMP Long Lartin, June, 2008.
Talha Ahsan has been extradited to the US and is currently in solitary confinement, despite having no charges, no evidence, and no trial against him.